I've walked with God through the Connecticut countryside, up and down New Jersey hills, on California beaches, around golf courses in senior communities, in hill-less Illinois, and in Florida with signs posted “Beware of Alligator.” I've prayed vehemently in the Spirit when my heart was desperate for help. I've cried in grief and disappointment, and I've chatted as I pictured and felt Jesus walking alongside me in sandals and white robe, listening and even answering some hard questions.
Physically, I huff and puff if I push myself or go just a little too far, and I breathe slow and deep if the way is non-taxing and straight and level. Three of the seasons I return with rosy cheeks and sometimes need lip moisturizer. In the summer I toss my empty bottle in the sink then chug tall glasses of ice water. This prayer walking thing is a way of life.
Leave footprints where none have been.
Sometimes I'm quiet and think to God, and He speaks back with ideas and gives me things to do, visions for the future, and convicts me when I need to be convicted. Other times I pray in the Spirit, sometimes a whole hour. If I pass by someone, I pause until they are out of sound range. Passing cars think I'm talking to someone though a Bluetooth hidden under my hat. There is no Bluetooth, never was, never will be.
Although I'm focused on praying, I'm alert to my surroundings. I've narrowly missed being plowed down by a school bus whose driver obviously misjudged how far she was from the side of the road. I've been splashed by 4 x 4's and been spit at with brownish gray snow by snow plows. I've also left fresh foot prints in miles of unmarred snow. I wonder what prints my prayers have left in heaven. I'm glad that I've prayed them.
"Prayer walking has been one of the most productive things
that I have done as a warrior for the Kingdom."
Rain, snow, sleet or hail, God shows up.
Every now and then I realize that another pair of running shoes is past its ability to support these rich, rewarding excursions. A new pair waits in my closet. I have bought my next pair ahead of time, preparing for a smooth transition for the new pair. When I turn the calendar each month, I see how the hours and miles with God have added up. If I did not walk, would I pray as much? I'm certain that I wouldn’t. Phones ring, dinner needs to be prepared, homework needs to be overseen. When I have been injured I've yearned to be healed just to hit the road again. I've not waited long enough and been set back again. These times I've felt disappointed and missed my alone time with the Lord. Rain, snow, sleet or hail, God shows up. I try to do the same. I'm awestruck that it really did all begin with just a first step.