Ancient Paths – and a moment of truth
One thing that impressed the youth on a mission in Denver this week is the contrasts. “One block south of Colfax is a remarkable change in landscape.” Indeed. From where the prayer walk begins at Morey Middle School to the heart of the matter from East Colfax to the Capitol the tree lined streets begin to disappear, and so does the neighborhood. From 14th and Emerson about 33 youth and a guy with a guitar, prayed, led worship across the street from Planned Parenthood. “we asked God to open our eyes so we can see the people in the inner city as He does,” one student said. “I saw people glance around the corner as if they wanted to engage and at the last second turned and walked,” said another. Others compared it to their lives and people in their towns and could see that even in a crowded city people get lonely, and isolated.
Charlies and lifestyles on Capitol Hill
This is something that the Ancient Paths House Church Network is considering doing on a monthly basis. In many cities including Jacksonville, Florida and Detroit as well as Glasgow, Scotland Prayer Walks have been credited with lowering crime rates and even saving lives. A Scottish “prayer chaplain” recently commented that the after hours prayer walking helps with everything from band-aid first aid and getting young women out of harms way in situations that could end up in rape or worse. The presence of people praying in an inner-city red light and adult business district can bring dynamic change and revitalization to the city. On this day the leaders and kids are singing by a shade tree at Charlies, a gay bar. They pray for changed lives and hearts for patrons and staff. That was the spirit of the prayer walk as it moved westward to the State Capitol.
While it is hard to tell what happens along the way, most agreed that it would take constant prayer and sharing to actually see the change. “In the late ’70’s there were plans to rehab Colfax and put trees, flower boxes and other cosmetic improvements in but as one of the leaders said “If you don’t take care of the soul of East Colfax no matter what you do to make it look better will only die.” Just then between the Cathedral and the MacDonald s at Colfax and Logan another leader breaks into a sprint. A man in a motorized wheelchair was crossing when the power went out. The leader pushed him to safety across East Colfax. “It was hard to push, the chair had no alternate or kinetic way to get the man to safety,” said the leader who used every ounce of muscle to help the man. It was a good example of being isolated and unprotected in a big cold world. And that was a moment of truth for everyone on the prayer walk. One of the Pastor’s at Ancient Paths discussed a monthly prayer walk with praise that would be a regular presence on the street,. One of the teens smiled and said, “you may see a big difference in this city if you did something like that.”