Do you ever feel burdened for the struggles of your neighbors and neighborhood?
Often times we reserve our prayers for family and close friends, but our neighborhoods need our prayer as well.
Thankfully, there’s a simple — and even fun — way to learn how to pray for your neighbors.
Here are 4 simple steps to organizing a Prayer Walk for your neighborhood.
A prayer walk is a simple and enjoyable way to reach out to your neighborhood and cover your area in holy prayer.
But what is a prayer walk?
It’s exactly what it sounds like: a chunk of time spent walking around your neighborhood — or any location — and praying for the people and places you pass.
A prayer walk is a way to live out God’s command to “pray with ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The act of praying without interruption for a couple of hours can be refreshing and encouraging.
It can put you in tune with your neighbors’ needs and help you to shift your focus to others instead of yourself.
Not only that, but a prayer walk can also be a fun experience and a time of deeper connection with God.
Here’s how to organize your own prayer walk.
1. Choose a location for your prayer walk.
The most obvious location for a prayer walk is your neighborhood, since it’s close to home and most likely familiar to you.
But you can also think about walking through another part of your city, the campus of a local university, a busy park, or a mall.
Decide how long you want to walk and pray, and adjust your route accordingly.
If you have two hours to spare, you can expand your walk to the streets outside your neighborhood. If you’re only able to walk for half an hour, you may want to focus on a nearby park or a few buildings on a university campus.
2. Find a partner or group to join you.
A prayer walk is best done with company! It’s easier to stay focused on praying when you’re doing it together, and if you find yourself in an unexpectedly isolated location, there’s safety in numbers.
Recruit friends, family, or church members to walk with you. Whether you choose to go with just one friend or with a group of ten, you’ll be able to share a unique spiritual experience with your fellow walkers and grow your faith together.
You can bounce prayer request ideas off your fellow walkers or brainstorm ways to engage with the people you meet while you’re walking.
When you pray over a neighborhood together, you’re gathering in Jesus’ name—and He’s there with you! (Matthew 18:20)
3. Research your location together.
Sit down with your prayer walk partners and see how much you know about the location of your prayer walk. It’s important to know what to pray for as you walk!
If you’re planning to pray over your immediate neighborhood, think about the following: what kinds of families live around you? What needs are obvious? What changes have happened over the last few months?
If you’re walking across a university campus, different questions will come to mind: what’s the student body like? What campus ministries exist, and how many students do they reach? Do students at the university confess common struggles?
Identify the needs and struggles of the community you’re planning to pray for, and think about Bible passages that are relevant to that community. Consider writing these down and taking them with you as you pray.
There’s a battle for the souls in our neighborhoods and communities, and prayer is an effective weapon to wield (Ephesians 6:17-18). Make a battle plan and stick to it!
4. Choose a time and get started praying!
Now that you’ve found a prayer group and made your plan, it’s time to go out and pray.
Think about your goals for this prayer walk. Do you want to meet people and pray with them on the spot? Or do you simply want uninterrupted prayer time with your group?
Time your walk to meet these goals.
If you’re hoping to meet people from the community, you may want to walk in the early evening. If you want to get some quiet time in the neighborhood, think about walking in the early morning or the middle of the afternoon.
Ask God for wisdom as you make these decisions, and let Him guide your steps! He loves the people you’re praying for, and He will honor your desire to reach out to them with the message of His hope.
So, what communities in your life need this kind of focused and sacrificial prayer? Pick one and get started planning your own prayer walk!