I prayed daily to get rid of the gangs in the neighborhood. I was seeing more graffiti and reading about the different crimes committed around us. I was only focusing on the negatives and praying against them. But the words of a friend changed my focus.

My roommate, Jane, said, “Did you notice the rehab place down the street is now a church? Have you seen the other new church down there too?”  I replied, “Oh yea, and there’s that other big one around the corner. The parking lot is always full.” I remembered that a Hispanic man and his kids came around at Easter to invite people to the Baptist church a block away.  And Jane reminded me, “The synagogue just built a brand new Jewish school down there too.” All kinds of new believers were infiltrating my neighborhood and I didn’t even know it.

I started off praying AGAINST the negatives, but I ended up LOOKING FOR THEM!  Since I wasn’t looking for the good things, I was missing all of what was happening around me. It’s a matter of where we put our focus. It’s not a bad thing to take notice of the bad things then pray against them and do what we can, but it can get way overboard and cloud the vision the Lord wants us to see.

John 1:5 says: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” Just one flashlight in a room and all the darkness can’t make it go away. The entrance of God’s light in my neighborhood is what is beginning to dispel the darkness.

Now I’m no longer looking at the negatives, but at the light, focusing and praying for all the good I see. The Lord is tagging our neighborhood for good!

Love, Carolyn

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