Won’t You Be My Neighbor…Guide 3

This is the last of a series of 3 Neighbor guides we have given out at church during this series. This one teaches on how to prayer-walk and comes with a challenge to prayer-walk your neighborhood. I also want to encourage you to check out Donna Guillot’s blog www.trials2truimph.blogspot.com on more about prayer-walking and some personal experiences with it. She is a great writer and will encourage you as you decide to step out and reach out to your neighbors through the power of prayer.

Being a Neighbor means praying for your neighbor.

If my people who are called by name will humble themselves and pray….

We live in a society that needs to humble itself before God and pray…and seek his face…and turn from its wicked ways. All of these things begin with prayer. Are you willing to humble yourself in prayer and pray for yourself and your neighbors?

 What is prayer-walking?
– Praying in motion.
– Praying continuously.
– Praying with a heart toward the salvation and life change of those you
are praying for.
– Pray with spiritual eyes that see more than just a mess in a yard but are
sensitive toward a need in a family.
– Praying toward the role of your church in that community and how to
impact those lives.
– Spiritual warfare.

What is the purpose in prayer-walking?
– It brings you closer to God
– It helps you be on mission with Christ.
– It helps you hear from the Holy Spirit.
– It changes the way you see your neighbors.

What do I expect while I am out prayer-walking?
– To get hot…it is a south Louisiana summer after all. (Bring water)
– Expect Divine appointments…people God wants you to run into not just
walk by.
– Holy Spirit guidance and insight to influencing your neighbors for Christ.

How do I prepare to prayer-walk?
– Get your “Prayer Notice” door cards ready for your neighborhood. (They are
next to the prayer-walk commitment map or in the Connection Center)
– Put away the IPOD and MP3. You want to pray without distraction.
– Pray in repentance and faith before you prayer-walk.
– Ask God to search your heart through the process.
– Pray for spiritual sensitivity toward what others might need.
– Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel.
– Pray for spiritual eyes to give you insight into influencing your neighbors for
Christ.

 What is a divine appointment and what do I do with it?
– Be prepared to share the Gospel with a neighbor…you never know what conversation “I am praying for you…” will start.
– Ask for prayer requests when you meet up with neighbors.

Practical Tips for Prayer-walking
– Keep your eyes open and be observant
– Pray Scriptures.
– Pray out loud and/or silently
– Claim God’s love, compassion, and mercy for those you pray for.
– Pray with an eternal focus. Ask God for salvations and be mindful of
what death without Christ means for every household and every person.


Fellowship Church Prayer-walking Process and Goal Dates

1. Mark the commitment to pray your neighborhood on the Prayer-walk
map. (August 8)
2. Initial prayer-walk through neighborhood, leaving “Prayer Notice” cards
on each door. (August 8-21)
3. Follow up prayer-walk through neighborhood, leaving “The Path” Gospel
presentations on each door. (September 2010)
4. At least a monthly prayer-walk through your neighborhood. (August
2010-July 2011)

I hope you will be a part of this challenge and don’t forget to check out the three blog series Donna Guillot is writing at

Neighbor Guide Two

The last few weeks I have been writing up some guides to what it means to be a Biblical neighbor to go along with our “Won’t you be My Neighbor” series. This past week with Governor Bobby Jindal coming (which was awesome) we did not give the guide any attention or point it out. I believe this guide is a good resource to just everyday neighborly living for the glory of Christ and the Gospel. I decided to blog it to maybe help a few more people actually read it. J

God set the times and places for you. (read Acts 17:26) God put you where you are when you are for his purposes and glory. This booklet is food for thought on being a neighbor in daily life. Are you willing to be the Good Samaritan right here…right now?

Thou shalt not annoy your neighbor in the name of Christ by…
1. Self-serving service. Do not serve others just to get them to do what you want.
2. Awkward appreciation. Do not make something up just to serve someone.

3. Meeting non-needs as real needs. Giving water to a person that is not thirsty does not meet their need for water, it meets your need to give.

How not to annoy thy neighbor while actually being one…

1. Be honest about your intentions. Be real that you are sharing your life change in serving.
Your intention should be to share Christ.
2. Appreciation is not awkward if it is heart-felt. So don’t lie about it.
3. You can meet a non-need or a felt need, just don’t make it into something it is not.

 Being a neighbor where you live…
1. Invite your neighbors over to eat.
2. Offer to mow their lawn if they go out of town…for free.
3. Be a safe place for neighborhood children to play
4. Volunteer to better the neighborhood or HOA.
5. Stop and offer to lend a hand when your neighbor is working on a project.

Being a neighbor where you work…
1. Make the coffee without complaining and fix others a cup.
2. Offer to help someone else with something that is not your responsibility, even if it means more time.
3. Ask your boss and subordinates what you can do to help them out.
4. Ask your coworkers how you can pray for them and then do it. Then simply come back later and ask how it is working out. No pressure…just prayer.

Being a neighbor in your school…
1. Help your teachers in their classrooms.
2. Behave in class and do your work. No one will ever see Jesus in a slacker.
3. Keep extra pens and pencils and share…even if you do not get them back.
4. Try to make sure others get noticed for what they do. Brag on the people no one sees.

 Being a neighbor in recreation…
1. Volunteer to organize, coach, or serve in recreational organizations…don’t just receive.
2. Help the coach out if you are not the coach.
3. Offer to help with snacks, etc.
4. Be the team encourager.

Being a neighbor everywhere…
1. Get off the phone when going to a register to check out and treat the person as a person.
2. Say nice things to people.
3. Put someone’s groceries in their car.
4. Help people you see that need a hand. You have the time, you just have to give it to someone else.
5. Budget to be a helper. Generous giving begins with generous living.

 
 


 

Does Grace Reign?

In Romans 5:21 says “so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Grace is amazing topic and an amazing truth. There is nothing easier to discuss and share with others than grace. By definition grace is to “receive that which you do not deserve.” The Greek word for grace can be translated as gift in certain grammatical settings. Gifts are undeserved, by definition. (Having a birthday does not actually cause one to earn gifts. It is simply a celebration in which people choose to grace you with them.)

Much of what people in our world consider grace today is nothing more than a cheap substitute. Grace is also defined as “underserved favor.” Grace is God giving to us what we do not deserve simply because he is loving and gracious. I believe that many people understand that part. They get the definition of grace, what they don’t understand is what it looks like in life. People accept a cheap substitute in their own life and lower grace to a meaningless church word sung in songs that have lost their meaning to those that sing them.

Where too many people lose a right understanding of grace is found in Romans 5:21. Grace reigns through righteousness. Most of us believe that grace reigns through forgiveness. Grace is being forgiven. Grace does not simply cause the act of forgiveness…grace causes the state of forgiven. And there is a big difference.

When we cheapen grace we allow the path to become the product. We allow beginning to become the end. Too many people grab hold of God’s grace hoping and praying and even wishing that they might simply be forgiven…while God’s grace will most certainly forgive you…forgiveness is not the end result it is the beginning point.

Forgiveness is the path of grace…Righteousness is the product of grace. Grace does not produce forgiveness. Grace produces righteousness. The path to said righteousness is indeed forgiveness. Forgiveness is the stepping stone to obedience. God’s grace does mold within us more disobedience so that we might experience more forgiveness…it forges within us righteousness so that we might be more obedient.

I have heard a cheap rendition of grace concerning the moral disobedience of a church leader, “well, you know grace works.” The work of grace in the life of a leader is not simply forgiveness…it is obedience…it is righteousness. Sure, there will be times when each person – even spiritual leaders – will need to experience fresh grace and fresh forgiveness, but not at the cost of lowering the standard of grace. That forgiveness does not simply produce forgiveness for that leader to then sin again and grace “keep working” time and time again. Grace and forgiveness produces in that leader change…it produces in them righteousness.

If you are a person that has been saved by God’s “Amazing Grace.”….if you are a person that “once was lost but now is found”….if you are a person that “once was blind but now you see”…live as one who is found and one that sees.

Do not accept a cheap substitute for grace in your life that simply culminates in forgiveness. Accept only the real thing…the grace that changes the forgiven and produces righteousness. It is that righteousness that grace truly reigns.