Why Prayer Walk?
A great spiritual leader by the name of Oswald Chambers, once said that, “prayer does not equip us for the great work—prayer is the greater work, prayer is the greater work.”
In Luke 10:2, Jesus lays it out clearly that we pray so the workers may proclaim. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest.”
You are paving the way for the proclamation of the Good News to many people who have never heard. You are part of gathering a great harvest of people whose hearts have already been prepared to receive the truth.
What is it?
Prayer walking (PW) is simply walking while talking to your Heavenly Father. It can be done anywhere you go: a city, a town, a beach, school campus, neighborhood, apartment complex, college dormitory, theme park or rural village in Southeast Asia. Keep in mind, you are asking that His Kingdom come to that location.
How is it done?
Eyes Wide Open: PW with your eyes open using your senses to pray for real needs that you actually see and hear. You have the unique opportunity of praying for real people with real needs in real time and on location. A trendy definition is “praying on-site with insight”.
Dynamic Duo: It is best to have a partner (if in a large group, break up into groups of 2-3). Partners help each other focus. One can pray while the other listens and agrees. One notices something while the other doesn’t. Ideas and prayers can bounce off one another like a conversation. Besides, you’d look crazy if you were talking to yourself in public.
How Do I Prepare?
Is your heart right? Go to the Lord in prayer and make it so. Before going out on a PW you may want to spend some time alone with Jesus to:
- Repent and confess sin
- Read and meditate on Scripture
- Ask for open eyes, wisdom, a compassionate heart, protection, favor and boldness.
- Praise Him for the work He’s doing in you and those you will pray for.
What Do I Pray For? (the “5 H’s” adapted from Dr. Bruce Carlton)
The following is a guide to help you and your team stay focused as you PW. Remember we’re there to be a blessing to the people and our prayers should reflect that. Pray for…
- Open Heavens: Ask the Father to open up the heavens and bless these people in specific areas of need and allow them to see the blessing as coming from Him. (ex: health, employment, etc)
- Open Hearts: Pray people’s hearts would be open to the gospel that they would repent and believe in Jesus. This is a good opportunity to pray out the gospel.
- Open Homes: Pray that entire households turn to Jesus and allow their lives to be transformed by His power and grace. Pray for God to bring you to persons or homes of peace — respond to the gospel in faith and then are used by God to reach a group or community (ex: John 4).
- Open Highways: Ask God to open up highways to unreached parts of your area and that God would raise up laborers to take the gospel to the least reached.
- Open Hands: Ask the Father to reveal to the believers living amongst the community how they can be the hands and feet of Jesus to serve them and demonstrate His love to them.
Things To Remember:
- Its okay of PW feels awkward for a while (or even the first few times). The more you PW the more comfortable you’ll get.
- If part of a larger group, pray together before starting.
- Reinforce the prayers of other team members before changing the subject of prayer.
- Don’t stop after one time through “5-H” guide. Keep going and repeat. God will bring more to mind as you keep praying.
- Feel free to stop for more intense prayer as the occasion or location calls for it.
- Use scripture in your prayer (its okay to paraphrase)
- Don’t be afraid of silence. It’s okay to walk and pray silently for a time (though not recommended for the entire time).
- Stay focused. It can be easy to take in all the sights and let your mind wander. Try to keep this time designated for prayer.
- When praying becomes difficult, admit it to your team and ask them to pray for you.
- Singing can be an effective way to pray and praise.
- Stay hydrated! It’s hot and walking in the heat can be hard on your body. Just keep the water coming and all should be well.
- Refrain from making negative comments about the community or people. Pray compassionately, not critically.
- Try to avoid using “spiritual lingo” (like praying in KJV). Simply talk to God in a conversational manner.
- SMILE and be friendly. You are an ambassador of the King!
Things to Remember (cont’d)
- Feel free to interact with people. Offer to pray for them and then pray. If spiritually interested, use the opportunity to share the gospel with them using the “3 circles”, your personal testimony or another gospel tool you use.
- Be flexible as the Holy Spirit leads.
- Conclude your walk on time especially if a shared time is planned with others.
- If part of a larger group, pray together as a team at the conclusion of the walk.
- Be sure to use the time after the PW to share your observations and report any fruit. This can be a valuable time of learning and rejoicing in what God has done (and is doing).
- Once you have participated in a PW, you have been trained and can plan your own PWs. Be sure to invite others to join you so you can equip them and multiply prayer in the community.
When Leading a Group:
- If there is a local vision be sure to communicate it clearly and encourage participants to pray for the vision.
- Plan ahead. Be sure to clearly communicate:
- where participants are to PW
- a designated meeting location at the end
- a designated end time
- that each person has a way of knowing the time
- emergency contact number
Remember Malachi 1:11 this is God’s mission and He is committed to His glory. He wants to raise up worshippers in this area!