IT STARTED AS AN IDEA.
Why not stop talking among ourselves about the issues impacting our country and start talking to God? What could God do through a few Christians who took one day and put feet to their prayers?
Mostly by word of mouth and through social media, Wendy Pickett began promoting an event that came about after she posted a simple question on Facebook on January 23: “Ok, so I am seriously thinking about going to DC very soon and doing a prayer walk around the White House and Capitol Building. Who would want to go with me?”
Wendy is the wife of Brandon Pickett, associate executive director of the SBC of Virginia. She is also a member of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg. “We, as Christians, who believe in prayer, have the power to make the change that we are so desperately wanting,” she says. “Yet it seemed all I ever heard was complaining and talking about how bad everything was. And so, I decided that I was going to DC to pray and wanted to know who would go with me. I know there is power in numbers.”
That one Facebook question spurred a lot of interest and response. Just a few weeks later on February 17, the day of the prayerwalk had arrived and there was a new question: What could God do with about a dozen people from five different churches who came together and prayed for our nation, for our leaders, and for a local church to make a dramatic impact in one of the most influential cities in the world?
“I felt a combination of relief and happiness and determination,” Wendy explains. “There were people who felt the same way I did and were happy to be there. They believed just as strongly as I did in the power of prayer and the impact that it has. The Friday morning started out at Waterfront Church, an SBCV church plant in DC. Pastor Zack Randles opened their time with prayer, a devotional, and an explanation of what God is doing in the city and in Waterfront church. Pastor Zack shared with the group how “underground” prayer meetings— led by government officials—are happening around the city. After this revelation, the group prayed again and walked up New Jersey Avenue just a few blocks toward the US Capitol.
“It was a wonderful experience having SBCV volunteers prayerwalk near our church in our nation’s capital,” says Pastor Zack.
Wendy says she was was pleasantly surprised to hear about the Christians who were having Bible studies and prayer meetings on a regular basis in DC. There are a number of SBCV church plants in Metro DC, and more are being started each year. There is also a movement underway of Christians in government positions who have answered the call to win their city for the Lord.
Pastor Zack has been encouraged by what God has done and continues to do since the prayerwalk. “Since [that day], we’ve signed a lease on a storefront in our current building, which will serve as our children’s and small group space. With our church being less than a mile from the Capitol building and a couple of blocks from the Nationals’ stadium, this is no small miracle! We move into the space in September!” He has seen a notable increase in people visiting, getting saved, and joining the church since the prayerwalk.
“It is encouraging to know that we are not alone and that godly people are surrounding our church and the people we shepherd in prayer,” says Pastor Zack. “Keep praying for us! The Lord is at work!”
Wendy looks forward to hearing about future prayerwalks. “I think this is something that SBCV churches could come together and do multiple times a year. It is something that an individual can do on their own or gather a group from their church or even organize multiple churches. Anyone can do this!”
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