What Is Prayer Walking?
Prayer walking is exactly what the words imply: walking and praying. Prayer walking has been described as “praying on site with insight.” When you hear the sounds and see the sights of a particular place, you understand batter how to pray for the people that location.
On a prayer walk, you might smell the freshness of a recent rain and ask God to refresh the land with his Word. You might hear children laughing and pray that God would show himself even to the young people of the area. Prayer walkers must be sensitive to all that is going on around them, which will help them pray with insight. That includes being ready to speak to or pray with people they encounter along the way.
Prayer Knows No Boundaries
You may pray for people you will never meet. And if you do, you’ll have a special partnership with results only eternity will tell.
What about your own neighborhood? Could you invite a friend to join you in walking the streets of your neighborhood? Regardless of where we live, there are people all around us who need prayer.
Four Things to Remember When Prayer Walking
- Be alert. If you walk with a partner, don’t get distracted by conversation. It’s helpful to agree ahead of time that you will keep conversation to a minimum to keep the focus on prayer. You might want to meet beforehand or gather to debrief after your walk, but the time you set aside for prayer walking should be focused on asking God to be with those who travel the streets, live in the neighborhood, or worship in our church.
- Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Just as your five senses gather information from your surroundings, remember to keep your heart open to what the Holy Spirit is telling you as well. Be open to stop and talk to someone as the Spirit leads, or to go down a new street. Listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit as you go.
- Be ready. As you feel comfortable, engage those you meet as you walk. It is not necessary, but can be a blessing to that person. You may encounter someone who needs prayer or is willing to engage in a spiritual conversation. As the spirit leads, ask if you can pray for them. Find out what is heavy on their heart; listen and pray. Do not push, but be open to what God is doing on your walk.
- Be on the lookout for God at work. Make your prayer walk an opportunity for thanking the Lord. Be assured that God is with you, already working in the neighborhood and in our church. It is an awesome privilege we have to join God.
Suggestions for your prayer walk:
Pray for discernment – Seek the gift of seeing the community through Christ’s “lens,” and to discern what God is already doing there; ask God to show you how you can pray with greater insight for the people, events, and places in the community.
Pray for blessing – Pray over every person, home and business you encounter; for God’s intervention in each life, so that each one can be fruitful in God’s kingdom; for God’s will to be done in this community “as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
Pray with empathy – See and feel what residents live with every day; offer intercession for those things that express brokenness and grieve God’s spirit, and give thanks to God for the blessings and gifts that exist in the community.
Pray from Scripture – Prayers based directly on God’s word can be especially powerful. You may want to bring a Bible with key passages highlighted, or copy verses onto note cards.
Pray in God’s power – Allow times of silence for God’s spirit to speak to you, or through you (Romans 8:26). Ask with confidence in the power of Jesus’ name (John 14:12-14). Like the disciples sent out by Christ, we are empowered to push back the darkness (Luke 10:17-18).