Promoting Prayer Walks

One of the main reasons for the success of our prayer walking project in the summer of 1998 was the way it was presented to the church. The other thing (and this cannot be overestimated) is that the Senior Pastor was solidly behind this initiative.

All the pastoral staff attended every prayer walk, not in leadership roles but just as walkers. But by simply showing up, and trusting that the Prayer Walking Leadership Team was organized and Holy Spirit led, almost the whole church fell into prayer walking in a spirit of unity.

Of course we had announcements in the bulletin and from the pulpit. There was preaching in preparation. Another big plus was the use of cameras. I had already visited many of the sites on my own or with my small prayer group and we had taken many pictures. We did not take any pictures during our prayer walks because that would have been too distracting and we didn't want to make ourselves obvious in the neighborhoods.

After the prayer walks were over, I went back to locations that people marked on their route sheets or mentioned during the debriefing and took additional pictures. In that way we had a pretty accurate picture of each walk. We compiled the pictures and the route sheets with notes by the prayer walkers and made them into scrapbooks.

A member of the church was a graphic artist and he created a huge poster showing the city skyline with the words, "Holy Toledo" which was on display in the back of the sanctuary along with the pictures and route sheets. These route sheets were very interesting to read as the walkers were asked to mark them up and make comments of their impressions. After Sunday service people congregated around the display and that generated excitement.

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