Prayerwalking has been part of Christian
heritage for many centuries. The British countryside has many long distance paths
used by monks and other travellers from one cathedral city to another. The bible links
walking with God's promises on several occasions : Noah is described as "walking with God", Abraham was told to walk the land, for "I am giving it to you." Joshua was told "I
will give every place where you set your foot as I promised Moses" (Joshua 1:3) The prophet Micah declared "All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, we
will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever." (Micah 4:5)
Prayerwalking has been a powerful spiritual tool in the Christian toolkit for generations.
Prayerwalking today still has the power to take our prayer out into the territory around
us. Just as many British churches had an ancient tradition of "beating the
bounds", during which they would be laying claim to their parish for God, so too,
prayerwalking today can claim territory for Christ.
Developing the habit of prayer walking enables us to see our
neighbourhoods as Christ sees them, and allows us to offer up prayers for things we see.
This can take a range of approaches from individuals praying as they walk around the
parish, to structured prayer campaigns for particular streets and homes. Prayerwalking can
also give us insights on the spiritual climate of our towns and cities as the Spirit
provides insight as we walk the streets. Such insight can have a powerful effect on our
mission and ministry strategies.
Another purpose of prayerwalking is personal
time with God (see our book recommendation below). Just as Jesus withdrew to lonely places
to pray (eg Luke 5:16), we can often find a unity with God in the beauty of his creation.
For some, trying to pray alone in the house can be difficult when the mind wanders, and
other distractions take over. Out in open spaces, the eye is caught by fresh new elements
of God's creation and can bring the mind back to prayer.