Prayer walking can revitalize a church. At Church Answers, we’ve heard some incredible stories of how a church started a prayer walking ministry and experienced revitalization. The problem is not enough churches are emphasizing this spiritual discipline. Those that do are seeing powerful results.
What is prayer walking?
The concept is simple and can be done with one person or a group of people. You walk a neighborhood with the intent of praying for those who live there. During the prayer walk, you will see people and interact with the neighbors. These encounters are your opportunity to get to know a family and ask if they have specific prayer requests.
Some people in your church may naturally prayer walk on their own. They walk the neighborhood—perhaps for exercise—and pray as they go. For example, I like to run, and I almost always pray while I run. The Holy Spirit works through these prayers, and I believe more churches should intentionally create prayer walking ministries.
Where did prayer walking originate?
The idea of prayer walking as a ministry has existed for a few decades. The origin is unknown. However, one could make an argument that it has existed since the Israelites walked around Jericho. But please don’t pray your neighbors’ walls tumble down.
Jesus’ primary mode of transportation was walking, and prayer was a regular activity. Though the ministry of prayer walking is not specified in Scripture, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Jesus prayed as He walked. The Bible commands us to “never stop praying” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). If you can walk and chew gum at the same time, you can prayer walk.
How does prayer walking help with church revitalization?
The healthiest churches inwardly are the ones most focused outwardly. Prayer walking gets your people moving outward.
- Prayer is the fuel for ministry. Prayer is the foundation of ministry. It’s a great way to fuel up! It’s a great way to strengthen the foundation.
- By moving outward into the community, people physically see the mission field in a new light. You can’t reach your community if you don’t know your community. Prayer walking helps you understand your neighborhood.
- Change can be controversial in the church, but not many people will find controversy in prayer walking.
- As you prayer walk, you will likely meet neighbors and get to know them. Then, once a relational bridge is built, you can ask them about prayer needs and invite them to church.
- The fellowship of prayer walking in small groups can unify all generations. Families can do this ministry together.
The physical movement into the community inevitably changes a person spiritually. Add prayer to this physical movement, and you have a powerful combination.
Is there a resource to help kickstart a prayer walking emphasis?
The Pray & Go outreach program was designed by church leaders to provide opportunities for everyone in your congregation to participate and experience the power of prayer in your community.
Christ’s plan was to provide hope for the nations, and His strategy was to send out His disciples. Pray & Go is an on-demand course that will help members move beyond the walls of the church. Whether your church is downtown, in the suburbs, or in a small-town rural setting, you will see gospel impact in your church and your community.
Start making your spring and summer ministry plans! Prayer walking just might be the path to revitalization in your church.
Posted on March 1, 2023
As President of Church Answers, Sam Rainer wears many hats. From podcast co-host to full-time Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Church, Sam’s heart for ministry and revitalization are evident in all he does.
More from Sam