Yes, there are four different things I have done that have been beneficial.
1. Sometimes (though not often) I put on my iPod and listen to worship music. A great song to listen to is the hope-filled song “God of the City” (read the lyrics here or watch/listen to this video). The lyrics of the song become the words of my prayers. It’s great to pray this over your city.
2. Sometimes (though not often) I get a prompting from the Holy Spirit to approach specific people I am near or passing as I walk. It can be a bit scary, to be honest. But it is also fulfilling. I simply say: “Hi. I’m on a prayerwalk and I’m praying for anything that someone or something may need prayer for. Is there anything that I could be praying about for you?? All but one time the response has been great. Regardless of their background, they seldom turn down the opportunity to share. Many people – even those with no religious background – tell me that they are grateful I asked them. A few times I’ve asked if I could stop and pray for them right then and there, if they have a moment to spare. Everyone I have asked as agreed – and thanked me.
3. Sometimes (though not often) I utilize the Prayer Labyrinth at a local park (Stony Creek Park in Lansdale has a fantastic one). While labyrinths have been used for new age (and other belief systems apart from Christianity, it can be a very redemptive process for Christ followers. Click here to read what a prayer labyrinth is.
4. Sometimes (though not often) I will bring along a trash bag and will pick up trash along the streets as I pray. It’s simple and it costs you one trash bag. I got this idea from Steve Sjogren’s fantastic book The Conspiracy of Kindness (buy this book!) in what he calls “servant evangelism.” I guess instead of prayerwalking this is called prayercleaning.
When I get my hands dirty and bend down and pick up objects that turn my stomach its a great reminder and challenge that as a follower of Jesus I am here to serve and there is nothing that should be below me and my willingness to serve. It confronts my pride and reminds me that I am here to serve. It also provides a heightened sensitivity to your surroundings; you pay attention to the streets more.
But the biggest reason is that it makes the neighbors and storekeepers curious. You don’t do it for recognition, but its so rare that people are shocked and want to know what the heck is going on. On several occasions I’ve had people come out of their houses or owners come out of their stories and say, “Why are you doing this?” or “I’ve been noticing what you are doing for the past few minutes. Do you live on this street?”
My favorite question I get quite regularly is “Are you being forced to community service?”) I tell them that I’m a part of a faith community that is trying to serve to see Lansdale renewed and I’m doing two things to help with that: clean up the street and pray for our city. People are floored. Most of the time people thank me for cleaning their street. Many ask about our church and what the name of it is, sometimes asking if I have a business card I could give them. One time a guy went back into his house, got a trash bag and joined me for a bit! Serving is a great way to spark curiosity, especially when its in their neighborhood. And sometimes I end up praying for them – either after the fact or right there on their sidewalk. (If you choose to try this I highly recommend using gloves.)
5. Or you could pray with a bowl on top of your head. That would be extremely creative.