Summer’s here. Time to go for a prayer walk. Savor the marvels of nature as you get in touch with the Creator. Walk and pray? Yes, indeed, you can do both. Good for the body and the soul. Here are a few pointers.
No talking. Sure, you can talk to God. But no talking to anyone else. This is not a time to take phone calls or talk with a friend. It might be nice to go on that prayer walk with someone else, but no talking. The silence will help you focus on your prayers, and a companion can add to that. Shared silence.
Take a look at what’s around you. If you’re like me, you often take the same route, along familiar paths. No problem. In fact, in some ways that adds to the pleasure because you see and discover new things in the everyday. Small things. That crack in a rock, that dandelion pushing up, those dahlias just ready to burst into bloom. Give God the praise. Nature can be the Lord’s picture book, every image an illustration of God’s presence.
Take a deep breath. Take more than one, take several. God breathed the breath of life in human beings at the beginning. Every breath we take can be a reminder of that. Feel the air move through you and around you. Stop and stretch. Raise your hands, if you wish. Praise the Lord with every breath.
Smell the smells. There are always surprising smells to note. The faint fragrance of a flower or crushed leaves. Someone barbecuing outside, someone fixing dinner, someone picnicking on the lawn. Without distractions you’ll discover new smells…and notice what they remind you of. Eucalyptus leaves always take me back to a park of my childhood. God is in the air.
Listen to the Creation. The sound of the wind blowing through the trees, the birds chirping in the air, a jet passing overhead, a family station wagon driving by, distant music on the radio, your footsteps in the dirt or on the sidewalk as you walk. You might even want to hum or sing a hymn or praise song as you walk. It’s God’s music.
Remember others in prayer. In your solitude you will think of friends and family members who need your prayers. Remember their situations. Imagine them being there with you. Just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you’re truly alone. They’re with you as is God. The rhythm of your walk will help you keep them in your prayers.
Come back. You will return to your home with renewed energy and strength, the worries of the moment released. I live in a huge teeming city, and when I go out, there will be people passing me on my way to the park. I smile, I wave, sometimes I stop and chat. But then I move on. It’s my God time. Walking in prayer.