Perhaps the most difficult spiritual discipline is the discipline of prayer. Setting aside time to pray with intention is an important part of our time with God but it can be a hard habit to develop. If you are having trouble maintaining a faithful time of meeting God in prayer, it could be that your prayer life would benefit from broadening your prayer time. One way to do this is to begin praying for your community.
The Community of Faith
You might want to start by praying for your community of faith – the people in your church. Every week someone’s need is mentioned from the lectern, the pulpit, in Sunday School or in the church bulletin. Take those needs home and commit to praying for them through the week. A great way to make yourself accountable to do this is to send the person a prayer card. A prayer card may contain a printed prayer that you let the person know you promise to pray for them daily, or it may hold a handwritten prayer from your heart.
The Community of Neighbors
Jesus told a parable about a wounded man who was ignored by several professing believers but was finally helped by a Samaritan. The story was Jesus’ answer to the question “Who is my neighbor?” Of course, the parable doesn’t really answer who is a neighbor as much as it describes, “What does a neighbor do?” Loving neighbors care for the strangers around them. Prayer for the strangers around you is one way to truly love your neighbors.
How You Pray for Neighbors
You can pray for your community at large in a variety of ways. You could pray daily with a partner over the phone. You could create a weekly prayer group that meets to pray for your city or town. You can pray over your community as a family. You could conduct a prayer walk around the streets of town. You can pray alone during your quiet time.
What Are Some Things You Can Pray for Them
There are many ways you can pray for your community. You can pray for community leaders. You can pray for families, for businesses, for local churches. You can pray for the people that live on your street. Here are a few general things to pray for others:
- God’s Love Would Be Made Evident to Them
- Protection from Harm
- Restore Broken Relationships and Bodies (health)
- Justice and Mercy to Be Realities
- Giftedness of Christians Would Be Used to Bless Others
- Salvation to Come to the Lost
If you pray for community leaders, you could send them a prayer card. Thank them for their work and let them see exactly how you prayed for them. You could do the same for the community churches that you bathe in prayer. What could be more encouraging than receiving a card from someone you’ve never even met and reading how they remembered you in prayer?
The Printery House
At The Printery House we want to encourage you in developing a discipline of prayer. We offer prayer cards and inspirational cards that could be used to help you pray more as well as bless others with this most neighborly act of love.