Consistent prayer walking can improve your fitness, appearance, and … your neighborhood and soul.
Shirley Johnson and Carolyn Grace*, in Glouster Township, New Jersey, walked their neighborhood. They saw its downturn. Absentee landlords who had little or no investment in the neighborhood’s condition owned too many houses now. Many renters took little interest in their surroundings. Crime was on the rise.
Johnson and Grace decided they weren’t having it! Their first act was to walk the neighborhood, picking up trash on the street and in people’s yards. They made the area look nicer.
Grace said, “It’s a good community. It’s a community that needs people to care about it. I think they just wanted a couple people to lead them in the right direction.”
What began as a humble effort led to big change. In 2016, Johnson and Grace launched a community organization, the Brittany Woods Community Action Group. And “action,” they say, is the most important word. They enlisted a small army of kids to support the cause. The kids saw their neighborhood’s decline reversed. They see how their actions are making a difference. People are moving back to the neighborhood and taking care of things.
Prayer walking through your neighborhood is a humble effort that can lead you to making a big difference.
The steps are easy …
- Grab a friend, family member, or neighbor and walk your streets, praying for each home and family. Pray aloud. Don’t worry! It will look to others like you’re conversing with each other.
- After a few days or weeks of this kind of prayer walking, kick it up a notch. Plan your walk time to coincide with when you noticed others outside around their home. As you meet people, speak to them. If they’re walking a dog, compliment their pet. If shooting hoops, shout out an encouraging remark. If sitting on their porch or working in the yard, even a smile and wave can be welcomed. Your initiative can lead to the opportunity for further conversation.
- As you become more comfortable with these kinds of surface conversations, be prepared to go a little deeper. Invite someone you meet to walk with you. Conversation will flow. And before long, you’ll build relationships and community.
Are you are interested in participating in a Prays Walk in your neighborhood? Contact our HUB Coordinator, Delanna Hess, at firstname.lastname@example.org. She can help you get organized with other CWCCC sisters in your area. Just put on your walking shoes and get going!
*The story of these two community leaders appeared on a CBS Morning News series called “A More Perfect Union.” It aims to show that what unites us as Americans is far greater than what divides us.
**This article partly extracted from a newsletter, See All the People, by Rev. Junius B. Dotson, General Secretary, Discipleship Ministries.