“I’ve never been prayer walking before. The next time you go, can I go with you?”
I could hardly believe my ears. I had mentioned prayer walking a few times in the weekly cell group at my church, but didn’t think anyone was interested. But suddenly Akiko* wanted to give it a try!
Later that week, we went for our first prayer walk together. We decided to go around her neighborhood. Because she’d lived there for over 20 years, Akiko knew everyone’s names and many of the details of their lives. It was amazing to have all of this detailed information for our prayer walk!
But while I was really encouraged to have a local prayer walking partner, at the same time I felt disappointed—all of her prayers were the same: “Lord, save Tanaka-san; save Suzuki-san; save Watanabe-san.” Of course we must pray that God will save people, but it didn’t seem like Akiko had any idea that God could use her specifically in His work of bringing people to Himself. It was like she was trying to get to the top of the stairs (seeing people get saved) by leaping up from the bottom, rather than by climbing up one step at a time. I didn’t want to discourage her though so I didn’t say anything. I just kept prayer walking with her and asking God to lead and guide both of our prayers.
At what turned out to be our last prayer walk together before I moved away, I was blown away by how God answered my prayers. As we walked around her neighborhood, Akiko’s prayers changed. She started praying, “Lord, show me what I can say to Tanaka-san this week. Give me a chance to share your love with Suzuki-san and her husband. Give me the words to speak of you to Watanabe-san this week.”
Akiko admitted that she had never prayed for her neighbors before that first prayer walk. And aside from putting fliers of church events in their mailboxes, she had never spoken to her neighbors of Jesus. Now she had the joy of standing in the gap for the people around her and of seeing that God could use her to be His hands and feet to her community.
Let’s prepare the way for the gospel by prayer walking together with our local brothers and sisters through our communities. As we walk and pray, let’s let God open our eyes to what He wants us to see and catch His vision for how He can use us in spreading His good news.
By Christina, an OMF missionary
*all names have been changed
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray that Japanese believers will see themselves as part of reaching Japan.
- Pray that God would open our eyes to see the opportunities he’s put around us.
- Pray for patience for missionaries as they model and teach believers how to reach out to their neighbours.