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What is prayer walking?

Prayer walking
Photo credit: Stef Lewandowski (Creative Commons)

When we started a church in the low income housing projects, the first thing we did was to prepare the ground in prayer.

In Matthew 12, Jesus gives an illustration in his defense against an attack by the Pharisees. They accused him of casting out demons by the power of the devil. He replied, "How can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his goods." (verse 29)

Who is the strong man Jesus refers to here? It is Satan or one of his minions. What are his goods? It's the people who he's taken captive. If the Lord leads us to start a church in a certain neighborhood, we do well to prepare the ground by prayer walking.

In Joshua 1:3, God tells Joshua that he will give him every place where he sets his feet. There is something about praying "on site with insight" that prepares the way for the Lord to come.

What does prayer walking consist of? 

  1. We survey the land: When Moses sent the spies into the land of Canaan, he was effectively doing a spiritual survey of the land before they went in (Numbers 13:1-25). We walk the area taking note of anything of spiritual significance and asking the Lord for wisdom and understanding as to what is going on in the area.
  2. We ask the Lord for his plan for the area
  3. We establish a prayer team: Jesus sent out the disciples two by two, praying as they went.
  4. We physically walk the area. As we do so we are praying that God will reclaim the area:
  • We praise and thank God and bless the area and the people who live there. We bless everyone who impacts the area–the police, the education system, etc.
  • We pray for the welfare of the people who live there. In Jeremiah 29:7, the people of Israel were told to pray for the peace and prosperity of Babylon, even though it was the land where they were held in captivity.
  • We demolish the strongholds that are there. Jesus has all authority, and he has given us that authority to bind the demonic powers that hold the people who live in that area. We use spiritual weapons to overcome these demonic powers.
  • We repent for the problems of the area. We are priests, and as such, can pray for the redemption of the people of the area.

Psalm 2:8 says, "Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance and the ends of the earth as your possession.

3 replies on “What is prayer walking?”

Felicity, thank your for this blog, the timing is impeccable, as it generally is when the Lord is involved. 🙂 A friend, that I have been playing tennis with recently, and I decided Tuesday after tennis to go for a walk around the neighborhood and town to prayer walk. I live in a small town of around 1300 people, the tennis courts are in the park right behind my house.
I have not really done any prayer walking since the “March For Jesus” days in the early 90’s.
Today, I went out for another walk alone and took my iPod with my “worship” playlist, and sang to the Lord while walking a similar route.
I intend to keep up the pray walking and worshiping, and your blog tonight kind of affirms to me that I am on the right path. I shared your blog with Rhonda, my tennis partner and fellow prayer walker, I am excited for her to read it and to get her reaction, I’m sure it will be similar to mine.
Thank you and praise the Lord! He is soooo good!!!

Iv heard of and been asked to go on prayer walks before by a local church but I didn’t go because I don’t have much to do with mainstream church because of rules and doctrines, maybe I should of gone and looked at it as if I’m doing it for Jesus not a particular church thou, thanks for posting this and the next time we go on the streets giving out tracts I shall prepare the area with a prayer walk first! God bless

Thanks, Felicity, for the reminder not to just add prayer lightly as if a “cherry on top” but as foundational to mission work. The Lord is preparing me to get ready to move into a new area soon and is bringing much reminders of the significance of prayer as part of the preparatory process.

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