Our Confident Disciples team and the Gregory Centre (CCX) have partnered in creating a Prayer Journeying practice to use over Ascensiontide as part of Thy Kingdom Come. Here, we share a story of prayer journeying from Leicester Diocese.
We arrived on the estate to the sound of bangers and the smell of gunpowder. The floor was littered with burnt out fireworks from Bastille Day celebrations and the air tinged with smoke. A rocket whistled by. BANG! A group of twentysomethings stood menacingly in the doorway of the high rise flats observing their territory and watching our every move. They let off another rocket at random. Whistle. POP.
We unloaded our resources and set up camp on the grass beneath the largest tree in the square which provided us some respite from the hot summer sun. We took a moment to pray. Taking a marker pen we each wrote a prayer on the sole of our shoes.
‘peacemakers’ was the single word prayer I scrawled on my trainers in large letters.
Ordered chaos ensued as the team moved to action; blankets were laid out and carrier bags emptied to reveal an abundance of coloured beads, threads, juggling balls and face paint. The parachute was unfurled and football teams selected. Our sole prayers began to spread out covering the square. Some remained still beneath the shade of the tree, others danced around the parachute and others still chased football and frisbee around the park.
Within minutes the air seemed to clear. Bangs were replaced with the sound of children laughing and playing. Hostility substituted for hospitality; intimidation for intimacy. There was a tangible sense of joy, peace and festivity. Their territory suddenly felt like it was Gods ground.
Two hours later we left the estate, exhausted, but with an amazing sense of God with us. As I climbed wearily into the car I glanced at the soles of my trainers; nothing but dust and dirt. Our prayers had rubbed off, literally.
Leave a marker pen by your front door or in the place where you keep your keys.
Each morning this week, before leaving the house, write a quick prayer on the soles of your shoes. It could be one word or a short sentence.
Ask God to bless your day, the people you’re going to meet and the things you turn your hand to.
At the end of the day when you take off your shoes notice how your prayer has rubbed off on all the places you have been that day.
Matt & Bex Long
Matt (@mattlongnow) works as Youth Engagement & Intergenerational Communities Enabler in the Diocese of Leicester. Bex works as a baker at Hampton Manor.