I've heard it said that if you want to change the world, start with the person in front of you. So what do you do if you don't necessarily want to conquer the world, but want to see your neighborhood transformed? -Yes, you could start with your neighbor right next door to you, but what do you do if that neighbor makes themself difficult to love?
Most neighborhoods these days aren't like the ones we grew up with on television. You know, the ones where all the neighbors talk to each other and get along, no one complains about anything and they sit on their front porches waving to each other as they pass by.
More than likely your neighborhood is like mine. Where people pull into their garages when they get home and don't come out until the next day, no one really talks to each other and there's always that one neighbor who stirs up trouble for everyone else.
Oh that one neighbor! Why do they have to be so difficult to love and why did Jesus have to say "Love your neighbor as yourself"?(Mark 12:31) It would be so easy to love all of my neighbors, which would totally bring about transformation, in my neighborhood if only I didn't have to love the difficult one! Why God, why him?!
So here's what I've been doing to bring transformation to my neighborhood (including the one difficult neighbor) in4 easy steps:
1. Pray every day or evening over the community. For example: "Lord I lift up (your community name) to you and declare this is a place that will glorify you."
2. Pray every day or evening over each individual house. If you have a small neighborhood this is relatively easy. If you have a large neighborhood then start by praying for the houses just on your street. You can pray anyway the Lord leads over each family home or pray blessing prayers. Blessing prayers include prayers for health, joy, peace, love, and financial wealth just to name a few.
3. Pray every day or evening against the plans of the enemy for your neighborhood. For example you might pray against crime, vandalism, suicide, depression, disunity, strife, and isolation. Declare that these plans will fail and will not prosper in your neighborhood.
4. Lastly, pray every day or evening for a spirit of adoption to come over your neighborhood. This is a prayer for all of your neighbors to answer the call to come into the family of God and enter into relationship with Jesus. -yes, even pray for that one difficult neighbor, the one that's so hard to love.
As you follow these 4 easy steps daily you will begin to see transformation in your neighborhood and one day even that one difficult neighbor!
Do you have a difficult neighbor to love in your community? What is your prayer stratagey for your neighborhood? I'd love to hear what you do, so leave a comment below.