Praying on the Streets
Last Sunday some of us had a wander around in the sun and offered to pray for people. Here’s what happened, what it looked like and what we thought of it…
Let’s not leave it too long before we do it again!
“My initial fear in going out 'on the streets' to pray for people was how to approach them; however my partner and I soon established a brief opening sentence to use, and after that it became easier. In fact, we soon began to intentionally cross over the road to greet someone, despite the fact they might reject us. I mean, what did we have to lose?
People had mixed reactions: most weren't at all interested, some were simply intrigued and a couple were genuinely thankful that we would take the time out of our day to approach them with such a request.
We mostly prayed that people would have a good day, that they would know God's presence with them and that they would know how much he loves them.
I would definitely go out again. Not only was it good to chat and pray with people and show them care, it was just great to be out in our local neighbourhood, aware of stuff and inviting God to use us there.”
"It wasn't nearly as scary as it sounds! A lot of people did say no, but nobody was rude or angry. I think the most common reaction was more of a shocked surprise at the opportunity. In our case nobody wanted prayer for anything in their own lives, but the act of offering prayer was clearly quite thought provoking in some cases. I was actually surprised how many people we approached claimed a faith of their own, and some did ask that we pray for some of the bigger things going on in the world at the moment (Ukraine in particular). Perhaps the idea of praying for more personal stuff would seem less alien to people if we just went out and did it more often."
“We walked (in beautiful sunshine!) from Filton Avenue up to the Gloucester Road, down Wessex Avenue and back up Filton Avenue to Ebe. En route we met at (I guess) around 15 people whom we told we were from the local church offering to pray for any need they may have. Although only one guy stood still long enough for us to pray for, the hour seemed positive as we had at least made ourselves available for what God wanted to do and we had briefly chatted to all those people we would not have met otherwise – putting words like church, God and prayer into their day!!”
“I got chatting to a girl at the bus stop. She was keen for me to pray for her and her exams, it was all good, but then as we were chit-chatting her bus went past! It didn’t even stop as Steve tried to chase after it… I felt really bad! She was fine and let me pray for her anyway, I prayed for her exams and stuff and threw in a ‘can you make another bus come quickly’ prayer. Just as I said it she shouted and pointed, I turned around to see a bus pulling up. Crazy, and very cool!”
“Stepping out of the boat and actually trying to walk on water. Is it easier said than done?? Having only prayed for a few people publicly before I was anxious about the afternoon. We walked down the street and decided to approach anyone that we came across so we couldn't back out. The hardest part was approaching someone and disrupting their day, once we had a few one liners ready it was easy. In 45 mins or so we must have approached 20+ people and asked if we could pray for them, families, students and a variety of generations, a lot simply passed at the opportunity and a few welcomed it, one guy even said "What? you actually pray outside on the street?". We prayed for a Christian woman with ankle pain, a family going to Weston for the day, a student with exams, the workers at a car wash, a woman and her son and a few others enjoying the sunshine. God definitely had our backs, being able to have conversations with such a range of people and simply praying they would have a nice afternoon was enjoyable and eye opening! One thing that was new to me was how rewarding it can be giving up time to spend with others, and how that can make someone feel valued and of worth. My experience has shown that stepping out in faith and making ourselves vulnerable is something God loves, and actually prayer isn't as weird and off putting as people think. Prayer is definitely something the community around Ebe is open to.”