Basking in Beauty – the Joy of Prayer Walks

There are two things that have been most difficult for me to accomplish as a mom. In my physical needs, exercise is most lacking, and in my spiritual walk, prayer has often been limited to the dinner table. Exercise for one because I don’t care for it. It’s really last on the “to-do” list, and that’s not because it is not important, but rather because its very difficult to do with little ones in tow. How fast can I really walk with two little ones that desire to walk or ride their bikes beside me?

I also passionately desire to grow in the area of prayer. I understand the importance and power of walking in God’s presence throughout the day and desire to grow ever more in lifting up the cares and concerns of others and the world around me through it. I know that as women we can accomplish much for the kingdom through prayer. I want to be known as a woman that is a passionate prayer warrior. But when to do it?

After much prayer over the last few months trying to figure out a means of accomplishing both of these goals, the Lord gave me a little idea. Why not kill two birds with one stone? Let’s take a prayer walk.

Ahh…what a glorious idea. Get out in the beauty of His creation, get walking (or jogging, whichever suits you) at a good aggressive pace, and pour out your heart to the Lord. So I started getting up a bit earlier two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, before the kids were awake and before my hubby left for work, between 6:30-7:00am, after my personal devotions. I get dressed, get bundled, and go out, rain or shine (a trusty umbrella is a useful tool), and head out on a 30 minute walk. No one is out to hear me. No one really cares. It’s just me, the Lord, and my trusty Ipod that enables me to read Scripture (you can’t go wrong praying Scripture), memorize Scripture, and provide little prayer reminders as needed (jotting down prayer requests in it as I hear them). And its completely free!

I am so much more motivated to exercise in this way. Being out in creation serves as a reminder to help draw me into a spirit of worship. You can go as long or short as your schedule allows. You don’t have to go in the morning either. Mornings work best for getting me spurred on for the day, but you can certainly do it in the evenings as well.

If your spouse is not around at a doable time, don’t let that hinder you. Lock up the house and circle laps around it or in close proximity to it. Carry a monitor if needed. ;) I honestly have done this, because these two things are important to my body and soul.

Being in the fresh air is glorious for the soul. It strengthens the weary heart. It renews the energy. And it reminds us what it is truly all about…the magnificence of our Creator. Pouring out my soul before Him provides such grace for the day. He cares about every little thing, concern, or fear on my heart. He has open ears.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15)

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About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

37 Responses to Basking in Beauty – the Joy of Prayer Walks

  1. Lorillia September 12, 2013 at 5:08 am #

    Hello, Lindsay & All,

    Living on God is the most powerfull strength of walking a long distances with happiness and joys in the path of the life. Prayer, moorning exercises make us fresh and chearful to complete our task. Look at Yuga practice, for what it is? Ya, Yuga for only mind and spirital, and physical refreshmen!! Same thing like as prayer. I love God , my Husband, My two kids and the other people as well.

  2. Izetta Skotnicki August 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    I’m going to bookmark your site for the future. Keep up the great work!

  3. Lizzy Neiger September 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Thank you so much for this blog. As I’ve been staring at the stubborn bulge that won’t leave my stomach after child #2, I’ve sensed a greater need to exercise. I’ve also wanted to deepen my prayer life, but like you, have thought, “How on earth can I do this with two little kids?” This gives me some hope and inspiration. Now I’ve just got to find which time works best for me. Thanks!

  4. Carol July 14, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    I didn’t read the above comments, so I apologize if this is a duplicate question. I have been struggling in finding time (motivation really) for a quite time. This post really encouraged me to use my daily exercise time to talk with God the last 2 mornings. I want to continue this & maybe use the time to listen to God’s word & do a devotional. I am wondering if there is a MP3 audio format bible study plan out there I could download & use each morning? Lindsay, do you have any resources on this? Thanks for all your great posts – you are my fav blogger.

  5. Wendy Fehr July 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    What a coincidence! I do practically the same thing. A number of years ago I took up running in order to strengthen an old knee injury (God had healed it and I didn’t want it to lapse again when I went back to work). Without any conscious decision on my part, I was quite delighted when God decided to join me on my runs. I now get up early two days each week and go for a 1/2 hour run before the kids are up and while my husband is still home getting ready for work. Jesus and I have 1/2 hour to talk and work through all of the things we need to tell each other. It is entirely inspiring and I love it.

  6. Lisa July 10, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Neat idea! I would like to do it in the morning but I just know I would wake the babies when I get out of bed!

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  8. Amber-Lee July 9, 2011 at 6:21 am #

    Lindsay, I am Anglo-Catholic, which means we are encouraged to pray the daily offices. We are also encouraged to pray standing, kneeling, and prostrated. May I suggest this as a way to stretch? I never even thought about it until I started to see a difference in my muscles. So when I am praying at home, I’ve modified my kneeling and prostrated positions to be more conducive to stretching opposed to the traditional flat on my stomach.
    Also, walking around the house and praying is a great idea! I’ve done that before when I’ve been stressed about things going on in my home or I am unhappy with relationships of people who come in and out of the door. I walk around praying over my home. When I first moved in, I anointed my doors.

  9. Elizabeth Eng July 8, 2011 at 4:25 am #

    Right around the time this post was falling into my inbox last night I was telling my husband how weary my soul is. I specifically mentioned needing to spend more time in the light of Christ and needing to exercise my body regularly.

    My preferred exercises have been temporarily derailed by pregnancy and a summer-long flood. I checked my email before going to sleep and found that God used you to provide an almost immediate answer to my weariness. I hope it encourages you to know that Jesus used you to encourage me!

    I am currently a sweaty mess, recovering from my early morning stroll with Holy Spirit. Thanks!

    • Lindsay July 8, 2011 at 6:27 am #

      Thanks Elizabeth for sharing! Praise the Lord! Be blessed!

  10. Valerie July 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Will you let us know how it’s going in a few weeks?

    • Lindsay July 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

      I actually have been doing this for about two months now and it has been working great! We’ll see how the transition goes with baby #3 arriving soon!

  11. Susan July 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Thanks for this, Lindsay! After reading I turned my already planned walk into a prayer walk and it was beneficial for my whole day. Blessings to you!

  12. Lisa Suit July 7, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Thank you for your inspirational post Lindsay!!

  13. Hannah @ Treasuring It Up July 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Thank you for the inspiration, Lindsay! I live in the middle of Grizzly country so an early morning walk wouldn’t be very smart! But I’m encouraged to see a sister in Christ with little ones struggle to find a specific prayer time and God’s faithfulness in providing it :-) He is so good!

  14. Elizabeth B. July 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    How do you avoid the guilt of taking time to work out regularly? Perhaps this isn’t even an issue for everyone, but it is in our family and we had to even quit the gym. And, please, please don’t let this come across as being critical if you do have a gym membership, I just want to share my feelings/questions.

    My husband and I both work full-time and would feel guilty if we were away from our children anymore than we are. Once we had our first child, we cancelled our gym membership.

    I know lifting weights is very important to your health, but our schedules don’t allow it anymore. Well, let me take that back, yes, we could make time to hit up a gym on the way home from work a few times a week, but it would mean leaving the kids with the sitter even longer. When we are both away from home 10 hrs a day, the kids are without us long enough.

    Aside from getting a home weight lifting set-up (can’t afford one nor have room!) or evening family strolls, any suggestions on how working parents take time to lift weights?

    • Amber July 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

      I understand your struggle. Try not to be too hard on yourself – no one is perfect! I try to be creative with exercise (though I love long walks/hikes/bike rides I just can’t do those all the time). Try lifting your kids (seriously unless they are too old/heavy). Also lay an exercise mat down next to the kids when you’re together and every once in a while do some push-ups, squats or stretches. It may not be as good as an uninterupted workout, but I find that it is better than nothing. If you can, chase your kids in the yard or at the playground. I aim for some fairly vigorous activity each day, but am realistic about how that will look.

      • Becky July 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

        Hi Lindsay,

        I found your blog through the Modest Mom blog. I was happy to see that we have many of the same interests such as nutrition and healthy eating, recipes, frugal and simple, and homeschooling and other stuff! I plan on trying out a deodorant recipe from your blog soon!
        I enjoyed reading your post about prayer walking. My family and also try to incorporate prayer with exercise…in a sense they can be so similar. Prayer can be challenging at times- like exercise and you need endurance for keeping up at both. So it’s nice to blend them together.

        For Ami who asked about exercise….would you mind my mentioning something? You don’t necessarily need to go to the gym to exercise. Think of investing in an elliptical. It’s something you won’t be sorry for investing in. And then you can exercise at home and watch over you kids while you exercise. We have one at home, and it is SO useful when the weather is bad, or we lost track of time and have to exercise in the evening.
        I know how it is to be busy with kids. I have a lot of siblings :)
        So a foldable elliptical is a great thing to have at home. An exercise ball too for pilates…and if you can afford it (or have space), even a treadmill.

        Becky

        • Becky July 8, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

          Sorry, that was Elizabeth- not Amy! Apologize for the confusion.

    • Lindsay July 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

      Have you considered working out with your kids? I know there are several family workout videos I have seen in the past, or simply taking a family walk together in the evening time. We do this frequently ourselves. No, its not an aggressive walk, but its something. We’ve also done bike rides together (a bike trailer comes in handy for little ones). This allows time to build relationships plus get a bit of exercise in too. But honestly, even as a stay at home mom, my husband and I don’t do any strenuous exercise. There are varying seasons of life and grace for each one of them.

    • Amber-Lee July 9, 2011 at 6:17 am #

      I don’t have children yet, but I have a pretty horrific schedule. The only way I can work out is either by waking up earlier in the morning OR multitask it. I lift soup cans as weights (I have sad little arms) when I’m walking around the house. I do calve lifts while I’m standing at the stove. These were things taught to me while I was a running in college, because we were expected to be stretching and toning every extra moment we had.

    • alison July 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

      Elizabeth,

      I’m a weight lifting junkie, so I can understand your dilemma. You might want to try exercises that just use your body weight; you’ll still build muscle! Push ups and lunges (especially walking lunges) are two exercises you can do without weights which work all of your major muscle groups. Also, tricep dips are a great exercise using your own body weight. You can do squats while holding something heavy. Could you afford one pair of dumb bells? Even that would be helpful, if you cannot buy a whole set. Or even a $10 resistance band from Target can help with strength training; most of them come with a booklet of exercises to try, as well.

      Hopefully this helps a bit.

  15. Ami July 7, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Thank you. You encourage and remind me to grow in the Lord.

  16. Kate July 7, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring idea! We recently welcomed baby #2 into our family, and I’ve been feeling like I’m never going to be alone again. I, too, value the importance of prayer and of keeping healthy. I look forward to the day when my 3-week-old becomes predictable enough for me to do my own prayer walks. Thank you for your faithfulness in ministering to me, a fellow young mother, and many others through your blog!

  17. Vanessa July 7, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    I have recently come across your website and I thoroughly enjoy it. I have learned a lot about homemaking and left some reads with great conviction. Thank you for taking the time to blog out your faith in Christ and passion for homemaking. I am not a blog follower, typically, but I am hooked on yours and am using it as one of many tools to homeschool myself in homemaking.
    I, too, have recently started doing prayer walks around the yard – when I can. And throroughly enjoy it. We live in the woods, so I don’t have to worry about looking like a mad woman muttering or crying or laughing to neighbors. Thanks for the monitor idea though – it’ll keep me from having to pop my head in on each lap :-) .
    Thanks again for all the encouragement in to right direction.

  18. Simone July 7, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels the same way about exercise….although I have told my friends with gym memberships that I dón’t need one because when you purposely take recycling downstairs one item at a time while carrying a baby (or putting groceries away etc.) is a work out in itself! Great Post

  19. Twiz July 7, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    I have a 20 minute walk to work which I use as prayer time or sometimes for worship with worship music on my ipod. It can be a great way to bring to God all the situations I know I will face at work. I don’t have lovely countryside to look at but I do have the chance to pray for my neighbours and the children I see on the way.

  20. Jeannie July 7, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    Just started doing this myself. My hubby and I run about every other day and started with the Couch to 5k FREE podcasts. Now we can push our babies (3 yr old and 7 mo old) in a jogger converted from our bike trailer, exercise, and I pray to keep myself motivated and focused on thankfulness for the ability to run. I’ve already seen answered prayer for others too! We just ran our first 5k on the 4th of July. My prayer is to stay motivated!

  21. Jennifer July 7, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    This is a great idea Lindsay! I too struggle with both of these things. In my women’s Bible study we are reading through “The Power of a Praying Wife.” I am just realizing how important it is to be devoting time every day to prayer. I think I’ll start doing this too!

  22. Lacey Wilcox July 7, 2011 at 7:42 am #

    Such a great idea! Running in the morning is one of my favorite times of the day! It’s a little harder for me to run and read scripture from my iPod, but I listen to a ton of sermons. My two favorites are John Piper and Matt Chandler. For anybody who is using an iPod or iPhone to read scripture, the ESV app is one of the best out there, complete with cross-references, a search bar, easy navigation, and even a place to take notes!

  23. charis July 7, 2011 at 7:26 am #

    this is one of my favorite ways to pray. i would love to add that it is great to pray for yourself too – the prayers in the epistles are a great starting place for biblical prayers about growing as followers of Jesus. we can not only become prayer warriors for others, but own own greatest intercessor inviting Him to change and help us!
    my recent post: when life takes us by surprise

  24. Amanda July 7, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    This is a great idea! I love that you are able to get out for a little one on one time with God without your children. I am going to try to do the same tonight. Hopefully my husband will watch our daughter so I can do it on my own. Otherwise, I guess I could always put her in the stroller and take her with. She doesn’t talk much on walks, so she would rarely interrupt my train of thought.

  25. Cassandra July 7, 2011 at 4:55 am #

    I was wondering what some examples of what you are listening to are. Also where do you download them from? I think this is an excellent idea, I think this is a struggle for a lot of women.

    • Lindsay July 7, 2011 at 5:28 am #

      I don’t use this time for listening to anything actually. I was referring to just reading and praying Scripture verses. I like this to be a time of quiet and solitude to facilitate prayer. I do enjoy listening to various inspirational material though when I am doing various housecleaning. I download audiobooks from Audible.com for the most part, or listen to my favorite podcasts – Revive Our Hearts, Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church, etc.

  26. Eimile July 7, 2011 at 4:38 am #

    This is a fantastic idea!

  27. Rebekah July 7, 2011 at 4:30 am #

    This is such a good post, Lindsay. I have no children but still struggle with focusing during prayer; it seems that a thousand chores and projects call my name whenever I settle down to time with the Lord. Doing it while walking, on a regular basis, would be wonderful.

  28. Steph July 7, 2011 at 3:18 am #

    I’m not even married, but I still struggle with prayer and exercise with my full time job. This is a great reminder and I think I’m going to try this. Also, I’m not sure how accomplishable this idea is for mothers, but I usually need an accountability partner whenever I start a new routine. Running with a friend or spouse could also foster fellowship and daily quiet time with your spouse.