If we want to see God show up and show out we have to be willing to get out of the way. We are a culture that ‘plans’ everything and then asks God for His approval.
But I believe that if we are going to see God move beyond our abilities or our plans, we must start with one very powerful thing. This is called PRAYER! Prayer is not ‘plan B’ or an afterthought. Prayer should be our ‘plan A’. It should be where we start with everything we do.
There has never been a mighty movement of God where He did not call His people to pray. Prayer revives the hearts of God’s people as it prepares our communities for God’s word to be spread. As we pray for our communities, we can begin to see a spiritual awakening around us that is prompted by God, not our gimmicks. Prayer allows us to tap into God’s power. Realizing all of this, we can know that concentrated prayer has the power to literally change the world around us. A great way to put our prayers into motion is through prayer walking our communities and neighborhoods.
Prayer walking is putting legs to your prayers. Instead of sitting in your house praying, it puts you into the community where the people are living. This allows you to see the area that you’re praying for and be more intentional in your prayers. You may see kids toys in a yard and know to pray for the kids at that house, you may see recreational items in a yard and pray specifically for safety and protection. Every house you walk by you can pray that God will bring them closer to Him and into a relationship with Him.
Prayer walking makes us more aware of what is around us and helps us see prayer needs of the area on a more personal level. As we walk through the neighborhoods we are trying to reach, we can begin to feel more connected to the area and learn to pray more specifically.
As you’re preparing to prayer walk, I would encourage you to be ready to share your faith at any point during your walk. If you’re praying that people would come to know Jesus as their Savior, don’t be surprised if He gives you the opportunity to share your faith as you meet people in their yards, on the street or on sidewalks.
Also, prayer walking can be combined with neighborhood canvasing. As you are canvasing neighborhoods with door hangers or flyers, include prayer walking as an essential part of this canvasing. God may use the canvasing to bring people to Him, He may use the prayer walking or He may use a combination of both.
There are 3 areas to pay attention to as you prayer walk:
- Before you go:
- Be sure you’re in good relationship with God. Prepare your heart by praying and studying His word. Confess your sins to allow him to use you and work through you.
- Ask God to give you His heart and His eyes for the area. What is it He wants you to see?
- Set a time when you will actually go prayer walking. It is important to schedule it or you will never fit it in. I’ve noticed there is strength in numbers as we go. This strength comes from the encouragement and additional prayer support that comes from even having one more person with us as we prayer walk.
- While you’re walking
- Be sensitive to God’s Spirit.
- Expect God to do something through His power as you walk and pray.
- Pray for People, Marriages, Families, Businesses, Government, Leaders, Husbands & Wives, Children, Civic Leaders, Senior Adults, Churches, Revival and Spiritual Awakening, God’s word to spread, people to accept Jesus as Savior and whatever the Spirit prompts you to pray about
- You can pray out loud as you walk. This is helpful especially when you are with a group. You can also pray silently at times.
- If you encounter people as your walking and praying, you can say, “We’re out praying for people in our community, is there a special way we can pray for you?”
- When you finish your prayer walk
- Celebrate what God is doing and going to do as a result of the prayers.
One last note to consider as you go, EXPECT GOD TO ACT. Our prayers should be based on a faith in a living God who is active in the world around us. When you finish your time in prayer. Expect that things will be different in your perspective, in your desire to see people grow closer to Him, in your hunger to reach the lost and the least around you. Let God use you to be His hands and feet.
About John Herring
I’ve been in ministry for almost 20 years. In that time, I have had the opportunity to serve in a variety of roles including, Student and Children’s Pastor, Worship and Media Pastor, Education/Small Groups Pastor, Associate Pastor, Church Administrator, Missions Pastor and ‘other duties as assigned’ Pastor. Many of these have been within the same church and I have had the opportunity to see a variety of changes and transitions in ministry over the past 20 years. I enjoy coaching, consulting, mentoring and investing in leaders to see them become who it is God created them to be. As I do all of these, I am also in transition from where God had me to where He is taking me and enjoying learning more about Him in the journey. I am blessed to have been married to a beautiful godly woman, Alisha, for 11 years and have 2 amazing kids. I continue to learn more about them, myself and God every day.