Today I had lunch with my friend Karla, who recently returned from a mission trip to Turkey. A young couple from our church will be moving there in a few months, and the primary purpose of the trip was to pray over various parts of the area in which they will be living, a sort of prayer “advance team”.
As the group from our church went through various towns, they often broke into smaller groups and prayed together as they walked. To casual observers they may have looked as though they were simply having conversations with each other, but they were actually praying over the area and the people they came into contact with along the way.
Now that she’s home, Karla has adopted the practice of prayer walking in her own neighborhood. If she sees a house for sale, she prays that it will sell quickly. If she sees children fighting in their front yard, she prays for peace in her home. This prayer walk has changed how she views the people in her neighborhood and other people that God brings along her path.
After talking with her, I find myself drawn to the idea of prayer walking in my own neighborhood. I don’t know my neighbors very well, but perhaps this could be an opportunity for God to open doors to talk to them. There are several houses in my neighborhood for sale that I could pray for. There are young families and single parents and aging couples who live near me who I’m sure could use my prayers.
I’m quick to pray for people I’m close to, or who I at least have some passing knowlege of, but I haven’t been so quick to pray for those I don’t know. I find that there is a certain intimacy in praying for someone, even if that person is unaware that I’m praying for them. No doubt there have been countless times when I’ve been blessed by the prayers of someone who I didn’t know was praying for me, and perhaps didn’t know at all.
Let me encourage you to consider doing a prayer walk in your neighborhood, or around your church building, or your school, or work, or even the grocery store. Even if you don’t know the person you encounter, and don’t know what to pray for, trust that the Holy Spirit will direct your prayers. God knows what they need. And you will certainly be blessed, just as you are letting Him use you to bless others.