Friday, September 16, 2005

Prayer Stations: "Free Lemonade/ Free Prayer"


Prayer Stations @ Uptown Baptist Church

{Uptown is a culturally and ethnically diverse community in Chicago, as is the congregation referred to here. This initiatvie drew the attnetion of the city's community policing program and affored me the opportunity to speak to all 25 District Organizers on how to engage the Church for community activity and ministry.}

This summer the Lord told us to "get out of our seats and into the streets" of the Uptown Community.

We began with a month of Wendesday night prayerwalks to prepare ourselves by praying with our eyes open and to ask the Lord for a change in the spiritual climate. Wednesday evenings in July and AUgust wrer devoted to prayer stations. Thanks to a grant from the Chicago Metro Baptist Association, a "Free Prayer / Free Lemonade" sign invited passers-by to stop at our lemonade stand; about 100 every week. Nearly half of those taking a refreshing cup during this hot summer allowed someone from our prayer team to pray fo them.

Our final week drew about 100 persons, as we partnered with the CAPS program (community organizers associated with the Chicago polic department).

What was the impact? Here are several first-hand accounts!

Pastor Phil
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"What our prayer stations have meant to me is a closer working with our Lord which also means to know and see closely or closer how his love work in our world. I’ve learned that his love for us as his children is endless and can be very wonderful in this place we call mother earth. Prayer has given my eyes even wider to the glories of our Wonderful Lord."

"The criteria of the Gospel outreach centered on 'as unto the Lord, not in our own strength.' Somewhat like the Gideon army’s need to remain contrite in spirit. So the Emmanuel gets focus of attention and the receptive become undivided in heart. This is what our Father desires. 'The joy of the Lord is my strength'.”

"The concept of the lemonade prayer stations seemed simple enough; pass out cups of free lemonade and pray for the people who want it. But to be honest, I had no idea what I was doing. As I timidly passed out the cups of lemonade and asked people if they wanted prayer, people started to accept my offer. Surprisingly through each Styrofoam cup of sugary lemonade and humble prayer, I felt bolder. Sure, a bunch of people rejected me. But what kept me going was the look of gratitude and longing for Jesus in the faces of those who did say yes. What blessed me was the fact that there were so many people in Uptown this summer who got closer to Jesus. Some not even knowing that the cup of lemonade and prayer they accepted was all they needed."
-Jonathan Choe

"God calling my wife and me to be a part of His ministry was a true blessing. There were times when people talked to us that we would not even speak to, as so many of us seem to do because a person is not saved. But it was so awesome to be on the streets for the Lord. God let us see people in ways that we so often forget that we were before coming to God. I pray for me and my wife and all those that were with us as we let God’s Word be seen and heard."
-Dwight Moore

"What it means to me: In talking to people there is such a need. People are hungry just to be ministered too in the word of God. First of all God had blessed me so much just to share in his blessing to his people. We know prayer changes things and I see the results of that. We need to continue in that way for a long time. God wants his people to share his word. It was the best time on evenings praying with so many people. Thanks to God."

" 'Jim' was the last one God lead to meet and love the community. I hoped tat wasn’t the Body’s last opportunity to minister to the community.

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1 comment:

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