One powerful way of being present in your neighborhood is to pray for and with your neighbors. Don’t expect them to come to you, to your building, to your worship services; go to them. Be a presence of faithfulness and welcome where they are by setting up a simple prayer station.
This practice helps your congregation connect deeply with your neighbors. Don’t staff the prayer station just with pastoral leaders; invite lay members of your congregation to participate.
A neighborhood prayer station is an excellent way way to:
- Be a presence of spiritual refuge in your neighborhood
- Deepen ties to your neighbors
- Open opportunities for prayer, pastoral care, and evangelism among your community
- Help congregation members feel more comfortable being public about their faith
- Find a neighborhood event where community organizations can exhibit, such as a farmer’s market, county fair, arts and crafts show, expo, or festival.
- Set up a simple table. Include a sign with your church’s name, strips of cloth, permanent markers, and a display where the cloth can be tied, such as a loom, clothesline, or chicken wire.
- Invite people to write prayers on the strips of cloth and hang them on the display.
- Be available to listen, talk, and pray with those who need it. You’ll discover that this practice will open up life-giving conversations, if you’re looking for them.
Peruse this Flickr gallery of prayer stations for inspiration.
Download a PDF of this infographic that walks you through the entire practice.