On April 26, 2015, I departed from my home in Northern California to begin a pilgrimage for prayer of the Oregon Coast. I left with only one mission in mind: to walk up and down the 400 mile stretch of coastline in a state of prayer until God would move me to somewhere else.
God’s presence is always found in the present. Which is why I never really place much stock or belief in plans dependent upon the future. I simply wanted to make myself available to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit within every moment to be where God wanted me to be and to serve those who came along my path in those places.
I began walking in Newport, Oregon, the centermost point of the Oregon Coast. I had a friend who was driving to Seattle from Northern California and offered to give me a ride for me to begin. I was dropped off in Albany, Oregon in the late morning, and researched ways of getting to the Oregon Coast by bus. After a bit of research, I found abus to get to Newport for $10! This ride was not normally $10, but through some conversation I was actually able to negotiate this price with the bus driver as I was beginning this pilgrimage without much money at my disposal.
I spent a couple of days at the South Beach State Park campgrounds and began walking south from there. I walked to the southern border of Oregon, then turned around and walked North to the Northern border. At this point I began to continue walking the Oregon Coast without a particular direction in mind, but allowing God to move me each day in the direction I was to go.
The grandest highlights of this journey were the people. The locals of each and every town I passed through, the churches and pastors and I connected with, the fellow travelers – hikers and cyclists – whom every night I called friends as each night had its different people yet all congregating around the same thing: The Fire.
I have so many stories from encounters and people I met along this journey, about half of which I have written to become a book which I am working to complete to share these stories and thoughts from what happens when you simply take a big step of faith to see what God may do.
At the end of July, after over 3 months and more than 900 miles of walking, I could feel God moving me out of Oregon and bringing this season of Oregon Coast pilgrimage to a close. Initially, I had started the pilgrimage with the ultimate goal of establishing a place of prayer on the Oregon Coast, a place I would live and create as a place for all people to come to simply pray. That goal didn’t materialize and wasn’t in the cards for now. Yet the realization also came that we are all “places of prayer.” Wherever we are, whatever streets and paths we walk in our cities and communities, WE are places of prayer. WE are the temples of the Living God. Finding a building to establish a place of prayer would have been great, but it pails in comparison to the fact that who we are is a place of prayer and have the fullness of His Spirit to impact the people we encounter.
So, what’s next for Prayer Pilgrim?
In August I came to Seattle, Washington to spend a few days with some friends. I didn’t have expectations about what coming to Seattle would mean or how long I would stay. I didn’t know if I would spend a few days and return to Oregon or spend a few days and continuing walking in prayer Northward toward Canada and Alaska. Of course, it can get quite cold up there, and I am down to some tattered pants and few clothes and a small backpack which, practically speaking, would seemingly make that journey quite formidable (though immensely exciting!). A few days passed, I felt no wind. I felt no move of God saying that I should leave. I felt needed and that this is where I am to be. So this is where I remain.
I have spent August deliberating with God about what Prayer Pilgrim is to become, as it of course will become something different now that I am no longer walking the Oregon Coast and doing the same thing which I set out to do and accomplish back in April.
So, this is what I propose:
Prayer Pilgrim: A ministry founded to connect people with God and each other in prayer. We will work to connect people in prayer by organizing and producing walks in cities and communities throughout the world where people in cities and communities come together to simply walk, simply pray, and see what God does in restoring relationships and emboldening hearts as we join together to see His Kingdom realized on earth.
The pilgrimage of the Oregon Coast is now over for this time. Yet, it is only the beginning of what I believe to be a movement of prayer throughout the world. This is the vision which I see: People everywhere coming together in prayer, for prayer is the place we are in communion with God and is the most important we need in the world.
There is much needed to see this vision come to life.
We need your engagement. Will you pledge to walk your community in prayer?
We need your financial support. Money is a useful tool for building a website to facilitate connecting people, funding advertising to inspire prayer in the daily lives of people around the world, and for helping me with future prayer pilgrimages around the world.
Will you give to help us see our vision and mission accomplished in the earth?
Please go to gofundme.com/prayerpilgrim and give generosity to contribute your support.