Someone in my church is staging a prayer-walk. What is that?
A: Prayer-walking is the best therapy for tired bodies, tired brains and tired spirits. The combination of fresh air and the Holy Spirit is an ancient recipe for clear vision and peace; often cultivating the rarest of emotional commodities: joy. For those challenged with the need to exercise (aren’t we all since Covid shut down the world??), walking and praying meets two vital activities at once. Yet a corporate, organized prayer-walk may also be a spiritual weapon of war against the scourge of darkness in your particular geography. Since in-person gatherings have been hindered or discouraged, many congregations have scheduled prayer walks in their communities. Every Christian should know how to do it.
Prayer walking is a biblical practice that involves traveling on foot while praying in order to impact a spiritual territory or location with God’s blessing. There are two places in the Bible God shows us our ability to take authority over a certain locale simply by walking on it, through it, or around it (Deuteronomy 11 and Joshua 1.) Think Jericho’s walls, for instance. Spiritually speaking, Christians are empowered to take ground for God because we are filled and sealed by the Holy Spirit when we accept Christ as our Savior. Prayer-walks take that power (the Holy Spirit) and put it to use as we prayerfully evoke God into the atmosphere while we walk. Even a child can participate.
God said to Joshua, “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you” (Joshua 1:3, NASB.) Since God knows all things, past-present-future, he had already decided to give possession of the land to Joshua before the man ever got there. When Joshua arrived, God explained what he had decided to bestow and how it would occur: “Walk on the land,” said the Lord, “and you will own it.” If you continue reading the story of Joshua, the successor of Moses, you’ll find that indeed, God gifted swaths of land to each one of the twelve tribes of Israel who were under Joshua’s care. What was already true in the spirit became true in the natural. We see this often in scripture and operate under the same principle today.
For example: We know that public schools have been a particular target of government shutdowns. In an effort to secure children from Covid19, the overly-cautious authorities withdrew that least-vulnerable population from normal life. Desperate parents and concerned citizens are prayer-walking around these buildings and campuses in quiet troops, calling on our Jesus who cures all things and secures eternal safety—to intervene where our well-intentioned policies have now scarred a generation. When the doors open, or even if the classrooms are now filled, God uses these prayer-walks to blanket the area for his repair and restoration of our students’ well-being.
What a refreshing, spring-time idea for a Sunday afternoon! Gather together under the Bible’s precedent to pray and walk around your neighborhoods, businesses, schools, churches, hospitals…anyplace with a need to be touched by God’s redeeming hand. Just as Joshua did, we claim each particular area for Jesus Christ and a full recovery. In effect, we take the ownership of the geography out of the hands of every enemy and place it squarely in God’s. You could say we make a pre-emptive strike against the Devil’s plans of continued oppression.
Because the Lord loves his relationship with his kids more than anything else, he set up the universe in such a way that when we pray, God takes action. Yes, he operates without human intervention constantly, but there are times he asks us to partner with him in order to bring about a needed change in the earth. Prayer is that partnership. Our prayers, in concert with God’s will, change the world. And we definitely need it.
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