It’s really, truly, finally Spring. As I write this, thunderstorms are approaching, and you can smell the rain in the air. This time of year, I love to take my prayer time out of doors to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation, and spend time praising God for it all. The change of scenery from indoor prayer spaces to outdoors can also bring a fresh perspective to your time and conversation with God.
Do you have outdoor spaces where you like to pray? If you have time, and like to create with plants and plantings, you might want to try and create a sacred space in your yard using things you find beautiful and that make you feel peaceful and prayerful. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Or take advantage of the wonderful parks, walking trails, gardens, fountains and other nature-filled spots we are so lucky to find in our community. If you walk regularly, designate a quiet place on your walk to stop and pray.
Another wonderful opportunity to combine prayer and nature is coming up on April 28 at Camp Timberlake in Stilwell. The Prayer Ministry is offering a day of Prayer in Nature. The retreat begins with continental breakfast and worship, followed by a guided, interactive prayer practice called Lectio Divina. This practice, which means divine reading, is a powerful way to pray the scriptures and listen to the voice of God. The retreat includes personal time to reflect on your prayer experience as you walk one of the many trails of Camp Timberlake, or choose to stay close by the lodge and experience the labyrinth walk. After enjoying a box lunch and fellowship, attend your choice of two breakout sessions. The day concludes with a Taize service, a worship experience of prayer and singing. Registration is limited, so please register ASAP at: www.cor.org/prayerretreat.
Edward Hays, in Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim, gives us this Psalm for Spring:
Green is your color, O God
the green of new life
that lovingly transfigures earth’s dreariness,
long held prisoner
by the icy web of winter’s cold
Green up my heart with hope,
in your perpetual promise of life.
Send forth from my soul
new shoots, fresh buds
eager to grow in your divine image.
-Jennifer Creagar, Resurrection Prayer Ministry