By Tim Klassen
Prayer. If you are Christian, it’s something we know we should do but don’t always practice all that well. It’s intangible, there is seldom an immediate result, though if you pray often enough you begin to recognize there are way too many coincidences for them to be coincidences at all. It becomes clearer – God responds to prayer – just as He promises and demonstrates throughout scripture.
Most of us would like to see God do more in our families, neighbourhoods and city. I’m going to suggest it begins with prayer. We can strategize and plan all we want, and these are not bad things, it’s just they will lack the impact that happens when God intervenes in answer to prayer.
Historically, you can usually trace times of renewal/revival to a group of people who have prayed consistently and zealously for God’s Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. There are many in Abbotsford who have been praying for this city that way for years. It was at an early morning prayer meeting this spring when the idea of the Abbotsford Neighborhood Prayer Walk was birthed.
The question emerged, “Wouldn’t it be great to see every home, in every street, in Abbotsford prayed over?” Yes, there are these pockets of people praying regularly for our city, but let’s raise the tide and saturate the whole city with the citywide church all praying together.
The conversation led to a presentation being made to the ACLN (Abbotsford Christian Leaders Network). We could see the idea best coming to fruition if the whole church in the city would participate. The ACLN opened the door for a presentation to be made to a group of Abbotsford pastors on a citywide Zoom call.
It was met with such a positive response that we proceeded to put it into motion. A small team of a few pastors was formed, representing Northview Community Church, Seven Oaks Alliance, Transform Central, Bethel Reformed Church and Central Heights. Through collaboration, the logistics have all come together and many churches are on board to support and promote it.
When and how? We decided it would run one week, from Sunday, September 27 to Saturday October 3. We would ask people to take a street and commit to pray for it every day during that period. If they can walk it, what an opportunity for individuals and/or families to see their neighborhood with God’s eyes as they pray for their street. If it’s a reaaaaally long street, then drive it. The important thing is that we pray.
How will people be able to sign up? It sounded administratively cumbersome, so God provided a connection to a software programmer who, in between jobs, gladly took this on as a project to bless our city. We developed a website so that churches can just point their people to go to the site directly and sign up there. There is map to show the street you are committing to and the number of streets covered so far. There is also an original theme song to inspire us to pray. Go to http://prayforabbotsford.com
Can we cover the whole city? There are approximately 1280 streets in Abbotsford. We’ve made it so that each street can have 3 sign-ups for it. Some people will take more than one street. I think we can cover it. I think should cover it …what an opportunity for us to join hands across denominations to call out to God to do something special in Abbotsford.
How to pray? We are trusting that God will lead each one of us in how to pray as we call out to Him for our neighbourhoods and city. As a unifying theme we are focusing on asking God to BLESS and BREAKTHROUGH in people’s lives.
Then what? We will celebrate what God has done on a livestream event Saturday October 3. “Then what” is very much up to God, but we are anticipating that prayer changes things!
Tim Klassen is the Lead Pastor at Central Heights Church in Abbotsford
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