What is prayer walking? As my friend Steve Hawthorne (author of the book of this title) defines Prayer Walking as “Seeking God for the city.” It is easy to think one understands this concept simply because it is easily described. That isn’t accurate. There is a depth to prayer walking we need to explore if we are going to benefit from this rich discipline. This is not a complicated notion. At the same time, it is not something that is as easily understood as one might think at first glance.
There are a few, but vital, moving parts to a prayer walk:
We walk, therefore we slow down to hear. There is something powerful about slowing down the pendulum. We notice things at this pace we would never pick up on at a faster pace.
We notice people. We look to see the spiritual condition of people. Our desire is to see what is going on with them and more importantly what isn’t going on with them. Out of that noticing, we are able to build a conviction about what we ought to be involved with.
We notice what God seems to be doing. God is not always subtle. As we seek him out he speaks to us.
We take notes. God speaks to us as we practice active listening. What we are involved in here is exactly what God has been interested in doing all along—to gain an audience with us.
Tips To Launch:
Just get started. Go out on say a Saturday for less than two hours. We typically go out for a bit over an hour to keep it short and sweet. We divvy up the city into bite-sized pieces. We go in teams of 2 or 3, guys with guys, girls with girls. We quietly walk the areas assigned. We go in an attitude of prayer. We sometimes pray aloud very quietly. We rarely stop to pray because that would draw attention to what we are doing. We seek to be discrete.
Have patience. As you get started, don’t worry about numbers when you go out to pray. Focus more on the quality of those who go out with you and what they pick up on as you venture out. Just a few people doing a prayer walk can be strategic in the long run. They can help you come to the point of seeing clearly what God is up to.
Ask God to give you insight. You will likely see things you have never seen. You will pick up on things you have never noticed before about the people in your community.