What if we learned their names. What if we got to know them, began praying for them, and started meaningful relationships with them. What would your neighborhood look like and feel like if you and your neighbors were able to rely on each other, not just in times of fun, but in times of need?
Imagine the difference in our neighborhoods and community if we loved our actual neighbors, as Jesus commanded, building genuine relationships right outside our doors.
It can be overwhelming to start. Where do you start? How do you start? What if you have a not so great history with your neighbors? Or what if they are impossible to deal with?
Getting started is a simple, two-step process:
1) Learn the names of your neighbors (the 5 houses bordering your house).
2) Pray for your neighbors by name. You can choose a house a week to focus on, but consistently pray for these neighbors. Prayer alone can accomplish mighty things — it can open hearts and minds, and can create opportunities for neighboring. Here are some specific prayer points:
God will shed light in this home; for open hearts and minds to receive God’s will
For opportunities to start and build a lasting relationship
For God’s protection over this home and family; for the health and wellness of this family
For any areas in this family’s life that are difficult or there is struggle, that God would use them to draw the family members closer to Him
God would show me my part in the work He is doing in my neighborhood, with this family
For any family member who does not have a saving relationship with Jesus, that the Holy Spirit will prepare that heart to receive God’s truth and mercy
For any family member struggling in their faith, that God would fill their hearts with assurance that He is present and at work in their life
As you get to know your neighbors, you will recognize more specific things you can pray for them.
Block Map: This is a map you can use to start to write down the names of your neighbors so you can more easily pray for them by name.
“Hi Neighbor” Card: As you begin to introduce yourself to your neighbors, you can stick this card with a plate of goodies or leave for a neighbor that’s not home.
The Art of Neighboring Book: If you have a concern about starting this neighboring thing, this book addresses it! It’s a great read on better understanding the command to love our literal neighbors, and on topics like time barriers, fears, motives, boundaries and more.