I have heard of a number of church groups who go “Prayer Walking”. They go through neighborhoods and pray on corners, in front of houses, schools, fire houses, etc. I think it is a good practice.
My prayer team is me and Chuy, my lovable Tennessee mutt. Chuy is a Spanish nickname for Jesus, by the way. We got him as a pup last Christmas and our lives have never been the same. I have written about the benefits of dog walking in a post entitled “Full Circle”https://prayerencounters.com/2012/06/26/full-circle/
My main purpose in walking Chuy needs no explanation, but God’s purpose has been bigger. My neighbors love that dog. Some will come out just to pet Chuy, not even making eye contact with me. What am I? Chopped liver? 🙂
He puts people at ease, though, enough that they will talk to me without any hesitation. Mainly the conversations are short and polite; a word about the weather or something safe like that. But occasionally someone gives me an honest answer to “How are you today?”
A few weeks ago, Chuy and I came across an older, slightly frail looking woman who I did not recognize. She was walking up and down a short stretch of the street. She looked anxious.
Her face brightened as Chuy appoached. “Oh, I love dogs! Can I pet him?” Sure. “I’m staying with my daugher and son-in-law for a few days.” Just then I heard a voice from over the fence that we were standing by, “Are you talking to my pastor there?”
It was my new friend, Sam. He came out around the fence and introduced me to his mother-in-law. “Paul, did you know I tell people you’re my pastor?” I smiled. “We’re friends, too,” he added, addressing his mother-in-law, Edna.
Just then Sam’s wife, Edna’s daughter, Nancy came out, too. Chuy was eating up the attention. Sam said, “It’s good that you two met. Edna is here because she is getting some tests done over at [nearby medical center]. We think her cancer has come back.”
Edna just kept loving on Chuy.
I asked if I could offer a prayer. We gathered in a circle on the sidewalk, Chuy included, and prayed.
You do not need a dog to walk in your neighorhood, but be sure to take Jesus with you. He is also very helpful in introducing you to your neighbors.
You never know when you might find yourself prayer walking.