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Prayer spaces in public places

HOPE Together and 24-7 Prayer are encouraging churches to host creative prayer spaces, inviting local communities to experience God by talking and listening to him in prayer. When we dreamed of people meeting the God of hope in schools, work places, high streets, gardens and unexpected public places all over the country, we had no idea that the country would go into lockdown... and no idea that there would be a huge surge in people Googling 'How to Pray'.
As churches open for private prayer, will you offer your community a place they can meet God – in your church building or a more neutral venue? Churches in Bedfordshire have already got a shop in the middle of town next to Costa Coffee and opposite Primark to use as a HOPE Space. 

Here are ideas for prayer stations in your HOPE Space, which you can adapt to use safely in your context. 

Please check the latest national and local coronavirus restrictions and guidelines (advice differs in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as in hot spots) and adapt any HOPE Spaces resources and ideas for safe use.

How to find a shop for your HOPE Space

We asked Paul Sands, Senior Pastor of Three Rivers Church, Bedford, for his advice. Paul has 25 years past experience as a retail director and is now part of a team running a HOPE Space in Bedford.
The following is a simple guide for anyone looking to undertake a similar project in their own town: 
  • Have a clear, thought out vision of why you want the 'Hope Space' and what it will look like.
  • The whole project needs to be saturated in prayer.
  • Visit the High Street and ask the Lord which shop he wants you to have. Pray outside of it.
  • Find out who the agent is and arrange to visit/look around.
  • Ask yourself the question - is it the right size for the vision the Lord has given us and what we want that to look like?  It shouldn't be too big or too small.
  • Recognise that opportunities are great and that there are deals to be had. It's to the owner's advantage that the space is occupied for at least 6 to 8 weeks as they then get a rates re-bate (which is our carrot).
  • Don't be intimidated - be confident in asking for this. Be clear. Tell them who you are, what you want and why. Don't be embarrassed to say that we bring Hope and the presence of God.
  • If rebuffed, don't give up!
  • Remember that, in all the negativity, we have a positive message to bring. We need to know/be confident that we have the right to be there. We are bringing a good news message and God's presence - which is what the High Street needs. 
I hope this proves helpful. If anyone would like any additional support or advice I am very happy to speak with them.  Contact the HOPE Office for Paul Sands’ phone number.

Sign up to receive our free Hope Spaces Guide

Register your interest below and get your free ‘How to run a Hope Space’ pdf resource. (Alternatively you can purchase a printed copy of the guide for £1 from the HOPE shop.)

Covid-19 & Hope Spaces - These prayer resources were written prior to the outbreak of Covid-19. If you are hosting a prayer space please refer to your local and national guidelines on how to help minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus, and amend any resources you may wish to use accordingly.

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