Virtual Prayer Walks
June 23, 2020
By Asher Sarjent – Global Outreach Pastor – Cole Community Church
Prayer walks have been an integral part of our short-term outreach projects for years. Our church has sent groups just to do prayer walking, primarily because of security concerns in our host country as well as the reality that most movements have been birthed as a result of concentrated prayer efforts. We have found that prayer walks have not only opened doors of opportunity for our Global Workers but they have changed the life of the participant.
As a result of the success of our prayer walking ministry we have explored how to maintain connection with our Workers after we go home by continuing the ministry of prayer. Many of our Workers use a tool called an Oikos Map. Oikos is a Greek word meaning home/house or household/ family to map out those that they are intentionally building relationships with for the purpose of sharing Christ. When our prayer walking teams are in country they use our Worker’s Oikos Map in walking the neighborhoods where the people live to pray for them.
We thought why not bring this back home via Google Earth/Maps and virtually go on the same prayer walks to continue our efforts in prayer for the movement of the Holy Spirit in the areas our Workers are focusing on?
Originally we used screen shots of a street or area of concentration and labeled the location of the people to be prayed for from our Workers Oikos Map and then prayed over these areas. We expanded to using Google Earth/Maps in real time by “walking” the path of our Workers focusing on different areas and praying as we went along, just like if we were there in person.
We realized that this was an amazing way to stay connected with our Worker! While it certainly didn’t replace the impact of praying onsite, we felt it extended our efforts by virtually prayer walking where we had been. This method also allowed us to involve those who were not able to travel to visit our Workers in person. They were able to feel more connected because of visually seeing where our Workers are focusing their ministry efforts.
We have added joining our Worker real time, via video conference, as they walk a designated route. They highlight specific places, people or concerns and we pray together in real time as the Lord leads. We keep in mind security concerns of our Worker praying in public, they often use a head set and we do the praying while they listen and share topics to focus our prayer efforts. They also use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to add another layer of security.
For the most part we use Zoom so people can join from wherever but we also encourage groups of people to meet as they go on their virtual prayer walk. We have set up a video conference suite at our church to help local people connect with our Workers. Most Sundays we have a group using the suite to touch base with our Global Worker families.
You can add a number of different types of animations to Google Earth/Maps to add some layers to your virtual prayer walk, but the most important thing is to actually pray.
Wishing you well on your prayer walking journey.
Cole Community Church is an Associate Member of SOE. We want to thank them for contributing this article.