- Picture: GodBelongsinMycity.com
The annual God Belongs in My City prayer walk founded in New York City in 2009 has now become a worldwide phenomenon, with Christians participating in it all over the globe.
"[Christians] in other cities across the country want to do prayer walks. [It is] really exciting to see that, really all over the world," said Daniel Sanabria, founder of the God Belongs in My City walk to the Christian Post. "Just two weeks ago Botswana, Africa just did their prayer walk."
Sanabria serves as the director of Crossover Youth Ministries at Park Slope Christian Tabernacle in Brooklyn, New York.
The walk was founded in 2009 during a meeting he had with three of his fellow youth leaders where they were discussing an article highlighting an atheist campaign in New York City that made the statement "1 million New Yorkers don't need God."
"I was just really upset towards about that, not towards the atheists, but towards the church [and wondered] where are we at in the body of Christ," he said. "So I wrote down on my book the words God Belongs in My City."
The group decided to create a massive prayer walk that united churches and youth ministries from all over the New York City area for the common goal of proclaiming God's presence in their home town. T-shirts were created and a theme song penned by the now Reach Records artist Andy Mineo helped to launch the new campaign.
"Let's walk and pray together, pray for the city and be examples [instead of protesters]," said Sinabria.
The first walk took place on Nov. 14, 2009 and included 1500 young people walking from Battery Park to Time Square in Manhattan where they all participated in corporate prayer for New York City.
"We believe that not one church can change a city, it takes the body of Christ [coming together] to change a city," he said.
Shortly after the first walk, other Christians in other city across the country wanted to get on board with what they did in New York. The walk eventually expanded to cities such as Jacksonville, Chicago, Atlanta, and Houston.
"We just want to see young people pray, we want to see the church pray," he said. "We also want to see the church unite and serve."
The 5th annual God Belongs in My City prayer walk in New York City is scheduled for Oct. 26. The group also will launch a Prayer Worship tour that takes place on Aug. 2, 3, and 5 that features performances from Andy Mineo and other Christian artists.
Sanabria cites local churches as the biggest supporters of the movement.
"I come from a small 150-member church and we started this movement," he said. "We live in America and in this country people think they need to have this celebrity pastor to do great things and I think they are missing the point that its [all] about the Holy Spirit leading people that want to do [God's] will."
Other churches throughout the U.S. also conduct these prayer walks without backing from anyone but local believers.
"I don't go and do prayer walks with them, they do it themselves. It's organic," he said. "I have kids that are 16 and 17 years old calling me up and saying hey, how can I start this prayer walk in my city and we'll help them out."
Sanabria celebrates the unity God Belongs in My City has brought to churches throughout the world.
"The biggest fruit we see is the aftermath, which is the churches wanting to keep on working together and having communion with one another," he said. "They form networks and groups of leaders that will tackle issues in their church and their city."
The movement has also lead to the launch of In My City Records, which is a music label that Sanabria is the chairman of.
"With In My City Records we want to make music for the movement but also music for worship that will honor God and evoke change in our city," he said.
They are not looking to compete with any other record labels and just want to make music that glorifies God. It encompasses all genres of music to reflect the city it was created in, according to Sanabria.
They also use their recording studio as an outreach tool to help aspiring artists who do not have the proper funding to make music. It provides them with a professional and positive environment where they can pursue their dreams.
For more information on the God Belongs In My City Prayer Walk and In My City records visit: