One of our Spiritual Directors, Mary Gardner, has developed a Prayer Guide for those who would like to pray for the team of 12 who departed on Oct. 20th for nine days in Guatemala and at the US-Mexico border. We encourage you to download a copy and use it to hold our friends and those they will be meeting in your prayers. Below, Mary offers an introduction to the guide (written to the vision team participants) that is both instructive and moving.
Hello fellow pilgrims,
Even though all your prayer supporters can’t journey with you physically, we will journey alongside of you in daily prayer as you prepare to leave, while you are away and upon your return.
We thought a good place to begin in prayer for all of us is with the Psalms of Ascent (Ps.120-134), the Psalms that Jewish pilgrims sang on their journey to Jerusalem. In Psalm 122, we read that “I was glad” when “we shall go to the house of the Lord.” And we are told to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” This was a joyful celebration of pilgrimage, not one undertaken out of fear.
The Bible is full of journeys – Adam and Eve east of Eden, Abraham and his family from Ur to Egypt to the Promised Land, Joseph into Egypt, the Exodus from Egypt, the exiles of Israel and Judah, the return of some of the people in Ezra and Nehemiah, Jesus’ journeys to Jerusalem and Galilee, the journey of the Good Samaritan, Paul’s missionary journeys. One lesson we glean from studying these journeys is that frequently, not only what happens is significant, but where it happens as well. And it is important to study the temptations and difficulties that can arise on journeys. The Israelites constantly feel the pull to return to Egypt, preferring the appeal of tangible meat and cucumbers rather than faith in the manna that God promises to provide. Nehemiah is opposed by jealous officials. Paul is thrown into prison.
W. H. Auden’s poem “He is the Way” begins, “He is the Way. Follow Him through the Land of Unlikeness; you will see rare beasts and have unique adventures.” True Christian life is a journey through the Land of Unlikeness, because the line dividing those who know Christ from those who do not, a line that goes through the human heart, is the most radical possible division between people.
And yet Christ calls us to enter that land every day – to encounter cultures, people, or situations with which we are not familiar or with which we may be uncomfortable. But as Auden suggests, this is a positive rather than a threatening experience; we will even see rare beasts! Rejoice that as we go, Jesus goes with us, unto the end of the world, and the Spirit is ever present as our Comforter and Helper to bring to remembrance all that Jesus has taught us. May the power and joy of the Resurrection influence our witness for Jesus, our evangelism, in all aspects of our life, and praise God for the privilege of sharing the Good News about Jesus.
We begin prayer for our team for protection, safety, good health, and spiritual eyes and ears to pay attention to what God is already doing – and to what God may want Coracle to do in his Name, beginning with this trip.
Pray: Lord, grant safety on this journey. Grant each of us, those traveling and those supporting them in prayer at home, a strong sense of Your comfort and presence on this earthly pilgrimage with you and help us to love others enough to share with them the Good News you have given to us.