“Peace on earth, upon whom His favor rests!”
I think we all believe that peace is a good thing. Those that make peace are considered sons of God. We want a peace that surpasses all understanding. And as far as it depends upon us, we want to live at peace with one another. We carry with us this gospel (good news) of peace wherever our foot may tread.
All of these are promises of scripture. And this is not even close to being a comprehensive list!
This week, we are choosing to align our hearts and minds with the God of all peace. This means we are going into our neighborhoods with the good news of peace, hope, joy, kindness, and love. Jesus came, not to condemn the world, but that through Him, the world might find salvation, redemption, healing, and a Kingdom of peace. We have a peace within us, and we are called to make that gospel of peace known to all people. As we walk through the neighborhoods in proximity to our building @411 North Weber, we want to ask the God of all peace to reveal Himself in a fresh way to our neighbors through His church.
When my wife and I were getting ready to buy our first property, we wanted to be as efficient as possible when it came to finding the right house for our family. We looked at so many houses and we were beginning to feel a bit discouraged. We had resorted to picking up a list of properties at her office and scanned them for the ones we actually wanted to see (before the internet). At one point, she suggested a new build home – which we quickly dismissed. A week or so later, she suggested it again after another fruitless search. We seemed dismissive to the idea, to which she replied, “Walk the lot before you dismiss it.” We ended up having a house built on a lot that we had walked.
Why is it that walking a lot is so important – because you see things differently when you walk than when you look at pictures or a map. I see something different every day I go for a walk with my wife and dog. I am a bit envious of my dog, who not only sees new things, but smells something different every time as well! Granted, my dog and I leave the house everyday with an anticipation of seeing something new. This is evident how we both jump up and down when Terasue suggests a walk!
A prayer walk is about opening our eyes, ears, nose, and all our senses to what is happening in our neighborhoods. It is about listening to the voice of the Shepherd as we look and see, hear and listen, and touch and feel. I want to suggest that prayer is about aligning our hearts with the very heart of God. Walking the land, the lot, and our neighborhoods helps us listen to His heart for the world.
I recently heard of a youth group in an extreme urban context, that decided that it was a good idea to give tours of their “hood” to the police and politicians. The goal was to help them see the need, the struggles, and the allies that are in the heart of the city. As the they gave the tour, eyes were opened to the good, the bad, and the ugly. You just gotta walk the land.
Moses sent twelve men into the Promised Land to walk the land and come back with a report. Ten of them came back with tales of woe, dread, and fear. Two came back with hope, boldness, and courage. The ten swayed the people into rebellion. If we want to see what God has in store, we have to walk in faith, not by sight. In other words, looking and not seeing, hearing and not listening, and touching and not feeling are all the result of walking in the flesh and not walking in the Spirit. May we be a people who walk by faith and in the Spirit.
Join us each evening at 6PM (1800) as we physically walk our neighborhoods and pray for access to peace, hope, joy, and love in our city. (Yes, you can drive too!)
Tuesday, September 8 – Old North End (Steele Elementary)
Wednesday, September 9 – Patty Jewett (Taylor Elementary)
Thursday, September 10 – Divine Redeemer (Divine Redeemer Elementary/MS)
Friday, September 11 – Hillside (Helen Hunt Elementary/Switchback Hillside)
Saturday, September 12 – Shooks Run (Columbia Elementary)
Sunday, September 13 – Downtown (411 N. Weber following our Sunday service)
Concert of Prayer – 6PM@411 (This will also be offered virtually)
“Let Your Kingdom come, and Your will be done – on earth as it is in Heaven.”