From Memorial Day to Labor Day, churches from all over Ashland County, Ohio, are forming teams to walk and pray over the county’s 744 streets during their 100 Days of Prayer Initiative. Ashland Grace Church on West Main (Dan Allan, senior pastor), where Jon Hall is on staff, is one of these.
“There are people who have aggressively prayed for Ashland for many years,” said Hall. “I was here in ’73 and there was a prayer group then, but I don’t ever remember people going out and specifically praying for every home and every business in the county.
“There’s been movement in the last three to four years in communities across the country where people are specifically praying down every street for every home, school, and business. We’re uniting around that.”
This initiative takes tremendous organization to pull off, but the pieces fell into place. Melissa Martin, membership services coordinator at the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce and member of Ashland Grace, had a both a passion for unifying a community around prayer and the administrative skills to make it happen. Also, the close partnership between area churches that enabled such a project had already been years in the making.
“We know each other and work together,” Hall notes on how a majority of the full-time church leaders in the Ashland area have banded together in recent years to find effective ways to reach out to the community in tangible ways. “We pray with each other. We believe that there’s power in unity and the issue is not only getting the gospel out, but also fostering a sense that the spiritual leaders in the community are not in conflict, but instead united around the Gospel, around Jesus. We’ve been working on it for 20 years.
Hall said he felt God’s specific guidance leading to the prayer walk initiative.
“It’s not just about this prayer walk – but it is in the context of the bigger picture,” he says. “It’s a matter of relationship and being intentional about who your leaders are, and it’s about encouraging Christians to be more active in their faith.”
Hall believes that the prayer walk initiative is important to the spiritual health of the community and the church.
“This is spiritual warfare. It’s not just going around and saying rote prayers, but the fact that we are asking God to be in authority and for Satan to be defeated.”
Send Pastor Hall a note of encouragement at firstname.lastname@example.org.