Ok, so I’ve been training for a half-marathon. I started a few weeks ago and it’s been a slow start. All the while, God continues to challenge me – urging me to go deeper in His Kingdom, which means doing more of what God wants me to do and less of what I want me to do. When I trained last year, I would use google maps to trace a route so I knew how far I ran. And when I would get back to my driveway after my run I would walk up the street one way and back, then up the other way and back for a cool down. Then I got up the courage to start praying for those houses I passed. I say “got up the courage” because I was praying that God would open up opportunities for my family to meet them. I knew if I prayed for it, God would give it. It’s been about a year now and we have actually met a few neighbors but have not taken things further – like inviting them over for dinner. But, for me, I can’t think of any other logical next step.
Today I made a decision. I’m going to kill two birds with one stone (or, in an attempt to coin a new phrase – feed two birds with one hand). I figured out a running route that is just about 1/2 mile – in a circle right in my neighborhood. So my plan is on the days I don’t have to do a long run, I will do laps around this circle and start praying for families in the homes I pass. Today I did that and I must have seen 4 different people out in the neighborhood – in the middle of January. Just think what might happen when the weather is nice. I’m going to have to actually stop and introduce myself to perfect strangers!
For those interested in engaging their neighborhood, a prayer walk is the perfect first step (pun intended). Walk through your neighborhood and pray for your neighbors – whatever comes to mind. And ask God to provide opportunities for you to meet them (like when they are walking to the road to get their mail, or doing yard work, or shoveling the walk). The point is that eventually God will show you how you can show God-love to them.
You can even bring the whole family along. The best part is, no one has to even know you are prayer-walking so you don’t have to be self-conscious about it. Oh yeah, and you get exercise too. Bonus.