BlogsThoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral
Praying for our neighbours
By Nicki Frodsham, Jubilee Church Wirral
Dave shared this story recently for the Neighbourhood Prayer Network, and I thought that it deserved retelling here as an encouragement for us all to keep praying for our neighbours.
Dave wrote: “We have lived in Wallasey for about seven years and we have always looked to be good neighbours.
“We have a Labrador who can’t walk very far these days so we do three short walks around the block where we live.
“I often pray as I walk for the people I know, and also those I don’t, looking for opportunities to bless my road and those nearby. There are lots of things to do, like picking up fallen wheelie bins, putting rubbish in a bin and cleaning up dog mess but often these don’t end in a conversation.
“There has been one unusual opportunity I have found over the last few years which I call the open boot ministry.
“It started with my next door neighbour when I noticed the boot of his car open and his front door shut. I knocked on his door to tell him and he realised he had sat on his car key and that had opened the boot.
“Since then, I have found about four or five different car boots left open, some with bags or shopping left in, but one particular opportunity has led to numerous conversations and a new friend.
“In fact, his whole family says hello and smiles at me now as I walk past their house. I hope to build on this opportunity and invite them to our Christmas guest meeting as now he also knows that I work at the church building by his son’s school.”
Often we don’t think about the simple things we can do to be good neighbours. In Matthew 22, Jesus says that the first and greatest commandment is to love God. And then, in verse 39, he says “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Our challenge is how can we love our neighbours.
Jesus also says to do to others as you would like them to do to you. I’d like someone to think and pray for me when I am struggling, and I like it when my friends do something nice for me and I have great friends who do, but what if you didn’t have friends around?
A few months ago we heard one of our neighbours had a cancer diagnosis. I dropped in a bunch of flowers and a card just to say we were thinking about them and praying. It wasn’t an expensive bunch of flowers but just happened to be her favourite ones. She was delighted and was encouraged on a day when her situation was challenging. Often the simple things are the most effective in building friendships and blessing those around us.
Our encouragement is to open up your eyes and see opportunities to bless your neighbours and start to build new friendships.
Nicki and Dave
A couple of helpful things from the Neighbourhood Prayer Network (NPN):
1. Regularly prayer walking out on streets will lead to unexpected opportunities for new connections
2. Looking to turn connections into conversations is all part of helping people move one step closer to discovering Jesus.
Connections and Conversations are the first two steps on the disciple-makers’ journey that will help us move to Invitations and ultimately to Multiplying disciples.
Nicki and Dave Frodsham, Jubilee Church Wirral
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Helen on the importance of Friends and what God has to say about them in the Bible.
Andrew on evangelism, how we are all evangelists whether we like it or not, and how to evangelise easily.
Dawne on the parable of the lost sheep and the lessons we can take from it as followers of Jesus and members of His flock.
Yvonne on loss and how God has helped her deal with the loss of her mum and the impending departure of her eldest son to his first job
Nicki on serving at Newday and the impact it has had on all three Frodsham children and many, many others
Simon on the frustrations of not being able to get to sleep properly, and the Bible verses that help him stand firm against sleeplessness.
Gerry on how easy it is to be drawn into gossip. “If you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all” isn’t just good advice, it’s Biblical wisdom.
Sylvia on being an encourager: “God knows our troubles. When we open up to Him, He’ll use other people to encourage us through His word.”
Lynne on doing what God wants us to do even when we really don’t want to do it – and why it’s important
Chris on the power of our words and how having a relationship with Jesus can give us the power of the right word at the right time.
Helen on why Psalms have taken the place of Proverbs as her favourite book of the Bible
Andrew Greenhalgh on being much better at giving advice than at taking it – and what happens as a result.
Chantal Robertson on how God and the gospel of Christ has never changed over time – even though the way we package it has.
Nicki on how she was planning to work in the marketing and advertising industry until God led her in a different direction.
Dawne challenges us to look at life with the enthusiasm, joy and exuberance of her Macedonian dog Floki and find joy in the everyday.
Jen on how taking the Alpha Course because she had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon led to a life-changing wheelchair for her daughter Daisy and many others.
Gerry on how her ideas of what love truly is have changed over the years, and how love can be so much more than a feeling.
Matt Wilson on how God is weaving a tapestry – and knows what that looks like. He can see the big picture. Our part is to trust him with the threads he has given us.
Denise Griffiths on resolutions and why she has resolved not to make the usual New Year’s resolutions such as giving up chocolate, eating healthier or doing more exercise!
Vernon on the transience of life, and how, through all suffering, God’s steadfast love has the capacity to satisfy us every morning.
Andrew Greenhalgh on how he ended up going to church on Christmas morning for the first time at the age of 11 – and what it has taught him.
Helen on how preparations for Christmas vary from family to family and country to country. And what happened to Helen’s Lindt advent chocolates?