Thursday, June 11, 2015

Praying the Library Nature Trail


I have used the Library Nature Park Trail as a prayer pilgrimage on several occasions and felt prompted to share this experience with you.   It will take approximately an hour to complete this prayer journey, depending on how long you spend at each station.

Station 1:  Family Sculpture
Pray for each member of your family, using the five large stones as a guide to B.L.E.S.S. them.
B - Body (for health, strength, and energy)
L - Life (or livelihood -- the concerns of  their everyday life)
E - Emotional (for love, joy & peace)
S - Social (relationships)
S -  Spiritual (their relationship with God)

Station 2:  Bookends Sculpture
Pray for beginnings, endings and transitions.  

Station 3:  Library Nature Park Sign (Birds Eye View, Knowles-Nelson Stewardship)
Pray for a broadening of your perspective and that you will be a good steward of what has been entrusted to your care.

Station 4:  Tree Cookie
Prayers for healing and strength.

Station 5:  Outdoor Amphitheater
Pray for your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and companions on life’s journey

Station 6:  Wetland Habitat Bridge
Pray for faith to lift you above the swamp  (the circumstances that bring you down.)

Station 7:  The Resting Bench
As you sit, listen for God’s love and rest in his grace and peace.

Station 8:  Sally Snag --  I Am Dead But I Live On
What areas of your life seem to be dying?  Ask God to breathe new life into them.  Bring your disappointments and failures to Jesus.  He receives and resurrects them into new life.

Station 9:  Pondering Bench
“Ponder anew, what the Almighty can do.”  Soak in the wonders of creation and reflect on how great God is.

Station 10:  Confession Bench:  I Am Not Very Pretty
Ask God to reveal anything within your heart that is not right.  What thoughts, words, deeds, or attitudes have not been “very pretty.”  Confess them to our gracious God, who is full of mercy and forgives us.

Station 11:  Singing Bench
What is the song of your heart?  Sing it as a prayer to God.

Station 12:  The Bridge to Others
As you cross the second bridge, pray that you will build bridges of peace and reconciliation.  You may wish to use the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy. O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek To be consoled as to console, To be understood as to understand, To be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

Station 13:  The Blessing Bench
Lord, make me a blessing.  Who should I bless today with a kind word or deed?

Station 14:  Life Cycles:  The Changing Forest
Reflect on your stage in life.  What do you need to do in light of where you are?  How will you honor your elders or mentor those younger than you?

Station 15:  The Hidden Bench (Off the Path)
Pray for wisdom and insight for the decisions you must make.  Ask God to reveal truth and make the hidden things clear.

Station 16:  The Watching Bench
“Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation.” -- Mat. 26:41  What dangers should I avoid?  What do I need to see that may harm me or others?  What needs attention?

Station 17:  The Thank You Bench
As you sit and view the little trees, thank God for the many small blessings in your life that bring you great joy.  And as you exit the trail, the bell is a reminder to say “thank you.”

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