Prayer walking is taking prayer outside the church building into the communities around us as we become intercessors on their behalf. As you go on this journey, you are participating with God in praying that His kingdom will come on the very streets where you walk, past the very houses you see, and into the lives of the people you pass.
A note as we begin this journey: There is a difference in being a good person and being a righteous person. Many good people pray, but the prayers of good people do not change things. James tells us, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). Righteousness comes from dependence upon Christ (Romans 3:21-26) and overflows in obedience to God (Deuteronomy 6:25). As you begin this journey, please examine your life. Are you a good person or a righteous person? Righteous prayer walkers will change this world.
Here is a good definition of prayer walking: Prayer walking is intercession on location, with information, in cooperation, against opposition, for glorification.
Intercession is the type of prayer that focuses on the needs and concerns of others (1 Timothy 2:1). As you prayer walk, you are specifically praying for the communities, cities, and villages you walk through. As you walk and pray you will be a person of secret influence, interceding in the Name of the Son, in the power the Holy Spirit, to the Father who works where no man can work. As you intercede, you are making it possible for real transformation to take place in the hearts and lives of people.
Couldn’t we just pray at home or in a church building? Yes. But often, the location of your prayer walking is important because you are praying in enemy territory. You bring the very presence of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in the midst of darkness as you walk and pray. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). Therefore, we bring God with us wherever we go. And in such contexts, God often speaks to us and/or through us in unique ways. Prayer walks open the door for divine appointments on location.
Jesus said, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19). Praying in unity with others is of great importance to God. We also pray in cooperation with the will of God (1 John 5:14-15). God’s will is for our world to come out of darkness into his light. When we prayer walk, we pray that his will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-10).
“Satan” means “adversary.” When we prayer walk, we actively engage in a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-20). We take the power and Spirit of God into enemy territory. But our weapons, the Word of God and prayer, are greater than the weapons of the world or the enemy (2 Corinthians 10:4). We go forth in victory and as we prayer walk, we seek victory for the territories, cities, and villages where we pray. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31b).
We pray, not for our own glory, but for the glory of God (Psalm 108:5; 115:1). Not only will people be blessed by your presence as you prayer walk, but God will be exalted through your intercession. So pray that God will be glorified in the deliverance of the people and cities and villages where you pray. “Father, may your name be praised in all the earth!”
Some practical ideas for prayer walking:
- Pray together as a team, in advance, before you break into pairs/groups (if applicable) – pray for each other and for sensitivity to the Spirit to lead your feet, thoughts, and interactions as you prayer walk. Take time to listen for how the Lord would want to lead you. A significant part of prayer walking is listening and following His lead.
- Jesus sent out his disciples 2-by-2. Prayer walk with someone else (groups of 2 or 3 people are often best).
- Stop for more intense prayer as prompted by the Holy Spirit.
- Use Scripture in your prayers.
- Don’t be afraid of silence. It’s ok to walk and pray silently for a time.
- Smile and be pleasant to people you meet. God may be working in their lives. Pray for them and even with them if led and given permission.
- When praying becomes difficult (and it may), admit it to your team and ask them to pray for you.
- Be flexible and pray as the Holy Spirit leads you.
- Write down or share your thoughts and experiences with your team.
- Pray with your eyes open, watching for things that will prompt you to pray. Consider these locations as prompts for prayer:
- Government buildings – pray for uprightness and justice in government institutions, agencies, and officials.
- Houses – pray for stable homes that are built on Christ.
- Cars – pray against materialism and other cares of this world that choke out the Word of God.
- Mosques or other areas of false hope – pray that people will know the One God and his Son Jesus Christ.
- Trees and plants – pray that people will be rooted in Christ and bear much fruit for His kingdom.
- Gates – pray for open doorways for the Gospel.
- Churches – pray that God’s people will be obedient disciples who will make other disciples.
- Hospitals – pray that those who are physically and spiritually sick will be knowingly healed by Jesus.
- Schools – that people will learn about who God is and that people will know Him.
- Universities – that students who know Jesus will be discipled and make disciples of others
Some additional things to consider as you prayer walk:
- Be humbled and empowered by the privilege to pray for and walk among those who, less exposure to the Gospel or real followers of Jesus.
- Review the information that you have on the specific people/place where you will be prayer walking. Ask the Lord to highlight some prayer points as you prayer walk this area.
- There are real physical, social, and spiritual reasons why cities are dark spiritually. We want to pray into these barriers and strongholds, trusting the Lord for breakthroughs based upon His power, goodness, and promises. Ask the Lord to fill you with love for these people as you intercede on their behalf, and don’t be surprised if it’s hard or discouraging. Fix your eyes on Him and let His truth conquer lies that influence you and the people around you.
- Pray earnestly to be filled with Christ’s own compassion and calling: “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’” (Matthew 9:35-38).
- Pray for the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest!
- Review the following key principles present in movements to Christ as further prayer points as you walk (http://metacamp.org/prayer/trail-of-fruitfulness-stop-1-prayer-trail/). Which one(s) specifically grab your attention?
- Extraordinary Prayer
- Authority of Scripture
- Abundant Gospel Sowing
- Intentional Gathering
- Every Member a Minister
- Bi-vocational Lay Leaders
- Small Groups
- Churches Planting Churches
- Urgency of the Task—Rapid Reproduction
- Simply Church
- Enduring Through Suffering
- Signs & Wonders Follow the Word
- Ask the Lord how you (and your group) are to continue to respond, short-term and/or long-term, to the reality literally before your eyes.
Some things God says about prayer: Isaiah 62:6-7; Matthew 7:7-11 (see Luke 11); Matthew 9:36-38; 17:20-21; 21:21-22; Mark 11:22-26; Luke 17:5-6; 18:1-8; John 14:12-14; 15:7-8,16; 16:23-24; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18 (see context); Colossians 4:2-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Hebrews 4:15-16; 10:19-22; James 1:5-8; 5:13-18; 1 Peter 4:7; 1 John 5:14-15; Revelation 5:8 (see context)
Some prayers from Scripture: Psalm 139:23-24; Matthew 6:9-13; Acts 4:23-31; Romans 10:1-4; Ephesians 1:15-23; 3:14-21; Philippians 1:9-11; Colossians 1:9-14