“Christian hospitality cares for the things that our neighbours care about….It means starting where you are and looking around for who needs you. It means communicating Christian love in word and deed. It means making yourself trustworthy enough to bear burdens of real life and real problems.” — Rosaria Butterfield
Today we venture outside. Depending on where you are this will require planning to remain socially distant. But it is a practice that I have found great value in and encourage you to engage in with eagerness.
Prayer is not always sitting, kneeling or standing in a room, fixated on the presence of God. Sometimes God is at move out in the world and calling us out to Himself. Certainly the Holy Spirit is at work in the world, giving gifts of revelation to those who are seeking the Living God (though in the moment they may not realize that’s what’s going on).
Take some time today to walk around your neighbourhood (or apartment building) and engage in a walking prayer. You can begin your walk with the simple phrase, “Lord, this time is Yours. Use me in whatever way You desire.”
As you set out, pay attention to the various houses (or various doors in your building). In each of them are people whom God has made and loves; each of them are bearers of the image of God; each of them were running through Jesus’ mind as He was on the cross for them. Pray for each of those homes and the people within them. Ask God to invade those homes and fill them with His hope, peace, joy and love. And should God invite you to bear witness to His goodness on your walk, be ready with the joyful news that God is making all things new and that this season of disruption will not win.
When you finish you walk, end this time of prayer by handing everything over to God: “Lord, this is Your neighbourhood (Your building). Have Your way with Your people and all glory be to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
*If walking is an issue for you (or if you live in a remote area), consider pulling out a map and allowing your finger to trail along familiar roads. As your finger passes familiar streets, imagine the houses there (perhaps it’s a path you drive along regularly). Use your mental map and pray for the places that God draws to your attention.