Invite your tweens and teens to create a neighborhood prayer booth, akin to that constructed for the 30 Days of Silent Prayer: Healing the Heart of Our City.
This could reside on your congregation’s lot, or there could be several that pop up in members’ neighborhoods, constructed and supported by one or more family in that neighborhood.
A course of action might include:
- Introduce young people (or all generations) to the connection between prayer and community action. See Father Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations from the week of July 26-31, 2020 for excellent overviews of the prayerfully charged work of Gandhi, Howard Thurman and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Wangari Maathai, and see OnBeing’s, The Pause for an editorial, Krista’s commentary and the interview with the Rev. Dr. John Lewis on the same subject.
- Invite families to pray together regularly: connect household prayer to the life of the congregation via shared Scripture or practices : the options are many!
- Invite local businesses to contribute materials (an awning, table, booth materials, etc.): this can spark local interest and support as well as supporting families building in lower-income neighborhoods. However, the booth/tabernacle/prayer site does not have to be an elaborate structure!
- Consider a same-day build to add momentum and excitement if prayer booths will be sprinkled around neighborhoods. Or, if the build is on the church’s site, get lots of ages involved!
- Invite younger participants to decorate the space with home-made prayer pages indicating topics about which they are praying regularly, colored mandalas, and/or colorful prayer pages from Illustrated Ministry. If it’s allowed in your neighborhoods, these prayer pages might be posted on lamp poles or notice boards announcing the location of your prayer booth(s), its purpose and extending an invitation to your neighbors.
- Consider accessibility and hospitality when placing and constructing your prayer booth(s): full inclusion is optimal!
- Place something that identifies your congregation in the prayer booth, including invitations to visit your online platforms, etc.
- Invite members and neighbors to a ribbon-cutting ceremony to bless the prayer booth – and pray.