The Purpose of Prayer Walking
“Prayer-walking” is what it sounds like it’s about – walking while praying. It’s also a certain kind of prayer where we take our intercession out of our church meetings and homes, and into our communities and cities. We are praying beyond our own concerns, and focusing our prayers on behalf of others.
Prayer-walking helps us to uniquely engage with God’s heart towards the people in our city. We are praying ‘on-site with insight’, and asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to us what He is saying over the people and the city in the places where we walk. We can respond to Him right in that moment, and agree in prayer for His goodness and His kingdom to come to that place.
We prayer-walk because:
- We magnify Jesus in the places where we walk, and we focus on who He is and on worshipping Him because He is worthy (Revelation 4:11);
- We connect with the people and communities where we live, taking us out of our own environments and own focus, and providing a more tangible and hands-on experience in which to pray more effectively for others;
- We partner with God’s Spirit to see His kingdom come (Matthew 6:10).
PRAYING “ON-SITE WITH INSIGHT”
One of the benefits of being in the places that we are praying for, is that we can listen and discern what the Holy Spirit is saying, and thus more effectively co-operate with His Spirit in prayer. It upgrades our intercession, and provokes action in our own hearts.
In Psalms 48:12-14 we read: “Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem. Walk around and count the many towers. Take notes of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations. For that is what God is like, He is our God forever and ever and He will guide us until we die.”
We see here the principle of going out into our communities and systematically observing and discerning what is in the environment for us to respond to.
In the book of Nehemiah, we also read of how Nehemiah heard of the state of the walls in Jerusalem, and responded with fasting and praying:
“So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:4).
His burden caused Him to take action, and He went to Jerusalem to inspect the broken walls and burned gates during the night (Nehemiah 2:11-18). He then mobilized the people to come together in united purpose and action, and repair the breaches in the wall.
We see here what can happen with a God-given burden, and a sensitivity to the leading of His Spirit. Pray-walking gives us a heart commitment to our communities, and stirs up prayers that are guided by Spirit-led compassion and love.
As with Nehemiah in the restoration of the walls of Jerusalem, the Lord’s blessing comes in response to our action, unity, and faithfulness, and we see breakthrough and answers because of our intercession.
Each one of us has something to give in ‘building the walls’ in our City through faithful and consistent prayer. We have the opportunity and privilege to unite together in intercession, and cause the kingdom to come and see our city transformed with the power, goodness, and mercy of God.