Prayer-walking involves taking our prayers to the very places where we desire to see God’s presence manifested and our prayers answered. Prayer-walking is the powerful dynamic of praying on-site with God's sight.
Prayer-walking uses the sights, sounds, even smells to engage both body and mind in the ministry of prayer.
Joshua and Caleb walked throughout the Promised Land with a desire to see it as God saw it. They walked in godly vision. In identifying enemy powers, do so in the context of the vastly superior power of God. We need to be aware of the enemy BUT in awe of God – seeing things as they really are not as they appear to be (II Corinthians 4:18). There were giants in the land and cities with great walls, but Joshua and Caleb 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)
In Nehemiah we see a person with a God-given burden and a sensitive heart. Before Nehemiah ever set foot in Jerusalem, the Scripture tells us he wept, mourned, fasted and prayed for the city (Nehemiah 1:4). When he finally arrived, his eyes saw the rubble, the burned city gates, as had others before him. However, when a person with a God-given burden and a God-sensitive heart saw them, things changed!
ATTITUDES OF PRAYER-WALKING
First of all, realize that we prayer-walk before the throne in an attitude of worship. Exalting Jesus, magnifying God from the very place(s) where we stand.
Worship fosters faith inside us because worship focuses on the character of God. Three elements that should be a part of our prayer-walking worship experience are, (1) thanksgiving, (2) praise and worship, and (3) repentance. Thanksgiving is how the psalmist says we are to enter God’s presence (Psalm 100:1). When we exalt in our Lord and lift Him up, Jesus is lifted up (John 12:32). Demons tremble at His name! (James 2:19)
Like Isaiah, as we truly see God for who He is, our response is one of unworthiness, a broken and contrite heart before God. God will not turn away from a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17). We cannot repent for others, but Daniel and many others expressed a humble attitude of repentance before God on behalf of the people (Daniel 9:2-19).
Second, we prayer-walk amidst the evil powers with prayers of warfare. All people belong to the kingdom of Satan until God sets them free. We need to understand that the enemy has blinded the minds of people, so they are not able to see the light of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4). Jesus is the light of the world and has defeated Satan. (I John 3:8)
Third, we prayer-walk throughout the community of people with prayers of blessing. We can pray blessings of peace upon families, dorms, offices, etc. We can pray prayers that welcome Jesus to our campus/city in all His love, forgiveness, healing and cleansing. We can pray that God would be honored, adored, lifted up, revealed and praised by name among the people of the community.
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.”
SOURCES OF INSIGHT FOR PRAYER-WALKING
We can get insights for prayer-walking through impressions that come by way of our natural senses. The Holy Spirit will use sights, sounds, and smells to flood your awareness and prayers with significance. As you prayer-walk look for signs, posters, graffiti, carvings, statues, buildings, etc. that give you ideas of things for which to pray.
We can receive further prayer-walking insights through investigation and research. Use a spiritual mapping guide that lists thought-provoking questions about your city’s secular history, its religious and Christian history, and also your city’s demographic layout.
We can also gather prayer-walking insights through things the Spirit of God divinely reveals to us by inspiration. That is, God’s Spirit giving information that only He could reveal. One of the gifts of the Spirit is the word of knowledge (I Corinthians 12:8). A complimenting gift is a word of wisdom, which can give you guidance in how to respond to a divine insight. Walk sensitively!
FOUR AIDS TO EFFECTIVE PRAYER-WALKING
First, pray scripture. Carry a copy of God’s Word with you as you prayer-walk. Read it out loud. You can take turns, one reading a verse and then another prayer-walker praying a pray based on the content of that verse. Then proceed on to the next verse and so on. Base your petitions and praise on selected passages, i.e. Paul’s prayers, etc.
Second, pray in obedience to the Spirit’s leading. Learn to recognize and respond to His voice as you prayer walk. God’s Spirit may even direct you with ideas of prayer gestures, i.e. kneeling down, joining hands in unity, etc. Be obedient.
Third, focus on Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. It is most strategic to lift up Jesus for He said, “As I am lifted up I will draw all ... to me.” (John 12:32)
Fourth, don’t quit your prayer-walking effort too quickly. Persevere in prayer! The Scripture makes it clear that Satan was defeated at the cross (I John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14-15). We must press the battle until we see in the physical realm what God has shown us to be His desire in the spiritual realm.
PREPARATION FOR PRAYER-WALKING
In your preparation to conduct a prayer-walk, there are four bases you need to cover. The first is to be sent by God. Ask God to open a door of opportunity for you to involve yourself in a prayer-walking adventure.
You also need to seek Him for a fresh cleansing and covering in your personal life. Any servant of Jesus who poses a serious threat to the powers of hell will be targeted and will encounter resistance. The believer must stand guard through prayer, praying over himself/herself, family, church, and work of the Lord. One lady prayed, “Protect us from dangers and enemies, seen and unseen.”
Next, seek God’s guidance on where you should walk and what you should pray for. Be reminded that God’s heart is filled with a deep love and an intimate knowledge of each one you will pray for, whether they are known or unknown to you. As you seek Him, He will guide your steps and direct your prayers.
Last, plan your walk. Give some thought to organizing your effort. What prayer-walking routes will be covered? Will your prayer-walking time be focused around a special event? Will you be breaking a large group up into smaller prayer triplets? Do you want every group to use a predetermined scripture passage(s) for the prayer-walking time? Etc.
BENEFITS OF PRAYER-WALKING
One of the awesome things that happens in the hearts of those who consistently prayer-walk their campus or community is that they find their heart becomes committed to the places for which they have prayed. Doesn’t it make perfect sense: A Spirit-tenderized heart, sensitized to a Spirit-directed need, results in Spirit-filled acts of compassion.
Prayer is “front-line” warfare. It is the ultimate weapon in our “struggle ... against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in high places.” (Ephesians 6:10)
Richard Trench, archbishop of Dublin, was reportedly confronted by a skeptic who questioned his testimonies of answered prayer. “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!”
It has been said, “When man works, man works; but when man prays, GOD works.”
Excerpted from Campus Prayerwalking: Forerunner to the Miraculous!
Ty Silva is Campus Coordinator for Asia Pacific Campus Challenge (APCC).