Uncluttered Time: 15 March

Walking

Just as bread is nourishment for the body and virtue for the soul, so is spiritual prayer nourishment for the intelligence.

Reading: Matt 23:33-39

33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

Thought

The Bible offers many models of effective ways to pray. Although prayer walking, as a term, is never mentioned in Scripture, Jesus prayerfully looked over the city of Jerusalem. Of Paul it is written,  “…he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.” (Acts 17:16). Whilst Abraham was told to “Arise, walk about the land…for I will give it to you” (Genesis 13:17).

The Old Testament has many passages relating to walking an area for God’s glory. Three passages give us a spiritual picture connected with walking. The story of Joshua taking the city of Jericho (Joshua 6) is probably the most familiar. Our prayers and obedience can be a means of releasing God’s power to cause the walls of unbelief, violence, strife and evil to come down.

These passages obviously refer to God’s promise of the Holy Land to the Jewish nation. Nevertheless, the physical act of walking was a prophetic statement of declaring God’s sovereignty over the earth. Today, our only desire for prayer walking a city is to claim the area for God’s glory and to pray for the spiritual freedom of those living there.

It is important to catch the spirit of prayer walking rather than simply adopt the method of prayer walking. Scripture clearly instructs us to pray for our city: “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jer 29:7)

Action

As I walk today I will deliberately pray for those I pass.

Prayer

Do not hurry
as you walk with grief;
it does not help the journey.

Walk slowly,
pausing often:
do not hurry
as you walk with grief.

Be not disturbed
by memories that come unbidden.

Swiftly forgive;
and let Christ speak for you
unspoken words.

Unfinished conversation
will be resolved in Him.

Be not disturbed.

Be gentle with the one
who walks with grief.
If it is you,
be gentle with yourself.

Swiftly forgive;
walk slowly,
pausing often.

Take time, be gentle
as you walk with grief.