Tomorrow night, my church is doing more prayer walking for our Parish Prayers slot. If your immediate impression of prayer is eyes closed, hands together and head down, you might be wondering why and what and how we avoid wandering out into traffic!
The aforementioned posture is a perfectly fine way to pray but far from the only one. For example, in 1 Timothy 2:8, Paul indicates prayer with lifting up of the hands. Out walking, we’ll probably have hands by our sides or in our pockets but we’ll be following another of Paul’s instructions – “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). In particular, we will be using the fact that we are walking through our local area to pray for the people we know and the places we pass. Eyes wide open, both to avoid hazards but also to catch a glimpse of how God sees the place in which we live.
Prayer walking is a well-established practice although, with COVID-19 in mind, there will be a few adjustments. We’ll probably stick to silent prayer while walking and, even when we cluster closer together at key points, we’ll either stay at least 2m from those outside our immediate bubble or mask up. There are more demonstrative approaches but we’ll concentrate on talking with – and listening to – God.
We have three groups planned, each starting at different locations and making their way to rendezvous at the church as the light fades. We will then spend a bit more time (inside, so masks on) to catch up on the experiences of our journeys and to pray together before departing into what remains of the evening, hopefully with prayer still lit in our hearts.