I get excited when I pray for London; praying for the people who live here, the decisions that are made here and the events that are hosted here. This sprawling great city, with such a vast and rich history, infused with a culturally diverse and vibrant present. The potential is huge.

Over the last few months I have loved learning and understanding more about London as I’ve organised or attended prayer walks around Westminster and the City of London, led prayer teams around the Olympic site and various parts of east London, spent time riding and praying on the underground, and walked around Stratford with a friend who works with trafficked women. The scope of the city is so broad.

One of the main things I’ve learnt through all of this prayerful activity is about the power of being in a place when you pray for it. There is something special about being on the ground and understanding better what the area is like. Discovering what the needs are, what God’s heart is longing and breaking for, what the wonderful things are and what spiritually we can bring.

As I’ve been into the different areas and various boroughs of London I have known better how to pray for London. It’s felt like God has given me more of his heart for people and issues in an area when I have been there to pray.

At its essence, prayer walking is simply walking and talking with God – something that Adam and God did a lot of at the beginning of creation. And maybe it’s just me, but when you walk and talk with someone it implies intimacy; usually you end up sharing your heart and listening to the other person’s. That’s been my experience when I prayer walk. God and I and others walk and talk. And God changes things in that area. And He also changes my heart.

There are lots of opportunities coming up this year for you to get involved with prayer walking in London! Guided prayer tours, prayer walking maps, Underground prayer maps… the list goes on. Get walking!

Hayley Bullen is Prayer Coordinator with Forever 2012, a Youth With A Mission initiative using the London 2012 Olympics as a catalyst for a season of mission across the UK.