“Today, prayer walking has become a popular trend. But when my husband Charles and I started (more than 20 years ago), I’d never heard of it. There was no mystery to it. We just did what we’d been doing —taking a walk together. The difference is we put our prayer time into the walk instead of waiting until our walk had ended before praying together.” (Karen O’Connor)
Prayer Walking With Your Spouse
Walking together and praying—what a great idea! It is good exercise AND it improves your spiritual life together. As Jordan Monson writes in an article titled, “Private Prayer Walk”:
“Why not pray outside? Go for a prayer walk. Yes, even in a Northern winter. As the Norwegians say, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”
Now, Jordon is talking about prayer walking as a single person. But what about prayer walking as a couple? You are multiplying your efforts.
So, what is prayer walking? Here’s a good definition:
“A person [or couple] does a Prayer Walk by walking around a neighborhood or place of employment praying silently to God and asking Him to influence the people in that place. To anyone watching you do this, they would think that you are simply walking around. Your eyes are open and you are not talking aloud so it is not disruptive or intrusive.” (From the Crossroads Fellowship article titled, “Prayer Walks”)
Is There a Method?
Now, you can walk together holding hands, carrying a prayer sheet or carry nothing at all except for open spirits. In a Cru web site article (titled Prayer Walking), Ty Silva gives an additional suggestion:
“Pray scripture. Carry a copy of God’s Word with you as you prayer-walk. Read it out loud. You can take turns, one reading a verse and then another prayer-walker praying a pray based on the content of that verse. Then proceed on to the next verse and so on. Base your petitions and praise on selected passages, i.e. Paul’s prayers, etc.”
Author Karen O’Connor wrote that she and her husband decided to take their prayer time together in the morning more, or less, one step forward (pun intended). She wrote:
“We decided to get up an hour earlier than usual and get out of the house where there would be no distractions. We began taking early morning walks and then stopping at a park bench and praying. The practice of combining physical and spiritual exercise invigorated our relationship immediately as we began finding God on a prayer walk.” (From the Finding God Daily article, Finding God on a Prayer Walk)
In a different web site article, Karen gives additional insights, concerning Prayer Walking as a couple. She writes:
“I wondered if we’d feel self-conscious praying aloud in a public area. But soon we realized the joggers and other walkers were as involved in their own routines as we were in ours. We didn’t follow any prescribed method or carry prayer books with us. We just talked and then prayed about whatever we talked about.
“For example, I might mention a concern I had with one of our children or with my mother or a colleague. As soon as I voiced it, Charles would pray. If he shared a dilemma, I’d pray aloud for that. Then we’d take turns praying for our families, our church friends, neighbors, etc. We didn’t go through a list of every name and need. That would take too long. But we did pray for different people as they came to mind.”
What about distractions, as you walk together? Our suggestion is that you just go with it. Look at them as “God opportunities.” See what God shows you to do with each challenge. We have learned to do this. And it’s something that author, Carol Kent learned to do.
Interruptions Can Become Appointments
In her book, Detours, Tow Trucks, and Angels in Disguise, Carol describes one of her days where she felt pounded on by one “interruption” after the other. It did indeed involve detours, a dead engine, and a tow truck. But there were also some very real divine opportunities that happened in the midst of them. She was horribly frustrated but went with the Spirit on that, which came her way.
Now here’s the part that can be relevant to interruptions if they perchance happen while you are prayer walking. Carol wrote:
“The next morning I crossed the street and walked into the garage and asked the service manager if they had discovered what was wrong with my car. He scratched his head as he responded. ‘Lady, we’ve taken your automobile through every kind of test we have. And there’s nothing wrong with it. It runs just fine. We have no idea why you had a problem with it yesterday.
“As I drove to the Ohio conference, God spoke to my heart: ‘Carol, you are My ambassador. Yesterday, I had a lonely, discouraged wrecker driver in Lansing, Michigan, who desperately needed to be reminded that I care about her and I have a plan for her life beyond her present difficult circumstances. You had a little extra time. So I picked you to be the one to pray with her and give her a message of encouragement.’
“I thought back to the day before. I had been impatient, angry, and upset with God. My carefully made plans were interrupted. My precious schedule was being altered by a situation that seemed beyond my control. I was mad at God for allowing my car to have problems when I was trying to do His work faithfully.
“At that moment, I realized that almost every day I have interruptions that are actually God-appointments in disguise. I wondered how many opportunities I had missed in the past because I saw only the interruption. As God Word (in Isaiah 48:17-18) says:
“I am the LORD your God,
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.
If only you had paid attention to my commands,
your peace would have been like a river,
your righteousness like the waters o the sea.“
You never know where our interruptions can become God-appointments. When you Prayer Walk, give God the elbowroom to do what He wants during this time.
Here’s an important point, from the Cru article that is good to remember:
“Don’t quit your prayer walking effort too quickly. Persevere in prayer! The Scripture makes it clear that Satan was defeated at the cross (I John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14-15). We must press the battle until we see in the physical realm what God has shown us to be His desire in the spiritual realm.”
We hope this challenges you, as it has us to take some of these important walks together. It can be life changing for us, as well as those for whom we are praying.
And if you have a spouse who won’t prayer walk with you, don’t let that stop you. Together is best. But being alone with God is nonetheless, great as well. Make the best out of whatever circumstances you are in.
Cindy and Steve Wright
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Filed under: Spiritual Matters