Walking is in. I see far more walkers than I do joggers. In my neighborhood they are everywhere. Whether it is alone or as a couple or an entire family, folks are hitting the sidewalks at all times of the day. Walking is a simple exercise that is good for your over all physical health. It reduces stress and has all kinds of direct health benefits. Some people are so serious about this that they even wear a pedometer to make sure they take 10,000 steps a day. Wow! I often walk up the steps instead of taking the elevator and sometimes park at a distance when shopping so I can get some extra steps in.
When I walk in my neighborhood I see things I don’t usually see when I drive my car or ride my motorcycle. I notice more of what is around me and hear the sounds of children playing, people talking, and sometimes smell a steak on a grill. When you walk, you will notice that things look and feel different.
Sometimes my walks become prayer walks. I just begin talking to the Lord as if He is walking right beside me (which He is). I share whatever is on my heart and pray for all kinds of things that come into my mind. Sometimes I pray for folks living in the houses that I walk by or for the people who drive pass me.
We have become too cloistered as a culture. We don’t build front porches anymore, but back porch fortresses where no one can see us. We use our automatic garage door opener when we come home; driving our cars in and then quickly closing the garage door therefore we don’t notice that neighbor in their yard. Walking helps us get back out into our neighborhoods and connect.
As a pastor we would have the congregation take prayer walks around our church and as we encountered people share information about our church and give a witness. Why… Because we desired to know our neighbors. We saw things we did not see while in worship on Sunday morning. We felt more in touch with our church field and the people living in the shadow of our steeple and some of them came to our church.
As part of “Find It Here” (state wide evangelism emphasis in 2010) we are going to do prayer walking, but you don’t need to wait for that emphasis to get out and walk and pray. This can be a great personal mini-retreat as you share your heart with the Lord. It can be a time of meditating on a verse of Scripture or praying for lost people.
What if every member of every Baptist church in Kentucky on one single night took one hour and prayer walked?
Discipleship is a consistent walk with the Lord.
- 1 John 2:6 says, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”
- 2 John 6, ” And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”
- 3 John 3, ” It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.”
Today, take a spiritual walk. Make sure you are walking as Jesus did in love and truth. Talk to the Lord about anything and everything that is on your mind. It will do your heart good!
Excellent post, Mike. My dad, who is my Great Commission hero, does what you suggest better than anyone I know. He’s 73 now and has battled some severe health issues in the last couple of years but he considers his neighborhood his personal mission field. He walks regularly and does all he can to befriend his neighbors. They end up on his prayer list and he actively works to find opportunities to share the gospel with those who don’t know the Lord. Just think of the impact we could have if every Christian took that approach. I believe that’s what Jesus intended as he gave us all the Great Commission.