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Tag Archives: Walk and pray

A Good Walk Not Spoiled

During my sophomore year at the University of Illinois, I joined a Bible Study led by a guy named Bill Wargula.  Bill was probably a junior or senior at the time, but he was significantly older than the rest of us because he had already spent 6 years in the Air Force.  In fact, as I remember, that’s where he came to Christ.  So unlike most juniors, Bill had life experience, not to mention a strong love for the Lord.  And he took me under his wing. 

During those days, I was considering going back to West Point, or at least applying.  In later years I would recognize West Point as an idol in my life, but in those days I was confused, and leaning on his military experience, Bill helped talk me through it.

Along with some other guys who lived on Bill’s dorm floor – Carl, Kevin, Max and Phil – together we worked our way through the Navigators’ Design for Discipleship Bible study.  I know Bill taught me a lot, but if there was one lesson I remember learning from him, it was a particular way to pray.  Bill liked to pray as he walked, and he passed on his love for this to me. 

He did it quite a bit, but I’ll never forget when his girlfriend Rita broke up with him.  I think Bill really thought she was the one (Nancy would be glad she wasn’t today), and my friend took it hard.  He sorted out his broken heart during long walks with the Lord.

So along the way, I began to follow in Bill’s footsteps, so to speak.  And, for me, it was life changing.  I found something freeing about taking off on a walk for the purpose of communing with the Living God.  Sitting in my dorm room and praying was fine, but walking and praying became more about the relationship, about enjoying God. This habit became a way for me to really “pour out my heart to the Lord” (Psalm 62) in a way that sitting or even kneeling in the same place didn’t usually allow.  To this day, the University of Illinois campus is a holy place to me, and I think a large reason is that it became consecrated during my own long walks with the Lord in those college days.

If you want to know more about it, I can recommend some reading: My buddy Jeff Brower introduced me to a great book on the topic called Long Wandering Prayer, written by David Jansen.  Jansen speaks of two kinds of prayer, 1) Praying the Psalms (I talked about this the other day here) and 2) Praying like the Psalms.  Walking and praying is not formal prayer, although you can certainly bring your list along with you, but it’s great for praying like the Psalms.

But even better than reading about it, I think the best bet is to just start. Some day when you want to pray but are feeling a bit restless, head out (March and April are just around the corner) for a walk and as you go, tell the Lord whatever is on your mind.  Talk to Him for the pure joy of talking to Him.  I think you’ll find it one of the best things you have ever done.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
Selah

Psalm 62:8 (NIV)

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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A Look at Prayer from Mike Giebink

Mike Giebink and his wife Brenda have been part of Edgewood since our first public service in 1996. He was hired as Associate Pastor in the summer of 1998, about half a year before the Knowltons came around. You can read a little more about him and his family here. He has a real pastor’s heart, and in different ways, he has been a model to me of discipline and consistency in the various areas of his life.  Along these lines, recently he agreed to answer some questions about his life of prayer:

What Bible verse motivates you about prayer and why?

I’ve always loved Philippians 4:6-7: “ 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This verse encourages me to replace worry with prayer and then experience God’s peace of heart and mind as I trust in and depend on Him.

What’s a big thing you are praying for lately?

We’ve been walking through cancer with Brenda’s mom. There is always much to pray for with that. Wisdom is always a big request on my list as well, whether it be for leading my family, my ministry at Edgewood, or for the many decisions facing me and my family.

Where have you learned about prayer? Is there a book or a person who influenced you in a significant way?

Certainly my parents were great influences in my life in regards to prayer. They modeled a life of faithful prayer as I grew up – and still do today. Early in ministry I remember reading and being inspired by Bill Hybels’ book Too Busy Not to Pray. Philip Yancey’s Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference? helped me think through some tough issues related to prayer also.

What frustrates you about prayer?

It is easy to feel like prayer is not an active enough way of helping someone, however, I am becoming more and more convinced that praying for someone earnestly is perhaps the most beneficial and productive thing I can do to help them.

Is there something you’ve been praying for a long time?

Brenda and I have been praying for the salvation of extended family members for decades. It has been encouraging to see them one by one, in God’s way and time, come to faith in Him. We are still praying for some of them. We’ve been praying, and continue to pray for godly, Christian spouses for our kids as well.

How do you keep fresh in prayer?

One of the things that helps me most is checking in on prayer requests so that I can pray more specifically and hear how God is at work in the situations for which I am praying. For a long time now I have tied a large chunk of my prayer time in with my work-out time , combining physical and spiritual elements. It keeps me strong and consistent in both areas.

How does your family pray together, or do you pray with your kids?

Actually we do quite a bit of short, impromptu prayers.  We pray with our kids before they head off to school, especially including prayer for test, projects, special events, friendship issues, they are facing that day. When I used to drive the kids to school we always prayed on the way. If we gave someone a ride, they were included as well. When our kids have something heavy on their hearts and talk with us, we usually pray with them about that. Our goal is to teach them to turn to God in whatever they face.

I also pray with Brenda most nights before bed and at other times during the day as we face issues and decisions. Brenda keeps a praise and thanks journal. Often we recount specific praises together before bed as well.

What format of prayer do you use?

My concentrated time of prayer is while I walk in the morning. I like to start out praising and thanking God. I try to be specific and varied in these. From there I move on to confession, asking God to reveal sin in my life and examining my life for areas displeasing to Him. Finally I move into requests. I have a mental list I go through that includes categories like family, extended family, church needs, people I am/ have counseled, special needs/issues God lays on my heart, the church staff, my life group members, and friends. Often during the day I pray short, focused requests to God in quick thoughts and blurbs. In regards to prayer, I recently heard Philip Yancey comment, “Keep it short; keep it honest; keep it going!” I like that!

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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