Walking as Prayer


"Ask, and it will be given to you: seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8


It’s easy to forget how profound a simple walk can be. How prayerful, even, given the intention.

Strolling on a trail recently, I asked God to help me see Him more clearly. It felt more akin to a passing thought, than bold prayer petition, but nevertheless, I asked. I didn’t encounter any burning bushes, or descending angels, but it was obvious by the end of my short time in the woods that God had heard and answered me.

The seven leaves shown here grabbed my attention, wanting to be seen, found, and pondered in their brilliant stories of the Fall - their brilliant telling of God’s story of the Fall. 

A more bizarre find, however, was the paintbrush, tucked beneath a pinecone and apparent only by its red handle. Could this be a way of seeing You, too, God? As I further pondered Creation, and how even a painter’s most brilliant depiction of it falls short, the answer seemed obvious enough.

Prayer isn’t just for Sunday mornings, or the confines of a church building. Prayer is communing with God, and can happen whether on a walk, staring at a leaf, or sitting affront a canvas. It’s an ebb and flow between you and your Maker, talking and listening, listening and talking.

New seasons in the natural order can be a bridge to new seasons in our spiritual ordering. As we embark upon Fall, maybe you’d be up for trying “a walk with God”. Unlike the usual walk merely for the sake exercise, what might it look like to change things up a bit...to intention your walk with this passing thought, and bold prayer: “God, would you help me see You more clearly during this time?”

(If you happen to want to do so here at the Retreat, there’s a lovely half-mile trail behind the playground. Among other things, it will take you to a most picturesque outdoor chapel, as well as various benches and peaceful views.) +