The Power of Prayer
What do you think of when you think of prayer? Silence and stillness, interrupted by distractions? Monks in a cave? Something you do before dinner? At COSILoveYou, we see prayer as foundational to any movement of God’s people in our city. Our Prayer Initiative strives to bring together leaders of the many networks and prayer movements in our city. This week, we spoke with several of these leaders who are committed to praying for our city.
Prayer for a Neighborhood
Mike and Kim Manoney are part of a neighborhood prayer group which meets in the neighborhood around the old Wasson High School. Two years ago, they felt called to begin praying for their neighborhood: “I was on the Nextdoor app and read about an armed robbery nearby,” says Mike Mahoney. “I felt the Holy Spirit was leading me to do something about it.” The Mahoney’s posted a neighborhood invitation for a prayer meeting in their home, unsure of what would happen. “God wanted us to go deeper, to pray for the hearts of people in our city,” he says. They experienced a powerful first night of prayer, and since then the Mahoneys have continued to host monthly prayer gatherings in their home.
Covering their neighborhood in prayer empowered the Mahoney’s to get more involved. “The next step is to actually get out in the community and do something,” says Mahoney. “Some of us have taken meals to sick neighbors, a few of us connect with a local school to volunteer. We’re looking out for people on a personal level.” One of the greatest values of praying for our local areas is an opportunity to cover specific needs. “We want to be specific in our prayer,” says Mahoney. “We know the names of school principals, those with health issues, and those who need to know the Lord.”
Prayer for Schools
Schools are at the center of our neighborhoods, and praying for them is a powerful way to make an impact. Dave Strehlow has been praying for schools in the Colorado Springs area for almost 50 years, and runs a monthly prayer gathering focused on school issues. “There are so many needs on the school campuses,” said Strehlow. “Almost everywhere we look, there’s new pressures on kids, parents, and teachers.”
Strehlow’s group sends out “Got Your Back” blurbs with encouraging Scripture passages to teachers each week, and he supports tangible efforts to pray for local schools. “It’s as easy as praying for a school when you drive by, or as you’re out walking,” says Strehlow. His group has received positive feedback from teachers who felt their prayer requests were answered. “Teachers have said, ‘I really felt the presence of that prayer.’ We’ve seen some amazing answers here in our schools.”
Community Informed by Prayer
Pastor Melinda Joy (“MJ”) Mingo, a faith leader in the Southeast area of Colorado Springs, supports a prayer meeting at Boulder St. Church. She spoke of the importance of reaching those in this community who might be overlooked: “Our reach is not just to a certain race or ethnicity, but it’s to the people who don’t have a full knowledge or understanding of the love of Jesus.”
Pastor Mingo talked about how prayer not only lifts up our community, but changes the way we interact with each other on a spiritual level: “When we pray, we see the city through the eyes of Jesus – to see all of humanity with compassion. It doesn’t matter if I see someone experiencing homelessness, or a student on a college campus, or first responder. We have so much work to do representing Jesus and helping people to understand who He is.”
A City of Prayer
Prayer empowers us to bring the love of Jesus into our communities, and lift people up in specific ways that can tangibly change lives. COSILoveYou’s Prayer Initiative has the goal of bringing together those committed to prayer. “What I love about Colorado Springs is that so many people of different faiths and church affiliations come together to pray earnestly for the transformation of our city,” says Pastor Mingo.
“We’re getting out of our silos and praying for the same things,” said Mahoney. “This is the heart of God and I see more and more people talking about the unity among churches in our city. It’s really powerful.”
To get involved with any of these local prayer groups, see our website: CLICK HERE
Here’s a list of some of the consistent areas in which we seek God in prayer:
For teachers and students in our neighborhood schools
Against the spirit of suicide
For wisdom of the administrators, staff, and faculty in our schools
For safety for people in our neighborhoods against violent crime
That people’s hope would be restored in Jesus
That there would be unity in this city among churches and ministries coming together to expand God’s kingdom
For our community’s elected and appointed leaders, first responders, and officials.