Prayer is foundational to God's work of transformation and movement around the world. Listen in as one of our staff gives tips from her own prayer walking experience in Long Beach, California, that you can use to pray for your own city.
Watch the video.
Prefer to read? Here's what Anna had to say.
After we moved into our neighborhood, we realized how little we knew about the spiritual landscape and how crucial prayer walking would be in the big picture of the movement of God. We understand prayer walking as something we do to “clear space” spiritually. How much further could our ministry results go if we began with prayer walking and aligning ourselves with God’s purposes for the city?
With prayer walking we like to think of the metaphor of a river. Without it, we’re walking upstream against the spiritual “current”. But after we do, we’re walking in neutral waters and God can easily move through the city.
Here are three things to take into consideration when prayer walking.
1. The History of the City
It’s a really good practice to take some time to research your city. First, look for gifts in the city—what is a really beautiful legacy? For example, Long Beach was part of the Azusa Street Revival and a part of that big movement of God. So when we pray and walk we ask God to bring the city back to that place again. The other thing we look for is what things need to be redeemed. There was a huge Klu Klux Klan in Long Beach, and that’s something that we have to think about and go back to as we pray for racial reconciliation, and pray for God to really cleanse that so his Spirit can rest in the city.
2. What God Wants You to Know About the People
One of the other things that really shaped us in praying for the city was asking the question, “God, what do you want us to know about the people?” When we first asked this question, it was casual, but we weren’t prepared for God’s answer, that deeply stirred our hearts for the city. We saw a vision of someone holding a glass and they were drinking out of the glass. It was clear that whatever was in that glass was toxic to them, because they were stumbling around and weren’t healthy, but were trying to walk. And I felt like God said, “That’s the people of Long Beach. They’re drinking of a spirituality that’s making them sick. They’re sheep without a shepherd, and they need to be gathered into communities and shepherded. So that has really informed the way that we pray for the city.
3. Strongholds in the City
Lastly, we walk and we ask God to open our eyes to any strongholds that are in the city. We really like to approach strongholds as though we’re approaching needs. Instead of fighting against these needs, we think about what could we fill the empty places with. How could we bless the city? How could we declare God’s love and worship God through the city? How could we pray peace where there’s been violence? How can we pray joy where there’s a lot of hopelessness?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anna Mullikin has served with CRM since 2006. She and her husband Alan desire to see movements of the gospel transform entire cities and nations, especially in the most vulnerable and war-torn areas of the world.