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Prayerwalking: Becoming a Person of Secret Influence

1 September 2010
"Point Zero"

Point Zero in front of Notre Dame

I looked down at my calloused and blistered feet and thought with a bit of sarcasm, “So these are the beautiful feet of those who bring good news! God has a sense of humor.” I’d just walked and prayed over what seemed like every inch of Paris.

Paris was no stranger to me – it was the land of my birth and childhood. My missionary parents had moved to France from the States before I was born and we’d lived there until I relocated to the U.S. for college. Now I’d returned to France for the summer not just to see old friends and enjoy the food but to spend some time praying over the city I loved so much. My goal was to walk and pray in each of Paris’ cultural and historical districts over a two-week period.

As I walked the streets of Paris, I felt the Lord directing my thoughts and showing me how to pray. I met God in strange places there: I thought I would find Him in the magnificent cathedrals, but He was made a beggar there – a statue with downcast eyes and upturned palms, with a sign asking visitors to spare four euros for the upkeep of the sanctuary. I thought He would be far away from the red light district, but that is where I felt the need for Him most strongly. He is close to the broken-hearted.

This prayerwalking journey was the inspiration behind PrayerWalk Paris, the first in a series of Christian guidebooks that weave a spiritual dimension into the act of sightseeing. Prayerwalking changed the way I see Paris and Parisians, the way I see God, and also the way I see myself. I was hooked. When I “prayerwalked,” I looked like an ordinary person on the outside, but inside I felt like a superhero.

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8 Comments to “Prayerwalking: Becoming a Person of Secret Influence”

  1. I am in Paris now till 6-24. I planned to do prayer walk for next two weeks. Can you share some ideas? Thanks.

  2. Nathalie

    I am trying to locate your book “Prayer walk in Paris”

    but I cant’t find it in TORONTO bookstores. Is there an ISBN number for it? As you know I am travelling to Paris in May 2012. I think it will be a good help.

    Thanks again,Paul.

    • Hi, Paul.

      The manuscript for PrayerWalk Paris is complete but has not been published yet. I had temporarily put PWParis aside to focus on PrayerWalk London, with the London 2012 Olympics close upon us. However, you have inspired me to make some of those chapters available right here on this blog. I’ll post a few of my favorite chapters and contact you when they’re up.

      Thanks,

      Nathalie

  3. Nathalie, I love your site!! I teach French at a high school in Southwest Virginia. I traveled to Paris in November 2009. As my plane landed, I thought of all the prayers I have prayed for God to bring revival to France and how awesome it was to be there. I love your picture. My husband and I have done mission’s work in Russia and Jamaica. I have a picture at Point Zero in Moscow and in front of Notre Dame!

    • Suzy,

      Wow! I had no idea there was a Point Zero in Moscow. As the French say, “Je me coucherai moins bete ce soir” — I’ll go to bed smarter tonight!

      I would love to hear more of your thoughts on prayer and Paris. And feel free to comment on “One Perfect Day in Paris” — What would you include in your visit if you only had one day?

      Thanks for posting! A bientot, j’espere!

  4. Blistered, crooked, whatever, it’s nice to know that our feet are something the Lord gave us to make change in this world. Sadly, most of the time, people hear my feet coming before they see my face. 🙂
    Secret influence, mighty concept. Seems we’ve read a book about it if I remember correctly. 🙂
    Shine like a star…

  5. Nathalie,
    Who could be better qualified and knowledgeable on this subject than you? Not only were you born and raised “French”, but your heart has stayed in France because of your love and identification with her people. You are already that person of “secret influence” among the French people because of your passion and deep desire to pray for them, to share your insight with others who will pray for them, and to influence and encourage those people to take up your challenge of prayerwalking–whether it takes place in Paris or in their private prayer closet on their knees.
    What a wonderful ministry the Lord has placed in your heart!

  6. The beautiful thing about prayerwalking is that it won’t offend or cause trouble. You can do it anywhere, anytime. I love the idea of being a “person of secret influence!”

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