PRAYER-WALK: When you prayer-walk scripture, stress lifts and your peace returns. And it’s best to prayer-walk outside.
Here’s why. Here’s how.
Have you trudged through a day when everything went wrong? Maybe your computer crashed, or the pet barfed on the carpet. Perhaps you got really bad news. If you’re up to your eyebrows in quick-sand stress, you need peace now. Right?
Here’s a solution: Prayer-walk scripture. It gets you away from the distractions of technology, as long as you leave you phone at home, of course! Says bible translator Jordan Monson:
For two thousand years, the most private and undistracted place was behind the closed door. Now, the noise has relocated indoors. If our computers and devices are near, it’s the worst place to try to pray. Walking through Times Square is less distracting than sitting alone in a room full of technology.
When you prayer-walk a scripture, at least 4 awesome things happen:
- your stress lessens
- you connect deeply with God
- you get exercise
- you think on heavenly things, squelching anxiety
Have you ever had a week or a month or a year when one stress after another slammed you like a hurricane? Walking helps relieve stress, thus improving your mood and mental outlook. It also reduces muscle tension and stress hormones as well as high-pressure emotions like anxiety, anger, and depression.
2. Connect with God
When you prayer-walk a scripture — that is, talk with God about a specific bible verse and think on what it says and its application — you readjust your priorities and put first things first.
Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
For instance, while prayer-walking and thinking on Psalm 23:1, you might reflect on the meaning of “I shall not want” and tell God you give up self-rule and submit to him. In my walks while praying this verse, God has impressed on my heart the truth that he is in control. The result? I sense his strength and comfort, and worship him.
3. Move It
Walking unleashes the body’s endorphins, the feel-good neurotransmitters. And the motion loosens tight muscles and reduces mental stress too.
No doubt you’ve heard that the best exercise is the one you’ll actually do. If not walking, what exercise gets you moving? Swimming, biking, dance, or gardening? And how much exercise do you need? Dr. Edward R. Laskowski recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobice exercise weekly.
4. Think UP
God tells us what to think on: heavenly things.
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
But your mind want to wander, right? When this happens to me, I refocus on the scripture I’m praying. Since I’m prayer-walking a single scripture verse or passage, this is simple to do. I simply go back to where I left off, or begin again.
How to Prayer-Walk
Here’s what my prayer-walk looks like. First, I choose a scripture. Psalm 23 is a favorite. I see the word pictures as I walk.
I say, “The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want” and picture a sheep happily resting on shoulders of a strong, gentle shepherd. I am the sheep.
And pray something like–
Father, you know my Honda’s transmission is acting up again. You know my needs. I am asking that you give me wisdom to make the right decision. Thank you that I have a car that runs.
Now the next verse. “He makes me lie down in green pastures.” My mind’s eye sees rolling hills of lush grass and a stream. I utter these words: Oh, yes, rest! Thank you, Lord, for the reminder that I need rest and that it’s good. It’s not a luxury. I don’t have to run around like a manic squirrel, trying to do everything that people ask.
What About Wacky Weather?
During crazy-bad weather, prayer-walk scriptures in the comfort of home. Simply walk in place. The more you move your arms, the higher your heart rate. Or choose a treadmill at a gym.
Most important: Get started. 🙂
Counseling hearts to hope,