Prayer walking is simply taking our prayers to the places where we hope to see God work. Prayer walking uses the sights, sounds, and smells to engage our minds and bodies in our prayers. It recognizes the importance of place and our physicality as we talk to God.
Consistent prayer walking also helps our hearts begin to feel God’s love and care for a place or people. The Holy Spirit will often lead us to ways we can engage directly, and join in God’s work of bringing His kingdom to earth.
In the Bible
Joshua and Caleb walked through the land God had promised to their people, looking to see it as God saw it.
They saw the fortifications and power of the enemy God was sending them against, but they believed that, “(God) will lead us into that land … we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us.” (Numbers 14: 8b, 9b).
When we prayer walk, we need to see things through God’s eyes – we need to see things as they really are, not as they appear to be (II Corinthians 4:18).
Identify a place. Where would you like to see “on earth as it is in heaven” in your world?
Find others. Do you have friends, coworkers, or classmates who feel the same way? Ask God to bring people to you.
Start with your own heart. Is there something in your life that’s coming between you and God? Ask God to help you push into that.
Research. What events are happening soon? What are the normal rhythms of this place? What is the history – secular and religious? What are the location demographics?
Build a plan. Will this prayer walk focus on an event, a certain neighbored or demographic? Will you do this once, or build this into your weekly routine? Maybe you’ll want to choose some Bible passages to read through together, or focus on praying about what you see.
Show up. Commit to being there, show up, and trust that God will work.
What to pray
We prayer walk with God in an attitude of worship. We are lifting up Jesus and giving Him honor with our actions and words. Worship also builds faith inside us as we focus on God’s character.
Three elements of worship:
- Thanking God.
Psalm 100:1 says we must enter God’s presence with gratitude.
- Honoring God.
When we acknowledge Jesus’s place as creator and king, He draws people to Himself. (John 12:32).
- Acknowledging our own need and brokenness.
Like Isaiah, when we truly see God for who He is, our response is one of unworthiness and need. Like Daniel, we also acknowledge how we all have a share in the pain, rebellion, and brokenness that surround us. (Daniel 9:2-19).
Jesus’s victory over evil.
Jesus told his followers that we live in a world with spiritual sources of evil, and these are our true enemies. And we fight with prayer, confident that Jesus has already won the war. (I John 3:8).
- Jesus will be victorious in this place and time.
- That people will see through the lies of evil, to find the truth and light of Jesus. (2 Corinthians 4:4).
We pray blessings of peace upon families, dorms, offices and local businesses. We welcome Jesus to our campus or city, asking that He bring His love, forgiveness, healing and cleansing to this place. We pray that God would be honored, adored, lifted up, revealed and praised by name among the people of the community.
Look for signs, posters, graffiti, carvings, statues, and buildings to give you ideas.
Pastor Jack Hayford prayed this prayer of blessing for Los Angeles: “Now Lord, we are the seed of Abraham and we speak blessing upon the people of this community. Let your salvation, healing, deliverance and reconciliation settle over this community.”
Listen for God’s voice through the Holy Spirit and respond. God may also give you thoughts and ideas of what to pray about (I Corinthians 12:8). Using a Bible app on your phone, take turns reading verses about God’s heart for people, for justice, and His kingdom.
Don’t stop praying.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Richard Trench, archbishop of Dublin, was reportedly challenged one day by a skeptic: “Your answers to prayer are just coincidence.”
Trench responded, “That may be. I only know this: the more I pray, the more ‘coincidence’ I have, and the less I pray, the less ‘coincidence’ I experience.”
What places or communities has God put on your heart? Find some people, make a plan, and go!
Check out everycampus.com for a prayer walk guide, and see where others around you have prayed. It is a collaborative venture of multiple ministries to mobilize prayer and gospel movements to reach every campus in the country.