This article is about a discipline which, when I do it, enhances my life greatly. If you have been on a mission trip or have had missional training, I am sure you have heard of prayerwalking. However, this activity can be refined to fit specific needs or emphasis. The overall concept is the same but I refine it a to personal level with the focus on communion with God and seeking out specific prayer needs. These prayer needs could be my own or the needs of others depending on how the Spirit leads me. So, let’s look at a good pattern for personal prayerwalking 101.
- If at all possible, do this in the early morning… the “cool of the day.” Only, when you hear the Lord God calling you, don’t hide like Adam and Eve did! Ok, all levity aside, we know that this verse in Genesis talks about how God would walk about in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day and He was looking for the ones He had created. There are lots of reasons that it is a good thing to personal prayerwalk early but this one verse of scripture gives “me” a picture of walking with God in the coolness of the morning and listening to Him as he calls for me and desires to commune with me. The morning, before my mind can be cannibalized by the daily grind or the new stresses which may develop later. Do this while you and the day are fresh and less encumbered. Genesis 3:8-9
- Start with a blank slate… what? You know what I mean. As your feet start moving along, do you very very best to completely open up your mind. Empty it of all of the cares of the day and worries of yesterday. Create a blank clean canvas for God to paint upon. This is not easy to do but you must do it. For me, it helps to simply start my walk with a prayer… asking God to help me do this, expressing to Him that I truly want to hear from Him. Quite often I will even say within my spirit or even out loud… “Speak to me Lord.”
- Walk for a while… I walk for about an hour. There are many reasons for this also… like, it is good for your body. Think about it. You are working to remain healthy by exercising your body and you are helping to maintain a healthy spirit by communing with God. Plus, depending on your personal preference, you may want to do as I do and start out by listening to some good Christian music to “get the blood flowing.” After doing this for about 20 – 30 minutes, I switch off the iPod and just get quiet within my spirit to listen for the voice of God. Some days, it is as if I hear God say… “Hey, no music. Just listen to Me.”
- Ask God to give you specific names to pray for… and when you get back home, write them down in a prayer journal to keep up with. Do not be selfish! Yes, if you are struggling with something in your life, you should talk to God about it but deal with it and move on. Spend more time asking Him to give you names of others to pray for and focus more on them than yourself. I sometimes ask God to be very specific and maybe give me 3 names and then I pray for the almost the whole time I am walking. Often, God will not only give me names but also very specific things to pray about… thinks which i would not typically consider on my own. Those are the special days! It is a glorious confirmation to my spirit when later I hear of someone on my “list” who came through a problem and I had specifically prayed for them about that problem.
- Be observant as you go… open up your senses to your environment. What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you see? Etc. God designed and made the world that we inhabit and He, I am sure, would be happy if you appreciated that fact just a little. This morning as I walked through a nearby park, I listened to the rustling of the trees and took notice of the yellow color that is starting to show up in the leaves. I noticed a bright nut which was in the path and I stopped to pick it up and admire it’s simplistic beauty and rich colors. It is in the photo I used for this article, by the way. The point is, forget the world that we usually see and take notice of what God has provided for you… even in nature. This don’t make you a “flower child,” just grateful.
- Be consistent… this is important. If you turn this into a habit, it will be a source of rich blessings. When you first start, you will likely discover that it is awesome! However, after a while, you will have days when you simply do not feel like doing it or it will rain or something. If you will make this a consistent part of our life, in time, I promise you that you will miss it greatly when you don’t get to do it. Going back to the Genesis story, why wouldn’t anyone want to walk with the Lord in the cool of the day? It would be almost like saying “God, I know You want to… but I don’t have time to go walking with you this morning.” Guard your hearts my friends and do not let the reason be because you are hiding from Him because of your sin.
Ok, I’ll wrap this up and tell you that when I do this, my days typically are better and I feel closer to God. It is not always easy to drag myself out the door to get started because I am not as young as I used to be! Yet, when I do this, even if I have to force myself, the steps get a little lighter and the way seems a little brighter. The day is better. God bless you and get out there and just do it. :o)