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Issue No.116
22 July 2018

Prayer walking for beginners

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Pat Brooks guides us in how to pray on site with insight

 

PRAYER WALKING, YOU COULD SAY, IS JUST PRAYING AS YOU WALK AROUND AN AREA. One way I describe prayer walking is 'praying on-site with insight'. Walking with God at and in a particular place; not taking God somewhere, because God is there all the time, rather God taking us. You can walk and pray on your own. I do this around the village where I live, but there is strength in doing it as a small group, gathering together for a purpose. But don't aim for big groups, two to four people is probably enough - less likely to cause a blockage on the pavement, too!

As you walk, think of the houses, buildings, or open spaces you pass. Who lives or works there? Who uses this space? You may have heard that someone is ill or has died in that street, so spend time praying for the family, if you know them, or the household if you don't. Schools, hospitals, the doctor's surgery are good areas to focus on, places where many people congregate, plus shops and businesses, fi re and police stations. Notice where the young people hang out and the old people's home you'll be passing.

Pause and ask, "how do I see the heart of God for this place?" Is God placing issues or needs on your heart as you walk around? For me prayer walking is a low-profi le affair. The aim is to 'be in the scene, without making a scene'! Your prayers can be audible, or silent, but keep your eyes open as you move! If praying aloud then use a quiet, conversational voice and always be attentive to the Holy Spirit. Ask to be led in what to pray for. Prayer is listening as well as making requests.

Pray for God's blessing on anyone you pass. Pray for God's will to be done in the community, "on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). If anyone asks what you're doing, say that you are praying for God's blessing on this neighbourhood, and maybe use that conversation to ask what the community needs. At the end of the walk, share with the group what you learnt and saw that day. How God was present for you during the walk? Pray together before you part.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, you watch over all our comings and goings.
You send good gifts on each and every one of us.
Show us how to love those we live amongst, how to witness to our faith by praying for everyday needs and situations.
Amen