Protect Your Neighborhood
While my passion is to generate prayer for America, revival and worldwide harvest, it is good for all of us to be reminded of the home front. If we’re not watchmen for our homes, neighborhoods, and cities, what we pray regarding our nation/s won’t matter. Our dear friend and best selling author, Quin Sherrer, gives us great insights on this.
“Have you considered ‘prayer walking’ through your neighborhood?
“For years my friend Mary took to heart Jesus' command to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ (see Mark 12:31) by continually praying over her neighborhood when she walked. In fact, she did this for years.
“Walking her streets, she made a habit of proclaiming:
“‘Lord, we invite the King of Glory to come in. Come forth and bring Your glory into this neighborhood. Release your blessings to the families here. Protect them from harm. Let them know You and Your love for them. Accomplish Your will through their lives.’
“One of her neighborhood’s most successful events was called ‘Meet You at the Corner.’ The neighbors gathered on a Saturday morning before Easter for a short service, declaring. ‘He is alive!’ They shared refreshments and fellowship. The children came along with their parents.1
“I was not always aware of my need to pray for my neighborhood or city until my husband’s company moved us to what I thought was the far side of nowhere—with blizzards in winter and sandstorms in spring. He was only home to help me with our toddlers on weekends. Then a neighbor informed me that a very disturbed teenager lived across the street. He had shot through our house when the former occupants lived here. They left the dining room curtains with the bullet hole in them, proving it was a true story. I better watch my toddlers closely, I thought. I felt we were living in exile.
“Then God pulled me out of my ‘pity party’ with one Scripture: ‘Seek peace and well-being for the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its peace (well-being) you will have peace.’ (Jeremiah 29:7 AMP)
“And that’s what I did as long as we lived there—praying for peace, well-being, protection, and salvation for neighbors. Whenever the weather was decent, I took the children walking as I prayed. Believe me, I developed a new depth of prayer and spiritual warfare. Finally, my husband’s job took us back to my home state.
“In their book Prayerwalking, Steve Hawthorne and Graham Kendrick explain, ‘Prayer walking is on-site prayer—simply praying in the very places where you expect your prayers to be answered.’ They continue:
“‘Walking helps sensitize you to the realities of your community. Sounds, sights, and smells, far from distracting your prayer, engage both body and mind in the art of praying. Better perception means boosted intercession.
“‘Walking also connects Christians with their own neighborhoods. By regularly passing through the streets of their cities, walkers can present easygoing accessibility to neighbors. Walking seems to create opportunities to help or to pray for new friends on the spot, right at the times of great need.’2
“John Dawson, the author of Taking Our Cities for God, writes:
“‘Have you ever thought about the battle for your immediate neighborhood? ...Several years ago, my staff and I went on a prayer walk around our neighborhood. We stood in front of every house, rebuked satan's work in Jesus’ name, and prayed for a revelation of Jesus in the life of each family. We are still praying…At this writing, there are at least nine Christian families in the block where I live, and there is a definite sense of the Lord’s peace.’3
When I had three young grandchildren living near me, I often pulled them in a red wagon through the three-block area in our neighborhood on our ‘prayerwalk.’ My goal was similar to one I had prayed when my own children were young--for the protection of our neighborhood, for God's peace on our neighbors, and for them to come to know Jesus personally.
“As we bumped down the street, I prayed aloud, then we sang. If the neighbors sitting in their yards greeted us, we sometimes stopped to talk. They liked to hear the songs the little ones sang--even off key --and sometimes they commented on the gospel tunes. Then one day a neighbor we didn’t even know knocked on our door to ask for spiritual help—she’d been told we were Christians.
“Once after the police arrested some gang members just down the street from us, I realized more than ever the need to pray for protection over our neighborhood. But as I taught the grandkids to pray for peace and protection, I did it without instilling fear, hoping they’d become alert to pray for their own neighborhoods later in their lives.
“In my neighborhood today, many of our senior-aged neighbors seem to arrive at the common mailbox around the same time—right after the mailman has made his delivery. Neighbors often share news about family activities or concerns with one another. In such a situation, an alert intercessor can take the opportunity to pray then and there for individuals if they are willing. Or they can pray for that concern later during a prayer time at home.
“In light of recent violence in cities, some streets present risks. So, many intercessors now use ‘drive-by prayer’ instead of walking. I know women who gather in cars and drive to pray at their children’s schools or their husband’s workplaces.
“The other day two friends and I went beyond our neighborhood, driving and praying around our town. We had a city map and a printout of our community’s history, so we could stop at various strategic places. Then we drove by and/or parked at specific churches, schools, businesses, city offices, banks - wherever we felt the Lord impressed us to pray.
“Experienced intercessors offer this advice:
1. Prepare your heart with the Lord. Is it free of judgment?
2. Evaluate the neighborhood and streets by knowing its history or layout.
3. Don't take on too much territory at once.
4. Choose only a few families to pray for during your devotional time.
5. Ask God for His purpose and vision for your prayer walk.
6. Memorize Scriptures to speak aloud, declaring God's love for your neighbors.
7. When you prayer walk, ask Holy Spirit to reveal evil spirits needing to be bound in that area. Then ask God to open blinded eyes so that people can turn from darkness to light and receive forgiveness through Jesus. (see Acts 26:18 NKJV)
8. Give God thanks for your city and neighbors, standing with them in repentance, crying out for mercy, and extending God's blessings on them. 4
“Scripture tells us that when believers pray on earth, we instigate activity in the heavens. Let’s ask God what He wants as our specific prayer assignment for our neighborhood and/or community. And then let’s be faithful to make a commitment.
“Here are some Scriptures that challenge and encourage us to pray as we walk or drive over our area:
‘And I sought a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.’ (Ezekiel 22:30 AMP)
‘I have set watchmen upon your walls, O Jerusalem, who will never hold their peace day or night; you who [are His servants and by your prayers] put the Lord in remembrance [of His promises], keep not silence, And give Him no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes her a praise in the earth.’ (Isaiah 62: 6-7 AMPC)
'Pray for one another…the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.’ (James 5:16 NKJV).
'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Mark 12: 31)”
Thank you, Quin, for sharing these thoughts with us. They provide us with tools so we can prayer walk (or drive) effectively.
Pray with me:
Lord, help us reach out to our neighbors. We desire to be Good Samaritans in bringing them to You. Whether they are next door, at the grocery store, workplace, or wherever our paths cross; help us to be Your hands extended.
Bless our neighbors today. We ask You for their salvation, and pray for their protection. Keep them from violent attacks and crimes. Protect marriages, incomes, and health. We ask that You assign angels to watch over our neighborhoods. And give us opportunities to minister to our neighbors.
We ask in Jesus' name. Amen.
We decree Isaiah 32:18 over our homes and neighborhoods: “My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”
Portions of today’s post were shared by our friend, Quin Sherrer. You can find out more about Quin here.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
1. Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock, A Woman’s Guide to Spirit-Filled Living, (Ann Arbor, Michigan: Servant Publication, 1996), pp. 228-229.
2. Steve Hawthorne and Graham Kendrick, Prayerwalking, (Orlando, FL.: Creation House, 1993), pp. 15- 17.
3. John Dawson, Taking Our Cities for God: How to Break Spiritual Strongholds, (Lake Mary, FL.: Charisma House,2001), pp.10-11.
4. Hawthorne and Kendrick. Ibid. 126-130