I have written about Prayer Walk as a way of drawing near to God and finding relief from the onslaughts of mixed depression-anxiety. Prayer Walk is an ancient practice for, as mentioned, drawing near to God and finding serenity. At least that is how I use it. There are several ways to go about Prayer Walk. I will say again I use a Christian approach because I am a Christian without reservation and without apology. If you practice another faith I am sure you can adapt this material to fit your faith base. This is not a power walk. This is a slower paced walk where you concentrate on your relationship with God.
1. The most ancient practice involves following one's breath. As I walk, I concentrate on my in breath and my out breath, being mindful of how the breath enters and exits my nostrils ... cool going in and warm upon exit. A variation would be on the inhalation to say to yourself: "Breathing in I receive the Holy Spirit, breathing out I release the Holy Spirit to the world." or "Breathing in I receive the love of God, breathing out I release Gods light into the world. This is a hybrid Christian-Buddist mantra.
2. Another one of my practices involves quoting scriptures from the Old and New Testament that you have committed to memory, as you walk.
a. "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God."
b. "Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God that surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
c. "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is centered upon you."
d. "Have faith in God."
3. Finally I'll mention another method I use. I take prayers or sayings I have found in Christian literature that minister to me. For example:
a. "Abba I belong to you, Jesus I belong to you. Spirit I belong to you." This is adapted from the work of "Brennan Manning. I repeat this entire statement three times before moving on.
b. Another is attributed to Dallas Willard. It is a prayer,
"Father, enter into the innermost part of me
and make the changes there
that will allow me to obey your son."
c. The Lord's prayer is also an excellent choice, also called the "Our Father".
d. Another prayer I use is by St. Ignatius Loyola (founder of the Jesuits):
It is called "Soul of Christ" and goes like this:
Jesus, let all that is you flow into me.
May your body and blood be my food and drink;
May your passion and death be my strength and life.
Jesus, with you by my side, enough has been given.
Let the shelter I seek be the shadow of your cross.
Let me not run from the love that you offer;
But hold me safe from the forces of evil.
On each of my failings shed your light and your love.
Keep calling to me until that day when with your saints,
I will praise you forever. Amen.
e. Finally I will share a prayer from Joseph Aldrich (deceased), former President of Multnomah School of the Bible"
I surrender my life into the hands of God,
Knowing he has predestined me for his best.
I will count the cost and by God's grace I will pay the price,
to become the best that I am capable of becoming.
I will hold to my course and by the power of the Holy Spirit
I will finish strong.
Thus is some of the content of my Prayer Walk. The context can be on a trail, on the grounds of a monastery (like the Grotto in Portland, Oregon), or around the block in your own neighborhood. Any place you walk can be sacred ground.
The Prayer Walk will not cure your depression-anxiety, but it will begin to open your heart, soul, mind, and spirit to healing.
Typos and all ... God bless you