By Michael Risley
Prayer is one of the toughest disciplines to practice as you follow Jesus.
It is so contrary to how many of us grew up. In my family you might hear, “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get going!”… because life depended on you. There was no thought of prayer. In fact, there was no thought of God!
When I became a Christian, I started developing a different perspective on life. At that time, I recognized that God loved me and wanted to have a close, “best friend” relationship with me – and this type of relationship would require not only reading God’s Word but also prayer.
Over the years I have begun to love prayer, but it felt like an acquired taste as the Holy Spirit changed me.
One prayer activity that has helped me is a Prayer Walk. In the mornings, after reading a devotional (of course, the Senior Living Ministries devotional!) and digging into a Scripture passage from my “Reading Through the Bible” plan, I take this walk. (Please note: If you cannot walk, try and sit where you can enjoy the outdoors or somewhere quiet.)
My Prayer Walk takes different routes through my neighborhood, depending on how much time I have. However, it always goes by a lake close to my house, for which I am thankful. As I start my walk, I begin by reciting Galatians 2: 20:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I pray this life-changing passage slowly, emphasizing the different truths and visualizing Christ dying for me. I end the prayer by saying, “Jesus, You loved me and gave Yourself for me. I now commit to love You and give myself to You this day!”
Then as I continue to walk, I enjoy the cool morning air and the beautiful lake and trees, and I thank God for any blessings that come to my mind.
Somewhere about the mid-point of my walk, I sit down and pray from a daily list of prayer requests I keep on my cell phone. Each day of the week has a different list of people for whom I pray. For most people, I mainly pray that they will draw near to God (James 4:8) and that God will give them wisdom (James 1:5).
After this sit-down prayer, I walk home, praying for the people I will meet and the things I will do that day.
All of us have different ways we pray. I hope my Prayer Walk might strengthen and refresh your own time with our great God!