Begin with Prayer

Prayer is a way to be present with God and partner with Him to BLESS the people and the world around you. And it’s through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit that God works through us to change the world. We are God’s change makers. Spending time in prayer provides space to slow down and listen for God’s direction. It prompts us to intercede on behalf of our neighbors. As you develop your own personal prayer life, you will begin to see and listen to the ways God wants to work through you to build relationships, reach your neighbors, show the love of Christ, and change the world. Remember God uses prayer to change others and also to change you!

Who Should I Pray for?

To begin with prayer, think about who and what you are praying for. In whatever context you're committed to BLESS (home, neighborhood, work, sports field, etc.) think of eight people who are in closest proximity to you and write their names in the “Who Is My Neighbor?” Map here. Maybe print this map out and write the names on it or take a blank piece of paper or sketch this type of map in your journal. Whatever you choose to do, be intentional about the setting you choose (neighborhood, work, gym, etc.) and write their names. And if you don’t know their names, find them out by asking them or asking others. Do what you have to do to find out their names and write them in the boxes.

Where Should I Pray?

Prayer can happen anywhere! Just like a conversation with others, it can range from a quick “Hey, how’s it going?” in the hallway to a heart-to-heart over coffee. God wants to talk to you about BLESSing others both on the move and during a dedicated time. When beginning to practice praying for others daily, you may find it helpful to pick a quiet spot that’s in a space where you are able to focus and free from distractions.

When Should I Pray?

You can pray at any time! While you can talk to God at any moment, it can sometimes be helpful to dedicate a specific time each day that works best for you. Try setting aside a few minutes on your calendar each day, or maybe you pray just before getting out of bed in the morning or just before bed at night. You can even pray as part of other daily rhythms like while you’re eating breakfast, during the few minutes before leaving your house in the morning, during your lunch break, or in the car driving to or from work. You can pray out loud or to yourself. Remember, this is a conversation between you and God, He already knows your heart, loves you in the most perfect way and is ready to listen.

What Should I Pray?

Pray for those God’s put on your heart in whatever way you feel comfortable. Sometimes knowing who to pray for comes pretty easy and other times maybe take time to think about your day. Did you think of someone today that you haven’t connected with in awhile? Or maybe you crossed paths with someone unexpectedly today or met someone new.

  • Ask God to give you vision for where He’s directing you to take action and courage for when He does.
  • As you pray, make a mental map of the places you’ll visit on that day. Invite God to work in those spaces and among those people.
  • Ask God to show you how to be a blessing to your neighbors. (Remember, praying for people is already blessing them!)
  • As you become aware of the needs of your neighbors, pray specifically to God on their behalf.
  • As you talk to God, PAUSE and listen for Him to respond! As thoughts pop into your head, write them down. Most of us won’t hear an audible voice, but can hear God directing us if we simply pause and listen!

Feeling stuck? Try this to start:

God, thank you for hearing me.
Please share your vision with me for how I can show the love of Christ and bless
{insert name of the person you’re praying for}
As I go through today {mention specific elements of your day work/school/home etc.} please use me to bless others in these places.
How can I be a blessing to {insert name of neighbor} today? What is your blessing for them?
Thank you for caring for me and my neighbors.
Please give me the courage to love them like you have loved me.


Spend time reflecting on your prayer life and how Jesus is inviting you to bless others by beginning with prayer.

  1. What do you feel God saying to you today about praying for your neighbors?
  2. What are you going to do about it?
  3. Who are you going to share that with to hold you accountable?

Read, Watch, Listen

Links to media, books or podcast to learn more.


by Dave and Jon Ferguson

The Art of Neighboring
by Jay Pathak & Dave Runyon | From Ben: “This is a great book from which we drew the idea of the Neighborhood Map tool which we use in week 1 on of our “BLESS” series, which is about how to Begin with Prayer. A great book which will totally change the way you think about and act toward the people who live near you.”

Pray For One
by Bo Chancey | From Ben: “Bo is a friend of mine and a pastor of a sister church in New Hampshire. This simple approach to praying for one person each day has unleashed a great move of God in so many places including Mountain.”


BOLD Prayer Sermon
Listen: Surprise the World

How is God challenging and changing you as you BLESS those around you?

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