For months in the early years of our marriage, mornings at our house were a blur of busyness. My husband, Charles, and I would jump out of bed, shower, dress, eat, scan the newspaper, then rush off to work.
After a while, I felt the need to add some exercise to my routine, so I'd power walk through the neighborhood or hit the nearby gym for an early aerobics class. Charles was never as interested in exercise as I was, however, so usually I went alone.
Then gradually, as his schedule permitted, he agreed to walk with me before work. I treasured these intimate early morning walks with my husband. They seemed the perfect time to talk out our problems with money, kids, and parents—and each other. Then one day I suggested that on our return route, we stop at a park bench near our home for a quick time of prayer. Charles agreed and this became my favorite part of our time together. The only problem was that we both felt rushed. It seemed there wasn't time for everything—a nourishing breakfast, much-needed exercise, and quality time to talk and pray. I wanted to find a way to make it all work.
Then one Saturday as we walked, enjoying the freedom of a day off work, it occurred to me that we could combine our walking with our praying. Instead of commenting on the passing scene, or discussing a situation that needed our attention, I realized we could pray about these things as we walked! I was excited about this new possibility and mentioned it to Charles, who liked the idea.
Today, prayerwalking has become a popular trend, but when Charles and I started (more than 20 years ago!), I'd never heard of it. There was no mystery to it. We just did what we'd been doing—walking—only we put our prayer into the walk instead of leaving it for the park bench at the end. I wondered if we'd feel self-conscious praying aloud in a public area. But soon we realized the joggers and other walkers were as involved in their own routines as we were in ours.1