Walking toward God

by Beth A Richardson on January 4, 2011 · 40 comments


Slow Walk. This … practice [is] appropriate for both individual and group prayer.

  • Set a length of time for the prayer — at least fifteen minutes. If you are doing the prayer in a group, designate a route for your walk. This can be a circle in a room or some other configuration outside.
  • Begin with an intention to listen for God with your whole being as you move through space.
  • Start walking slowly. With each step, slow your pace. Eventually try to take one step every fifteen to thirty seconds (this will feel very slow).
  • Pay attention to your breath, your body, your heart and mind. Whenever you become distracted, focus on the sensation of your feet contacting the floor with each step.
  • At the end of the prayer, give thanks to God.
  • In the group setting, take some time to reflect together on the practice.

Reprinted from pp. 85-86 of Creating a Life with God: The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices by Daniel Wolpert. Copyright © 2003 by Daniel Wolpert. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission of Upper Room Books. To order, phone 1.800.972.0433 or go to bookstore.upperroom.org.

A Note from Beth: This is from the first of Daniel Wolpert’s two books on developing one’s relationship with God. Wolpert takes twelve prayer practices and makes them accessible to a regular person like me. The Appendix to the book presents step-by-step instructions for one of the prayer practices featured in each chapter. I’d recommend this book for the shelf closest to the place where you have your quiet time. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Photo Credit: Beth A. Richardson. I took this photograph of the feet of one of the youth at The Upper Room’s SOULfeast 2010.

Steve Long February 25, 2011 at 7:44 am

This is fabulous – loved the experience and spend almost twice as long as I anticipated.

It was so good that based on Beth’s recommendation I bought 3 copies of Daniel’s book – 1 for me, 1 for the church library and 1 for a friend!

Beth Richardson February 25, 2011 at 10:27 am


That’s wonderful! Thank you for sharing your experience.


Becky January 16, 2012 at 10:22 am

I am so excited about trying this prayer practice with my Prayer Group. We so LOVED growing through Advent with you, the texts, your book and the website. 2011 was our second year with you. What would you recommend that we use next as a resource?
Blessings to you and your ministry. Becky

Beth Richardson January 17, 2012 at 9:58 am

Hi, Becky,

I’m so glad you used The Uncluttered Heart and found it to be helpful. Feel free to email me and let me know more about your group. That would help me know what to recommend.

I’m kind of partial to Alive Now Magazine. — that’s one possibility … But feel free to email me: brichardson gbod org


Chris from Iowa August 13, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Our Tuesdsy morning “Companions” group just finished Wolpert’s book on prayer practices and we loved it! We tried doing body prayer, creative prayer with some Fimo clay a member brought and walked a local labyrinth together one beautiful summer morning. A wonderful choice for small group spiritual formation! Now back to Foster’s “Spiritual Classics” from which we took a summer break! Introducing us to rich resources like his is very helpful and what a lovely picture of someone’s shoes!

Beth Richardson August 13, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Hi, Chris,

So glad you tried Wolpert’s book. It’s one of my favorites! Thank you for letting us know. Sounds like a wonderful time of trying new things. Many blessings on you and on your group.

The photograph is of a teenager on stage at The Upper Room’s SOULfeast conference several years ago. 🙂


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