|One of the most exciting “new” ministries many churches are discovering is the ministry of Prayerwalking or PrayerJourneying. It is as simple as going to a specific place, walking (or driving) through the area (neighborhood, downtown, etc.), and praying. Someone has defined it as “praying onsite with insight.” So many have experienced a newness in their praying and in the ministries of their church or mission through this simple tool.
When we look into Scripture we find that it is really not so “new” after all. The twelve spies could have turned their mission into a Prayerwalk if only they had believed God – Joshua and Caleb certainly did. The two spies that went into Jericho experienced the working of God in their walk through town and saw Rehab and her family begin to follow the Lord God.
When we turn to the New Testament, one of the clearest examples of the Holy Spirit leading in a Prayerwalk is seen in the life of the Apostle Paul. In Acts 17, Paul arrived in Athens after being kicked out of Thessalonica and the Berea. While he was waiting on some of his ministry companions to join him, he walked through the city. As he did this, the Spirit of God led him on a Prayerwalk. Acts 17:16 says that as he walked about he was greatly distressed, his spirit was stirred in him, he was being provoked by all the idolatry he was. He took advantage of every opportunity to share the message of the Messiah Jesus in the synagogue and he spoke day after day in the marketplace. Then, he was invited to speak to the philosophers at the Areopagus. That is where we hear him tell about his Prayerwalk. Look at his comments. In verse 23, he mentions walking about carefully observing the objects of their worship. He found an altar to an unknown God and began to tell them about this God that he knew. Some who heard believed and joined with Paul (a word meaning to join wholeheartedly, to stick like glue), some sneered, and some wanted to hear more later.
It is the same with us as we go about in ministry. If we will Prayerwalk where God has placed us, He will give us opportunities to get the message out and we will find some who will join with us, some who will sneer, and some who are open to hearing more later. So, where do we start? I’m glad you asked…
START by Prayerwalking Your Church. How? Pick a time and gather together where you meet together for your worship services each week. This can be with a few or many. Start at the pulpit and pray over that area, praying for the preaching of the Word, for wisdom in leading the people God has in that place. Go from there to the surrounding platform and pray for all the worship leaders, for the instrumentalists and singers. Then go to the pews or chairs and pray over the congregation. From there, go to each Sunday School room, the nursery, the area where children meet, and where youth meet. Then go onto the parking lot and the church grounds praying over each area, asking the Lord to make His ministries effective in this place with these people for this time. Think of it as praying in concentric circles with the pulpit at the center of the circle. The message of God’s heart from His Word is central to all we do.
THEN, go out from there. From the church grounds or meeting place, go into the neighborhoods around the church. Go to the elementary schools, middle and high schools, businesses, offices, etc. in your area. Pray over them, around them, lifting up the leaders and followers in education, business, government, and recreation. Pray for other churches in your area. Ask God to move in their midst, to make them faithful messengers of the Word of God, of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
AS YOU GO, look for ways God wants to get the message out. Look for opportunities – open doors for the Word. Pray for open doors for His Word in the place God has placed you (Colossians 4:2-4). Jesus said in the Great Commission, “As you go make disciple…” Prayerwalking is a good way to start and your church is good place to start!!