Prayer Walking VS Power Walking

On a warm Saturday morning, my family and I were joined by a lovely member of our new church as we went on a prayer walk through the neighborhood. Our girls really enjoyed telling our new friend Judy all about their favorite toys and experiences. Judy did a great job listening and feeding their excitement while still praying over the people and houses we saw.

Two such people walked briskly by our pack of six. We said “hello” but received no response. One was a teenage boy desperately trying to keep us with his father. The father was double-timing it down the sidewalk with his music playing through his oversized earphones. That’s right – the father had headphones on and the teenager did not. I couldn’t help but think how awesome the opportunity was to walk and talk with a teenager who was willing not only to power walk with me but also seemed ready to hear. Sadly, the father had his ears covered.

The name of the game is availability. Judy’s ears and time were unimpeded, and she took an interest in the children who desired to share their life with her. Her prayer walking pace was slow, and the technology was at a minimum. She even left her cell phone in the car. Everything about Judy said she was available to be involved in another’s life. On the other hand, the power walking pace of the father seemed to wish the teenager weren’t even there. Technology was visibly more important than his son. He simply wasn’t there.

I can’t help but think of the times in my life when I’ve been too busy with technology, completing a task, or living in my own head. I know I’ve missed countless opportunities to hear and be available to my children. Such a sad waste of life! There are times when things need to be done, but I think (more often than not) our “getting things done” are the only things were available to do. How often are we available to invest in another’s life? How tied to our technology are we that we can’t communicate with someone who is right by our side or across the table? How might we “get things done” while still keeping our ears uncovered and mind focused on the heart and soul of a child? How does our pace of life hinder or encourage true connection with those about whom we claim to care?

Perhaps we ought to reconsider what Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. “Pray without ceasing.” It doesn’t have to be with our eyes closed, and it certainly doesn’t mean our ears should be closed. We don’t have to be on our knees, but we certainly don’t need to be leaving people in our dust. Instead, let our pace be reasonable, our minds focused, our ears uncovered – because life might be filled with more love and understanding if our power walking turned into prayer walking.

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