Some years ago, pastors in India taught me Prayer Walking: we walked through a village praying for anyone and everyone we saw. They impressed on me the need to first pray for a village before attempting to proclaim the Good News to the village. We saw some amazing things happen as we prayed! Today, I like to do Prayer Walking right where I live, praying for people I see, asking God’s blessing for them as Jesus taught us to do. While walking, I also pray for schools I pass, for children on playgrounds, and for homes in which I know someone is sick or in need. I am essentially praying for God’s kingdom rule (basileia) and shalom to come into their lives.
Philosopher and theologian Dallas Willard explains praying for God’s kingdom to come: “We are thinking here of the places where we spend our lives: of houses, playgrounds, city streets, work places, schools and so forth. These are the places we have in mind, and they are where we are asking for the kingdom, God’s rule, to come, to be in effect.” (Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy) We are praying for God’s kingdom rule to be realized right where we live.
It was a provocative question that two angels put to Jesus’ disciples as they watched Him ascend to heaven: “Why do you stand looking up to heaven?” (Acts 1:11). And it is a provocative question for us. The angels then redirected the disciples’ attention to this earth; they were to look for Jesus to return to this earth “in the same way you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
In these ’between the times’, we look for and pray for Jesus’ coming to this earth; we are witnesses to Him in our own “Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We pray for those around us, and for ourselves, that God’s kingdom rule comes to our everyday lives. For God “is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15).
PRAY THE LORD’S PRAYER (MORNING-NOON-NIGHT)