Neighbourhood Prayer Network

Are our MPs responsible for the state of the country? Should local councillors be doing more? What if we want to make a change but we haven’t been selected to represent our area yet? How can we make real change in our community? Is there something else we can do alongside campaigning, activism and social action projects? Something just as, or perhaps more, important?

Neighbourhood Prayer Network (NPN) was formed in 2012 with the impossible mission of covering our Nation in Prayer in a Day: every person, in every street, in every town, city and village. To encourage Christians to pray for, care for (and when asked) to share their faith with their Neighbours. In 1986 it was the vision of a 9-year-old girl from Crumpsall in Manchester, who looked out of her bedroom window and was concerned that so many people she saw looked downcast, depressed and lonely.

That impression never left Rebekah as she trained to be a GP and then saw first-hand the struggles people have in their day to day lives.

Some 25 years later, Dr Rebekah Brettle was still passionate to see change, not just in one house, but across the entire country. So, in 2011 a plan started to come together, hoping to mobilise one Christian per street in the UK to take Spiritual Responsibility for the road they live on.  With over 280,000 streets in the UK[i] this wasn’t going to be easy.

How do we help those who might only see a neighbour or even speak to someone outside their house once a week? How do we reach people in wealthy and deprived areas? How would we help a single mum, just split up with her partner with four little mouths to feed? The government has a loneliness strategy[ii]. Inequality is always on the agenda. Politics has potential solutions in all these areas. But the welfare of our community isn't just for our elected officials, it's our responsibility too. And many of these issues remain hidden. Could prayer be part of the answer to bringing these issues into the light?

It was fortunate that an invite came to do the official launch of NPN at the National Day of Prayer and Worship in Wembley Stadium, 29th September 2012. In the subsequent weeks over 2,000 people registered their desire to transform their street.

In the months after this great starting point, NPN received hundreds of queries from folk who were finding out who lived on their street and what problems they faced. What could they do?

Stories quickly started to come in: from a couple in Liverpool who adopted Regina, an elderly lady with no living family who was isolated but living on the same street.  For her final four years, Regina saw some of the best times of her life with this ordinary couple who took the time to get to know her. When Regina passed away, she died knowing she was loved – she died with dignity. 

Another lady who never had volunteered in Church before heard about the vision and wanted to pray for her street. Three months later, the drug dealer next door was gone and a Christian couple had moved in. They soon formed a weekly prayer meeting and helped reconnect others on the street to Church. Within 18 months of her starting to pray, the atmosphere had changed! People weren’t fearful anymore and community had begun to grow again.

What if every street in the UK was not just touched by someone that cared, not just safe and clean, because the council services and police were well resourced, not just spiritually healthy because a neighbour was praying, but all of the above worked together... to transform our villages, towns and cities? What if officials, government, prayer, legislation, community and churches were united to make our country a brilliant place to live? Neighbourhood Prayer has now grown to 5,600 members, covering tens of thousands of individuals and communities in prayer. How can we grow that to the point where every street in the UK has someone living there, praying there?

The welfare of our community isn't just for our elected officials, and it isn’t just for our youth workers or church leaders. It's our responsibility too. Let’s literally love our neighbours.

Neighbourhood Prayer Network continues to focus on touching lives and bringing back strong community to streets across the UK, through Praying, Caring and sharing the Christian Faith. Join the movement at www.neighbourhoodprayer.net 

 

 

[i] https://www.streetlist.co.uk/gazetteer/

[ii] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-launches-governments-first-loneliness-strategy

 

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published this page in Articles 2019-11-01 15:07:02 +0000