When we launched our ‘Take Back The Streets’ prayer initiative in March, we never imagined that just weeks later the whole country would be in lockdown and our hour of exercise a day would be such a precious gift. We never imagined that we wouldn’t be able to gather in the church building to pray. But as the world has changed beyond our recognition, we are aware that some things haven’t changed. God is still the same and we can still pray. Prayer has never really depended on location or time; it is a spiritual weapon and the means of connecting invisible, spiritual truths.

So today is a call to prayer, wherever you are and whatever you are doing. (We’ll be decorating our kitchen, among other things!) Pray wherever you are. For those of you who will be out walking at some point in the day, please pray for the streets that you walk and for the people you know and don’t know. Pray with your eyes wide open, taking in the rainbow pictures on windows, noticing the people you can wave to but not come close to. Pray.

Pray for healing and wholeness, for economic regeneration, for the many families who are struggling to cope with all the implications of lockdown.

Pray for peace and love to reign, for harmony to rule in homes. Many people will be struggling with the 24/7 aspect of life in the same house with the same people at the moment. Pray that domestic abuse and violence will not have the last word, but that God will reveal Himself to people.

Pray for those who are fearful and anxious to find hope and peace in Christ. Pray for those who have lost loved ones (to whatever illness) and who are struggling with the loss this brings and also with the difficulties of arranging funerals at this time. Pray for ministers who are still conducting funerals to have compassion and empathy and to be Christ’s ambassadors. Pray for Alison, Jackie and Luke at the Salvation Army as they seek to minister to people through food parcels – pray for creativity and skill in helping others.

Pray for God’s Holy Spirit to move in our area and to bring revival. We don’t just want to ‘cope’ or ‘survive’. We want the abundant life Christ promised us to be evident in our towns and villages. Pray for the streets by name. Get hold of a map and pray. You might not be able to use Google Maps to find a holiday destination right now, but you can use it to explore the streets of Goldthorpe and pray. Yesterday I delivered an Easter parcel to a house on Railway Terrace, a street I had never, ever been to before in Goldthorpe. I will be praying for that street today and the people from the Parent & Toddler group who live there.

Let’s pray!