The purpose of a flag is not just to be on a stage in a building but to fly outdoors over the territory that it rules. There is an amazing, but little known flag, that has been in the forefront of the international movement known as The Salvation Army.
Catherine Booth (co-founder) presented the first Salvation Army flag in September 1878 in Coventry, England. The flag, nicknamed Blood & Fire, immediately became a tool for proclaiming the Gospel as Salvationsts around the world boldly took it to the streets in marches and openairs (outdoor evangelistic meetings) proclaiming the good news about Jesus Christ.
However, nowadays, the flag mostly stays in buildings. It is rare to see it being carried down city streets. Perhaps it is time to bring out the Blood and Fire and let the world know that the blood of Jesus Christ and the fire of the Holy Spirit are not outdated concepts to be regulated to the dustbin of religion, but relevant truths ready to release the reality of the power and presence of the living God into our contemporary, high-tech world.
Six years ago my wife and I and a few others began to carry The Salvation Army flag on the streets of East Nashville, Tennessee and pray as we go. It has been an amazing experience to see the power of a quiet prayer walk while carrying God’s powerful message on a flag.
We have been able to pray with many dozens (if not hundreds) of people. We have seen drug dealers and prostitutes with tears running down their cheeks. We have seen many lives transformed through Christ. Our flag prayer walk has even been written up in a local newspaper.
Anybody can carry a Christian flag and walk around a neighborhood, even children. All it takes is one step at a time. I challenge you to take up The Salvation Army flag or another Christian flag and prayer walk in your neighborhood.
Try it! See what God will do if you will muster up some courage and step out in faith. It will amaze you. If you live in Nashville, I’d love for you to flag prayer walk with me at your convenience. Contact me at Steve_Simms@uss.salvationarmy.org to set up a time.
If you live somewhere else, go to your church (or a Salvation Army location) and ask if you can borrow their flag for about an hour. Then take it and hit the streets praying as you go. The response and results will amaze you.
Here is a link to an article in the Nashville City Paper about our prayer walks: http://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/salvation-army-leader-carries-flag-justice