As I have noted numerous times in the past, seeing God in Creation does not necessarily come easy for us. A group of people might walk the same trail and see the same things but that does not mean that all of them, or any, will experience or see God. I am convinced that there has to be both an openness and a desire to see God in Creation for this to happen on a regular basis. Likewise, I am confident that there is no better way to prepare oneself to see or experience God in nature than prayer. With this in mind, I’d like to commend to you today a prayer I discovered in John Baillie’s little book, A Diary of Private Prayer. It reads:
“Creator Spirit, who broodest everlastingly over the lands and waters of the earth, enduing them with forms and colors which no human skill can copy, give me today, I beseech Thee, the mind and heart to rejoice in Thy creation. Forbid that I should walk through Thy beautiful world with unseeing eyes: Forbid that the lure of the market-place should ever entirely steal my heart away from the love of the open acres and the green trees: Forbid that under the low roof of workshop or office or study I should ever forget Thy great overarching sky: Forbid that when all Thy creatures are greeting the morning with songs and shouts of joy, I alone should wear a dull and sullen face: Let the energy and vigor which in Thy wisdom Thou has infused into every living thing stir today within my being, that I may not be among Thy creatures as a sluggard and a drone: And above all give me grace to use these beauties of earth without me and this eager stirring of life within me as a means whereby my soul may rise from creature to Creator, and from nature to nature’s God.”
I cannot help but believe that if we offered a prayer such as this on a regular basis it would be of great benefit to us. The Bible would seem to affirm this. In the Book of James we read “You do not have, because you do not ask God.” (4:2) Also, Jesus taught, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
I encourage all those wanting to see and experience God in His Creation to remember the importance of prayer in this endeavor. All my life I have heard people say, “prayer changes things.” This is no doubt true; it even changes how we see nature or Creation.
(I took both of the pictures above at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Tennessee.)