Prayerwalking

Prayerwalking can be a difficult concept for children to grasp.

“How are we supposed to walk and pray at the same time?”

“Are we supposed to close our eyes?”

“Just who are we praying for anyway?”

“It’s hot!”

“I’m tired!”

“Squirrel!”

I think you get the picture.

Going on prayerwalks with your children may seem like a challenging task, but I promise it’s worth it. Walking through your community in prayer does 2 things:

  • Children get out of the church building and see the folks who live and work around them.
  • Children learn how to look at the world with a lens of empathy. They see the world as Christ sees it.

By leading your children around your community in prayer, you teach them to see each person they meet as someone valuable to and loved by God. This is an incredible gift for the children who participate. Just think about it: if children are taught to see the world in this way when they are young, what might they be capable of as adults?

Safety is always a concern when you’re out and about with a group of children. Even though you’ll be walking in a prayerful spirit, cars still speed and children still tend to wander off. Before you go on your next prayerwalk, please consider the following:

  1. Make sure there are plenty of adult volunteers with you. Ideally, you’re looking for a 1:2 ratio of adults to children (that’s 1 child per hand!).
  2. Map out your route before you leave. Take time the day before to check out possible streets and neighborhoods you could visit. Take note of areas with sidewalks and easy access for pedestrian travel.
  3. Make time to stop every so often to reengage your children. Lead them in a corporate prayer. Ask them to be still and close their eyes, asking God to show them how He loves the people all around them.

Reward your children with the Prayerwalking badge/patch to help them remember what they learned during the experience. When done the right way, this is an activity that can leave a lasting impact on your community and your children for years to come.

Zachariah Seanor is the Royal Ambassadors, Challengers, and Youth on Mission consultant at national WMU.

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