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Why You Should Walk and Pray at the Same Time

It doesn’t have to be long, and it can be anywhere. But you’re sure to see something new that feeds into your prayer life.

Walking and praying
Credit: Getty Images
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Walk and pray? Wouldn’t that be distracting? How can you do both at the same time? I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical of this idea. Then I tried it.

First a few quick rules:

Don’t listen to a podcast. The noise in your head offers distraction enough.

Don’t stop and talk to people. This is hard, but my neighbors seem to understand. A wave of my hand, a quick hello. I might pretend I’m on a phone call. In a way I am—that free, direct line of prayer.

Don’t run errands. This is about getting in touch with God, not about crossing things off your to-do list. 

A prayer walk doesn’t need to be long. Ten minutes is fine. It could be on a suburban street, in a park, in the woods, in the middle of the city. You will see things that feed into your prayer life. Give thanks for that tree, that sunset, that flower pushing up between the cracks in the sidewalk.

Go slowly. No need to rush. This is your time to connect to the Creator by taking in the Creation. Just a small portion of it. A bird flies by, a leaf drops from a tree, a dog barks, you smell the rain-washed pavement. Our world. The one God gave us.

Give yourself a Bible verse to meditate on. The other day, feeling overwhelmed, I went for a walk, holding on to Paul’s words: “If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:8).

Wow, what a comfort. We ARE the Lord’s, no matter what.

Try something from one of the Psalms. As you take in a view, hold this verse in your head: “I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord…” (Psalm 121:1). Let the words and the Spirit fill you.

Be open to what you’re seeing. One day I paused at an old tree, an ancient oak I must have passed a thousand times—usually on the go. This time I stood and stared. I was amazed to consider how many storms it had weathered, twisting and turning as it rose.

“Be like that tree,” God seemed to say. Be strong, sturdy, dependable. Spread out your branches. Offer shade and comfort to others. Stand tall. You can, and will, weather life’s storms. 

Go for a prayer walk. You will be sure to see something new in the familiar and might discover something new about yourself as each step brings you closer to God.

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