Normally, I don’t have a routine when it comes to prayer walking. I do pray as I walk, at times, when I am prompted to do so by something I see which reminds me to pray, or by a need that comes to mind at that moment. Today, however was a bit different.
Actually, it was more of a drive and walk than merely a walk. Since my surgery last year, I am no longer able to walk long distances, and the places where I was praying this morning were not necessarily within walking distance of each other.
First stop, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC. Unlike yesterday, this morning I found a place to park on the back side of Lafayette Park on H Street right away. There were more people gathered outside the White House this morning, I guess because it is Saturday, along with a few people holding banners related to various causes. I prayed for the President, for his family, for the staff, for decisions made there, all in accordance with the scripture’s instructions related to our attitude toward the civil government and those who have been placed in charge of it. The sort of things that go with the executive branch of government seem larger than life when you are watching them on television, or hearing about them in some way, but when you are standing in front of the building in which they take place, even though they are monumental in scope, they do not seem so overwhelming. I’m not big on gestures when it comes to prayer, bowing or closing my eyes do not seem all that natural to me, especially in public, but I did notice that others were doing the same. That’s good to know.
The next stop was the Capitol Building, where I did walk completely around, partly for the exercise, partly because along the back side, I could stand in front of the Senate office building, the Supreme Court and the House office buildings and pray for our legislators as well. It’s quite a walk, especially going uphill on the Independence Avenue side. You can’t get all that close to the Capitol building itself, but I did pause at one of the corners, lay my hands on the wall, and pray. At the Supreme Court, I was able to walk right up to the steps.
Perhaps the most contemplative moments for me were spent walking the circle of the World War II memorial. Of all the memorials and monuments in Washington, this one is my favorite. I was reminded to pray for a lot of things as I walked around, not only those serving in the military, and individuals I can name who are currently serving, but for family members and friends who are related to those who have served. Other things came to mind when I was walking around. I had plenty of time, it is one of my favorite places in Washington, the weather was beautiful, so I stayed there for a long time.
I finished by walking the length of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, crossed in front of the reflecting pool, and then walked through the Korean War Veterans Memorial. War is not God’s plan for his creation, and it never was. But the fact of the matter is that we are created in God’s image, and a war memorial is clear evidence of that. That there have been generations of Americans who were willing to lay their lives on the line in sacrifice for others says it all. We are, after all God’s workmanship, created to do good works in Christ Jesus. The spark of God’s image abides within.
I did finish my prayer with a few quiet moments out of sight (in my prayer closet, so to speak)kneeling beside a bench next to the tidal pool between the Roosevelt and Jefferson memorials. It was a great experience, a few moments of doing something that I should do every day, though without the physical reminders.