Stories

We'd love to hear how you have seen God at work through walking and praying. Message us at [email protected]

Stories:

Story# 1 on Sunday September 26th 2021 at 4:45pm

It was such a blessing to pray for Richards Street this afternoon. I am a caregiver for a 7-year-old on this street. And it hardly rained at all!

-Jennifer Brown

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Story# 2 on Monday September 27th 2021 at 4:00pm

First, Housekeeping - I don’t think the stories link on the website works. But I am not very technical.

Second, my story from today:

It poured rain today. I did not want to do the prayer walk. I did not want to go out. Who would know if I didn’t do it today? Would one day make a difference?
If only a good excuse would keep me inside. But the Lord had my schedule free and blessed my health.
I went. My route was not straightforward and the crosswalk signals did not line up. I got very wet and it was sometimes difficult to focus my prayers.
I pray that the Lord blesses my obedience. I pray that He pours out His Spirit on Vancouver as He pours down the rain.

-Anonymous

Story# 3 on Saturday October 2nd 2021 at 2:56pm

Hi Prayer Walk Vancouver team,

Here's my prayer walk story:

Having prayer-walked in the rain for several days in the wettest week of September, I was feeling quite disappointed on Thursday morning. Why would God choose to bring heavy rains and stormy weather to Vancouver for the Prayer Walk week this year?

But through the stormy weather and its aftermath, God taught me a few things:

First, He is still LORD over the storms of our lives, including the inner storms that the people along our street face.

Second, He used the broken branches strewn across the sidewalks to remind me to ask Him to breakthrough to clear the spiritual obstacles in our lives and in the lives of the lost.

Third, seeing the thick sea of acorns blown onto the ground outside a nearby church on our street and with only one broom to sweep them off the sidewalk, God used that experience to remind me that He is the Lord of the abundant harvest of souls in Vancouver, yet there are so few workers. We need to pray Luke 10:2 for that church, for my church and for the churches in Vancouver.

Luke 10:2 (NIV): He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field."

-Anonymous

Story# 4 on Sunday October 4th 2021 at 9:29pm

I chose a short street because I'm not sure how to pray for a street and its residents, and because it was close to my own home, I was able to go for walks there on 6 out of 7 of the days (not Wednesday). It was Atlin Street in Vancouver.

If I counted the houses on the street where it makes a T-intersection, there were about 60 houses in the range of my daily walk, two double blocks North-South and the cross street. I prayed for the neighbourhood, trying to keep in my thoughts the people who live in all those 5 dozen houses, whether or not I knew them. I am acquainted with a few people who live on that street, but not as close friends, but because this street is a common way to walk to the SkyTrain, I have walked it many times in the past 15 years. For the prayer walk, I tried to pay more attention to observations and impressions. 

One of the more important impressions of this street is that it is a place where people want to be left alone to live a peaceful life. There are no businesses on this street, but on one side of the street, the properties back onto a ravine, part of an overgrown park with a creek in it. There are no public paths on the west side, only on the east side of the ravine, and the street I walked was on the west side. The middle cross street also crossed the ravine as a walkway on a causeway. Two cross streets dead-ended at the ravine with "No Exit" signs. They reminded me of the 1944 existentialist play of that name by Jean-Paul Sartre, with his famous line, "L'enfer, c'est les autres." But I didn't see very many others when walking Atlin Street, although, one afternoon, a man was walking up the middle of the quiet street, so I thought he might be another prayer-walker.

Many of the houses are Vancouver Specials, and others are more like country cottages with a few newer stucco places, the newest one being built with a sign outside declaring, "Another Beautiful Project", and one iconoclastic house like a metal box. Some of the houses appear to be quiet, not very busily lived in, while others are teeming with family lives or working people. It was gratifying to see so many warm lights on the last evening walk, with people enjoying their homes. There were two vacant lots backing onto the ravine park. At the end of the street across from the 29th Ave SkyTrain Station, there is a Canada Post box and a German Heritage Plaza.  I prayed for all of these institutional structures as well as the homeless and drug addicts who use the ravine semi-regularly and cause some stress on neighbours. So in spite of a sense of peacefulness, there is also a sense of watchfulness and mistrust of the persons who do not live in family homes but stream through the area, especially after dark.

Here in Vancouver, such residential neighbourhoods are rich in natural plants as well as horticultural specimens and a variety of gardens. God has provided natural abundance and people who love to garden. People are active in growing useful and beautiful plants, and have allowed many trees to grow quite large. There used to be a very large monkey puzzle tree but it was taken down recently because of inner rot, and now in its place, there is a tiny sapling monkey puzzle tree. The family who live in that house are friendly with the whole neighourhood and are welcoming, talking to known people and new people often. Here is a partial list of the trees, for which I also prayed:

Douglas fir, spruce, western red cedar (plus arbor vitae), pines, monkey puzzle, yew, maple, ash, hornbeam, catalpa, redbud, cottonwood, red alder, various willows, apple trees, hawthorn, sumac, rhododendrons, deodar cedar; plants bearing fruits this week: hawthorn, apples, pears, yew, pumpkin, raspberries, Virginia creeper (red leaves, blue berries); flowers blooming: begonias, lilies, black-eyed Susans, Cosmos, honeysuckle (I kid you not), rosemary, fall crocus and so on. 

I prayed for the peoples who used to live on this land: the Musqueam, the Squamish, the Tsleilwatuth (Coast Salish). On Thursday when Canada was having Indigenous Truth and Reconciliation day, I picked up a book in the little lending library box on the street by an indigenous author, Thomas King, and read it overnight. 

I saw a few birds, notably hummingbirds and chickadees, and have seen also in the neighbourhood recently a pileated woodpecker, flickers, ubiquitous crows, song sparrows and others. This year, the coyotes have been very quiet in the ravine as new park features have been developed where there used to be known coyote dens. In the past, I have seen skunks loping down the sidewalk on Atlin Street at midnight in the middle of winter. 

So, when we pray for peace, it is important to remember the natural denizens of our cities, the plants and animals and birds too which also live here among the people and cars.

Thank you for an opportunity to focus on a particular area for daily contemplative walks. I'm not sure it did the locals any good to have me concentrating on them as I expect anyone looking out a window would be suspicious of people looking around curiously and walking slowly, especially as one day I did the walk barefoot. In future, I believe I will be more aware when walking through all areas to think of what kinds of prayers might be welcomed there.

-Jen G.

2021-10-03

Story# 5 on Wednesday October 6th 2021 at 8:44am

This is my story for my prayer walk on Granville Street from Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2021:

My Prayer Theme: Surrender

It's a prayer of surrender to God's Plan and Will: I find that I have a very limited understanding of all the people I passed through during my prayer walk on Granville Street and I have very limited wisdom/power to do anything! But I know and truly believe that with my God, everything is possible! He is omniscient (all knowing & all understanding), omnipresent (past, present and future of these people on Granville Street) and most importantly, He is the All Loving and All Gracious God with infinite wisdom and power! So, I prayed to Him with open hand and open mind: I asked Him to show me what I should pray for the people who live, work and walk on Granville Street. I asked for the opportunity to partner with Him to be His hands and feet to do something to bless all people on Granville Street.

My encounter/experience:

There was this strong resistance on me to walk the street (Spiritual warfare?): it was raining most of the days. I had a lot more pain than usual due to the ongoing fibromyalgia illness. My pain just grew worse. I felt my leg was really heavy and my steps were very slow. When I finally finished and went home. I was usually very exhausted.... I also had this fear of the drug addicts, the homeless...I witnessed the police chasing after this woman who stole something: she fell and she was caught. Someone overdosed, some drug dealer put the drug powder on a beautiful young girl's hand to let her suck in with her nose: I wish I had the courage to intervene but will I be able to intervene or will I get myself in trouble? ...The street was a mess...

I also saw many interesting places on Granville Street: the Colony, the Speakeasy, the Chit-Chat, this beautiful place called The Granville Strip to entertain the rich men with nudity parties every night...

The rich meet the poor: people in all walks of life all are inclusive on this famous Granville Street in downtown Vancouver!

I just didn't feel the desire to walk through the mess. It was a real ordeal to do this prayer walk...but Jesus left His glorious and wonderful home in Heaven to get into our mess on earth and even went on the cross to save us...I have no excuse.... I persisted to finish my prayer walk...Thank God that He helped me to finish the prayer walk!

My reflection: 

When I am willing to do this prayer walk, God will definitely bless me first with some really important spiritual lessons:

  1. All (rich or poor, drug addicts, homeless, prostitutes...) are made in the image of God. We are all beautiful and precious in God's eyes. As I walked through the street, I felt sad and I think the Spirit in me was also feeling very sad. God is more heart-broken than I am to see the consequences of our rebellions.
  2. I believe that it's all in the Divine and Sovereign Will of God for all of us playing different roles in this big drama (the poor, the rich, the sufferers, the prostitutes, the drug addicts, the overdosed, the drug dealers...the rebels, the obedience, the in-between...etc). This is like a mosaic picture of humanity
  3. I am grateful to be God's Elect, His Royal Priesthood, His Chosen Race and His Precious Child. I thank Him for the gift of faith. I thank Him that I made the right choice to obey Him. I made the right choices perhaps it's not because I am better but because God has chosen me to be His Elect... I really have nothing to boast about... I thank the Holy Spirit to convict me and to rescue me from the evil paths...

4. I have no right to despise these people who made the wrong choices: they are in miserable places because of their wrong choices ... How do they get there? Perhaps it's the miserable circumstances that they were in, the environment that they were in and were brought up....We are all equal in God's eyes

  1. On my final day: On October 1st, God just helped me have more understanding of Granville Street/the people on Granville Street. I guess I have to understand first before I can partner with God: I am humbled by God that I have nothing to boast about: it's all by the grace of God that I have the roof over my head, the food to eat everyday and most importantly, I get to know God more intimately each day
  2. I am more and more in love with the mission statement of Westside: it's the ultimate mission statement of all Christians: It's knowing Jesus that we are set free. It's having Jesus that we have eternal life! 

Until we truly know Jesus, we have no power and no ability to share our faith properly to the non-believers: in order to fulfil the great commission to be His witness to the ends of the earth, it's not by strategies (by baits) but by the Light in us (professional fishermen fish by light to allow the fish to swim in colony into the net) to attract the world into the Kingdom net! I need to truly know Jesus/God/Holy Spirit!

I pray that my sharing above will help the body of Christ ( I mean children of God: the Christians) to appreciate the importance of our willingness to surrender all to Our God: this authentic and organic willingness can only come from knowing Jesus deeply and intimately...it's from truly knowing Jesus that we are set free from doubts and insecurity! When we can live out this truth in our lives, we will be the Living bible to attract people to join us because they see the Fruits of the Spirit in us: we don't have to strive for achievement anymore because Jesus already achieved everything needed to be achieved on the cross 2000 years ago. 

Gal. 5:22-23  "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."

I love to end with Paul's blessings to the Christians in Ephesians:

Ephesians 6:23-24 "Peace be to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible."

-Ivy

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