Thank you for praying for BUILD 2021. We had over 60 participants! The weekend was filled with worshipping God together, encouraging one another, collaborating on selected projects and building the groundwork for deep friendships.
One of our prayer requests for BUILD related to the long-term impact of the projects. Over the next few months, we hope to update you on several of the projects. We recently connected with Philip Hardwick, the developer of The Prayer Walk App. We talked about how the app is progressing, post-BUILD.
A bit about the developer
Philip is a software developer for a financial company. He attends church in Coventry, where he went to university. For a long time, he wasn’t sure how his development skills fit into Christian work outside of using “technology just for the sake of technology.”
He was approached by an elder at his church regarding a new prayer event called Open Heaven Coventry.
Open Heaven is an initiative in the city of Coventry, uniting churches from every denomination, network and stream to prayer-walk every street, as we believe to see God move here for His glory (ref).
While the data for the initiative could be stored in a spreadsheet, that didn’t seem particularly helpful for people to understand and interact with the purpose of the initiative. There was a desire to see technology engage with the data in a more impactful way. The Prayer Walk App was built to visualise all the prayer walking across the city.
Before BUILD, Philip was working mainly on his own. The Prayer Walk App had been used by a few towns and cities since Open Heaven but was limited. He found himself stuck on a few features and wanted to see if BUILD could break through some of those barriers. BUILD allowed him a chance to connect with other professionals to think through how to move forward.
How was BUILD beneficial?
A team of three joined Phil in thinking through how to build a habit of prayer using technology, what the mapping data meant and how to display that using a heat map. By visually communicating which areas have been prayed for and which ones haven’t, people can quickly see what’s been happening. As stories emerge of what God is doing in certain areas, the heat map allows users to see possible connections to faithful prayer walking.
What’s next for the app?
During Lent, several initiatives utilizing The Prayer Walk App are focused on praying for local communities before Easter.
Arise Sheffield—focused on Sheffield and its surrounding areas—distributes Easter cards to residents, offering prayer and resources for the community. They are using The Prayer Walking App to cover the area in prayer as they connect with people.
Pray HD is an interdenominational prayer initiative of Hope Huddersfield. It allows churches from different backgrounds to pray and track where prayer is happening, providing a chance to see how the unity of prayer can impact a community.
The aim is that during Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter, the whole of Huddersfield and the surrounding villages that can be seen in the app will literally be covered in prayer. (ref)
Bless Rugby is an initiative to prayer walk as many streets as possible during Lent and Easter 2022. They’re asking for a blessing over Rugby, salvation for many and recovery from the difficulties associated with the pandemic.
There are several other efforts in the works to continue expanding the use of the app to see how the Lord works through the power of prayer.
How can the KC community continue to support The Prayer Walk App?
Phil has asked for prayer for vision on the future of the app: how the app can be utilized throughout the UK. He was encouraged to hear that a similar app was being developed in Canada. The Open Heaven initiative doesn’t have a global reach, but it is exciting to think about similar technology being used around the globe.
Prayer is powerful, especially when organizational leaders and various churches are united to seeing God work. Please pray that unity through these efforts carries on.
Is there a way for others to be involved?
Phil says he’s always happy for the extra help, especially related to vision, or if you want to explore using the app in your city. Feel free to reach out to him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org