I remember hearing the story of a friend, Kelly Green, who was working with prostitutes in one of the most dangerous areas of Mexico, Boystown.
“I didn’t have any great brilliant strategies on how to reach Boystown. But I knew I could pray. I moved down here, didn’t know anyone, didn’t know what to do. So I began to prayer walk around the walls of Boystown. Fifteen months, all I did was pray. And I felt like a bit of a failure. My prayers were like ‘God, do you hear this, this time?’ Because I still don’t know the names or stories of anyone who lives inside those walls.’ Fifteen months, nothing but praying? I felt crazy.” Kelly Green
Prayer walking can often seem like a thing crazy people do! But prayer walks aren’t for the spiritually superior, they simply offer the opportunity to talk to God ‘with your eyes open’ – to really see the area that God is calling you to impact. Prayer walking is an important step towards the salvation strategy of your city.
There is something Biblical about walking the land. In the first few verses of Joshua it says,
“After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant: ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the River Jordan into the land I am about to give to them – to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates – all the Hittite country – to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.” Joshua 1:1 – 4
God was incredibly specific about the geographical area he wanted them to have. Which leads me to ask the question: What’s your land?
Most of us have a clear sense of where we want God to show up, I think it’s good to prophetically place our feet all over the land and start to claim that wherever we put our feet that is where we want God’s kingdom to come.
Our physical act becomes a prophetic gesture in preparation of a spiritual reality.
Possessing the land can sound almost colonial and a little arrogant. But it’s not about my land or our land – it’s God’s land, God’s earth. We are just his representatives here on earth asking for a shift in the spiritual and physical atmosphere. We don’t want land so we can impose our ideals of what Christianity should be like upon it, we want His kingdom expressed in His way, in a way that is most conducive to change happening in the lives of the people and lands we love. It is about us as servants treading gently and walking humbly throughout the land asking for our King’s kingdom to be established in whatever way he chooses.
It’s probably better to talk about redeeming the land rather than possessing it. Floyd McClung once challenged me to ‘concentrate on blessing not selling,’ which makes me very conscious of blessing the land, not invading it.
Know your land. Walk around your land. Ask for God’s kingdom to come in your land.
We should be stirred to pray in a way that calls out the good that God intended, bringing out the God colours and God flavours, asking that what God has made would be redeemed. This will keep the whole process of persistent walking and praying a lot more cheerful, it’s a light focussed approach instead of a darkness focussed approach!
Some helpful tips for prayer walking.
- Find out the history of your area, go to historical places and pray.
- Go to gateways such as roundabouts, major intersections, ports and other entrance points to your town.
- Anoint specific places with oil, to symbolically ask God to show up.
- Plant seeds symbolically as you walk, buy a packet and sow them.
- Pray outside hospitals, schools, local government buildings and any other centre of influence in your town.
- Walk in twos with your eyes open. Regroup and change partners as you walk.
- Keep written records of what people think or sense whilst walking,
- Keep bible verses that come to mind whilst walking pray them back to God.
- Find some specific bible verses and pray them over your town.
- If you don’t know what to say as you walk just repeat ‘Your Kingdom Come!’
- Be consistent, do it regularly and be in it for the long haul.
This article was first published on the 24-7 Prayer website http://www.24-7prayer.com/features/2490
About the Author
Brian is National Director of 24-7 Prayer in Great Britain and has been part of the movement since it began. He is a gifted communicator with a passion for prayer, mission and justice. Together, Brian and his wife Tracy pioneered the remarkable work of 24-7 Prayer on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza and lived there with their two teenage sons for seven years. The family now live in Norfolk and are involved in a Christian community there. Brian’s other passions are Liverpool football club, tapas and photography.