For those that make New Year’s Resolutions, what is often at the top of the list? Getting healthier. For Christians, the top of the list will likely also include some sort of improving their spiritual life. While I don’t necessarily have New Year’s Resolutions, I do keep another list. This year it is my 26 in 26, or 26 things to do while I’m 26. (If you go back to my posts in March of 2011, you can find that list). Each year, I plan on making a new list, so next year I’ll make a 27 in 27 list. I’ll admit, however, that New Year’s Day and New Year’s Resolutions makes me think about my next list, and since my birthday is just two months away I start making my list.
PrayerWalk by Janet Holm McHenry takes both of those top resolutions, getting healthier and improving ones spiritual life, specifically their prayer life, and weaves them together. Previously, I had been introduced in prayer walking on mission trips, but not as a regular lifestyle. Prayer walking is simply walking around an area, like one’s neighborhood, and praising God for what He is doing in that area and praying for the people in each household.
McHenry’s own prayer walking began as a way to multitask, to get two things done that were lacking in her life, a deeper prayer life, and some basic, but much needed exercise. She began just by walking and praying for the needs of her family, but God quickly turned that time into so much more for her. She began praying for the local daycare and its kids and families, then it was neighbors and churches and city officials. In that time, God began filling her too. Her son noticed one day that she was singing as she was making the kids lunches. Her depression was gone, and she began to notice things around her that helped to change her outlook on life. God was changing her life as she choose to make a simple decision, get out of bed, meet with God, and prayer walk.
PrayerWalk is not just a book encouraging believers to get out and pray for their community while they take part in one of the easiest and most basic forms of exercise, though it certainly does that. McHenry’s book includes the physical benefits of walking regularly both on one’s short term and long term health. It also gives the spiritual benefits of praying for ones family, neighbors, community, schools, officials, etc. The book could simply stop there and be a good book, but instead the author shares answers to prayer from her own prayer walking as well as others. Included in the book are also a study guide and a 30 day prayer walking challenge that has a daily focus for both the spiritual and the physical.
Many of us desire to have more discipline in our lives. Yet we fail to cultivate that discipline simply because we don’t choose to make the choices each day that will develop a disciplined life. We choose to sleep in instead of getting up and spending time with God. We choose to watch tv instead of spending one on one time with our family. We think that having a schedule means we can’t be flexible. Why not choose to make a decision today to cultivate discipline. And tomorrow, make that same decision!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to see improvements in their spiritual and their physical life. You will be encouraged to get out and begin the journey to become “a woman of prayer, strength and discipline.”
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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