If you could be an agent of positive change on your street TODAY… would you? Allow me to propose a seemingly over-simplistic undertaking that is actually profoundly doable and effective.
I want you to think about the kind of city you’d like to live in. It would likely be a city where the crime rate was low. It would likely be a city where people had jobs. It surely would be a city where everyone was prayed for… and cared for. That would be a pretty amazing city, wouldn’t it?
Now, I want you to think about the city we have, Brantford. Believe it or not, there are about 1000 streets in Brantford. A thousand roads, courts, boulevards and parkways that are home to over 93,000 people. People who have families. People own businesses and have jobs. People like you.
You’ve heard the talk over the years. You’ve heard words like, “Worst Downtown in Canada.” Words like, “Crime Capital of Ontario.” And you’ve likely noticed some of your neighbours and friends who can’t find work. But you, I’m sure, have also noticed a few OTHER things, like the fact that Brantford is a transforming city. The Downtown is beginning to thrive again. New business is coming. People around town just seem happier than they used to be.
So how do we fully see the city we DO live in transformed into the city we WANT TO live in? One important step… is prayer. Prayer has an unfounded mirage of complexity. It’s truly as simple as man talking to God from where we are… as we are. It’s something that we all CAN do and SHOULD do. It does a soul good, but it does a community even BETTER when we pray as Jesus taught us to, asking that,
“Your kingdom come and your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”
Wouldn’t that be great? A city where we ALL had a place to thrive. Most of us know personally what happens when we are prayed for. Few refuse prayer, because there’s just something about it. Well, what if EVERYONE was prayed for? Could a whole city be prayed for?
Let’s crunch some numbers. There are roughly 60,000 people who statistically identify themselves as Christians in Brantford and roughly 1000 streets. So, if only one and a half percent of those who identify themselves as Christians prayed daily for their street… 100% of the city would be prayed for every day. One and a half percent of us? I think we can do that. Can you pray if you’re not a Christian? OF COURSE! God loves to chat… day or night.
What should we pray when we’re praying for our street? Let’s pray for practical, down ’n dirty, on the street transformation. Right now our jobless rate sits at a perspectively good 4.8%. But, this number is a very nuanced number that doesn’t include those who have given up participation in the job market. Those numbers mean real people. They mean some of your neighbours… out of work. Pray about that. Pray to see that number come down and for jobs to return to our city.
Brantford sits at #21 on McLeans “Most Dangerous Cities in Canada” list. BUT, we are no longer #1 in Ontario and our Crime Severity Index has dropped 16% since 2005. Pray that we continue to see these numbers come down.
Just prayer? The thing is that when we pray for people, it turns into caring for people. Just TRY to pray for someone and not begin to care about them! But, we’re all so different… how can we all pray together? Saint Augustine said, “In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love.”
The Adopt your Street initiative was launched in November through “One Church Brantford.” It’s the coming together of THE church. That means all of us. Prayer is universal, regardless of style. When we make it a team effort, we will TOGETHER, in unity, participate in the transformation of the city.
There are currently 400 streets that have been “Adopted” using the web hub of www.transformourworld.org. That’s 400 streets that now have someone praying daily for them. 400 streets that are on the road to having those same people genuinely care for them.
Can I invite you into the party? There are 600 more streets in Brantford that need a momma or a papa. The dream of a whole city prayed for is within our reach. Adopt your street today at www.transformourworld.org and follow One Church Brantford on Facebook for updates.