What do you see, Amos?’ he asked. ‘A basket of ripe fruit,’ I answered. Then the Lord said to me, ‘The time is ripe for my people Israel.’ (Amos 8:2)
'In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways’ (Hebrews 1:1). So begins the writer as he reflects on the different ways in which God spoke to people in the past. For some, it was through visions, or dreams, or an audible voice; but for others, it was often through what they ‘saw’. They would be walking along when God suddenly interrupted their thoughts and asked, ‘What do you see?’, just as he did with Amos in our opening verses today. As the prophets looked and reflected, God would speak to them, interpreting the physical reality before them in terms of the spiritual reality to which it pointed.
God still loves to do the same today. The trouble is, we are often so busy that we just don’t hear what he’s saying; and so we miss so many opportunities to receive God’s revelation or to hear what is on his heart. But one way to begin to train ourselves to hear him better is to ‘prayer walk’. Prayer walking is simple and is something that both of us as writers enjoy doing. It can be done as a specific exercise in its own right (perhaps walking round the streets in your neighbourhood or near your church) or while on the way to work. As you walk, what do you see? It may be something obvious: you walk past the police station, so pray about law and order; you walk past a school, so pray for the teachers and children there.
But sometimes something more ‘supernatural’ happens. You are walking down a certain street and suddenly feel burdened to pray about – marriage! You hadn’t been thinking about that before; in fact, the thought came from nowhere. But our experience is that this often proves to be a real need in that area at that time. So trust the Holy Spirit, and pray!
Why not try some prayer walking today, either alone or with a friend? What do you ‘see’? …Then pray about it!
‘I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.’ (John 4:35)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont