by Lilly Lewin
One of my prayer practices is to pray while walking my dog. I started this practice in our neighborhood in Cincinnati, continued it the four years we lived in California, and I have started again in my new neighborhood here in Nashville. It’s an amazing prayer practice that doesn’t take extra time because I would be walking my dog anyway. During the years that I walked the Wonder Spaniel I was opened to pray for neighbors I knew and those whom I didn’t. I asked God to show me how to be available to my neighbors and what the needs were around me.
I prayed for health and peace in homes. I prayed for jobs and favor. Eventually my neighbors figured out that I was a praying person and would ask me to pray for specific things. I wasn’t creepy. I didn’t stop and lay hands on mailboxes or anything like that, I just walked my dog and prayed for each home I passed by and the people in those houses. If I knew of specific needs of neighbors, like someone was sick or needed a new job, I would pray for those things. Our local high school happened to be just around the corner, so I had the opportunity to pray for the teachers and the students and the principal and staff.
This prayer practice opens my heart to my neighbors and my town and opens me to what God is already doing in my neighborhood. My walk now includes a view of downtown, so this has encouraged me to pray for our mayor and our city council and for church leaders to really make a difference in our city for justice and the least of these.
Nashville is experiencing a tremendous boom right now but there is a tendency for people to forget those without access and those who need help. I pray that the people who know Jesus will begin to get out of their church buildings and into action for God’s kingdom and truly make an impact for the three L’s as my husband Rob says, “ the least, the lost and the lonely.” So my encouragement for all of us is to get outside this fall and walk the dog. And if you don’t have a dog, just get out and take an intentional prayer walk around your neighborhood. As you pray for your neighbors allow God to surprise you with gifts of beauty along the way…a bird, a flower, a sunset, etc. I’d love to hear about your discoveries, so email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out my website freerangeworship.com for more creative prayer ideas.
This post is part of our September Creative Prayer theme.