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Prayer in the Square

Every Friday during lunch, at the corner of 1st and Washington in the heart of Seattle, you will find bustling bodies searching for Cuban sandwiches, a steaming bowl of pho, döner kebab and other diverse offerings from eateries in the area. You will also see another side of life in the Pioneer Square: pan handlers, homeless, and impoverished individuals also asking for help. The Bread of Life Mission, Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission’s Men’s Shelter and the Lazarus Center, which love and serve these individuals, are just a stone’s throw away. Also in this bustling square, just above street level in an office leased by Gibson Media, a prayer meeting takes place and offers up prayers for the city.

The meeting has been held every Friday (it meets weekly to keep consistency among the group) from Noon - 1

p.m. for more than three years and anyone is welcome. There is often a diverse mix of local professionals, students, and even staff and guests from Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission who attend. Leading the group each week is Todd Gibson, the owner of Gibson Media. “Many of these guys…I wouldn’t have any connection with, our paths wouldn’t naturally cross. But intimacy comes with Jesus at the center and helps you to relate to anyone in the world”, Gibson says. He begins the meeting with a verse from the Bible to reflect on and encourages prayer that revolves around the theme of that scripture, in addition, to requests for prayer. His hospitality allows people to go as deep as they are comfortable going. “There is a sense of depth and transparency that comes with the true essence of the church- which can be very raw. It’s brothers and sisters- not an organization or program, just people who are trying to put Jesus first, communicating with God and with one another," Gibson says. Some folks share health concerns, faith struggles, and even seemingly minor things such as finding a vehicle that won’t break down.

The hope for this time of sharing is to build community which is a reflection of the Trinity- a model of biblical living. Gibson loves to encourage others to start up prayer times throughout the city, quoting Jesus to make disciples of all nations as you go, “It doesn’t have to be in Uganda. ‘As you go’ is Pioneer Square, the Central District or your back yard,” he says. Gibson is so passionate about serving his neighbor he created a website and mobile app tool called RedRing to map out where and what the body of Christ is doing within King County.

Prayer isn’t something to be confined to bedsides, sanctuaries or foxholes- it is a conversation in the context of relationship with the Creator. It can be found in scripture being lifted up in the hearts of cities, in front of kings and leaders and among the poor and broken. Todd Gibson’s group is a great example of what can be done to encourage the body and promote the Kingdom in the heart of a bustling city. Would you like to start or join a group? Let us know here at Light Up the City- we would be happy to help brainstorm!

-Nathan Ryan


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