Another question that comes up regularly is: Why should someone prayerwalk? Can’t we just pray right where we are?
Sure we can. We can pray anywhere at anytime for any reason. But there is something intentional and powerful about prayerwalking. There are many benefits.
- It helps you get into a rhythm of prayer. Prayer can be like music. When you hear music you like, you tape your feet and get into the rhythm. It’s true with prayer, too. The strides of your step help you to get into a rhythm with God.
- It’s one thing to sit in your office or living room and pray, but its quite another to be out in the community that you’re praying for. Prayer is heaven crashing together with earth. When you look into people’s eyes as you pass them on the sidewalk or you see areas of need in your town, there’s a deeper sense of connection to God’s purposes.
- You begin to see things you never would see if you weren’t out praying as you walk. (You see much more when prayerwalking, but don’t think its the same thing as prayerdriving or prayerbiking. There are places for both, but this is different.) You begin to have eyes that Jesus has and see what he sees. It’s great to see what you’re praying for.
- Your kingdom imagination is stirred. You ask questions of God when you see new things. God, what does the kingdom breaking forth look like in that neighborhood? What does the gospel look like in this context? How can the gospel restore that park? How can I join you – quite literally – in seeing your agenda lived out in that family/person/business/organization/park/neighborhood/house/etc? What is your dream for that school?
- It gives you things to pray for when you don’t know what to say. Whatever you look at, pass, hear, smell – pray for it. Neighbors. Neighborhoods. Parks. Schools. Businesses. Churches. The weather. People (whether you know them or not). Whatever comes to mind, pray for it. All the senses should trigger longings and yearnings for renewal and shalom to occur in your community by the power of God’s spirit.
- When you walk you will begin to feel overwhelmed with the amount of needs you see around you – and this is a good thing. Prayer is helplessness acknowledged. When we pray with a spirit of helplessness and desperation we are truly praying. I get overwhelmed by the physical, emotional, mental, cultural and spiritual needs I feel all around me…and the best thing I can do is to tell God. If he’s in control of His world then I place those feelings of being overwhelmed to him.
- Others can easily join you. Invite someone to come with you for 45 minutes or an hour (you’ll be surprised at how quickly the time passes). Do it with your smaller group or your family after dinner. Pray out loud and then when you’re done, stop praying and let those with you pray out loud. When there is silence, pray as you feel led. There’s a special bond when you pray with others for your neighborhood and community.
- It’s good exercise, especially as the weather is getting warmer, it allows for a great excuse to get outside.
- Most importantly, we pray so that the kingdom of God will break in and through in our communities. We pray so that the gospel will be realized and Jesus will become more famous in our communities and neighborhoods