I can’t remember when I did my first prayer walk but I liked it. Someone brought up the idea and I thought, “Oh, well, there’s nothing to it, you just walk with others and talk to God with them while you’re walking. Simple.” And years later I can say, “yes, it really is that simple.”
Most of my own struggles in prayer have centered around my inability to be consistent, disciplined, and focused during my talks with the Lord. I get distracted, impatient and selfish and pretty soon I’m off on a tangent asking for and thinking about things that have nothing to do with God’s purposes. I have found that prayer walks, if nothing else, keep me focused and honest in what I am talking with the Lord about. When I walk and pray with someone else it’s spiritually sharpening, taking spiritual ground for the Kingdom of God, and affecting change in myself and the situations that come up during prayer. And without doubt, when I’m on a prayer walk, God consistently opens up opportunities to serve Him immediately in ways I never would have come across if I wasn’t being intentional.
Just last week a couple guys and myself were walking and praying around Myrtle Creek and ideas started pouring in about how we could minister to a particular sporting group and how we could be a blessing to the town. God showed us relationships that could be developed and people that needed to be engaged. I met a couple people who had early favorable experiences with church and were willing to try it out again if the right opportunity came. If I wouldn’t have been on a prayer walk, I may not have met them or had my eyes open enough to see and think of the names and places that came up along the way that needed God’s touch.
A prayer walk is very similar to any other time you’d talk to God. Prayer is talking to God, and a prayer walk is talking to God while you’re walking. Most of us do this anyway when we’re in between meetings, driving in the car, or walking the dog. A prayer walk may seem like a foreign idea, but once you do it for a little while, it will begin to feel natural – just as if Jesus were walking next to you. When we go for a prayer walk here are some things to think about.
- Pray out loud. Just like when you pray with others in a group. When what you say to the Lord is heard by others, they are encouraged, inspired, convicted and prompted to continue praying in a similar fashion or change subjects based on the prayer.
- Keep your eyes open. Don’t trip! Remember, you’re walking. When we keep our eyes open it provides a way for the Lord to open our eyes spiritually as well. He can now bring to mind – in prayer – what we see in our environment that God wants to affect. Pay attention.
- Don’t bring a list. Let the things that naturally come up lead your prayers.
- Don’t be afraid of talking. When we pray, most of the time it’s an internal dialogue with God, but when we pray with others we let them into the process. Just like when you pray, not all of your thoughts are requests, but its more of a conversation. So, when your prayer walk, allow things that come up in prayer to be discussed briefly with those you’re walking with. Wherever the conversation leads, bring that back to God in prayer.
- Let conversations with others happen. Naturally, if the Lord knows you’re talking to him and listening, he’ll want to lead you to people and places that he cares about. If an interaction with someone you come across is started – it’s not a coincidence. Take it as a sign from the Lord that he wants this person to meet you.
- Listen. Take time during your walking to just be quiet and walk. Don’t feel the need to keep talking. Though this may feel a little weird because you’re walking silently with others, hold your nerve, calm your heart, and listen to whatever ideas, feelings, or thoughts may be coming.
- Share what the Lord hints at. When we pray, the Lord brings things to mind. He knows we’re with others and He may want all of you to direct your attention somewhere. How do you think He’d orchestrate that? He’d hint at it to at least one of you in some way. So, when something pops in your mind, don’t be afraid to share it with your friends, and pray about it. Also remember, not everything that pops in your head is from the Lord.
Hopefully this will encourage you to give it try. In the coming months we’ll be having prayer walks probably once a month in and around the Myrtle Creek area. If you live in a different region I’d encourage you to take a few of your friends and start walking and talking to God in your area. Our God is a God who is affected by what we say to Him. He in turn affects our universe when He hears our prayers.
If you would like more information about participating in prayer walks around Myrtle Creek, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org