Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
It takes more than a great church to reach a city, it takes a great movement of churches. This video featuring an interview with Tom McLeod reminds us all that the Church's core mission is to offer people creative ways to bless your neighbors.
From the very beginning, God’s way of reaching and restoring the world has always been through what I would call a blessing strategy…how do we in a very practical way that’s theologically grounded explain to people how they could bless people in places they are incarnating?
The answer is found in Luke 10:1-9. In this passage Jesus instructs His disciples to go into cities and do four things:
Speaking peace to the people they meet: “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house’.
Listening to find out where the pain and brokenness: “Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you, for the laborer is worthy of his wages.”
Talking to God about someone else's problem: “Heal those in it who are sick.“
Letting it be known that the kingdom of God is near: “Say to them, the kingdom of God has come near to you.”
We see in these four steps a movement toward incarnation in which we not only "march for Jesus" but we "move in" for Jesus and immerse ourselves in our communities, not just our "churches."
BLESSING opens the door to unbiased fellowship. Begin with prayer. We want you to ask, ‘God how do you want me to bless the people in the places you’ve sent me to?’ You cannot change what I do not embrace.
FELLOWSHIP. Don’t talk, but listen to people, their struggles, their pains, in the places God sent you. You can’t just check this off. It’s not quick.You cannot fix what you don't know is broken. You have to have a meal with people or a cup of coffee. It builds relationships and establishes a level of trust, allowing our neighbors to share with us their felt needs.
MINISTER. If you listen with people and you eat with people they will tell you how to love them and you’ll know how to drive them. Pray for their felt needs so that you connect their need with God's resources.
DECLARE. When we intercede for our neighbors, the kingdom of God comes near them in a tangible way. Say to them, "The kingdom of God has come near to you’” (Luke 10:9) and then confirm that the power and presence of God is "in the neighborhood" as you share the story of how Jesus changed your life.
Simply put, this blessing strategy, is talking to God about our neighbors before we talk to our neighbors about God. It is our hope that the pattern and possibility of Luke 10 can be expanded throughout Jacksonville. That is why we have set the goal to have each of the over 15,000 streets in this, America's geographically largest city, adopted and being actively and regularly prayer walked by the end of the decade.
Genesis 12:2-3 says, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”