For almost three years I have made it a habit to prayer walk. Almost every day, whether there is rain, snow, or sunny skies, you will find me walking. I walk fast, very fast. One of my close friends calls it “Steve’s prayer jog.” Well, maybe that’s accurate if you jog at the pace of a fast walker.
I mostly walk in the woods. Near my home is the Black Forest Regional Park, and I take advantage of the many trails that meander through the woods. Forest walking is great. It’s the quiet I love the most. No people, no conversations, no questions. No phone, no texting, no computer. Only the sound of birds, wind in the trees, and the occasional thunder clap. Perfect.
I never wanted to get into walking. In actual fact, I don’t like hiking per se. My dad is the hiker but I’m more of a guy who goes into the woods to get something—like an elk or deer, not a walker for the sake of walking. My kind of walking has a rifle strapped to my shoulder.
Then God got my attention. It’s all His fault.
God set the whole thing up. I started doing my prayer walks at the most depressing, lonely, and questioning time of my life. At first I took to the trail weeping. Yep it’s true. At the time I would have termed it “Prayer Weeping.” I would walk and walk and walk and cry and cry and cry. My heart was breaking and my mind was confused.
It was the fall of 2013 and I was dealing with feelings of betrayal, rejection, and self loathing. My life work was caving in. My heart was breaking and my mind was confused. I had no outlet. Sometimes I would go out and target shoot with my pistol; sometimes I would see a counselor; sometimes I just sat by my fire pit, stared at the blazing embers.
But then I discovered that when I took a walk something kind of cool happened to me. As I poured out my heart to the Lord, He showed up. I began to feel His pleasure, His love, His embrace. There have been days that I walked for over three hours and it literally felt like thirty minutes! I came back with aching feet and a peaceful heart.
Maybe it is the pouring out of my heart to the Lord with no distractions. Maybe it’s the catharsis of getting out my anger, frustration, and doubts. Maybe it’s the unedited voice of my heart spilling out. I don’t know. Here’s what I do know, something happens that is refreshing, freeing, and peaceful.
On the Road,