Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
– James 5: 13-16
Prayer works. It changes you, if nothing else. When you are blue, talking to God cheers you up when you have faith that you are talking to someone who cares. When I feel lonely, I often lament that fact. The answer is always something along the lines of, “I don’t know why you feel lonely. I’ve been here all along.”
Praying for healing has been known to work. Some people are not healed, because God has other things in mind for that person and those others around the person. That does not mean that God does not love the person. Paul prayed for a thorn to be lifted, but Paul learned from his infirmity.
But the last sentence in the above Scripture, just part of James 5:16, is the key to prayer walking.
I had never heard of prayer walking until I read a devotion about a week ago. It talked about a man who asked a prostitute if she knew Jesus. She started to cry. They talked for a while and she accepted Jesus as her savior. But what caused the man to be on the street that day? Prayer walking.
The man that was mentioned in the devotion was part of a team. They walked down the streets of Jacksonville, FL, stopping at each house along the way to pray for the people of that house. The devotion did not say whether they interacted with the people, except in this one case. It seemed that they simply walked along the sidewalk and prayed before each house.
What is the use of that? How does that spread the Gospel?
Well, there is the occasional person that they would bump into, like the prostitute, but the devotion said that drunk driving is down, burglaries are down, and robberies are down. That is a sign that God is changing their communities. It is not people knocking on doors and changing people’s lives. They aren’t doing that. God is changing the communities, because ‘the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.’
That got me to thinking. What would happen if a team of prayer warriors in each city in the world pulled out a map and started mapping out a grid with the goal to cover every home and every business in prayer?
Would we change the world?
That is for God to decide, but prayer will change the people that are praying. And those people might bump into others along the sidewalk. The other people might want to know what the prayer warrior is doing. If they don’t turn and run when you say that you are praying, that might just lead to spreading the Gospel. If they start to cry, they might be ready to accept Jesus into their lives.
Wow! What an idea!
The cardiologist says that I need to walk more. I am ready. Who is with me? Let’s change the world.