Years ago, I was exposed to prayer walking in a foreign country. Until then, I’d never heard of prayer walking. Certainly mobilizing to go half way around the world to do it didn’t match my idea of a hands on mission task. The team leader assigned a book (Prayer Walking by Stephen Hawthorne and Graham Kendrick), and the team practiced in his neighborhood prior to the trip. The main theme of this book was praying on-site with insight.
We learned to notice wheelchair ramps, children’s toys in yards, multiple cars in driveways, someone on their porch or in their yard, a political sign, a well-manicured yard. These and other things were clues for how to pray on-site with insight.
So, what does one pray when prompted seeing a well-manicured yard? You can thank God they care for their property and ask God to help them to understand there is a Creator. Ask the Father to convict them and to desire His beauty in their soul.
Sometimes walking isn’t possible. Prayer riding is just as effective. The speed of the road doesn’t hinder the ability to see clues around you…the speeding motorcycle, people on the side of the road, the elderly driver, the one texting, police driving by… As you begin to make it a practice, you’ll find there is no end to what the Spirit will let your eyes see, notice, and discern. For example, you may pass a crash. Ask God to bring peace to the situation and to give all involved wisdom. Pray for anyone who doesn’t know the Lord to cry out to Him to be saved.
A few times a year, I try to take the ladies of Buried Treasures Home on a Prayer Ride. Our time is more structured because I’m trying to bring awareness to them of how they can pray for their community in the future. This structure is useful if you’re trying to teach children or adults the importance and give the awareness of praying for their city.
This is what I do for a scheduled prayer ride:
- I google how to pray for local churches, government offices, police and fire stations, your local shopping center, nursing homes, etc.
- I make copies of these ideas and pass them out in the van before we leave.
- We pray before we leave the property for God to help us see with spiritual eyes and to teach us what to pray.
- I drive to the first destination, park in a place out of the way, but where we can still see it. Different ones individually pray out loud and when we’re finished we drive away to the next destination.
5 reasons to prayer ride or prayer walk:
- It opens the way for God to work. Evil is prevalent even in the most charming places. Ever since the Garden, evil has desired to interfere and disrupt all that is good on this earth.
- You get to pray for where you live! It’s where God has planted you. Caring for your territory and the geography you occupy is deeply connected to stewardship. Other than voting in the elections and your involvement in your local church, I know of no better way to be a good citizen.
- It gives you a sense of ownership for where you live. You are part of the solution for your neighborhood or your town to be protected from evil and to succeed. Our neighborhoods and towns belong to us, God’s people.
- Prayer is powerful, and praying for where you live gives you hope. Your spiritual eyes are opened and you care for where God’s placed you. Even if you don’t see an immediate answer, I believe evil is thwarted because of prayer.
- Your love for humanity will bloom. We all grow cold and aloof to this dark world and praying in this way softens your heart for all people.
Consider doing this. The next time you have your children or grandchildren in the car, tell them to look around and tell you what they see. Turn their observations into prayers. As you go to work, or run errands, keep your blood pressure down in traffic by praying aloud in your car for those around you.
Prayer is a quiet activity, but never doubt the power of your prayers. You are God’s secret agent in your community. Let prayer be part of your everyday life and watch God work while you pray on-site with insight.
Prayer walking is an intriguing concept. The general idea is that instead of moving blindly from one place to another, you spend your walking looking at what the world is actually doing around you. As you observe more closely, you see things, people and even areas to be prayed for, and pray for them as you walk.