Recently I took some time to attend one of the Dunamis Conferences, with a group of other CRC people, called Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit. It was a valuable time of learning about and experiencing the movement of the Holy Spirit. In the beautiful setting at Providence Renewal Centre, we had time to go out for a prayer walk. I want to share my experience with you in a digital way to familiarize and encourage you if you have never done something like this in the past. It is an excellent spiritual discipline practise and especially enriching when done in creation, focused on silence and solitude. So this medium will be imperfect but will hopefully inspire you to then head outside and practise it for yourself!
The instructions were simple; God gives us times of refreshing, but they spring from when our hearts are repentant and prepared. As you pray through the following scriptures listen to that still small voice of the Lord. Go out, walk until you are drawn to stop and then reflect and pray. When you feel you are done meditating on that passage, move on to the next spot and passage.
Psalm 100:4 - The first thing I was drawn to was this hedge. I thanked God for the chance to be outdoors, in creation and to feel a warm sense of created-ness and protection. I praised God for being our sustainer, provider and for His renewing presence.
Acts 3:19 - The second spot I paused was at this tree. As the text reflects, I considered the sin in my life and the need to let it be peeled away from me and drop off. Like this tree, even though it may expose softer more vulnerable parts of the trees interior, it is necessary for growth. With roots firmly in place in the soil, it is able to face the elements around it and continue to thrive.
James 4:6-7 - As I walked past some towering columnar aspens, into a corridor of green space, there was a distinct difference between what was on my right and left. To my left was a stand of deciduous trees (middle picture) and to my right a stand of coniferous trees (right picture). It was striking to me how they were only separated by the walking trail but very little mixing of the species was to be seen. I stopped and reflected on the size and magnitude of trees and how our own sin and pride can get in the way of our relationship and service to God and others. I prayed for humility and for God to reveal the ways certain stands of pride had grown in my life that I needed to let go.
Ephesians 4:29-32 - I stopped in front of this burning bush, (how could I not!) to hear from God about the deepest convictions of my own heart and actions. Was there any bitterness or unforgiveness in me that needed healing? Are there relationships that need mending? Are there parts of my life, like the picture on the right, that have been clearcut, stripped bare, where only stumps and roots remain? This sadly happens in our human interactions and relationships with each other and with creation. What needs to be done in my own life to heal and repair this. I sat, prayed and considered these things while ever conscious of the warmth of the sun on my skin.
Acts 1:8 - The final passage to reflect on took me down a hill to a bridge at the bottom of the ravine. There I was drawn to the water, the element that is so important to sustaining and flourishing of life. Like our own spiritual journeys, the need for a complete communion with the entirety of the Trinity is essential. I thanked God for what he has done in my life and asked for more of the power of the Holy Spirit to be a witness and continue the path of walking with Him. Down to the water for refreshing, to make the journey up again.