How To Prayer Walk Your Neighborhood
Are you looking for ways to share the Gospel with your neighbors, but you’re not quite sure where to start? Start with a prayer walk.
What is a prayer walk?
The Gospel Coalition defines prayer as “pouring out our hearts to God”. When we pray, we are aligning ourselves with God’s will and inviting Him to move in power in any area of our lives, especially in reaching our neighbors for Christ! When we pray for our neighbors, our prayers pave the way for the Gospel. According to the international discipleship ministry Cru, a prayer walk is the powerful dynamic of praying on-site with God’s sight. God loves his people from up close, not from far away! Jesus came to earth to be with us, so when we are called to love others and pray for them, we should be up close too. Prayer walking gets us close to the people we’re praying for. Prayer softens hearts, and gives us compassion for our neighbors.
what does a prayer walk look like?
Prayer walking is a way to structure a walk that allows God to move in your heart and the hearts of those around you. It provides you with the opportunity to cover your neighborhood– and our larger San Diego community–in prayers, and, hopefully, begin to connect with your neighbors to create meaningful relationships with them.
Jesus commanded us to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31), and praying over our neighborhoods is one of the most loving things you can do for them. When we pray for our neighborhoods and for San Diego, we can remember God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
Here in sunny San Diego, we have the ability to stroll down our streets all year long, and each walk you take is an opportunity to lift neighbors up in prayer before you even meet them. Instead of zoning out as you walk around, pay attention to the sights and smells around you. Acknowledge the humanity of the people you pass– greeting someone with a smile, or even a head nod, can make someone feel seen. Then, lift them up in prayer.
You can pray silently or out loud. If you’re with another person, pray together! Ask that God would reveal Himself to them. Pray that they might know God. You can pray for their families, their jobs, their communities. Pray that you would be the neighbor they need, that God would use you to speak his Truth into their lives.
If it feels intimidating, pick one house to pray for each time you walk. Before too long, you’ll find a rhythm and you may be able to add a few more to your list. You can pray for those immediately around you. You can pray for those whose houses you walk or drive past often.
You can pray for those who you are concerned about or those you have interacted with briefly.
what do pray when you don't know what to pray
When you don’t know what to pray, start by listening to God’s Spirit leading you, and see if you have anything on your heart to lift up to God about them.
Being sensitive to the Holy Spirit can help you know specifically how to pray for people, even when you don’t really know anything about them. And, try not to judge the people you see. Think of what Jesus would have thought about them, if He walked through your neighborhood. Use that lens to lift them up in prayer.
HERE ARE SOME WAYS YOU CAN PRAY WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO PRAY:
- Ask God to bless them.
- Ask God to draw them to himself.
- Ask God to provide for their needs.
- Ask God to show them His kindness.
- Ask God to reveal himself to them.
- Ask God to surround them with bold, Christian friends.
- Ask God to give them thoughts from Him.
- Ask God to soften their hearts.
- Ask God to open their eyes to recognize God’s glory in creation.
- Ask God to open their ears to receive His word.
- Ask God to comfort them in all of their trials.
- Ask God to convict them of sin and lead them to grace in Jesus.
- Ask God to heal their broken relationships.
- Ask God to heal their broken relationship with Him.
- Ask God to chase after them relentlessly.
- Ask God to do exceedingly, abundantly more than you ask or imagine in your neighborhood.
- Ask God to make them new.
- Ask God to give them a heart of
- Ask God to shine light in their dark places.
- Ask God to pursue them.
- Ask God to turn His face toward them.
- Ask God to break strongholds in their lives and free them.
- Ask God to cover them with the blood of Jesus.
- Ask God to show them the way, and lead them to walk in it.
- Ask God to give them wisdom.
- Ask God to give them self-control.
- Ask God to give them power to do the right thing.
- Ask God to give them creativity and an imagination that makes their community better.
- Ask God to protect them.
- Ask God to call them to salvation unto life.
- Ask God to show them His amazing grace.
As you get accustomed to praying for them, you’ll notice that your compassion will grow for them. The more you pray, the more you care. Then, if you have an opportunity, introduce yourself and learn their name, so you can pray for them by name. Begin a relationship with them, so you can point them toward Jesus!
THE BLESS EVERY HOME APP
Looking for a tool to help you as you pray for your neighbors and prepare to share the love of Jesus with them?
Our team’s favorite tool to use for praying for and evangelizing our neighbors is an app called Bless Every Home. The Bless Every Home App will help you map out your neighborhood by names, so you can pray for each family by name. It will also help you track every time you pray for your neighbors. You can also take notes to help you remember details about each family and how you can pray for them. Download it here
We at All San Diego have some big goals. We want to reach every person in San Diego County by praying for them by name, and connecting with them personally. When we’re praying for our neighbors, we’ll be able to see how God is working in our lives and theirs, drawing us all to himself. We want to connect them with Jesus, connect them with the Bible, and finally connect them with a Christian community. We know that these are big tasks, but that’s why we’re thankful that we’re not doing it alone. You’re with us, but most importantly, so is God! As Jesus taught, “With God, all things are possible.”