I’ve always been fascinated by prayers — I think because they really let you have a sacred glimpse inside a person’s soul. So, each Sunday during October I’ll share a prayer here and I’d love it if you would add your prayer as well.
This week we’ll focus on our physical neighborhood… the houses closest to ours.
Thank you for my neighbors — the ones I know by name and the ones I’ve yet to form a relationship with. I don’t know what challenges they are facing behind those closed doors, but I pray that you would give them strength and courage and hope. And Lord? If there is anything my family and I can do to help, please guide us in sharing your never-ending love.
I ask that you bless each and every home on our street with joy and peace. Watch over all of us, Lord, and help us all.
Dear readers, when I announced this 31-day project Lucy Alonzo wrote to me with her own thoughts on how we learn to love our neighbors. She is graciously allowing me to share them with you here…
It seems to me that the easiest way, and perhaps a necessary starting point, to learn how to love is by being loved. The best way is from a loving family. If we grow up surrounded by love, and particularly if we are told often that we are loved, and that God loves us, that is ideal — but but unfortunately very rare! Even with the best intentions, we parents tend to fall far short of the goal of nurturing our children that way. Fortunately many children who did not experience much love at home find some one else who fills that role, whether it is a neighbor, a relative, a teacher, a coach, a scout leader.
As I look back over my life (from my current age of 77), one experience of love stands out as most significant. When my youngest daughter was 4, I was having lots of problems, many of them due to choices I had made. One day a friend was visiting, with her 4-year-old son, and while the children played in the fenced yard, we were having coffee and conversation in the living room. We could hear their happy voices so we knew they were having fun. But then we heard water running in the kitchen for what seemed like longer than usual so we went to look. What an appalling mess they had made! They had brought earth from the flower beds onto the back steps landing to make a “garden.” Then they had tried to clean it up — but instead of using a broom, they tried a wet mop. Now, both well covered with mud, they were sitting on each side of the double kitchen sink with their legs in it, and muddy soap suds cascading across the kitchen floor. Well, the visit ended abruptly, and I worked on cleaning up my daughter and the mess she had made — and I did manage to be gentle with her, merely suggesting that if she ever found herself in a similar situation she should ask for my help sooner rather than later! It was while I was mopping the kitchen floor that I had an overwhelming experience — God my Heavenly Father was telling me very clearly that, just as I loved my daughter enough to clean up the huge mess she had made, He loved me and would help me clean up the mess I had been making of my life.
I listen to podcasts almost every day on my drive to work, and when I heard this episode from God Centered Mom? Well, I knew I had to tell you about it.
She interviewed Kristin Schell, who wanted to be more welcoming to her neighbors so she put a picnic table in her front yard and painted it turquoise. At first, she’d start her day out there drinking coffee and then find any excuse to spend time outside at the table. Now, it has become a natural gathering place and has brought the entire neighborhood closer together.
What have you tried? What is your turquoise table?
I believe part of loving others is praying for them and that we shouldn’t miss an opportunity to be an answer to prayer.
My hope is that this little printable — designed with two weeks on one page — will prompt you to pray for people you might not always think of and remind you to put love into action.
May it be a blessing!
Kindly sign up below for my email list and then click here to download the Simply Faithful prayer journal.
Want more suggestions for keeping a prayer journal? Read about a Bible and prayer journal caddy or check out this video for step-by-step instructions on creating a well thought out prayer notebook.