Prayer To Walk in Holiness
What Is A Prayer Walk?
Have you ever heard of a prayer walk? What is it? What does it mean and how should we do it?
What is Prayer Walking?
Simply put, prayer walking is praying while you walk. Where we walk, we pray, and in our own community a few years ago we walked throughout the community and prayed for those who don’t know Jesus Christ in a personal, saving relationship.
It is fine to know Jesus or to know about Jesus but to have a personal relationship with Jesus means that there was a time in a person’s life when they choose to turn away from and forsake their sins (called repentance) and the put their trust in Christ. That is what we pray for when we walk through our cities and towns.
That people would come to see their need for the Savior and that they will have the wrath of God on them for disbelieving in Jesus (John 3:36b). That is what we pray for when we walk through our cities and towns.
Why Prayer Walk?
The prayers of those praying while they walk are intercessory prayers, asking for God to intercede on behalf of the lost for God to send them His Spirit to convict them of their sins and to see that they are separated from a holy God by their sins at the present time (Isaiah 59:1-2).
Prayer walking is not knocking on doors, handing out Bible tracts, or doing street evangelism. It is simply walking the streets where they know lost people live and that’s just about everywhere. It is the very same mission that Jesus said that He came for; “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).Paul wrote “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst” (1st Tim 1:15). If you or your church is not on mission to seek and to save the lost then you are living out the “great omission” instead of obeying the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).
Do we care enough that people are dying every day without Christ and that they will spend all eternity separated from God under His judgment (Rev 20:12-15)?
Starting a Prayer Walk
Starting a prayer walk is just as easy as…walking! There is no hard and fast rule when you are prayer walking. You might want to have someone go with you to pray with you, either silently or verbally.
You don’t have to have someone with you and neither must you have more than two. Talk to your pastor or the leader of the outreach committee if you have one. If you don’t have an outreach committee, you only have to ask someone to go with you and pray as you walk.
Ask others if they’d be interested and then find a map of your community or neighborhood and have different people cover different areas so that the whole town or community can be covered in prayer.
As the others cover the streets in the city or town, met together to fill in the areas of the maps that you and others have already prayer walked in.
Is Prayer Walking Biblical?
There is no biblical command to prayer walk. It is not found in the Bible but praying is and the command from Paul in 1st Thessalonians says “pray without ceasing” (5:17) so this would seem to fit nicely into the idea of prayer walking.
Prayer is essential for the believer but it is critical to the corporate body of Christ at the local level, which is the church. Jesus said that we “ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).
So now we have these two commands telling us that we must “pray without ceasing” and that we “ought always to pray and not lose heart” so why not take it to the streets?
Pray for Open Doors
Paul once sought prayer from the Colossians saying “Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains” (Col 4:3).
Paul walked hundreds of miles in his missionary work around the Roman Empire and there is no doubt that he prayed while walking such as for the different churches and for an open door so that opportunities would be provided to reveal the plan of God through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Paul sought the prayers of the saints so that he might be able to proclaim Christ to the lost and said “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should” (Eph 6:19-20).
Paul states that we are all really ambassadors God who represent the King of the kingdom and in 2nd Corinthians 5:20 he said “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
” What was Paul saying? God is making His appeal through us and if not us, who? He said we “implore” you which is basically saying he is making a very serious or emotional request of us as if to beg urgently or piteously as for aid to do something and in this case it is for prayer.
It is an act of mercy since God had mercy on us.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas.
Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon.
Make Them Your Habit For Holiness
Can Catholic daily prayers change your life? Absolutely! You can develop a fuller relationship with God and live a better life through prayer. You have a better chance at finding fulfillment (to say nothing of salvation!), from daily prayers than from the many distractions bombarding us these days!
Think of all the promises we hear on TV and elsewhere: you’ll find happiness if you buy this car, this book, this exercise bike, or this pill (after checking with your doctor first on that last one)! Yet many times our souls feel as empty as our wallets afterwards.
Developing a good prayer life can really change you for the better. Praying can become a most satisfying routine in many ways. It might not be an easy habit to start at first, but it’s definitely one you won’t want to break! Catholic daily prayers can give you a sense of peace and purpose.
Prayer has often been called “the raising up of the mind and heart to God”. We engage in a literally divine conversation with Him. You get a wonderful opportunity from prayer to strengthen and deepen your relationship with our Creator and with your fellow human beings by praying for their needs as well as your own.
WHAT WE PRAY
There are many great Catholic daily prayers.
Here are some suggestions in case you’re wondering, or need a quick reminder, as to which are good to say regularly: The Lord's Prayer (also known as the Our Father), the Hail Mary and the Glory Be are excellent. The Rosary is an essential prayer that combines these three, along with the Apostles' Creed, as well as the Nicene Creed in a wonderfully meditative way.
Other good prayers include: an Act of Spiritual Communion; prayers known as the Acts of Faith, Hope, Love, and Contrition; the Angelus: the Anima Christi; the Divine Mercy Chaplet; evening prayers; the Guardian Angel prayer; mealtime prayers; the Memorare; novenas; morning prayers; prayers to the Holy Spirit; a Three O'Clock Prayer; prayers of reparation such as the Golden Arrow, and other wonderful chaplets and litanties, to Our Lord, His Blessed Mother, as well as prayers to the Saints.
(In case this list above seems a a lot for one paragraph, an easier-to-read listing of these prayers, along with the others on our site, can be found on our Sitemap.)
In addition to these prayers there are other beautiful ones said by the priest (sometimes with the congregation) in the Mass. (Just as a reminder, you can attend Mass daily whenever possible, not just on Sundays or other holydays of obligation.)In case you feel overwhelmed by all this, don't worry! One of the most important prayers in many ways, the Rosary, only takes about 15-20 minutes each day. Pray what you can when you can.
Feel free also to talk to our Lord in your own spontaneous prayers and other thoughts (good or bad!), about what’s going on in your day. Just remember to keep God front and center in your life.
HOW WE PRAY
The two main types of prayer are vocal and mental. In vocal prayer we use prayers, such as the ones mentioned above, from books. Or perhaps those we’ve written down ourselves. In mental prayer we reflect on God’s word. (Mental prayer can also include meditation on various prayers and readings.)
Note that, as the renowned Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once stressed “In prayer [we] do not do all the talking…we must also listen. God talks to us, more in meditation than in vocal prayer.” The two forms can also be combined and often are, such as in the Rosary. Vocal prayer can help with mental prayer.
Reading can definitely help your mental prayer life as well! Try to read scripture or other devout material whenever possible, even if it’s just for 15 minutes or so, (at least a couple of times each week)!
A good reading list includes:
• The Bible (especially the Gospels and St. Paul’s letters in the New Testament, and the Psalms in the Old Testament).
• Writings by various religious, theologians, or well known lay people (such as G.K. Chesterton or Scott Hahn).
• Books by and about the Saints.
• A book or magazine, such as “Magnificat” that contains the daily Mass readings.
Be careful not to make all your daily prayers requests for favors. Don’t let them sound more “Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie” than “Holy, Holy, Holy.” God wants us to ask for what we need, in accordance with His will. Still, we need to love Him as we love each other, just for Himself, and not think of Him as J.C. Penney.
We should pray with confidence, humility, sincerity (from your heart), attentiveness and perseverance. Note the humility and confidence are not mutually exclusive here.
We approach our Creator knowing we don’t always have all the answers as to what’s best for us. He does! With faith we have confidence that He will provide for our needs, thinking always of what’s best for our souls.
As we say in the Lord’s Prayer “Thy will be done!”
On being attentive, if your mind wanders, let God know in your own words that you’re sorry if you can’t concentrate but you’d to pray anyway. If you find your prayers are on “auto-pilot,” slow down and try to focus on the words of each prayer and what they mean to you.
WHY WE PRAY
Archbishop Sheen also once answered the question of why we pray “because we are orchestras and we always need a tune-up.” He understood the importance of prayer in recharging our spiritual batteries, as it were. Catholic daily prayers give us vital spiritual strength.
As the Rev. Raoul Plus once put it, we pray to God “to adore Him, to thank Him, to implore His pardon, and to ask for His benefits.”
Here’s a good way to remember why we pray to God: The Christian who lives well ACTS well. We pray:
• In Adoration of Him.
• With Contrition (sorrow) for our sins.
• In Thanksgiving for His blessings (especially the little things we take for granted).
• In Supplication (in other words, in “petition,” in our requests for ourselves and others).
(These have also been listed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as adoration, petition, intercession, thanksgiving and praise.)
WHERE WE PRAY
You can pray in church (someplace quiet is best!) or anywhere else that seems appropriate, either alone or, whenever possible, with others. (You might have heard the saying “The family that prays together stays together.”)
As Catholics, our most important form of “group prayer” is the Mass, mentioned earlier. The Rosary is often said in groups as well. You might want to join a prayer group in your parish for the fellowship and the opportunity of sharing a truly divine experience. (Remember that these are our Catholic daily prayers!)
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