MONDAY SCHOOL – thoughts from the message this past Sunday:
This coming Saturday, our Bishop has issued a call for us to go “prayer walking.” People will gather at 9:30 Saturday morning in ten locations in each district, ten churches, and go walking through the neighborhoods, praying for the community. After praying, they will return to the church to discuss the experience and what they heard from God as they were praying. Kinmundy United Methodist Church is one of those locations for this first experience of monthly prayer walking.
In worship this morning we viewed the Bishop’s Call to Prayer in the video available at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK8Izee-60w&feature=youtu.be
In an article by Bishop Frank J. Beard in the October 2017 issue of The Current, Bishop Beard spoke of what is involved in organizing a Prayer Walk:
The role of the Church of Jesus Christ is to be salt and light within our community. I believe it is time to shine the light and spread the salt where it can be most effective. I am inviting and encouraging each church in the IGRC to participate in a day of prayer walking.
Prayer walking is exactly what it sounds like. It is “praying” as you “walk” around your ministry setting or a pre-designated location. It is prayer that is conducted by individuals and groups on behalf of their neighbors and communities. Some say it is, “praying onsite with insight.”
Prayer walking can be done by individuals, groups, and even whole churches. These walks can be as short or as long as desired. If a person can’t walk it physically they can “walk it in their mind,” as they drive the designated location.
The key to prayer walking is to be on the scene without making one. The goal is to walk, as much as possible, unnoticed, as you offer intercessory prayer on behalf of others. There may be times when prayer walks are conducted to call specific attention to a problem or situation affecting the entire community. Each church can choose to set the agenda for their prayer walk.
I am requesting that the IGRC family designate November 18th as PRAYER WALK DAY. Churches and ministries are free to participate in ways that will be beneficial to their setting. Some churches with multiple sites will want to join in solidarity. Some communities with more than one UM church will want to work together as a united witness to our connection.
Before you go out to pray, spend a moment in preparation by taking time to review your plan and by having a brief time for praying and worshipping. I suggest that you begin and end the prayer walk by sharing in The Lord’s Prayer.
Each church is free to organize on their own. I am, however, providing some helpful guidelines for those seeking more direction and clarity.
1. Choose someone to spearhead and organize this event.
2. Decide the type and length of prayer walk that you will conduct.
– What prayer-walking routes will be covered?
– Will your prayer-walking time be focused around a special event?
– Will you be walking in pairs or in small groups?
– Do you want everyone to use a predetermined scripture for the prayer-walking time?
– Will there be designated strategic stops or spots for focused prayer? If so, who will lead?
During the Prayer Walk:
1. Pay Attention: Walk and pray with your eyes open.
2. Keep on Task: Try not to get distracted in your own chatter.
3. Blessing the Area: As you walk pray God’s blessing over the community.
4. REMEMBER Every Footstep represents a prayer and a door of opportunity for ministry.
5. Be open and ask God to give you Christ’s heart and compassion for the area.
After the Walk:
6. Debrief and talk about what God has shown you during your prayer-walk.
– Did God impress you with certain needs or lead you to any specific person or place?
– Were there any specific “God moments” experienced?
7. Establish plans for further prayer walks.
Prayer is one of the most effective tools that we have been given to promote change. Let’s unite in a Conference -Wide effort to do something positive together. 
In the message this morning, I encouraged everyone to remember that God not only has a plan for the lives of people we encounter in our neighborhood, it is a plan like that of a grand chess master who thinks many moves in advance and is aware of all of the various possibilities. God knows our community and God knows your neighbors. Intimately.
Consequently, we might be surprised by what we experience when we surrender to go walking and praying for our neighbors … but God is not. Nothing that happens is random or accidental or without God’s preparation or concern. And we are a part of God’s grand master plan, each one of us a piece that is moved in order to fulfill God’s beautiful strategy of loving our neighbors through God’s people praying for them. Everything we experience, every person we encounter, has a purpose in the heart and mind of God. We truly can “go with God” and go with the flow of the Holy Spirit as we surrender ourselves to God’s will working through us as we go to pray.
 The article by Bishop Frank J. Beard regarding a conference-wide Prayer Walk on Nov. 18, 2017, from the October 2017 issue of The Current, is available from http://www.igrc.org/forms?topic=Prayer%20Walk%20Resources
The Prayer Walking image is from ChurchArt.com, a subscription service.
The photo “Chess” is by Mamooli and is from https://www.flickr.com/photos/babairan/7104487239/
courtesy of the Flickr.com Creative Commons license.
This post is based on the sermon “Stepping Into The Triangles” from the sermon series “Out of the Chair, Into The Triangles”
Pentecost, November 12, 2017, at Kinmundy United Methodist Church.
Slides and audio for this message can be downloaded from http://www.disciplewalk.com/K_Sermons_June_Aug_2017.html
All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.