In 1998 Janet began prayerwalking the streets of her community, praying over homes and businesses. Shortly after her best-selling book PrayerWalk was released in 2001, Health magazine did an eight-page feature on her prayerwalking (Sept. 2001), and others sought her out on media as the foremost expert on devotional prayerwalking. She enjoys encouraging others to take up the practice, which helped her to lose weight, shed a cloud of depression, banish fear from her life, and be God’s servant in her community as she prays for the needs around her.
What is prayerwalking?
Prayerwalking is praying for your surroundings while you walk — for the folks in those homes you pass, for the businesses, and for passersby as well as other needs you sense as you traverse your town. It’s not checking names off a mental list but, instead, praying at God’s leading with open eyes and a caring heart.
If you’re interested in starting to prayerwalk, here are a few tips:
- Make a date. Commit to a specific time on a daily or regular basis. Make this commitment a priority. Cut the unnecessary time-eaters out of your life, so that you can incorporate this new discipline.
- Find a partner. We’re more likely to follow through with any exercise discipline if we know that person is going to be knocking on our door.
- Get ready. Acquire a good pair of shoes. You also will want to plan ahead for weather concerns — umbrella for rain, snow walking boots for winter, layers for colder weather, sunscreen for the sun. You need not spend a lot of money on any of this.
- Be safe. Make sure your route is a safe one. Take your cell phone, and tell someone where you will be walking
- Open your eyes. Look for the needs in your community. Are neighbors arguing? Pray for their marriage. Is blight a problem? Pray for hearts turned toward God.
- Become responsive. Bogged down by distractions and mental lists? Pray for the concerns and then release them. In this manner you will begin to be more focused.
- Read the Bible. The more you allow God to speak to you through his Word, the more you will be praying in his will.
- Keep it going! Through prayerwalking you will learn that wherever you are — whether you are prayerwalking or not — there’s a reason for prayer. God has you right where you are this very minute to notice the needs around you so as to entrust those needs to him. In this way you can partner with the Problem Solver to make a difference in the lives around you.
If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain.
May God bless you as you pray for your community! –Janet Holm McHenry