Have you ever heard of a prayer walk? What is it? What does it mean and how should we do it?
What is Prayer Walking?
Simply put, prayer walking is praying while you walk. Where we walk, we pray, and in our own community a few years ago we walked throughout the community and prayed for those who don’t know Jesus Christ in a personal, saving relationship. It is fine to know Jesus or to know about Jesus but to have a personal relationship with Jesus means that there was a time in a person’s life when they choose to turn away from and forsake their sins (called repentance) and the put their trust in Christ. That is what we pray for when we walk through our cities and towns. That people would come to see their need for the Savior and that they will have the wrath of God on them for disbelieving in Jesus (John 3:36b). That is what we pray for when we walk through our cities and towns.
Why Prayer Walk?
The prayers of those praying while they walk are intercessory prayers, asking for God to intercede on behalf of the lost for God to send them His Spirit to convict them of their sins and to see that they are separated from a holy God by their sins at the present time (Isaiah 59:1-2). Prayer walking is not knocking on doors, handing out Bible tracts, or doing street evangelism. It is simply walking the streets where they know lost people live and that’s just about everywhere. It is the very same mission that Jesus said that He came for; “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Paul wrote “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst” (1st Tim 1:15). If you or your church is not on mission to seek and to save the lost then you are living out the “great omission” instead of obeying the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). Do we care enough that people are dying every day without Christ and that they will spend all eternity separated from God under His judgment (Rev 20:12-15)?
Starting a Prayer Walk
Starting a prayer walk is just as easy as…walking! There is no hard and fast rule when you are prayer walking. You might want to have someone go with you to pray with you, either silently or verbally. You don’t have to have someone with you and neither must you have more than two. Talk to your pastor or the leader of the outreach committee if you have one. If you don’t have an outreach committee, you only have to ask someone to go with you and pray as you walk. Ask others if they’d be interested and then find a map of your community or neighborhood and have different people cover different areas so that the whole town or community can be covered in prayer. As the others cover the streets in the city or town, met together to fill in the areas of the maps that you and others have already prayer walked in.
Is Prayer Walking Biblical?
There is no biblical command to prayer walk. It is not found in the Bible but praying is and the command from Paul in 1st Thessalonians says “pray without ceasing” (5:17) so this would seem to fit nicely into the idea of prayer walking. Prayer is essential for the believer but it is critical to the corporate body of Christ at the local level, which is the church. Jesus said that we “ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). So now we have these two commands telling us that we must “pray without ceasing” and that we “ought always to pray and not lose heart” so why not take it to the streets?
Pray for Open Doors
Paul once sought prayer from the Colossians saying “Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains” (Col 4:3). Paul walked hundreds of miles in his missionary work around the Roman Empire and there is no doubt that he prayed while walking such as for the different churches and for an open door so that opportunities would be provided to reveal the plan of God through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Paul sought the prayers of the saints so that he might be able to proclaim Christ to the lost and said “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should” (Eph 6:19-20).
Paul states that we are all really ambassadors God who represent the King of the kingdom and in 2nd Corinthians 5:20 he said “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” What was Paul saying? God is making His appeal through us and if not us, who? He said we “implore” you which is basically saying he is making a very serious or emotional request of us as if to beg urgently or piteously as for aid to do something and in this case it is for prayer. It is an act of mercy since God had mercy on us.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon.