Are you a walker? I am I consider myself a prayer walker. Probably because I have have eager dogs begging to be walked. So I began to combined prayer and walking to make the most of my time. But I admit pray walking posed some challenges. I had to leave my judgements at the door and God showed me how to love all those in my neighborhood. At the end of this article I will reveal my personal struggle with praying for some of my neighbors.
For many of us, walking is also spiritual. When I walk. I see our Creator’s handiwork in the sky, the majestic trees and in the flying squirrels I encounter along my daily trek. Other days I might listen to music and worship God and thank Him for this beautiful day. Some times as I walk, tears might escape from my eyes as I pray about a loved one or a pressing personal problem.
Besides, walking and prayer are common themes throughout scripture, Starting with the Genesis account, Adam and Eve walked and talked with God, refreshed by Eden’s cool garden breezes.
Enoch’s account is amazing since the Bible states, Enoch walked with God until he as no more! Now that’s the ultimate power walk! God translating you to heaven.
After Jesus’s resurrection he walked with two disciples on the road to Emmaus explaining scripture. As you walk God reveal things to you as well.
God’s word exhorts us to walk in love, walk humbly with our God, walk in the Spirit, and walk properly as in the daytime. If you choose to combine walking and praying you will experience all these things and more. In fact, walking reminds me of a faith journey with all of its valleys, summits,
detours, turnabouts, and sometimes dead ends.
What is a Prayer Walk?
A prayer walk intentionally combines walking and praying based on what you see as you walk and whatever else God nudges you to pray about as you step out. Later I discovered, one woman prayed for the salvation for her entire neighborhood. I was one of the people who came to know Jesus and this women’s prayers might have helped me become a Christian.
“Praying On Sight with Insight.”
Steve Hawthrone & Graham Kendrick
Being on location while praying can make a person feel more connected, involved, and focused. Prayer walking can be for a few blocks or miles, whatever works for you. These uplifting walks can involve individuals, small groups, or entire churches.
Consequently, walking through a neighborhood can generate a list of things to pray about. Look for opportunities on what you should pray about as you stroll through your neighborhood. Walking by the local school might prompt you to pray for the safety and spiritual state of the students and teachers. Children’s toy strewn on the front lawn might prompt you to pray for the wisdom for the parents and their young children. If a house if for sale you might pray for the house to sell quickly and for a nice family to move into the neighborhood, perhaps new friends for your children. A yard sign slogan might prompt you to pray for the community, the nation, and its leaders.
The power of prayer walking is meant to bless the community, but the walkers also benefit from becoming more committed to the people and places for which they have prayed. And you can also take your children with you and show them how to pray and care for those in your neighborhood.
Is Prayer Walking Biblical?
Obviously, walking was the most popular way to travel in Biblical times. Yet, the Bible doesn’t mention the practice of prayer walking. However, we know that scripture tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), pray for those in authority, (1 Timothy 2:1-2) and pray for our enemies (Luke 6:27). Prayer walking is an activity that encourages us to learn how to hear from God and helps to remind us to pray without ceasing and to pray for others.
How Should I Prepare For Prayer Walking?
You don’t need many thing but these following three things will help, have heart to pray for those around you, know what to pray and to have a plan.
Prepare Your Heart
When planning a prayer walk, decide where you will walk and who and what you will pray about. ) I usually start my by praying for my family, friends and then start observing prayer opportunities as I walk through neighborhood. Before I head out the door, I prepare my heart by meditating on God’s grace and unconditional love for me and my neighbors. Also, I claim God’s armor as spiritual protection.
Whether prayer walking alone, in pairs or with a larger group, set aside time to pray specifically for God to prepare each walker’s heart and to open up spiritual opportunities as you make your journey.
Prepare Your Prayers
Ask God for direction: where should you walk and what should you pray for? What scriptures should you bring along, or perhaps memorize? You can carry scripture cards or even a Bible as you walk or refer to your Bible on your phone. Some prayer walkers take turns reading scripture verses aloud, petitioning God based on the selected passages. You can plan what you will pray about, but also be open to God’s leading as you walk. If anyone asks what you are doing, tell them and ask if they would like any prayer.
Prepare Your Path
Formulate a plan such as, if you are walking as a group, where will you walk and will you split up into pairs or threes to cover additional ground? Do you want everyone to focus on a specific prayer plan or scripture passage? More practical considerations include wearing comfortable shoes, setting a start and stop time, plus planning for snack and water stops.
Prayer Walking in Your Home
Perhaps the best way to practice prayer walking is to begin right at home. Although it may seem strange at first, walking through your home and praying for the people in your family may be the perfect place to begin the journey of prayer walking. So, what exactly do you say while praying throughout the rooms of your home — and must you speak it aloud? Like anything else, praying aloud gets easier the more you do it, and practicing your prayers aloud at home will make it easier when you decide to pray while walking the neighborhood.
Pray In Gratitude
“Lord, thank you for this home and the people you have given me to love and serve. Thank you for Your constant provision.” Some scripture verses and passages that speak about thankfulness include:
Pray For Protection
“Heavenly Father, you are our shield and protector. We ask for your continued protection within these walls and within our hearts. Do not allow any deceit, confusion or strife to enter.” Some related scripture verses include:
Pray For Peace
“Oh God, may this dining room be a place of peace and joy to all who sit and eat here! May our bedroom be a place of peace and oneness! Help us love and forgive each other in every room of this home! And may You bring peace and salvation to any soul who joins us here!” Some scripture verses and passages include:
Planning a Neighborhood Prayer Walk
You may decide to gather a group together and prayer walk a specific neighborhood. People organize prayer walks in order to intercede for a troubled neighborhood, pray for the upcoming school year, or walk an area for no specific reason, just praying as God leads. Here are five steps to consider when planning a neighborhood prayer walk:
- Start by announcing the upcoming prayer walk to friends, neighbors and church members and assemble a list of prayer walkers.
- Once you have the roster, organize the group into pairs or threes so that nobody walks alone. Some prayer warriors cannot physically walk, so include all who desire to participate by assigning them a car route if necessary.
- Choose a date, time and meeting place.
- Assign each team a route through an online mapping system, or with a paper map.
- Set a target finish time and location so the teams can wrap up the prayer walk with water, a small snack and….perhaps a concluding prayer!
Prayer Walk Ideas
Although you will be led to pray for a variety of different things on your prayer walk, here are some phrases to get you started: Dear Lord, please….
- Deepen our love for this neighborhood / school district / community…
- Help us be aware of needs…
- Surprise us by creating divine encounters today…
- Show us how we can serve / love / bring healing here…
- Bring Your promises to these homes…
- Allow us to see these families with fresh eyes…
- Thank you for what we see here…
- Give us compassion for these people, who are like sheep without a shepherd…
- Help us love our neighbors as ourselves…
- Make us like lights in the darkness, giving glory to You…
- Grant us a bigger vision for this neighborhood…
- Give the authorities who govern this neighborhood / school / community wisdom from You…
National Prayer Walks
Intercessors for America became burdened for the spiritual state of our nation and have created a prayer walk map for anyone that would like to walk and pray throughout Washington, D.C.(when it opens up,) In September 2020, there was a National Prayer March in the nation’s capital, organized by the Rev. Franklin Graham, and reports say that over 50,000 were in attendance. Coming up, the National Day of Prayer will happen on May 6, 2021 — perhaps it would be an excellent day to organize a prayer walk!
Benefits of Prayer Walking
Below are a few of the benefits of consistent prayer walking.
- We become aware of our neighbors and their needs
- Our hearts feel more connected to the community
- We gain ideas of how we can love and serve our neighbors
- God hears our requests for our community
- We bring salt, light and the fragrance of Christ into our community
- God deals with the fears and indifference we have had toward our neighbors
- We increase our love for the individuals and families in areas where we walk
- Helps our Body and So
My Personal Prayer Walk Story
“One day last fall, I headed out on a neighborhood prayer walk. It was a beautiful autumn day, just months before the election, and colorful campaign signs decorated my neighbors’ lawns. I knew God wanted me to pray for all the neighbors — perhaps especially the neighbors who did not share my political affiliation. While walking my dog and praying, I could sense God turning me toward those residents with whom I did not agree. At first, I resisted. But with each step and silent prayer, I sensed God softening my heart.
Since that initial pray walk it seemed God arranged personal meetings with each of the homes that I did not share the same political views. They neighbors would stop, chat, and compliment my unique, wolflike dog. They thanked me for revealing the secret free location to dispose old Tv’s items that our garbage man refuses to take. In the end, I feel that prayer walking made me a more loving neighbor and certainly less judging and more joyful. I have a real heart for my neighbors and neighborhood.
Perhaps you are reluctant to head out in the community and pray for your neighbors. Maybe one snubbed you by not inviting you to a book club or returning a tool. Remember what Jesus said, love your neighbors as yourself. Try stepping out one step at a time and see where God leads you on this prayer walking journey. God will always meet you where you’re at. And God certainly met me where I was at and changed my heart toward my neighbors, as detailed in my personal story.
So, go solo, find a friend or a group of friends and plan a time to walk the neighborhood together and talk to God. You don’t have to pray loudly or make it a show — in fact, nobody even has to know you are praying. Once you get used to walking and talking with God throughout your neighborhood, it might be the start of a brand-new habit — one that will, through the power of God, impact your community far into the future.