On Sunday, September 21, 2014, Canon Jacobs visited Good Shepherd, Fort Lee, and I spent the week before compiling prayers for our neighbors for an outdoor procession. I pass it along because I like it, and the congregation did too, and it may be useful for others.
What is a neighborhood prayer walk?
A neighborhood prayer walk is an intentional walk through the neighborhood noticing where God is at work in the joys and sorrows you see. Imagine how God is calling you to be partners with the neighborhood. For more information and ideas visit: episcopalchurch.org/evangelisminitiatives/neighborhood-prayer-walks
Here’s what it takes in preparation:
- Find a route around your church. We did a small city block; this many prayers took about 45 minutes. I organized these after doing the walk and figuring out what we wanted to pray for when—the geography determines the order.
- Insert the gospel for the day somewhere if it’s a principal Sunday service—I also omitted the Nicene Creed (but we did a Rite 1 Eucharist with all the lessons and Creed etc. at 8!)
- Do some demographic research (there’s always more that could be done)
- We prayed for emergency responders, which involved asking a police car to park on our premises... and found other symbols for the church parking lot (a balloon to represent thanksgivings and celebrations, an image of the globe kids had made in bottle caps over the summer, etc.)
The Rev. Dr. Allison Moore
Good Shepherd, Fort Lee