DiscipleshipHoly SpiritLeadershipPastoringPrayerSpiritual Growth

Take A Walk . . .

Creating Space to Hear from Jesus.

By May 2, 2017 No Comments

 

About a year ago I picked up a book from Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola called Jesus Speaks – Learning to Recognize & Respond to the Lord’s Voice. It was ten dollars well spent. I enjoyed the first half of the book, which is theological homework and storying, but as a “rubber hits the road” type of guy I just wanted to know what to do! Like all of us, I assume, I really wanted to hear Jesus more often and discern how to respond in a Spirit-led manner. The authors must’ve known guys like me were picking up the book because there’s a caveat in the preface that basically says, “Hey, if you just want to jump in, start reading Part II of this book, and you can come back later to hear our theological beliefs.” I was all in.

The second half of the book is all practical application, so I was stoked! About three-quarters of the way through the book, Frank dropped a chapter essentially called “Hearing While Walking” (i.e. taking a prayer walk). I immediately recognized this was missing from my life. Most of my prayer time or reflection time is done inside with a journal and Bible or sometimes in my car parked near some type of view, but never was it outside or while walking. What’s the difference? I can’t pinpoint it with words, but just take it for a spin and you’ll see. I took them up on the challenge and put the principles into action and took a “prayer walk.” The result? Some of the most refreshing times with Jesus I have ever had in my life AND something I now do in my weekly rhythm to be with Him more and find the rest He wants to impart to me.

What I do is super simple. I hope this doesn’t just bless you, but this helps you disciple others and invite them into a rhythm of rest and reflection with Jesus. This is an easy, reproducible tool we can pass on to help others as they grow in their spiritual disciplines of listening and reflection. Here’s what I do:

3 Easy Steps

  1. Walk Slowly

Start by breathing deeply and thanking God for the breath in your lungs and the life in your body. Thank Him for every breath, for everything. This isn’t physical exercise; this is just a slow stroll. “Slow your roll,” and enjoy the freshness of life around you.

Acts 17:27–28 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us.  For in him we live and move and exist.” 

  1. Pour Your Heart Out to Him

Either out loud or in your mind and heart tell, Him everything that is heavy on your heart: the things you’re celebrating, the things you’re mad about—everything you can think of.

1 Peter 5:7Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.”

  1. Admire Creation

Spend some time reflecting on nature and how beautiful it is. Praise Him for the uniqueness and harmony in which He put all things together. How might He be wanting to reveal Himself to you through something simple you might perhaps have walked right past?

Romans 1:20 “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature.”

If you want to get crazy and add a step, you can always end with “Father, is there anything you have to say to me right now?” and listen patiently. Enjoy your time, and take however long you want. Bring a Bible with you, a journal, or nothing; whatever you want, just do it!  Bring a friend from your MC or DNA and meet up after to share. Maybe this is something you begin to do on your lunch breaks to find time to get God’s perspective on your week. Whatever it is I believe this abiding rhythm will bear much fruit.

Please share comments if you find this life giving, and please invite others into a rhythm of resting, walking, and listening to Jesus. He’s amazing.


Where will you take a prayer walk this week? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Tim Parlier

Author Tim Parlier

Tim serves as an Elder/Pastor with Surfside Church (formerly Groundswell Communities) where he and his wife Allison lead a Missional Community in Encinitas, California. Tim also serves as the San Diego Coastal Area Director with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) where he works with students, athletes, & coaches. Additionally, Tim coaches defensive line at a local high school and serves as the football program Chaplain.

More posts by Tim Parlier

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