In Step with My Personal Trainer

In Step with My Personal Trainer

Many years ago I was a mess! I was huffing and puffing going up stairs, my weight was out of control, and I had to take painkillers to get to sleep. The worst moment was when my knee gave way as I walked down my back- yard steps.  I knew I needed to do something about my weight, but I also knew I needed to spend more time in prayer.  As I picked myself up that day, I decided I would get up about fifteen minutes earlier the next morning and walk—and I would pray.

The next morning The List whispered to me:

  • You are so tired.
  • You deserve to sleep in a bit more.
  • Besides, it’s really dark out there!

Nonetheless, I would not listen to my own excuses anymore. What I really deserved was to get healthy so I could be my best self for my four kids, my husband, and my high school students.  I started walking for fifteen minutes, but increased to an hour. And as I walked, I prayed. However, there was a lot of my-ness in those early weeks of prayers—my kids, my husband, my job.  That all changed when I saw what I call the Single Daddy’s Ballet. I was walking along Main Street in my small town in the Sierra Valley just before six in the morning, when a young father pulled diagonally in front of the daycare center, picked up a blanketed bundle, and handed that bundle to Mary, who was opening up the center.  “Bye, Dada. Wuv you.”

At that very moment I knew that God had me walking up and down Main Street not for my needs but for the needs of others. That’s when I began prayerwalking with my Personal Trainer, asking for His eyesight so that I could pray for the people in the cars, houses, and businesses in my town.

Prayerwalking has changed my life. I lost two dress sizes and those aches and pains. The depression and fear that had clouded most of my adult life vanished. And I began partnering with my Personal Trainer in prayer and have been privileged to see many lives transformed in amazing ways. Prayerwalking is the ministry I now give my town—praying for all who come within my eyesight as I walk the streets—and it’s a great spiritual and physical exercise because it is so simple.

First, start with a good pair of shoes and weather-appropriate clothing and sunscreen. I have clothing for all kinds of weather, including snow and ice.   Next, make a commitment as to when you will walk. I now walk during the hour before sunset—so as to avoid some of the crazier wildlife. I do NOT want to be sprayed by a skunk again!

As you head out, ask God to direct your eyes to the needs in your community. Pray for families. Pray for marriages. Pray for hearts to be turned to God. Pray for your schools’ teachers and local agencies such as law enforcement officers and firemen. Pray that your community becomes a light.   Allow your Personal Trainer to change you…and your community as you partner with Him.

Janet Holm McHenry is the author of Stronger Every Day and Training for Success. She is a national speaker and author of over 20 books, including the best-selling PrayerWalk: Becoming a Woman of Prayer, Strength and Discipline and Daily PrayerWalk: Meditations for a Deeper Prayer Life. She can be contacted through her website,