18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The following are little bits of one day of prayer and outreach last week. Each Thursday, we begin our day with 2 hours of intercession for our neighbors. We ask for God to break our hearts for our neighborhood and to move in compassion, healing and salvation across North Minneapolis. Jesus weeps over His lost sheep and is looking for partners who will go with Him to seek and save that which is lost.
After prayer we began walking the neighborhood and noticed Tom sitting on his porch, talking to himself. As we passed by, I simply asked if he had any prayer needs.
“Yes, I do!” He stated as he came down from his porch. He relayed to us that he’s in a battle; dark and light are fighting inside of him. His sister was just murdered last week in broad daylight in a busy parking lot on the Northside. He doesn’t know what to do and feels darkness growing inside of him.
Outside of understanding his situation, it would be easy to judge this man. He had been drinking. He has marijuana leaves embroidered on his hat. He doesn’t go to church; yet Jesus loves him, is acquainted with his sorrow, and wants to bring healing to his heart. As we held hands and prayed, I know God is moving in his heart and guiding him back in to the Light.
Shortly after this, we encountered Earl. Earl is another man I met on outreach about 2 years ago. I remember sitting on his porch, laughing with his sister, talking about home cooking and chatting with his teenage son.
We lost touch as he moved away, but he is now back in the neighborhood. He doesn’t look the same. He’s lost his teeth. His eyes are less bright. As we chatted, he mentioned his 17 year old son passed away 2 months ago from a diabetic episode.
He kept saying: “I’m fine. I’m good.” But I know he’s not. How could you be? Grief sucks. There’s no quick bandage to fix it. His son is gone forever. We talked with him for a while and tried to be encouraging, but mostly just listened. He allowed us to pray with him, and I trust the God of all comfort is moving in his heart and mind.
That evening Miah and I took a young girl home and overheard an argument beginning with her mom. We typically don’t want to interfere with parents unless there is immediate physical danger, so we stood outside to pray.
After a few minutes, we decided to knock on the door and check in. “Are you okay?,” Miah asked. The mom broke down in tears. She’s worried about choices her kids are making, and wants to protect them from this evil world so badly. She feels powerless and is scared her daughters are ruining their future. Her and Miah proceeded to talk for over an hour, and I trust the God of all Wisdom is guiding her and her children.
In all these lives there are so many quick judgements we could make, but when we sit and choose to listen; we gain understanding and insight. What I know is this: Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy; but Jesus has come to give us abundant LIFE! Tests and trials can often crush us and our expectations of an all powerful God can lead to disappointment if we are hoping He will step in and fix all our circumstances. The Kingdom has come, but it is a hidden Kingdom. It’s a Kingdom of Righteousness, Joy, and Peace in the Holy Spirit and if our hope is only in this world we will often be disappointed.
James 1:19 says this: “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
This is why and how we pray. We want the Father to draw this neighborhood into His Presence. There is healing, grace, and mercy there. God has blessed my family to experience some of the same pains of our neighbors. We know grief, loss, and fear. Fear has made our family react in crazy ways in the past. But we’ve also experienced the kindness of our God in a myriad of ways. We pray that the God of peace would sanctify us wholly. We pray that the eyes of our understanding would opened along with our neighbors to know how long, wide and high is the love of Jesus. (Eph 1)
Will you agree to keep praying for North Minneapolis?
Our partnership with Antioch ministries continues to grow. We’ve added another day of after school programming, and were actually surprised by the amount of kids that started coming.
For the Summer, our programming turns to neighborhood BBQ’s. This allows us to keep the connection with the kids, as well as getting to know the families better. Our fall programming will begin again in late August.
Join us each Tuesday and Thursday as a guest or volunteer! We could use your help setting up supplies, cleaning up, or providing and cooking some food!
Men’s bible study
Our men’s Northside Bible Study will continue throughout the summer months. I’ve been impressed with the depth of hunger, curiosity, and honesty in these times. Feel free to drop in any Tuesday night at 7pm as we study Mark.
Prayer and outreach
Jesus is up to something. He’s answering our prayers for the harvest. I confess most weeks I would rather not go out to share the Gospel, but each time I make myself do it, I’m blessed. There is joy in the harvest! Join us each Thursday: 10-12 prayer. 12:30-2 outreach.
I’m looking to finish up some garage rehab this month. This space will serve as a connection point between our neighbors and God. It’s primary purpose will serve as a house of prayer. I want it to be a place people feel welcome to come and pour out their heart to Jesus and meet with Him. In addition, we’ll be able to host classes for area teens and young adults in art and dance; as well as worship gatherings.
Summer Prayer Walks
Our partners at MARCH ministries, along with other Northside churches, are hosting 4 monthly prayer walks. These walks will reach every neighborhood on the North. Our first was held last month at Shiloh Temple. The next one is coming up on June 24th. Watch our local partner website at www.thelightofnorth.com for upcoming details on specific time and locations.
Our family is so grateful for all of your prayers, encouragement, and help along this journey. May the Lord bless your Summer richly!!! Please let us know how we can pray for you.