The role of the Church of Jesus Christ is to be salt and light within our community. I believe it is time to shine the light and spread the salt where it can be most effective. I am inviting and encouraging each church in the IGRC to participate in a day of prayer walking.
Prayer walking is exactly what it sounds like. It is “praying” as you “walk” around your ministry setting or a pre-designated location. It is prayer that is conducted by individuals and groups on behalf of their neighbors and communities. Some say it is, “praying onsite with insight.”
Prayer walking can be done by individuals, groups, and even whole churches. These walks can be as short or as long as desired. If a person can't walk it physically they can “walk it in their mind,” as they drive the designated location.
The key to prayer walking is to be on the scene without making one. The goal is to walk, as much as possible, unnoticed, as you offer intercessory prayer on behalf of others. There may be times when prayer walks are conducted to call specific attention to a problem or situation affecting the entire community. Each church can choose to set the agenda for their prayer walk.
I am requesting that the IGRC family designate November 18th as PRAYER WALK DAY. Churches and ministries are free to participate in ways that will be beneficial to their setting. Some churches with multiple sites will want to join in solidarity. Some communities with more than one UM church will want to work together as a united witness to our connection.
Before you go out to pray, spend a moment in preparation by taking time to review your plan and by having a brief time for praying and worshipping. I suggest that you begin and end the prayer walk by sharing in The Lord’s Prayer.
Each church is free to organize on their own. I am, however, providing some helpful guidelines for those seeking more direction and clarity.
1. Choose someone to spearhead and organize this event.
2. Decide the type and length of prayer walk that you will conduct.
v What prayer-walking routes will be covered?
v Will your prayer-walking time be focused around a special event?
v Will you be walking in pairs or in small groups?
v Do you want everyone to use a predetermined scripture for the prayer-walking time?
v Will there be designated strategic stops or spots for focused prayer? If so, who will lead?
3. Pay Attention: Walk and pray with your eyes open.
4. Keep on Task: Try not to get distracted in your own chatter.
5. Blessing the Area: As you walk pray God’s blessing over the community.
6. REMEMBER Every Footstep represents a prayer and a door of opportunity for ministry.
7. Be open and ask God to give you Christ’s heart and compassion for the area.
(After the Walk)
8. Debrief and talk about what God has shown you during your prayer-walk.
v Did God impress you with certain needs or lead you to any specific person or place?
v Were there any specific “God moments” experienced?
9. Establish plans for further prayer walks.
Prayer is one of the most effective tools that we have been given to promote change. Let’s unite
in a Conference -Wide effort to do something positive together. If you would like more information, please contact Aletha Warner (Weatherall) at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact your District Office for the designated District Prayer Coordinator.
Bishop Frank J. Beard