“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
Prayer is essential to seeking the welfare of our city. Prayer walking is one particular form of prayer that can lead to Kingdom impact, divine appointments, and changed lives. Today, I want to explore the power and potential of this exciting form of prayer.
I first came across prayer walking about five years ago when Revive Asheville took place in our town. Although I was quite busy leading the home-makeover aspect of the outreach, I did get to go out with teams one afternoon to pray for our city.
We met for prayer at the tent downtown in front of the courthouse and a few of us headed out onto the streets to pray. We walked down one street asking for God’s Kingdom to come and for Him to bless anyone He put into our path.
Something incredible began to happen as we physically walked the streets and prayed. Suddenly we felt like the intersection between the heart of God for that street and the street itself. Normal things were happening: moms pushing their babies in strollers, bike riders making their way through town, homeless people sitting on benches, and business people hurrying to their next meeting.
As we prayed for all of these people, we could feel God’s love welling up inside of us. We asked Him to bless them, heal them, and lead them into a dynamic relationship with Jesus. I remember the overpowering feeling that the Spirit of God was walking with us down those streets.
An amazing thing happened on that prayer walk. God began to put those people, that street, and our city as a whole into our hearts. The city was no longer a concept, but a real place with real people with real problems. Our prayers were inviting the in-breaking of the Kingdom to come in a very real way.
I remember one incredible story from one of our prayer walks. Before we went out, we prayed for God to show us who he wanted to touch. Someone saw an African American man with a bag of money in his hands and he was smiling. So we went out on the streets with those thoughts in our minds.
A few minutes later, I saw a young African American man walking towards me coming out from the courthouse. I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to introduce myself. I said to him, “Excuse me, my name is Tom, and my friends and I are praying for people today and wondered if we could pray for you in any way?”
He smiled and said, “Yes, absolutely.”
“What can we pray about for you?” I asked. His name was Eric.
This was his response: “Well, I just came from the courthouse where I won a settlement and now I am going to have a large sum of money. I am happy but nervous at the same time. I haven’t spent money wisely in the past and I want to use this money wisely now. My girlfriend broke up with me because I was always wasting money. We have a little girl together and I want to get back together, so we can be a family and raise our little girl.”
We were stunned. This was our guy. God is so cool.
I took a moment to share with him the simple gospel that saves our souls. Tears started welling up in his eyes and he said, “I want that.”
Right there in downtown Asheville on a prayer walking day, Eric prayed to receive Christ as His Savior and King. A few of us obeyed the Lord to go out prayer walking in His name, and as a result, God brought a young man to salvation in Jesus. Oh, and Eric got a ton of life-giving prayer, too!
This is the power of prayer walking. Consider praying through your neighborhood or apartment complex this week. Grab a few others and pray through the streets near your house. Pray blessings on every home, and every individual and family. If you meet someone on the street, offer to pray for them right then and there.
It is incredible what God can do with this simple prayer tool. Take a simple step of faith and prayer walk the streets of Asheville near you. Trust me, you and the city will be blessed as you go!