“How to Pray for Your Neighbors Easily”
by Clancy Nixon
About one year ago, at a meeting of local pastors, I was introduced to a new online resource that helps people to pray for their immediate neighbors. It’s called www.BlessEveryHome.com, which is a ministry of the mapping center for evangelism in Texas. I heard from a local pastor who is a friend of mine, Jeff Jacob of Word of Life Church in Ashburn. He had used it to pray by name for each of his neighbors every day from an email sent by the site. He did prayer walks in his neighborhood, and it gave him much more compassion for his neighbors. It had given him inspiration to start a campus of his church in Lucketts!
So I signed up for this service, and asked the staff at Church of the Holy Spirit to do so, too. I told Bishop John Guernsey and the Diocesan staff about it, and they signed up, too. We all like it very much! You are given a map of homes to adopt near you– you choose how many homes you want to pray for, and how many days a week you want to pray for them. You are given the names of the neighbors near you, and exactly where they live. Some of the data is out of date, but in my experience, it is pretty current. You appear on the map as a lighthouse, and which homes you have adopted to pray for, and you can see who else has adopted homes in your neighborhood, and even county wide.
My pastor friends and I’d like to see all of Loudoun County covered with adopted homes on this map!
I can testify that Ginger and my recent practice of praying daily for our neighbors had indeed borne fruit. Early on when we moved in, Ginger and I got to know all our neighbors on our cul-de-sac. While most everyone has been friendly, with one exception, we never got traction with our immediate neighbors when it came to talking about God, or attending Bible Studies at our home. We did make many connections in the wider neighborhood, many of whom prayed for us or joined our church, but not on our street.
That changed in the last year. Six months ago, my immediate neighbor Gerry had received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. As I spoke with him, he asked me to help him to reconnect with God. He had been devoted to Christ and his church in his youth, but had drifted away. So I met with him every 2 weeks until his death about a month ago. Gerry went from a disinterested agnostic to a believer in God. He asked me to take his funeral according to our Anglican rites. I got to preach the gospel to all the neighbors on my cul-de-sac! I do believe that God honored our prayers for our neighbors. Gerry’s widow Carmen and her nephew Geraldo have been attending our church recently.
So go sign up for www.blesseveryhome.com! As you pray, God will change you, and He will enable your ministry in your neighborhood in new and powerful ways.+