When God gave Abraham the pledge of the Promised Land, He also gave Abraham an intriguing command, “Go and walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you” (Genesis 13:17). Literal steps of faith would ultimately be the key to securing the land.
When Joshua took the reigns from Moses, he had the big job of conquering and leading the people into the Promised Land. Knowing how fearful Joshua was of such a huge undertaking, the Lord gave him many wonderful promises. One had originally been given to Moses, “Every place where you set your foot will be yours” (Deuteronomy 11:24; Joshua 1:3).
Joshua began to experience the power of this promise when he had to lead the people to follow the priests as they stepped into the flooded Jordan River by faith before it would open so they could cross (Joshua 3: 15-17).
Next, Joshua had an encounter with the Commander and Chief of the Lord’s army, Jesus Christ, who commanded him to “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground” (Joshua 5:15).
After that, Joshua saw the promise kept again in a different way when he faced the task of conquering Jericho. Located on the banks of the Jordan, Jericho was the key to conquering the Promised Land. God wanted to destroy this city of moon-worship.
The walls around this impregnable city were so thick they said you could drive a chariot around the top. There was no army on earth that could hope to attack Jericho and succeed. Therefore, the Lord gave Joshua a unique battle plan.
He was to take the Ark of the Covenant and march his army behind it around the city once a day, every day for six days as the priests blew their trumpets. On the seventh day, they were to march around it seven times. On the last time around, the people were to shout for victory.
You know the story. When they shouted for victory, the walls fell in. Jericho was breached and totally destroyed (Joshua 6:20-21). Again, faith to literally step out in obedience to the Lord was rewarded.
Since the days of Joshua, Christian leaders have led their people to take physical steps of faith. Through the years, it is not uncommon for pastors to lead their people to walk around a piece of property claiming it for the Lord and as the site of their new church facilities. Others have prayed in every seat of their sanctuary asking God to fill those seats and touch those who will be seated in them on Sunday.
In recent days some have adapted the principles applied by Joshua as a means of evangelism and spiritual warfare. They call it prayer-walking. Prayer-walking has been defined as “praying on-sight with insight.” Dan Crawford defines it this way – “Prayer-walking is intercession on location, with information, in cooperation, against opposition, for glorification.
Recently, we were able to locate a middle school that should serve as a suitable place for us to hold our Sunday worship services when we outgrow my house. Starting this week, we will begin prayer-walking around the school, asking the Lord to put His presence and peace upon it. The faith-walking in prayer will break-up the soil.
Then, as the weeks unfold, we will pray around and through nearby neighborhoods, do some evangelistic canvassing, distribute invitation fliers, and go door-to-door inviting people to the neighborhood block-parties we will be holding every other weekend in the parks surrounding the middle school. All of this leads up to our big launch service November 11, 2012.