“It has been said, “When man works, man works; but when man prays, GOD works!”
Contemporary prayer walking initiatives, as we know them today, is a relatively new phenomenon. It first emerged in the late seventies but gained greater significance in the nineties as part of Jesus Marches, reconciliation walks and citywide prayer initiatives. It spread quickly, globally, as it became a feature of prayer ministry and mission under the united prayer track of the AD2000 movement. In hundreds of cities around the world, God is helping Christians to pray as they pass through the streets of their communities with great impact and with lasting fruit. We’ve come to use the word “prayer–walking” to describe this kind of on-site intercession.
Prayer–walking involves taking our prayers to the very places where we desire to see God’s presence manifested and our prayers answered. These prayers are intercessory rather than devotional. Prayer–walking is the powerful dynamic of praying on-site with God’s sight. However prayer– walking isn’t really about walking around. Rather it is praying with our eyes and heart wide open so we can take notice of what God may be wanting to do in people’s lives, situations, places and communities. It’s getting nearer to pray clearer. Prayer-walking uses our five senses — sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch—to engage body, mind and spirit to increase the intercessor’s understanding of specific prayer needs.
The principle of prayer–walking, forms the basis of all four types of prayer– walking initiatives.
- Neighbourhood Walks–these are often carried out on a continuing basis, usually by nearby residents.
- Preparation Walks – these are mainly in relation to special citywide events or connected to a concerted prayer campaign
- Saturation Walks–these are directly connected with specific plans to accomplish the planting of new churches or the evangelization in a given area and so are systematic and targeted.
- 40 Hour Prayer Weekends (Strategic Outreaches) – these are a specific 40 hour period running from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon where a city, suburb, or location receives a systematic, concentrated and directed prayer offensive, guided by strategic research having been carried out prior to the event. Teams led by experienced leaders form the bases of these weekends.
Christ is fulfilling His “seek and save” mission in our day (Luke 19:10), and as prayer is ‘front-line’ warfare, then prayer–walking, I believe, is part of that battle. In fact, prayer–walking may be the simplest way for many in the church to seek people, to save souls and thereby see communities transformed for the King and His Kingdom.
Prayer–walking is just one form of intercessory prayer. It compliments all the rest, both inside and outside the four walls of the church, therefore one is not better than the other; we need them all!