Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bless My Neighbors

When we moved into our neighborhood we were one of only white families on our street. The realtor who showed us the house was nicely trying to tell us it was a "mixed" neighborhood, I guess she thought we wouldn't like being minorities. What was more important to us was whether or not any of them were Christians. In the 4 1/2 yrs since we've moved in many neighbors have moved and new ones have come. Out of the 15 houses on our street 5 are IHOP and 3 more are Christians that go to various churches in the area. That means we are now in the majority. :) Color and nationality means nothing.
Recently one of our long time neighbors approached us with the idea of getting together and praying for each other and the entire neighborhood. Over the years we have gathered for picnics, Christmas tea, garage sales, and lots of chatting at the mailbox. This was different, it means stepping it up a notch. Another neighbor who has been a life-long missionary shared how they've seen transformations in other countries of neighborhoods after praying together. They use this acrostic:

B-L-E-S-S
 
B - Body- For health, safety, and physical needs.
L - Labors- For the success and prospering of they work and studies.
E - Emotions- For peace and joy to replace fear and anxiety.
S - Social Life- For families to function well together and in their community.
S - Salvation- For each to understand salvation in Jesus Christ and grow in their spiritual lives.
 
So this is our plan, we meet a couple of times a month to pray for neighbors by name, we pray for the land to be fruitful, we're praying for the city, etc.  Each time we meet there's a feeling that this is something the Lord is well pleased with and we add more to our time together. Who knows where it will lead or what will happen but we all agree it's how neighbors should be. We're sharing our needs, we're rejoicing together over answered prayers, we worship together, we're looking out for each other. We're coming together from many different backgrounds, nationalities, ethnic groups, ages, and sharing one commonality. It's doing church outside of the walls.

I really like my neighbors.

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