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Discover the Joy of Prayer Walking

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It is amazing what a prayer walk can change…

When it comes to prayer, God invites us to come boldly before His throne. (Hebrews 4:16) Believing hearts come. They come assured of His love and convinced of His infinite power. But sometimes believing hearts struggle. We may struggle to find “the right words” or to find any words at all.

Yet in our sincere desire to know God, He has a way of merging our desire with His determination. I experienced this firsthand when 2020 began.

The announcement of my state’s lockdown cleared my calendar of gatherings, large and small. But the space made room for something new and needful. It radically changed my prayer life. Maybe you’re reading this article because you’re looking for prayer walk ideas to create something new in your prayer life too. But finding something new in our prayers may not be the way God speaks. It may be the way we listen.

prayer walk quote with dirt road in background

Worry Less but Pray More

One day, I came across Psalms 27. It was really God coming to me. It reads,

“Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming” (Psalm 27:7-8 NLT).

So, I came. Maybe it was a sense of urgency driven by the pandemic or the need to get outside. But I began to prayer walk daily.

At first, it was the fresh Carolina air that drew me out into the sunshine. But eventually, the appeal was unmistakable. It was the endearing presence of God. Day by day, step by step, He drew me into deeper intimacy with Him and I discovered the joy of prayer walking.

What is a prayer walk?

Although prayer is simply talking with God, a prayer walk adds a different dimension. It is more than going for a walk through a park or neighborhood. The ways and wonders of this prayer approach may be unique to each person.

However, as I talk to other prayer walkers, many of us sense a deep awareness of God being with us on every step of life’s journey. Our focus reflects our desire to walk in God’s purpose and plan as we commune with Him. In fact, Scripture provides examples of how walking can help us experience God’s presence and power.

In Joshua 6:1-20, God instructed the Israelites to march around the city of Jericho to gain victory over their enemies and gain access to the Promised Land. Once every day for 6 days they blew trumpets. On the 7th day, they walked around the city seven times. After a long trumpet blast, the Israelites shouted and Jericho’s walls collapsed.

Until the 7th day, they were not to make their voices heard. (Joshua 6:10) But even a silent focus on the Lord is a powerful way to experience His presence.

Walking is used more figuratively in Galatians 5:24 ESV, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” Christ-followers are called to keep pace with the Holy Spirit’s direction for our lives. (John 16:13-15)

We can pray in any position to commune with God. However, if we are physically able, a walk outdoors can become an exercise of recognizing what God communicates through a gentle breeze, a bird in flight, or a rugged path.

If we are limited in our mobility, sitting on a porch or near a window may be another option to observe Him in His creation. His grace is sufficient to meet us where we are, to provide what we need. As we “keep in step” with the Spirit, He gives us a guided tour into the Father’s will.

prayer walk tee shirt
Amazing shirt for a solo or group prayer walk- by MarsDeeCals- click to see more!

What do you do on a prayer walk?

I want praying to be like breathing.

I’m grateful for the exhale of confessing my sins and worries and the inhale of God’s grace and wisdom. I welcome them to flow freely between my heart and His. Some days the flow is stifled by a burden I bear until I realize prayer’s gift of release.

I thank God for His presence and His desire for how we will spend our time together. My route is often the same. It may be a walk through my neighborhood, around the perimeter of my home, or on a nearby path. As you find a place where you feel safe and unhindered, here are some suggestions:

  1.   Have a scriptural focus or specific concern in mind. Begin praying by acknowledging who God is, confessing any sin, and receiving His forgiveness. (1 John 1:9) Continue to pray for what’s on your heart. Contemplate God’s goodness, power, and love.
  2.   Consider walking in silence at times. It can heighten our ability to sense God in our surroundings. Meditate on a bible verse. Take a moment to pause to ponder its meaning. Is there something in nature, like the warmth of the sun, that conveys a biblical truth?
  3.     If you’re on a prayer walk with a group, talking with each other should be limited or avoided. Conversations can drift and the chatter may be distracting to others.
  4.     If you’re not using the method of silence, using earbuds to listen to praise and worship music or a Scriptural meditation can help set the atmosphere. Audio Bible readings are also helpful.
  5.     Focus on the fruitfulness of your time with God. (John 15:1-5) What do you sense Him saying? Is your trust in Him deepening? Is your obedience to Him growing?
  6.     Enjoy God’s presence and His awareness of your cares and concerns. (1 Peter 5:7) Grow confident in His power. With Him all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
  7.     Consider journaling when you are done with your prayer walk — even if it is just one word or a few lines. This provides points of reflection for answers to prayer and indications of our spiritual growth.

Prayer walk ideas infrographic

Different Types of Prayer Walks

Over the years, I’ve participated in a variety of prayer walks. Sometimes it is done by an organized group. There is always a scriptural focus such as unity among believers, renewal or revival of a neighborhood or city, or safety for a school. Group prayer walks are conducted on a certain day and time for a certain length of time.

We can also complete a prayer walk with a partner. Each person takes turns praying. They may pray for the other person’s prayer requests or an agreed-upon topic. Of course, individual prayer walking is an option as well.

However, all these approaches become a transformative experience as we focus on Scripture and rely on the grace and power of God in Christ. We may meditate on one verse or focus on a theme, like God’s love, protection, or wisdom.

Prayer Walk Station Ideas

Prayer Walking stations provide great focus on a group prayer walk or retreats. Here are some suggestions:

  1.     Use the “I Am” Statements of Jesus (one statement per station): “The Bread of Life” (John 6:35), “The Light of the World” (John 8:12), “The Door” (John 10:9), “The Good Shepherd” (John:14-16), “The Resurrection and The Life” (John 11:25-27), “The Way, The Truth and The Life” (John 14:6), and “The True Vine” (John 15:1-3).
  2.     Use the ACTS prayer acronym (one theme per station): Adoration (Matthew 22:37), Confession (1John 1:9), Thanksgiving (1 Thessalonians 5:17-19) and Supplication (Philippians 4:6).
  3.     Stations may also consist of specific topics when praying for a city, church, school or other entity. Each station can have its own topic of concern. Some examples are for “the unsaved,” “protection,” “healing,” “restored relationships,” etc.

Prayer Walk Scriptures

With God’s Word as our focus, God’s voice becomes familiar. Here are some Scriptures for prayer walking inspiration. Unless noted, all scriptural references are in the English Standard Version (ESV).

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

“For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.” (Psalm 56:13)

“Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11)

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” (Psalm 105:4)

“Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming” (Psalm 27:7-8 NLT).

How to Create Your Own Prayer Walk

Using the suggestions in this article, also consider the following: (1) Select a day and time for your prayer walk. How long will you walk? I suggest 5 minutes for beginners walking alone. (2) Will you walk alone, with a partner, or a group?  (3) Is there a prayer focus or theme to consider? (4) Find a place where you feel connected to God. It may be a shoreline or a street. It may be where you live, work, or worship.

How to Organize a Prayer Walk

Start with prayer.

Ask God to take your willing heart and provide a plan. It may be helpful to identify the following:

  1. What is God calling you to pray about?
  2. As you approach/invite others, is there a common concern you share?
  3. Will you pray in small groups, with a partner, or individually?
  4. Will you have prayer stations or a meet-up location?
  5. How will you publicize your prayer walk? Depending on the size of your group, is registration or a city ordinance required?
  6. How long will the walk last and are there additional activities involved? If so, how do the other activities support your prayer focus?
  7. How will you follow up with participants? Is this a one-time event?

Final Thoughts

Developing delight in our prayer life can happen over time.

Prayer walking is only one approach to having a conversation with God. It gets us beyond closed doors and out into His creation where we can see life (and Him) differently.  

It’s important not to overthink this endeavor. Avoid distractions like being preoccupied with who sees you praying, having a “perfect plan” each time, or feeling like a failure (if you struggle to find words or if you don’t sense God). He is there. (Jeremiah 29:12) Embrace His grace. Enjoy His presence. Trust His power and love.

Ready to take other steps of faith in your prayer journey?

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