Spiritual Practice: Prayer Walking
This Tuesday, March 20, the sun will cross the celestial equator headed northward, and usher in the first day of spring. For most of us in the northern hemisphere that should signal a great week for taking a walk. I’ve often done my best praying while walking. I like to think of it as Prayer walking. As Donald S. Whitney writes in his book Simplify Your Spiritual Life:
The walking and the weather invigorate my sluggish soul. Looking up into the blue or out to the horizon refreshes my sense of the greatness of God. The sights, smells, and sounds of my Father’s world surround me with reminders of His presence. The cadence of my pace or stopping occasionally to stare into the distance, often enables me to concentrate in prayer more easily than when I’m still and my eyes are closed.
Jesus and the apostles walked everywhere they went. They must have done lots of praying along the way. Here are some things I’ve learned about Prayer Walking and would recommend for you this week:
- Begin your walk by asking the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to what He wants you to see.
- Greet anyone you meet, breathing up a blessing for them.
- Pray for neighbors as you pass their homes; the ones where you know there is sickness, unemployment, loneliness, discord, etc.
- Keep your senses alert and open to any sight, sound, or smell you encounter in Father’s world.
- Allow for silence along the way as you make room for the Holy Spirit to speak.
- Pray for any school or church you pass.
- Remember the basics of prayer: praise, confession, thanksgiving, and intercession.
If you already walk for exercise or recreation, why not turn it into Prayer Walking this week? If you are not walking, how about going for walks just for the purpose of praying?