As we happy pilgrims cross the south of England we shall no doubt sustain ourselves with conversation. There are many points of natural wonder and beauty on our route especially along the Hogs Back and beyond Guildford. I am very much looking forward to re-connecting with these views.
Deep within I am already anticipating the moments where we will stop and offer the view to God in prayer. Locations can very much stimulate prayer be it on a Rogation Day progress, or a Street Pastor Prayer walk around the City centre or when out in the fields and tracks of the countryside. It has been said that being connected to a specific location allows one to “pray nearer and to pray clearer”. Prayer walks are an increasingly popular part of Church life and perhaps we should organise more of them at St Thomas’s?
1 Thessalonians 5: 17 simply encourages us to “pray continually” and through days of our Pilgrimage we shall do just that – silently or in moments together as we take in the view across a valley. It is right that we should offer ourselves, our tracks across the soil and our thoughts to God, our guide and support. We may be in church or at home or on a walk but God always hears our prayers. It is that sort of relationship. I can imagine Jesus praying to the Father as he walked along the dusty roads of his time: prayers of request, and petitions of sustenance along with prayers of hope as his ministry unfolded. As our pilgrimage unfolds we too will need the sustaining power of prayer and we hope that back at home your prayers will be strong and many to keep us going.
Eternal light, shine in our hearts;
Eternal goodness, deliver us from evil;
Eternal power, be our support;
Eternal wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance;
Eternal pity, have mercy upon us;
That with all our hearts and mind and soul and strength
We may seek thy face
And be brought by thine infinite mercy
To thy holy presence
Through our Lord, Jesus Christ.