Praying Where You Are: The Philosophy Behind Prayer Walking
Many people pray while sitting or kneeling, but prayer walking is different. It combines walking with talking to God or thinking deeply. Anciently, people went on pilgrimages to holy places, showing their love for God and finding answers to their deepest questions.
Multitudes from all around the world and from many religions do prayer walking. For example, Christians might walk the Camino de Santiago path, while Muslims walk around the Kaaba during the Hajj.
Why Prayer Walking Helps Us Spiritually (And Physically)
When you walk and pray, you’re doing more than just moving your feet; you’re saying to God and yourself that you’re open to guidance. While physically walking, you can also walk a sacred, higher path that helps you be a better person.
Getting Ready for a Prayer Walk
First, choose a good location that feels right and helps you focus on talking to God. Some people like quiet places in nature, like parks or beaches, while others find peace in special buildings like churches or temples. Your neighborhood or school area can also work, especially around parks.
From Places to Intentions
Once you have a place, the next step is setting your goals, or what some call “intentions.” Are you walking to find insight, say thank you, or ask for help for yourself or others? If you know your goals for a specific prayer, it makes your walk more meaningful. Write down these intentions or keep them in your mind as you walk.
Setting the Mind
Before you start walking, it’s good to get your mind ready. Some people do this through deep breathing or a quick, quiet moment, which helps them let go of worry and opens their hearts for the walk.
Prayer Walking with Children
Depending on the temperament and age of children, adapt your prayer walk as you deem fit. Are your children naturally compassionate and notice when others are sad? Do they like to see the bigger picture and ignore the whole aspects of the city? Do they prefer the peace of leafy suburbs, or will busy streets stimulate them? Will they be inspired to pray by places they know or get distracted?
It’s also worth researching facts about the number of schools, churches, or food banks in the city if your children love details and facts. Do your kids like a fixed plan, or are they more of a “make-it-up-as-you-go” type of kid?
In all cases, explain to them that God is always present no matter where you go. A prayer walk is an excellent reminder and a time to be thankful that God is always nearby–even if they’re sad or worried.
If possible, carry your Bible with you during the prayer walk so you can read verses from the Bible and continue to gain Biblical insights. Encourage your kids to pray for others and to be grateful for what God has given them.
Here are a few more ideas you can use for your prayer walk with your kids:
- When you see a mailbox, pray for people waiting for news
- When you see a sand-box or grit bin, pray for construction workers’ well-being, good weather conditions, and safe travel
- If you’re stuck for words and what to pray for, look up a few inspirational Bible verses like Numbers 6:24-26, Ephesians 3:20, and Philippians 4:19. Perhaps you and your kids can write inspirational words from these Bible verses on stones or notes and hide them where others will find them later.
- Look for people who may need a blessing: someone working hard, sad, or caring for a sick loved one, and ask them if you and your children can pray with them.
- If it’s not too intrusive, you and your children could carry grass seeds to scatter in grassy areas, symbolizing the spreading of God’s word.
- Do a prayer walk within your church and pause to pray with various people. Visit your pastor’s study, and pray for them. Also, you and your children could pray around musical instruments and leave little notes in different places that say, “[Name of child, prayed for you today. May God bless you abundantly.]”
Nature and Spirituality: A Perfect Pair
Feeling One with the World
Being in nature also reminds you that you’re part of something bigger. This can make you feel grateful and humble. Trees, animals, and even the sky testify of God.
Lessons from Nature
Nature teaches us about change, strength, and how everything is connected. Many traditions believe that nature is a special reminder of God’s love. Nature walks help you feel part of the larger picture and fills you with awe and wonder. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s time to take your prayer walk to a natural setting.
Prayer Walking in the City
Instead of looking for a quiet forest, think about finding peace right where you are. Cities are lively and always moving, and that’s amazing in its own way, too. Believe it or not, there’s something special in the everyday hustle and bustle.
Setting the Mood
Wearing noise-canceling headphones helps. You can listen to soft music or sounds from nature to help you focus. Also, cities are usually quieter early in the morning or late at night. Those could be the best times for your city prayer walks.
Eyes Open, Heart Open
Walking in a city also lets you see real life up close. Walking by different people and neighborhoods, you can say silent prayers for them. Paired with actions that support your prayers, it’s like giving your city a little gift of love and hope.
So, city life has its own kind of special. With a few tricks, you can make your prayer walks in a city just as peaceful and meaningful.
Prayer Walking for the World
Prayer is powerful, but actions speak loud, too! The best prayers inspire you to act according to God’s will.
Groups of people can walk together in places that really need some love and hope. A neighborhood is going through tough times. Walking and praying there in a particular place can fill it with positive vibes.
Remember, you can even do virtual prayer walks. Everyone prays simultaneously but in different places, like a giant web of good thoughts, stretching across the world.
Solving Problems on Prayer Walks
Noise and Crowds
Don’t let loud noises, crowded areas, or other distractions disrupt your time with God. Of course we seek out reverent places, but prayer is possible anywhere and anytime. Find quiet within your heart gently bring your thoughts back to peace and prayer so that your focus can remain with God.
Body and Soul
Even with how great prayer walks are, sometimes your mind might wander. The best way to get back into the moment is to notice your feelings. One way to deal with a wandering mind is by paying attention to your breath. Monitoring your breath is a healing, grounding exercise.
Remember, it’s okay if things don’t go perfectly. Life is messy, and that’s fine. Embracing the bumps in the road makes your spiritual journey even richer.
By preparing for these challenges, you can turn them into spiritual growth opportunities. So, even when things get tricky, you’ll know how to handle it through God’s guidance.
Prayer Walks for Everyone: Christians and Other Believers
Prayer walks are for everyone, no matter what you believe. Christians and people of other faiths can all participate, enjoying deeper connections with God and finding more peace in our hearts through this spiritual practice.
Walks for the World
Prayer walks can even help bring peace and love to our communities and the world. Walking together creates a sense of unity and hope that can help solve big problems.
By participating in prayer walks, we grow spiritually and help make our communities—and even the world—a better place. So, let’s walk together in faith and love, aiming to bring more peace and healing to everyone.
If you want more tips on how to make your prayer life richer and find related posts, check us out at Church.org!