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Walk and Pray

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In these days without physical church gatherings, the Church looks a bit different. We have an opportunity to pray for our communities. During your hour of prayer, we’re suggesting you head out for a walk around your neighbourhood. As you pass different parts of your local area — it could be neighbours you know or local businesses, you can pray for them. Below are a few ways you can pray for various aspects of life. Take time to pray with focus, hope and for the movement of God into the lives around us.

# Introduction

Pray as God’s people 

During these days of limited movement and limited gathering, we are missing the togetherness right at the heart of a church, because we are, at our core, an embodied, communal people. 

Yet, in the absence of physical church gatherings, we have an opportunity to revitalise the scattered church. For as long as our church buildings are closed, we can be reminded that we are the church, in our everyday comings and goings. 

The church is Christ’s body, in which He speaks and acts, by which He fills everything with His presence.” (Eph. 1:23 MSG

We, the church, are embedded people who are intentionally rooted in neighbourhoods and communities by God. Each day we are able to actively worship in the places we inhabit. 

Pray in God’s presence

We, the church, are a people restored to God’s presence, in and through the person and work of Jesus Christ. 

God’s presence works and moves beyond the church building. God calls us to follow Him in whole-life worship. As people of God, we live out His word in the power of His Spirit and we follow as He leads us to where He is working and moving throughout His world. 

Prayer as participation 

Jesus taught His followers to pray may Your Kingdom come, may Your Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. He urged His people to pray and to seek tangible transformation in the lives of people and the culture of the places we inhabit – here and now. As we, His people, united in Christ”, pray His words over and for the places where we live, we participate in the renewing work of Jesus, made possible through His life, death, resurrection and reign. And so we pray in powerful participation – In Jesus’ name, Amen”. 

Pray in unity 

When we pray, we express that we need God. Prayer leads us into a spirit of unity as we recognise and articulate our longing and expectation for the Lord of heaven and earth to renew His world. Prayer is the place where the reign and rule of God begins to break through, in His power, through His people, one in Christ. 

Pray for people and places 

The experience of lockdown has limited travel and movement for many of us. We have been drawn back into our neighbourhoods and have a renewed awareness of our local area. Most of us who are able to enjoy walking around the local community day-to-day. 

Pray as you walk 

The Evangelical Alliance invites you to embark on a daily prayer walk – a time when you are attentive to God’s presence in the places you walk, seeing His heart for the people around you and responding to His Spirit. 

You can use this prayer resource to unite in prayer for people in this time and place. 

# How to use the prayer walk resource

  • Allow the words of the prayers to draw you into an awareness of God’s promised presence that permeates all places. 
  • Be inspired by each prayer, as God’s people, to offer ourselves as the people through whom God brings the transformation He seeks. 
  • Be attentive to who you walk past; as you smile, greet and safely interact, consider what God might be doing in their lives. 
  • Use these prayers as examples to inspire your own words to God. Or use the words of each prayer, knowing many others around the UK, and in this same area, and within your own church community, are united in these words and praying them in their own places. 
  • Download the following document to your phone, or print then fold/​cut out the prayers that are meaningful for you in your place. 
  • You could even post larger print versions on accessible church notice boards. Choose whichever prayers are relevant for your immediate area, to create a spirit of united, rooted prayer for those who pass by your building. 

# Neighbourhoods, streets, communities

  • We thank you for the neighbourhood in which you have placed us. 
  • We pray for good relationships, trust and support within this place. 
  • Show us where we can offer ourselves in welcome, friendship and hospitality among these people. 
  • We pray for those who have no homes, no people and no sense of belonging. May they not be forgotten in this time of crisis. Help us to be quick to meet the needs of the most vulnerable. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen 

Neighbourhood illustration

# Church

  • We thank you for the presence of all your people who gather in this place. May we be one, as you are one. 
  • We ask you to gift each leader with imagination and creativity to find new models of ministry in this strange season. Enable them to form your people in worship, to proclaim the kingdom, to care for unique needs. Keep them close to you. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen 

Church illustration

# Councils, government offices

  • We pray for those who make decisions for this country and this city – for politicians, council members, department heads and public leaders. Grant them with wisdom, compassion, integrity and health. 
  • We pray for a unity of purpose. May they not be overwhelmed by the responsibilities placed upon them. 
  • Give them eyes to hear the cries of the vulnerable. For your people in these places, strengthen their hands as they seek the welfare of our country at this time. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen 

Townhall illustration

# Schools

  • We pray for this school community, the building now empty and closed. We pray for teachers providing lessons in new ways. We pray for children and young people studying at home, many at key transition times. 
  • We pray a blessing over the formation of young minds and characters in this season. May this generation be engraved with the need to remember their Creator. 
  • We pray for families that face additional challenges of disability and special needs – the many parents exhausted and children struggling. Give them your strength, your peace. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen 

School illustration

# Families

  • We thank you and pray for our families. We pray for those living without family just now, disconnected and missing those they love. 
  • We pray for parents juggling school, work and home in a time of pressure. We ask you to strengthen marriages amid this extra stress. 
  • May we, in your power, offer a spirit of joy, love, peace, harmony, patience and forgiveness. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen 

Family illustration

# Local businesses

  • We bless the local businesses that serve and connect our community day-to-day. 
  • We pray for business leaders to be creative, compassionate, generous and honest in these challenging times. 
  • We thank you for the government support packages. 
  • We pray for protection on all staff who continue to work. May we be thoughtful consumers, committed to the good of this local community. 
  • Lord, we pray for those furloughed, closed businesses, for the unemployed today, those who face a job loss, who live under financial pressure. Help us to see individual needs and lead us into a spirit of radical generosity in this time of crisis. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen 

Business illustration
  • We thank you, God of Justice, for the systems of justice in place in this country. We pray for all who work to ensure justice during this time. We pray for police services which seek to protect the good of society. We pray for their protection and their health. 
  • We pray for justice for the oppressed, particularly those who suffer domestic violence. May we be swift to overcome evil with good. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen 

Law illustration

# Graveyards

  • We pray for the bereaved and broken-hearted today – many who never had a chance to say goodbye or attend a funeral. Help them know your presence, deeper than words. 
  • We pray for church leaders who shape funeral services; gift them with your wisdom, your words.
  • Reveal yourself in the fragility of human life, stir hunger in our community that only you can fill, and lead us to witness, speak and point to you in the place of pain. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen 

Graveyard illustration

# Play parks, leisure and community centres, mental and emotional health

  • We thank you for these places of creativity, connection and fun, once full of playing and laughter, now empty and closed. 
  • We pray for those struggling with mental and emotional health and isolation – for those who live day to day, gripped by fear, far from laughter. 
  • Light of the world, penetrate the darkness today. May we be quick to draw near, to bring your comfort, your hope on a dark day. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen 

Playground illustration

# NHS: GPs, chemists, clinics, hospitals

  • We thank you for the healthcare we enjoy in this country and call out for mercy for those with much less. 
  • We pray for the hands of NHS workers to bring healing and wholeness to body and mind. 
  • We pray for scientific and medical understanding and responses to the virus to be developed quickly. 
  • Lord, we pray for each frontline staff-worker who enters this place. We ask for protection from the virus, for wisdom as they care, and for stamina, as they face new challenges. 
  • We pray for those undergoing or waiting for healthcare during this time. Lord, have mercy. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen 

Hospital illustration

# Spiritual awakening (1)

  • We pray for your Spirit to stir our hearts, to give us eyes to see, ears to hear, hearts that seek first your kingdom in this place. 
  • Meet us with your perfect love which casts out fear, and gift us with faith in these uncertain days. 
  • Empower us, in your Spirit, to be your witnesses, to point to and speak of you where you are working. 
  • Open the door for opportunities to declare the mystery of Christ in this season.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

# Response

  • We thank you for the blessing of family, home, friends, food, faith, security and health. 
  • As we pray, we make ourselves available to you, offering you all we have. 
  • As you have blessed us, may we be quick and ready to bless others. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen

# Nursing homes and elderly residences

  • We pray a blessing over this home that brings care and community to the elderly as the virus strikes hardest here. 
  • We pray for all who work in this community, and ask for your strength, energy and protection as they bring your caring touch. 
  • We pray for the elderly, disconnected from loved ones. May they be drawn to your presence, have access to your word, and meet you in the silence. 
  • We pray for those living with dementia. We ask for your presence to bring order over inner chaos and security over confusion. 
  • Give us eyes to see, hearts to love, words to speak, and hands to care for those near to us. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen 

Residence illustration

# Fields, nature, agriculture

  • In this space, we focus on the beauty of your creation. The birdsong reminds us of your fatherly watch over us. 
  • We hear the groaning of creation and we join with your Spirit and creation with an expectation for the new creation. 
  • Give us today our daily bread. We give thanks for the abundance of food we enjoy in this country and ask for mercy on the increasing numbers of people who go hungry in our towns and cities and across the world. 
  • As you have blessed us in your abundance, move us to bless others abundantly in this way. Lord, have mercy. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen 

Nature illustration

# Spiritual awakening (2)

  • Reveal yourself in the fragility of human life. Stir a hunger in our community that only you can fill. 
  • As we celebrate the goodness of humanity, and cheer on our frontline workers, stir up questions to which you are the only answer. 
  • As we struggle and juggle a new way of life, as we face similar fears, may we come alongside the people in this place and be ready to share the hope that we have. 

Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. 

Amen

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine on us – so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.”

— Psalm 67:1 – 3