Photo by Eric Blauer

Praying With Our Feet in Spokane’s Neighborhoods

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Photo by Eric Blauer
Photo by Eric Blauer

Churches praying together is a value that most Christians and religious leaders want to be committed to doing, but sometimes it’s tough to figure out just how to do it, in a way that’s sustainable and honestly, enjoyable.

I have been raised in a wing of the church where prevailing prayer was often presented like the sword of King Arthur, stuck hilt deep in stone. There was an idea that grows in those circles that if we do it more than we did, longer than we have, or with more people, than God will see that we are worthy to be knighted with the title of prayer warrior. It’s a blend of sincere desire and need and works based righteousness that subtly separates the real committed and spiritual from the spiritual noobs. It’s an unfortunate hamster-wheel that many Christians eventually burn out running.

Photo by Eric Blauer
Photo by Eric Blauer

I have been grateful to be in relationship with a group of Christian friends, church leaders and radical moms and grads over the years through an informal local network called Ecclesia Spokane. They have helped me find rhythms, practices and a pace of prayer that has been revitalizing and healing. It’s been a refreshing reorienting that’s more about discovering what God is doing, than making something happen.

We started meeting over nine years ago when most of us were new church planters, but now it’s a lifeline of fellowship, influence, feasting and prayer. We have done a lot of things together, like training events, communal preaching preparation, pulpit swaps, spiritual direction groups, missions trips, annual prayer getaways to the Abbey at Mt. Angel Oregon and the monastery of St. Gertrudes, but recently we have been simply walking and praying together.
Photo by Eric Blauer
Photo by Eric Blauer

Every Thursday a group of pastors and mission minded people have been meeting in a different neighborhood around Spokane and going for walks together. So far believers from Kaleo, Emmaus, Soma, The Porch, Jacob’s Well, Inland Church and Salem Lutheran have joined us in our walks through the Browne’s Addition, East Central, Perry, Cheney and West Central neighborhoods.

The format is uncomplicated, we ask someone who lives or ministers in a neighborhood to guide us on a walk while they share with us the good stuff going on and the difficult challenges facing people in that corner of Spokane. We listen, look, ask questions and then at the end of the walk we pray about what we saw, heard and felt impressed to pray about. Done.

Photo by Eric Blauer
Photo by Eric Blauer

It’s been exciting and enlightening to see all the good things God is doing in and through  average and ordinary Christians following Jesus and loving people where they live, work and worship. There’s plenty of difficult challenges, divisions, disappointments and unending need but God’s kingdom is coming and His will is being done in Spokane.

 

Eric Blauer

About Eric Blauer

I am Frederick Christian Blauer IV, but I go by Eric, it sounds less like a megalomaniac but still hints at my Scandinavian destiny of coastal conquest and ultimate rule. I have accumulated a fair number of titles: son, brother, husband, father, pastor, writer, artist and a few other more colorful titles by my fanged fans. I am a lover of story be it heard, read or watched in all beauty, gory or glory. I write and speak as an exorcist or poltergeist, splashing holy water, spilling wine and breaking bread between the apocalypse and a sleeping baby. I am possessed by too many words and they get driven out like wild pigs and into the waters of my blog at www.fcb4.tumblr.com. I work as a pastor at Jacob's Well Church (www.jacobswellspokane.com) across the tracks on 'that' side of town. I follow Christ in East Central Spokane among saints, sinners, angels, demons, crime, condoms, chaos, beauty, goodness and powerful weakness. I have more questions than answers, grey hairs than brown, fat than muscle, fire than fireplace and experience more love from my wife, family and friends than a man should be blessed with in one lifetime.

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9 comments

  1. Looks like an opportunity to meet with fellow sheep-herders for coffee. Walking and talking to your invisible sky daddy does about as much good for those neighbourhoods as not showing up at all.

    Why don’t you get jobs in your respective neighbourhoods that don’t rely on fleecing the uninformed, and make a real difference?

  2. Well this was a surprising response. Glad for all the support :/

  3. Its like you learn my thoughts! You appear to understand so much about this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something. I think that you just can do with a few p.c. to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, that is wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

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