By Brooke Bassett

Prayer is an integral – and growing – part of our efforts to love and serve the members of our community.

As Christians, we believe that the Lord is always listening when we call out to Him (1 John 5:14) and that He loves hearing from his sons and daughters. We believe that prayer is powerful and can have a lasting impact not only on the success of our service projects, but for the people we are serving.

Without communicating with the Lord and asking Him for guidance, protection and wisdom, we would not be where we are today. Over the past five years, ForColumbia has served at well over 400 total serving sites and has mobilized nearly 8,000 volunteers. We can confidently thank the Lord for the strides that ForColumbia has made with no agenda other than loving and serving our neighbors. (John 13:35)

To provide a little practical insight into how prayer fits into ForColumbia, our Exec Team has worked to establish a couple annual practices.

One yearly event is Prayer Walks, which take place before our day of service every year. Groups of people from churches all over Columbia meet at an agreed-upon location and walk an area of the city, sometimes driving to different serving sites. Participants pray for the people living in the area, that they would have their eyes opened to see Jesus through our volunteers on April 27th. They also pray for our volunteers, that all would work for the Lord and not for man (Ephesians 6:6), that their labors would be done out of a cheerful heart (2 Corinthians 9:7) and that the Lord would give them strength and direction throughout the day. They also pray for the executive team, that everything would come together logistically and more people would come to know our God through prudent care and excellence. We also thank the Lord for our partners, the ones that have so graciously agreed to provide discounts and services to make ForColumbia possible. Prayer Walks are moments of reflection, request and gratitude to our Lord.

Secondly, ForColumbia has instituted something we call Prayer Hubs, which take place on the day of service. Volunteer prayer teams are committed to carrying prayer requests throughout the day to the Lord, enabling other volunteers to focus on tasks, build relationships and cover the city in compassionate grace. Each team out in the field also will have a designated “Prayer Person” who is responsible for sending requests to the Prayer Hub. These can be anything from motivation for the team to complete their project to stamina and peace for a hurting family in our community. Prayer Hubs are a powerful means for keeping the Lord at the center of everything we do.

If serving ForColumbia through prayer interests you, or you want to learn more about Prayer Walks and Prayer Hubs, take a step of faith and come to our second Prayer Walk this Saturday, April 20th, or maybe volunteer to be your service team’s Prayer Person. Be sure to check out the ForColumbia Facebook page for more information on the upcoming Prayer Walk.

Ephesians 6:16-18 (ESV)
In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.