Prayer Journey - Looking Back at How God Works

In a few weeks, MoveIners across Canada and around the world will be joined by the wider body of Christ for the Prayer Journey. June 17 will be a day where God’s children do the important work of prayer in some of the poorest areas in our cities—places where many people have never even heard the name of Jesus.

Looking back on past Prayer Journeys, it is amazing to catch glimpses of how God’s Kingdom work is accomplished when his people pray.

God is already at work

The vision of the Prayer Journey is to raise up prayer for neighbourhoods where there are very few believers and to see followers of Jesus living in these communities as a result. Though the Prayer Journey often takes us through communities with very little access to the gospel, participants are consistently amazed at how God is already working in these communities.

After praying with a mother and her children during the Ottawa Prayer Journey in 2015, one participant stated, “God is moving already, before we have even moved in.” Another participant on the same Prayer Journey was encouraged by walking with members of a local church in the community, saying, “God has a remnant here, he’s already working.” Another Prayer Journeyer in North York, Toronto, had a similar experience: 

[I] was encourage[d] to find a home with John 3:16 displayed in the window. Sometimes we think we are going into a dark place to bring light, but when we arrive, we find that Jesus is already there!
— Prayer Journey Participant, North York, 2015

We are privileged to join God in what he is already doing in the world. We often forget that it is always God inviting us into his work, not us inviting him into ours. It is amazing that he wants us to participate when it would be so much simpler (and less messy) for him to do it on his own. The Prayer Journey helps us to see that there are many communities that still have little access to the truth about Jesus, but that God has not forgotten those places and he is raising up people to be his presence there.

We are humbled

In past Prayer Journeys there have been many testimonies of humbling encounters with members of the communities through which people were praying. One participant in Ottawa in 2015 expressed how she was touched to be able to walk with a group of mothers from the community and it helped her to feel connected to the neighbourhood in a very real way. More than once, participants’ needs have been met by members of the community, often in the form of a glass of cold water. One Prayer Journeyer in Oasis City in 2016 recounted how “a local, unreached man brought us a bag of ice cold bottled drinking water, expressing his appreciation for us. That’s not so important unless it’s 46 C!”

How often have we entered into communities with the attitude that we are the ones with something to offer? We come to bring good news, hope, and light. But how often do we find that our needs are actually the ones met in a moment of genuine human connection, hospitality, and kindness? It is humbling. It is the Kingdom.

Prayer gives us God’s heart for people

As we seek the Father on behalf of residents in the neighbourhoods we walk through during the Prayer Journey, we often begin to see them with his eyes. Our hearts are broken for their pain and awed by the love of God for each individual. Where we so often only see the masses, we become aware that God sees each person in the crowd.

One participant who walked the Prayer Journey in Kolkata, India in 2016 described it beautifully: 

I passed literally thousands of faces today. Among them were clean and dirty, young and old, malnourished and well fed faces. In the midst of all these differences, I saw one thing in common: all faces reflect God’s own in their unique and beautiful way.
— Prayer Journey Participant, Kolkata, 2016

Another participant in Hamilton described how he was able to pray with a man for his son whose mother had just died. He explained, “This reminded me how personal God is. He saw this man and his need.”

Our God is a god who sees. As we pray, he is faithful to give us his vision for the world, our neighbours, communities and cities. Only he can see it all at once and still not lose sight of each individual person. May we continue to have our eyes opened to see the world through Kingdom lenses—lenses that don’t see the way the world sees.

As we embark on the Prayer Journey this year, let’s take these lessons from previous years and continue to ask God to give us his vision and his heart for our neighbourhoods/patches. Let us ask for genuine humility to see people the way God sees them and to humbly enter in to where he is already at work.