Welcome to Lent Online! If this is your first visit, please make time to look at weeks 1-4 as well (click on Lenten Devotional tab and scroll down). Each week we have explored a different prayer practice… examen, confession, empathetic prayer, dialogue prayer. Today we encounter prayer walking. The image of the labyrinth (ancient prayer walk) above reminds us of the journey of prayer we are sharing during this Lenten season.
–Your Lent Online Partners: Rev. Jennifer Barchi, Rev. Ron Hankins, Rev. Deborah McEachran
Prepare: Put aside any concerns about work or home. Turn off the electronics. Find a quiet, comfortable place to be. Agree with God that you will spend _________ minutes together.
Prayer-walking in essence, is going on the offensive within one’s own community and environment though intercessory “On-Site – On the Spot” praying, with the hope and expectation for an answer from God concerning the situation. It’s not a devotional exercise which involves one’s self in relationship to God, but instead is intercessory, which focuses on the relationship and interaction between God and others. Below is a excerpt taken from Waymakers.org:
Prayer-walking is usually a low-profile affair: Friends or family stroll two-by-two through their own neighborhoods, schools and work places, praying as they go. There are some occasions when the prayer should be demonstrative, but usually it’s being on the scene without making one. Though they usually walk unnoticed, prayer-walkers quickly become aware of the realities and needs of their neighbors. (http://waymakers.org/pray/prayerwalking)
Read Nehemiah 1:1-11
The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah. In the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, while I was in Susa the capital, 2 one of my brothers, Hanani, came with certain men from Judah; and I asked them about the Jews that survived, those who had escaped the captivity, and about Jerusalem. 3 They replied, “The survivors there in the province who escaped captivity are in great trouble and shame; the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been destroyed by fire.” 4 When I heard these words I sat down and wept, and mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments; 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Both I and my family have sinned. 7 We have offended you deeply, failing to keep the commandments, the statutes, and the ordinances that you commanded your servant Moses. 8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples; 9 but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are under the farthest skies, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place at which I have chosen to establish my name.’ 10 They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great power and your strong hand. 11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man!” At the time, I was cupbearer to the king.
Put it into Practice:
Take some time to go for a walk (especially with the weather being so nice) and examine the areas of your community, or work space, or wherever you may be (however the Spirit leads). Examine your surroundings closely and be mindful of both the blessings of grace, as well as the areas of great need. Remember that even in communities where there is an appearance of great wealth and comfort, there is a need for “something” that is missing. Take the time during your walk to:
a). Acknowledge the Majesty of God
b). Give thanks to God for all provisions that have been provided.
c). Recognize needs and areas of hurt, absence, pain or despair.
d). Pray and speak into existence things that aren’t… as though they were… Place into the atmosphere a prayer for that community and let God do the rest. Remember you are “before” and God will provide the “after.