The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.
John 1:14a The MESSAGE
For Tori, this line makes the image of God Incarnate feel close. The word “neighbourhood” helps her imagine God present, through creation, Christ and Spirit, in her own small town.
We don’t always make the time to pray for our neighbourhoods, to pray that our town or city would feel God’s presence in and among us. But, we are part of churches who claim to believe in the power of prayer. The United Church’s A Song of Faith tells us of a relational God we can share everything with, a God who lives and moves in this world. And so, we pray.
But how can we engage children actively in prayer for our towns/cities? Sometimes our prayer times are long and word-heavy. This can be a challenge for folks with low literacy levels (of all ages!) or who need to make their prayer time more hands on.
Why not create your very own prayer map!?
After printing off a black and white map of your town, invite families to do the following:
- Colour places that are special to you.
- Circle areas where there are needs (food banks, shelters, area unhoused people may spend time).
- Draw a heart in places where your loved ones live).
- Once you’re done highlighting your map, to take a moment to pray for your neighbours.
This is one simple exercise you can use to guide a prayer time for your town or city. It can be done at home, in Sunday School or during a worship service. You may also want to consider purchasing a large map of your area so you can do your highlighting collaboratively, or cut it into sections and invite different people/groups to pray for a different neighbourhood/region of your community. This could be a take home project one week, bringing all the pieces back together at your next gathering!