What is Prayerwalking?
By Dr. Kevin Meador
Prayerwalking is moving your prayer closet or prayer meeting outside the four walls of a building. Many times our prayers wobble between trivial matters of our own selfishness and topics of remote interest. However, prayerwalking focuses believers on the real needs, the real hurts, and the real concerns of their community. As believers prayerwalk, God gives them a heart for people and their needs. It enables believers to intercede with power for people in their cities and communities.
Prayerwalking is defined as “praying on-site with insight.” It is an active strategy that calls Christians to identify targeted places and then physically move about those premises to cover them in prayer. It is praying in the places that you long for God to work. It is moving outside the four walls of the church and praying on city streets or roads for the people and places around you. When you go on the scene, different sights, smells, and sounds will prompt you to pray in ways that you would probably never think of if you were to pray from a remote location.
There has been an explosion of prayerwalking in the last twenty years. Prayerwalking does not have a father; no one person can be identified as the founder of the movement. One cannot find an original prayerwalker who devised the idea years ago. There has been a mutual sharing of ideas, but God has apparently authored the idea in the hearts of many of the pioneers who have quietly gone on with the job and have passed the idea on to countless others.
Prayerwalking is just what it sounds like it would be: praying while walking. Since there are different kinds of walks and different kinds of prayer, we need to have a sharpened, narrow definition of prayerwalking. As defined earlier, it is praying on-site with insight. This definitions reveals that there are three distinct parts to prayerwalking. These three elements are necessary to carrying out a successful and powerful prayerwalk.
The first part of prayerwalking is prayer. It is intercession for people and their needs. While you walk, you call on God to work in and bless the people of a street, a road, a community, or a city. It is the deliberate activity of interceding for others as one walks by their homes or businesses. In prayerwalking, a believer focuses on people and their cities or communities with a specific plan of intercession. The believer calls on God to bless, to save, to change, and to use the people who live in the houses or work in the businesses. Prayerwalking is not occasionally beaming bundles of religious sentimentality toward people. It is directed and focused intercession. This is the strength of prayerwalking. It is quality intercession for people. The best praying is always done on purpose and not as casual happenstance. Quality intercession is not incidental; it is intentional!
Prayerwalking is on-site prayer. It is simply praying in the very places where you expect your prayers to be answered. It is praying in the places where you long to see God work. One can pray as he or she walks by a building or house. There can be exceptions to this. One can routinely break from walking to take a deliberate stance at special spots or station oneself at elevated viewpoints. This is for the purpose of intentionally praying for a place and the people who are there. Whether walking or stationed at a place, you are praying at the place where you desire and long for God to work and to pour out His abundant blessings. It is going to the place and praying where you hunger for God to send His power and His blessings.
Finally, prayerwalking is praying on-site with insight. You can receive this insight in a variety of ways. One way is responsive insight. This is the insight that you receive as you look at and observe the people and the surroundings. When people prayerwalk, they do it with their eyes wide open. By seeing the people, their homes, and their businesses, it floods their prayers with significance. The ordinary powers of observation yield tremendous insights about the best focus in prayer. These insights will refine their prayers and will give a more powerful and sharper focus to their prayers. By having this more powerful and sharper focus in prayer, it will lead to more fervent intercession.
The insight of the prayerwalkers may be researched insight. Before going on a prayerwalk, believers can do research about their community or city. They can therefore understand the problems of the area and the hindrances to the gospel in this area. By doing this, they can develop a prayer strategy that will address these problems and these hindrances. This will allow them the opportunity to pray for solutions and for the removal of any obstacle to the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ Insight on how to pray can be given to the prayerwalker as he or she prays through the Scripture.
Another way that you receive insight during a prayerwalk is revealed insight. The Holy Spirit will reveal specific needs and concerns to pray over during your prayer walking. Because of this, it is crucial that the prayerwalker pray the Scripture as he or she walks. This is due to the person and the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals the truth of Scripture and who enables the believer to pray. As a believer prays the Scripture, the Holy Spirit will grant specific guidance in how to pray for individuals and cities or communities. As a believer saturates his life and prayers with the Word of God, the Holy Spirit can and does grant specific promptings to pray for a city or community and its individuals. Praying the Word of God opens your ears to listen to the prayer guidance of the Holy Spirit. The will enable the prayerwalker to pray more specifically and more intensely.
The insights gained through prayerwalking can lead to powerful intercession for a city or a community and its people. These insights will enable the believer to seek God to deal with the problems and the barriers to the gospel so that God can be glorified by the advancement of His kingdom and the transformation of lives in cities and communities. These insights blend together to fortify prayer with a starkly relevant authenticity. It is no longer prayer as usual. This up-close and personal prayer becomes an adventure.