A doorstep prayer for an outpouring of the Spirit
Rev Nigel Fox has replaced clapping with praying for his community on his doorstep on Thursday evenings.
One of the things produced during these recent weeks of lockdown has been a stronger appreciation of our stalwart health and care workers. It has been expressed in the various fundraising efforts of ordinary folk who’ve become ‘a new celebrity’ (albeit temporary) and in the widespread practice of the ‘clap for carers’. Many of us may have been involved in that.
With some 95% involvement where I live, it was a local community highlight each week. It became a blessing for us as well as an expression of our appreciation for others, in terms of a simple check on one another as we experienced togetherness at a distance.
But the organisers wanted the communal clap to finish on May 28. As I awoke that morning, pondering this tenth and final expression of our appreciation and hoping that might be translated tangibly in their future remunerations, I also felt a strange prompt … to pray, and to replace those few minutes of ‘clap for carers’ with a regular Thurs 8pm doorstep "Pray for an Outpouring" of Holy Spirit to see the love of Jesus permeate our local communities.
The concept was simple enough: stand on the front doorstep and simply pray awhile for that much needed outpouring. So I duly contacted numerous friends, groups and prayerful organisations with the idea, wondering if other Christians might take to their doorstep to pray.
Although the response, so far, has been a little muted, I decided to stand at my front doorstep just a couple of minutes before 8pm on June 4. No-one else came out to clap and the whole atmosphere was strangely still. It seemed so amazingly primed for praying into. I found myself openly praying for the blessing of my neighbours and the wider community, as well as the carers. I duly prayed for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit over the neighbourhood, the city, the region, the nation and beyond.
Since then, I have pondered how this Pentecostal season has already witnessed some extraordinary events, as if further signs of a major spiritual shift. Encouraged, I shall pray on my doorstep again this coming Thursday evening. You may wish to do much the same.
Rev Nigel Fox is a retired Methodist Minister from Norwich.
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