Why Prayer Walking - by Revd. Rosemary Donovan
Why Prayer Walking?
Recent years have seen a surge of intercessors walking through their neighbourhoods, praying both silently and aloud for their neighbours. Other intercessors have followed God's leading to travel to distant lands to intercede for the lost peoples of those places. Certainly, prayer is biblical. But prayer walking? Is it really valid and effective or just a passing "fad"?
The Old ...
A study of the early chapters of Genesis reveals that in the beginning man and woman were created to walk with God. Men such as Enoch and Noah are described as ones who "walked with God." It was God's intention that we experience this most intimate and confidential of relationships with Him. Rebellion brought an end to the "walk," but God through Christ redeemed us back that we might again walk with Him.
... and the New
Now in the last years of the 20th century, as world evangelism accelerates, God has done a new thing. Beginning in the mid-1970s, believers throughout the world began to sense His leading to move out of the church buildings and the prayer closets and intercede out in the world. This kind of moving, on-site intercessions has become known as prayer walking. It is walking and talking with God, hearing, and heeding His voice, seeing and sensing as He does.
Types of Prayer Walking
• Devotional. All prayer walking begins with our personal prayer walk with God. Ensure that the most important goal in your life is nurturing a pure and unhindered walk with God.
• Incidental. As we walk with God through the responsibilities and activities of our day, we will find Christ prompting us to intercede for others around us. This is incidental prayer walking - incidental to our normal work in the world. God uses us as intercessors.
• Intentional. Strategically important are our planned and organized times of on-site intercession as God directs. These could be as simple as an evening prayer walk through our neighbourhood or as involved as leading a prayer team overseas. Planned, intentional prayer walks are powerful for preparing the way for witness and ministry in Jesus' Name.
The talking church sounds good. The walking church looks good. The prayer walking church brings good.
For a number of reasons, much of Christ's church has become distanced from God and from the world to which she's called. Prayer walking has shown itself to be a divine solution to both of these problems. As God leads us into a closer walk with Him, we simultaneously find ourselves in closer proximity to our lost world. Walking with Him, we see as He sees and respond with pointed, empowered intercession. Then as He answers these insightful, on-site prayers, we are right where we need to be to extend a touch of love and share a word of hope. Truly, the prayer walking church brings great good to its neighbourhood and its world.
Prayer walkers cannot remain the same. Neither can their world.
Prayer Walking for Thy Kingdom Come
Prayer walking is as simple as it sounds - praying as we walk. When we prayer walk we are stepping into our authority as God’s children to bless people and places in Jesus’ name. This simple task is a great way to bring transformation to our local community by asking God to break in.
Here’s how to get started:
• KNOW YOUR LOCAL AREA
Know the places and people that make up your local community. What jobs do people do? What ethnicities and social classes live in your area? How many sacred buildings are there?
• KNOW LOCAL PEOPLE
Find out what the needs are in your local community by speaking to those in your area.
• KNOW LOCAL NEEDS
Are there problems with unemployment, crime or poverty in your area?
• GET PRAYER WALKING
As you prayer walk, be aware of your surroundings: what you see, smell, hear and touch. But also, be aware of what God is saying to you as you move around your community; if any Bible verses pop into your head or if you have any pictures, visions, or words of knowledge. Turn these natural and supernatural senses into prayer.
The point of prayer walking isn’t about being seen praying; it’s about seeing and praying. You can pray with others or in silence if it makes you feel more comfortable. The core of prayer walking is conversing with God; ask Him to show us what He sees; to know His heart for our community.
As you prayer walk, focus is on those who are living in your community so be intentional about praying for God’s blessings on what you see and feel. Even in difficult areas, try to pray positively. Focus on God’s plans and purposes for the place and people that live there. “Your Kingdom come, your will be done…” is an excellent start.
The staff team will be seeking to cover different areas of the parish during the next week. Even after this special week as we keep praying, we will continue to ask for God’s blessing in our area; praying for God’s kingdom to come and His Will to be done. It may be that God will highlight specific needs or challenges that we need to reflect on more as a church community especially as we seek to be a Living Well and living well.
Revd. Rosemary Donovan