What is Prayer-walking?
Prayer-walking is a specific kind of intercession that takes us to specially targeted neighborhoods, schools and work districts to pray for and with people who need Jesus—right where they live. It’s on-location intercession. We call it prayer-walking, but it might mean that we push a stroller, casually jog, ride in a car, or perhaps even take public transportation to facilitate purposeful prayer for the community we serve. Once we get started, we’ll realize that there are many ways to be very present and fervently prayerful at the same time. We can adapt our “walks” to our goals.
What Can We Expect to Achieve?
- On-location intercession will muster our courage and scatter the fears that generally hold people back from engaging with Muslims.
- We will grow into greater dependence on the Holy Spirit for the privilege of serving Muslims.
- Our prayers will destroy the works of Satan and bless Muslims with hope for Heaven.
- We will become more perceptive and compassionate toward the lost-ness of Muslims.
- Our love for Muslims will miraculously grow.
Planning a Prayer Walk
Where to Go
- Always pray first, asking the Lord lead us in His way, since the work is His from the beginning. (Prov. 5:6, Prov. 16:3 and 9, James 1:5)
- On-location intercession for Muslims requires that you go where they live, shop, work, or worship. Here are some ideas:
- Neighborhoods with large concentrations of Muslims
- Shopping districts and malls that serve Muslims
- Mosques and the neighborhoods they serve
- University campuses, where Muslim students reside
When to Go
- Always plan on doing your prayer walks in the day, if you are walking outside. Evening walks would be appropriate if you are going to a mall or indoor shopping area.
- When you plan for prayer walks to mosque areas, bear in mind that Muslims attend mosque prayers on Fridays around noon. Women who attend these services will do so separately from the men, but generally there are more men at Friday prayers. It would be best to plan your prayer-walks in mosque areas on other days of the week, unless the mosque is located in an area where your walking won’t be conspicuous. Mosques might welcome you for tours or informational visits on other weekdays, but it’s best not to plan prayer-walks around that kind of visit. You will not be able to pray with the same focus or fervor.
How to Go
- For larger group prayer-walks, plan to break into smaller groups of 2 or 3. If you are not part of a larger group, always plan to go with at least one other person, so that you can pray and watch together. (Especially for women walking in Muslim areas, it would not be appropriate for you to walk alone, as many Muslims consider that to be immodest behavior.)
- After determining the geographical territory to be covered, map out small group walking areas.
- Determine a start and finish time and place. If you are a larger party, make sure everyone is included in a phone text group, so that all participants can be accounted for at all times, if necessary. (All participants should load the group contact file onto their phones.) As you would for any organized group activity, have a contingency plan for emergencies so that should one arise, everyone knows what to do.
- Plan to dress modestly on your prayer-walk. Shorts and sleeveless tops are taboo for most Muslim women and even some men; jeans/slacks and loosely fitting tops with short sleeves are generally acceptable. In mosque vicinities you would be considerate to wear elbow length sleeves and perhaps a neck scarf
Praying Before the Walk
- Whether in a group or on your own, prepare for your prayer-walk in the following ways: Meditate on God’s greatness. (Ps. 103, 117, 139: 1-18, Ps. 145)
- Ask God to search your heart and convict you of sin, and to forgive you. (Ps. 139:23-24)
- Confess your sin with gratitude for his pardon. (2 Chron. 7:14, Ps. 42:5-7, Prov. 3:5-6, 1 Jn. 1:9, Luke 7:36-50, Heb. 12:28-29)
- Pray for the fruit of the Spirit to be evident in your words and your deeds. (Gal. 5:22-23)
- Because intercession is largely about disturbing the work of Satan, prepare to battle against him. Make putting on the full armor of God part of your prayerful readiness. (Eph. 6:11-17)
- Invite God’s presence, blessing and power into your prayer-walk by praising Him. (2 Chron. 20:20-22, Ps. 8, Ps. 96, Ps. 150:1-2, Ps. 66:1-4, Ps. 68: 32-35)
On the Walk: Prayer Awareness
- Pray with open eyes. Look for things/sites that will inform the way you intercede. For example, in neighborhoods you might see kids’ toys in a yard, or spiritual amulets hanging over doorways or in windows. You’ll know to pray for children and for the family’s vulnerabilities to spiritual bondage attached to Islamic folk beliefs and practices. In shopping districts, observe what kinds of businesses serve community, such as bookstores, travel agencies, clothing stores. You’ll know you can pray that travel would support the spread of God’s good news. That Muslims would tire of their Quranic texts and seek the truth of the Scriptures. That God would uncloak Muslim women’s minds and hearts, so that they might seek Him and find Him.
- Intercede with open ears, to discern needs and perhaps even minister to them, by offering to pray with women who would want you to. (We specify women here, because of the Islamic practice of gender segregation. Be advised that you will garner greater respect and polite attention if as women you limit your interactions to women and children, as much as is possible.) Be ready to initiate relationship and plan for follow up encounters. Expect God surprises.
- Pray with an open heart, so that your compassion and service would reflect the Father’s perfect love and His redemptive plan at every turn. Expect to have opportunity to speak kindness and hope into the lives of people you meet, and to advocate for the lost with your growing awareness. Be available to the Muslim women you encounter.
- Pray with full pockets. Carry New Testaments, tracts, and literature that offers free audio Bible versions, as well as access to Satellite TV programming for Muslim families and women. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into new opportunities for witness, as slowly or as expeditiously as He would have you move.
On the Walk: Praying Points for Muslim women and their families in homes, neighborhoods, work places and mosque community
These prayer points will give a strong start to your specific on-location prayer-walk intercessions. By no means are the suggestions exhaustive. Rely on the Holy Spirit to lead you, and don’t hesitate to pray in the Spirit when you feel led to do so, or when you feel like you are struggling with what to say. The most important thing we do when we prayer-walk is make ourselves available to the Father for loving involvement in His mission to bless Muslims with life in Him. The key component to any participation with God is prayer.
- Bind the powers of Satan over the streets, homes, businesses, and community at large.
- Plead blessing—for God’s goodness upon their lives, in a way that leads them to repentance.
- Pray that Islam’s desolation will cause women to seek Truth, and that they will find it.
- Seek God for ways to ensure that this community’s families will have access to the Word of God, to counter the hold Islamic texts have on Muslims.
- Pray that women will hunger and thirst for what only Jesus offers them.
- Pray that they will be drawn to Jesus by signs, wonders and miracles attributable only to Him.
- Pray that churches in this community will fearlessly reach out to Muslim families and invite them to belong with the family of God.
- Pray for Muslim women to witness and cling to the Father’s presence in contexts of true worship, and to pursue it in every aspect of their daily lives.
- Ask the Lord to visit Muslim mothers and daughters in their night-time dreams and give them visions.
- Persist on behalf of Muslim women, that they will have Christian friends who can lead them into believing on Jesus.
- Ask the Lord to bless professional Muslim women with Christian clients whose work ethic and service exalts and proclaims Christ.
- Pray for employed Muslim women to have Christian bosses and colleagues who model life in Christ and will graciously offer Christ to them.
- Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to Muslim women by all means possible, including social media, literature, the sciences and the arts.
- Pray that elderly Muslim women will abandon their fear of death to the assurance of life forever with Jesus.
- Ask God to add favor to daughters of new in-laws in new settings—that they would be free to seek Truth without consequence.
- Pray that expectant mothers be led to Christian health professionals, so that Christ can be shared and glorified in new life ways.
- Lift up Muslim children who may have greater access to the gospel than their mothers do—that families will be drawn to Jesus through the loving witness of Christian teachers and schoolmates.
- Pray that Muslim fathers, husbands and brothers would be saved and boldly live for Christ.
Prayer Walk Follow-Up
- Journal your experience. You may have been able to take a few audio or written notes while you were actually doing the prayer walk, but you need to consolidate your thoughts into a single journal entry as soon as possible. Document where you went, what you saw, how you prayed, and any personal reflections on what God may have taught you or how He might have challenged you. If you can recall the names of acquaintances and the details of your encounters, recording this in your journal will help you remember details that you will be able to refer to for years to come.
- Definitely debrief. Always meet with your group or prayer partner after the walk to review your journaled thoughts and together reflect on the experience. Allow the following questions to guide your debriefing.
- What was my personal take-away from the experience?
- What was my greatest joy?
- What was my greatest challenge?
- How was God present on our walk?
- What, if any, spiritual hindrances did I encounter on our prayer walk?
- Did we experience any logistical challenges, and how can we be more prepared next time?
- What would we definitely not change about our experience?
- What might we do or anticipate differently?
- How will we follow up on encounters we had?
- Pray and plan for your next outing!