I for one think it’s very awkward to walk down the street praying out loud. Thankfully when Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24 ESV), there was no exception for awkwardness. Even so, why do we need prayer walks? Why do they matter? Why not just pray in our homes? Why not just meet at our church building and pray inside where the AC is on?
Here are 3 reasons why prayer walks matter. I hope these will enable you to rethink prayer walks and maybe even get you to come to some of them.
1. Discipling one another in outreach | How to meet your neighbors.
It doesn't make sense to get in our cars, drive past homes in our own neighborhood, potentially past neighbors we do not yet know, let alone pray for, to go to another neighborhood to pray. We should be walking the streets where God has providentially placed us. We should be praying there. Prayer walks with the body are a great way to learn how. They are a great way to go out on mission with our gospel community and grow in our boldness. Drive past your unknown neighbors so you can learn and grow. Then consider yourself sent; your home address is not incidental to your calling as a missionary. God does everything on purpose.
 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,  that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us…(ESV)
Pray for your neighbors, walk your own streets and, please join us in the neighborhood God has given us to gather in.
2. It tells the truth about the God we claim to know and love.
We know and love a God who first knew and loved us. He pursued us. He entered in. God came as the Son. He is a God who pursues. He does not just invite people. He goes after them. When we show up and walk the streets and offer to meet and pray for people, we are imaging this!
 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. (ESV)
3. Proximity matters to mission.
 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (ESV)
Proximity is so important to the mission of the Gospel. Jesus was fully capable of doing any and all of His ministry at a distance (Luke 7:1-10). However, He didn’t just heal with his words but got close and personal with those in His midst; He touched lepers for crying out loud (Matthew 8:3)! He is the only one in the universe that has a perfect reason for not being close to others: Perfect Holiness. Yet Christ in his perfection goes beyond the power of His words and shows his love with tender closeness.
I believe our most effective mission field is our neighborhood; the place we go to at the end of the day. God may be calling you to move near our church building’s neighborhood. Perhaps not. How else will you be present there on a regular basis? Prayer walks are certainly one way of doing that.
The most powerful thing we can do to effectively change our city for the Gospel is praying to the God of the universe for such things to happen. God is going to transform our church body and this city through the prayers of His people.
Will you begin praying for God to move you into mission in this way? If you are not yet praying for your neighbors, ask yourself why. Do you know their names? Ask God for the opportunity to meet them. He is faithful in advancing His kingdom.
Will you join us for one of our upcoming prayer events? Our next Prayer Walk is on October 6th from 4-5 PM. Prior to that, we have a Prayer Gathering on September 15th from 6-7 PM.