21 Day Character Challenge – My Favorite Chapter
21 Day Character Challenge is both a daily devotional and the story of Matt and Anna. I’m not a person who cries often. When I wrote the story line for week two, day four, called Prayer Walks, I cried. The story is quite moving. This quickly became my favorite chapter in 21 Day Character Challenge. I wanted to share it with you. After you read it, consider buying this book “here”.
(Week Two: Day Four)
Through completely different channels both Matt and Anna knew Foster. Foster had been diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia and was undergoing experimental treatment for the disease. Anna knew Foster through a mutual friend and had been marginally praying for him as she was reminded of him. Matt had known Foster since he was a little boy and was struggling with the fact that Foster had his illness. Matt, who was just learning to pray, was doing his best to pray every day for Foster’s recovery.
One of the members of Hope Community Church convinced Pastor Richard to organize a community-wide prayer walk in honor of Foster and all those suffering disease. Matt and Anna, who had not met, both planned to attend the event.
On the day of the walk, Pastor Richard came to the microphone to address the group. More than 2,000 people from all over Castle Rock came to show their support. Pastor Richard delivered a beautiful yet short message recommending that everyone not only walk to bring awareness of the illness, which was noble in itself, but that everyone there should pray while they walked. Some were to pray for Foster’s healing. Others were assigned to pray for his financial obligations. He assigned the final group to pray for Foster’s witness through and after his healing. The loop they had to walk was about a quarter of a mile. He told them they were going to do seven laps. On the first six they were to pray but on lap seven they were to sing the entire lap.
Anna came to walk with her friend Leslie. Matt came with this friend Daniel. It turned out that Daniel knew Leslie and so they all met together briefly before the event. Daniel introduced Matt to Leslie and Anna. Leslie, in turn, introduced Anna to Matt and Daniel.
The walk began. For six laps the entire field of 2000 people prayed. They each prayed their three different assigned prayer points. On lap seven, because there were so many people in attendance, it felt like the entire community sang. Initially, everyone was singing their own song, but something shifted. Perhaps it was supernatural. The entire field began singing the great hymn “It Is Well”. It was an awesome sound to hear. The time was 8:15pm. The walk completed and the group dispersed.
What no one knew was that the very moment that the group began to sing “It Is Well”, Foster had gone to be with Jesus. No one had expected it. The prayers of the entire group of walkers had brought enormous peace to Foster’s family in his final moments. In fact, right after he passed, his family spontaneously sang the song “It Is Well”, which turned out to be the exact moment that the group had spontaneously began to sing that song.
I have read what feels like one hundred business books. In just about every one of them they recommend that at some point in your day you take a walk. You should get away from the desk or cubicle and shift your focus for fifteen minutes. A few minutes walking can prove as instrumental to your success as hours spent working.
I love to do prayer walks. Prayer walks are just as it sounds. You spend time praying to God while you walk. It may be the only form of multitasking a man can do well. Ha!
If you have never embarked on a true prayer walk journey, it may seem as strange to you as when you see power-walkers in your local mall. To the onlooker, a prayer walk looks a little like when you are far away from a person and you see them walk into a spider’s web. Of course, from your distance, you don’t see the web, you just see someone who seemed to be walking normally, begin to flail their arms at what appeared to be nothing at all. On a prayer walk, if you speak aloud, then you are speaking (seemingly) to no one. Of course, you and I know you are speaking directly to God.
The most famous prayer walk I could think of is when Joshua lead the Israelites around Jericho seven times [See Joshua 6]. Jericho had been barricaded in fear of the Israelites. Little did they know that through the obedience of the walking of their enemies, their entire city would crumble. The power of God is phenomenal!
You and I may not be walking to break down physical barriers, but what about spiritual? If you have any need, present it to God because he cares for you [1 Peter 5:7]. Add a short walk to it and you can free yourself from distraction.
A good friend of our family recommended we do a Joshua-esque walk around our newly purchased home to free it of any previous dark influences. We strode seven times, praying all along. You may think, “What could that help?”. I would rather pose, “What could it hurt?”.
Take a prayer walk today. Better yet, make it a part of your daily routine. If you already take prayer walks, I would love to hear how and when you do them.
”Dear Lord Jesus, please help me to remember that the purpose of prayer is to have a relationship with You. You taught us to pray saying, “My Father who is in heaven, holy is your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give me today my daily bread and forgive me of my sins as I forgive those who have sinned against me. Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom, the power and glory forever.” In Jesus’ name, amen.”
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