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Praying with Nature

Today’s Reflection

THE PRACTICE INVOLVES a deep examination of a natural object—a leaf, a flower, a tree, the grass, the sky, anything. In this prayer a certain amount of time is set aside during which you will examine your item in silence, after you have begun by noting your intention and desire to see God in all.

We rarely take the time to really look at things. So in this practice, you have the opportunity to look deeply. Examine the veins on a leaf. Appreciate the shape, the texture, the color of a tree branch. Allow your mind to imagine how this object came into being, its various stages of growth. What other creatures have benefited from the shade of the tree? Realize that you are breathing the oxygen produced by the grass beneath your feet.

– Daniel Wolpert
Creating a Life with God

From page 146 of Creating a Life with God: The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices by Daniel Wolpert. Copyright © 2003 by Daniel Wolpert. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Pray with nature sometime in the next few days. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.

Psalm 25:4, NRSV

This Week: Pray for those who are lonely. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is an intercessory prayer ministry staffed by Christian volunteers. Submit a prayer request, and our Covenant Prayer Groups will pray for you. Visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: John Knox (November 24).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling November 28, 2018, 3:44 am

    Praying for Andrea’s husband, ankle, may God bless him with speedy recovery.

    Praying at the park, looking at the different types of of flowers, plants and leaves, God’s creation, how marvellous!

    God, you are amazing!

    Blessings to all!

  • Jill November 28, 2018, 3:58 am

    It has been quite cold here, and very gray. I am reluctant to venture outdoors in blustery conditions for a walk. Just the right amount of snowfall can make the trees beautiful…haven’t had that scenery yet.
    Continued prayers for Lowell’s ankle and leg. May he and Andrea be attentive to any changes for the worse and seek medical attention as needed.
    Grateful for heated blankets, heated throws, heated mattress pads. I seem so chilled lately – struggling to warm up. Grateful for a warm mug of coffee in the morning at school and the ability to somewhat control the temperature of my classroom. Grateful that an encounter between two girls yesterday in the hallway near my room did not erupt into a fight. Another teacher and I got in between them before it escalated. Grateful he was nearby – because little ole me would not have been able to stop swings.
    Father – thank You for this space, for sharings and prayers lifted. You are here with us. Prepare our hearts for Advent as we ponder the deep mystery of Your Son’s birth.

  • Betsy November 28, 2018, 6:50 am

    Funny that this devotion on centering on nature came today. As I was starting my coffee, I pulled back the blinds on the kitchen window and saw the most brilliant sunrise. Orange and reds overlooking the far away hills. God’s creation is all around us if we have eyes to see! Thank you, Lord for your gifts of nature and creation.
    Praying for your husband, Andrea. Healing and health as he recuperates from ankle injury.

  • Connie November 28, 2018, 8:08 am

    Oh, I would love to have seen Betsy’s sunrise, but I can picture it.
    We were able to get out of our driveway and to a dr. appt. yesterday. For that I am thankful. Very hard snow removal for us “older” folks, though. But that we got it done, I am also thankful.
    It’s very cold and I sure need a heated shawl, as I get so chilled. Maybe for Christmas….from me to me. ha.
    Middle if the week already-how can that be?

    • Julie November 28, 2018, 8:16 am

      Prayers for you Connie. May your health improve, especially before the upcoming holiday. Entirely acceptable to “gift” yourself, not healthy to always do for others and neglect ourselves. you deserve to be pampered, even if you must do it for yourself. Especially given your recent health concerns. God bless you and keep you

      • Connie November 29, 2018, 8:43 am

        Thank you, Julie. You are such a kind person.

  • Julie November 28, 2018, 8:12 am

    I stay inside when the weather is cold and snowy as it here in Pittsburgh. The Reynaud’s is caused by the cold, even cool weather. God is all around us and it is good to be reminded of his amazing handiwork in all things.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell. I have had blood clots and I pray this is not what Lowell has. Prayers for his healing, but perhaps further testing would be prudent as clots can do much damage.
    Prayers for Mary, Molly and their parents. So good to know Mary has found joy and left stress behind.
    Prayers for Jill and her inability to get warm. I assure you once you reach a “certain age” this will no longer be an issue.
    Prayers for Betsy and her beautiful sunrise. May her day continue to be filled with beauty.
    prayers for Robert. I thank God again and again for this wonderful example of His love and also how to actively follow Christ in all I do.
    Prayers for Lou and thankful for no house damage, a plumbing issue quickly resolved and help with snow removal.
    Prayers for Marcy and Mary, her companion. May Mary ease Marcy’s loniness and suffering.
    Prayers for Shirlee and her daughter and their health issues.
    Prayers dear UR family and thank you for all you do

  • robert moeller November 28, 2018, 8:49 am

    Yes, I find a close connection to God in nature. Praying with nature is an excellent idea. Hope to be out in nature today. It’s our second day of snow and it’s still snowing. Supposed to stop around 7 pm.

    Had to retrieve today’s reflection from the junk. Not happy it went there, but delighted I found it.

    The UR family has so many concerns, topics, here today. I say Amen to the prayer concerns mentioned by all of you, what a joy to see that sunrise, Betsy,
    staying warm was not a problem for me but with blood thinners for high blood pressure my hands also mind the cold. Adding more clothes and getting busy helps a lot. Be careful shoveling. small amounts at a time and a slow pace, plus breaks now and then are helpful. It might take longer but you’ll stil be around to tell about it. Great that Marcy has Mary to help, be a companion,
    and share life with. That is a great blessing, Take good care with that ankle, Lowell, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if things are not improving.
    It will take time. So thankful Lou’s house problems have been remedied. Prayers for Shirley and her daughter. Thankful that Mary has the right job, a helpful sister, Molly, and less stress. Thank You, Lord.

    Stay warm and dry!

  • April November 28, 2018, 11:03 am

    What a timely topic!! I just finished reading “Lab Girl” by Hope Johren who asked these same questions about leaves and trees, noting that they are like people and need the same care during their lives. They are influenced by the elements of nature (and they heal themselves) and man (cutting down so many every year). She encouraged the reader to plant a tree and care for it.
    Today is gloomy and foggy, but the green spruce tree outside our window is green and a welcome home to many birds as our neighbors have bird feeders.
    My prayers are lifted for you, my UR family….and may we continue to sing with Andrea:
    Walk on through the wind,
    Walk on through the rain,
    Tho’ your dreams be tossed and blown.
    Walk on, walk on
    With hope in your heart
    And you’ll never walk alone,
    You’ll never walk alone.

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