PRAY: Prayerwalking: The Secret of My Success
My tongue-in-cheek title makes me smile. Don’t misunderstand. I don’t mean success in material terms. And I’m the least likely person to point to any spiritual successes. The title came to me this morning while I was (you’ll never guess) prayerwalking.
Prayerwalking is in some ways a secret because, except for any neighbors who frequent this blog, people don’t realize I’m doing it. To anyone else, I’m one more homemaker out for her morning constitutional. And actually, prayerwalking started that way for me. I knew I should walk or do some form of exercise every day. When my children were small, I found ways to accomplish that in the house (they still groan about the Stormie O’Martian exercise video). But about ten years ago, God allowed me to start a near-daily habit of prayerwalking. (I say “near” because I rarely prayerwalk on Sunday, and I sometimes miss other days, too).
Prayerwalking was also a secret because, for a time, God kept its value secret from me. I thought I was out there for the exercise. He knew my spirit needed work and refreshment as much as my body did. Before too many weeks of regular walking, I found my mind wandering. Eventually, it wandered to the people and situations for whom I needed to pray. I knew God had called me to be a knee in the body of Christ. I already thrived on multi-tasking. Why not use my exercise time as a time for intercession, too?
I didn’t—and don’t—take my prayer list along with me. I simply walk and allow God’s Holy Spirit to bring people and situations to my mind and heart. I almost always start with prayer for family and close friends or coworkers. But often—as happened today—God lays someone on my heart about whom I’ve not thought for a while. It has become my joy to lift each one before Him. Sometimes He allows me to see a part of the reason I was praying, sometimes not.
I enjoy praying for the people I pass in my neighborhood, too. Those construction workers on the corner don’t realize I’m praying for their safety, their marriages, and their job security. The students headed for the bus stop don’t know I’m lifting them up as they face the challenges of their day.
The success? I have a healthier body and (arguably) mind. I know the heart of God more and more. God has used this time to teach me new things about Himself and about my living, growing relationship with Him. I get to join Him in His work.
And yes, He often gives me a new insight for my writing as I prayerwalk. In fact, as I shared with beginning writers this past weekend, if I’m stuck in a paragraph or passage, I often leave my office and put on my walking shoes. When prayerwalking combines with prayerwriting, God does amazing things.
Have you tried the discipline of prayerwalking? Or has God allowed you to combine prayer with another area of your life? Comment back to me. I’d love to hear the secret of your success.