Time spent “prayer walking” is well worthwhile during the summer. Target the immediate streets or neighborhoods, but also specific areas where church members tend to reside, or from which church visitors seem to come. The warmer weather not only makes it easy for you to walk, but the public moves their daily behavior outdoors. Prayer walking involves several simple elements.
Look carefully at people, noting their age, culture, affluence or poverty, conversation and behavior. Note signs, advertising, architecture, technologies, and other things that reveal the nature and mission of the place in which people move.
Observe people again, and imagine whether they are married or single, what occupations they might have, and what life issues and key questions are on their minds. Speculate why people choose to be here, rather than someplace else.
Look for signs that the Holy Spirit is here, at this place, and among these people. Pray for strangers, and name the gift of grace you hope God will give the people in this location.
After each prayer walk, reflect on the following questions:
- What is the agony that I see?
- What is the blessing I long to give?
- If I could rename my church to capture the attention of these people, what would it be?