“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you. The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine on us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.” -Psalm 118:26-27
Walking is good for you. It gets your heart rate up, gives you an opportunity to soak up some vitamin D from the sun, helps your outlook and mental health. As you take an opportunity to walk this week, I encourage you to pray in your walking. We are providing a list of things to look for and pray about while on your journey. If you don’t have an opportunity to take a walk outdoors, perhaps while you drive (safely paying attention to the road as well) you can remember to pray for business and individuals, people on the road and people in their cars.
As Jesus was entering Jerusalem, many people were also making pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover with friends and family. As they walked, they would greet one another with the words from Psalm 118, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Simply noticing the people around you and in your neighborhood, the people on the street corner and in their cars might be an occasion to pray for others. Greeting one another with a kind word (smiles are difficult while wearing masks and keeping social distance), but a friendly “hello” and “have a great day” can make a world of difference.
In the past week our nation has experienced the horrible tragedies of two mass shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, and Boulder, Colorado. As we grapple with attempting to understand the full impact of these senseless murders, we can find ourselves paralyzed with fear. We might not feel safe even to go to the grocery store. The thought runs through my head, “If Covid doesn’t get you, some crazed madman might!” God does not desire us to be foolish or reckless, but God also does not want us to live in fear. As you pray for your neighborhood and you walk or drive through the streets in our communities, take a moment to pray for those who may be afraid. People who are depressed and feeling hopeless or desperate, need our prayers and words of support and care. We continue to hold one another up as we strive to come through this pandemic closer to Jesus and to our neighbors.
One of the hymns I love is a simple and powerful one, “Guide My Feet While I Run This Race”. It is an admonition to notice God’s presence and purpose for all that we do. “For I don’t want to run this race in vain” is the end line. May everything I do and say, the places I go, the person I am, be all for the glory of God!
Lord, we pray the words to the powerful hymn:
Guide my feet, while I run this race… for I don’t want to run this race in vain.
Hold my hand, while I run this race…
Stand by me, while I run this race…
I’m your child, while I run this race…
Search my heart, while I run this race… for I don’t want to run this race in vain.
Here is a wonderful version of this song by the First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn Choir: