Wednesday, April 14, 2010


One of the main purposes of my upcoming mission trip to the near east will be prayerwalking. Prayerwalking, as the name suggests, involves spending time in prayer as we walk around the region in which we'll be staying. As we walk through neighborhoods and marketplaces and parks we'll be in prayer for the people that we encounter, both believers and unbelievers alike, and for their communities to come to know Jesus as their Savior.

Wanting to get in some practice of prayerwalking before the trip, one of my best friends (who is also going on the mission trip) and I met last night at our church building to prayerwalk around it. We spent over an hour walking around the perimeter of the building. We stood in the guest parking spaces in the parking lot and prayed that our guests would feel welcomed. We sat on the steps outside the church office and prayed for our church staff and their spouses and families. We prayed for the children's ministry, the youth ministry and the college ministry.

Our missions ministry has a couple of large storage buildings to house supplies, and we decided to walk around those buildings seven times. Just as the Israelites marched around Jericho before its walls crumbled, we prayed and walked around the mission barns seven times, asking God to break down the strongholds in the countries in which our mission teams work and to destroy the barriers that keep people from knowing God.

One of the hardest, and yet cathartic, moments from last night was when we stopped to pray outside of our gym, aka the Life Center. The Life Center is where our casual worship service takes place each Sunday, and my friend and I have been attending that service for several months now. We both admit, however, that it has been difficult to fully worship in that service because of broken relationships that we've experienced and that continue to grieve us. The people from whom we're estranged also attend that particular service, so being in the same room with them and trying to worship without being distracted by pain has been very, very hard.

On top of that, we both have struggled with a feeling of not belonging at that church anymore. We feel like we've lost the sense of community that we once had. Church has become a very difficult and lonely place for me. And so we both felt the need last night to spend time pouring out our hearts about the pain that we feel during worship and our desire to worship God fully in spite of the brokenness. Neither of us want anyone or anything to get in the way of being able to be fully engaged in worship.

Although our prayerwalking was intended to be a blessing to our church (and I believe that it was), I know that it also blessed both of us last night. I think we will try to do another round of prayerwalking at the church at least once before we leave on our trip, and we've talked about prayerwalking at other places around the city as well. I eagerly look forward to seeing how God moves in response to our prayers, both here and overseas.


That Girl said...

I haven't formally called it prayer walking but I sure do a lot of it on my walks around town. It's funny that sometimes I turn off the ipod just so I can pray and think about the world around me. I will try to be more intentional about praying while I'm walking.

Donna G said...

I am sorry you are feeling a disconnect at church. It is hard to ever get back once that feeling comes. I pray you will find what you are looking for!!