Prayer Walks Praying for Neighborhoods

Prayer walks are done while walking alone or in groups.  In neighborhood or town prayer walks, you pray as you walk, usually silently, asking God’s help, presence or protection for people in the homes, businesses, schools, churches etc. you pass while walking.

How to do this prayer practice:

This is a very simple prayer practice and it can be easily done in a number of ways.

1.  Incorporate praying into a walk you already take.

If you are already taking walks around your neighborhood, you can decide to incorporate this practice into your routine by silently praying over the families and homes you pass.

2.  Set a special destination.

If you want to pray for a particular community location that’s on your heart, such as schools,  churches or the town hall, you can either do one-time prayer walk at these locations, or set up a routine of walking there to pray on a regular basis.

3.  Walk naturally.

While praying, there’s no need to take on any particular posture that tells others you are praying.  Simply walk and talk silently with God.

4.  Open your eyes and ears.

Open up your senses of sight and hearing to God to help guide you on things to pray about.  We might see things that help us better pray for others, such as seeing children’s toys in a front yard might prompt us to pray for the well being of the children in the home.

5.  Use your own prayer style.

You can pray spontaneous prayers, or you can memorize Bible verses or prayers written by others to pray as you go.

My personal experiences and tips:

I have personally done prayer walks in a number of different ways.  Once I walked with a prayer partner around newly purchased church property.  Another time I walked with a prayer group through the halls of the church to pray silently.  I have also done this walking by myself through my neighborhood.  And I have done a city prayer walk while chaperoning a youth mission team.  They took us to a place where many tourists gather and we walked around silently praying for the people we saw.

How to fit this prayer idea into your schedule:

This prayer idea is great for a busy schedule because you can multi-task and get needed exercise while praying.  You not only finish physically stronger but also spiritually refreshed and with a deeper sense of care for and alertness to those around you.

The Biblical origins and traditional roots of this method of prayer:

The book of Pslams contains a collection of songs/prayers/praises called Psalms of Ascent that Jewish pilgrims used when going on the road up to Jerusalem for religious festivals.  (see Psalm 120-134)  For example, Psalm 122 uses the imagery of walking in verse 1 and 2 “I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’  Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem.”  In verse 6-9 we can imagine the Psalmist on the road seeing the city and saying in prayer, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.’  For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’  For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity.”

Copyright Karen Barber 2011.  All rights reserved.

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