Those words shouted out when we were teenagers meant something exciting and brought the expectation of vivid adventures to our imaginations.
Where are we going? How long do we have? How many are going with us? How much money do we have?
Recalling those trips from our memories with family and friends can flood our thoughts with anger, laughter, regret, sorrow, or relief. So many emotions are brought back when we would be confined to a single vehicle for hours with no electronic device except a scratchy and static-laden AM car radio. Many were fun filled with smiles! But many of us realize some trips were far from fun. Trips to distant hospitals for specialized treatment or plane rides to cities where a loved one is recovering from a serious operation can be stressful and heartbreaking.
So many times, we pray for a person or a situation, but often-times neglect to pray for the “in-between” portion involving travel. When we embrace the “getting there” is just as important as “being there”, our prayers for that reason to an Almighty God come into focus. Going through life along the road through time, we must ask God to pave the way, clear the way, show us the way, or climb over whatever is before us.
When traveling is mentioned in the Scriptures, there are mentions in both the Old Testament and New Testament. When the Lord guided His Hebrew children from Egypt, God protected their travels and guided them by a pillar of fire at night and a cloud in the daytime. He presented a visible sign. And when Pharaoh’s army pursued, the fire stood between them for protection.
When Jesus was a small child and the angel told Joseph that he needed to go to Egypt until Herod was dead, we knew that God accompanied that young family on their trip to such a faraway land.
These are examples of “traveling mercies” we ask for.
Ed Silvoso wrote a book called “Prayer Evangelism”. In it, Beverly Jaime, the Associate Pastor at the Cathedral of faith in San Jose, CA says, “Prayer Evangelism is talking to God about your neighbors before talking to your neighbors about God.” I think we should seriously use this as a key to interact with those around us when we have general discussions. As the Scripture says, “Who is thy neighbor?” If we see a vehicle with out-of-state plates, we can exchange comments, and tell them that we’d be praying for safe passage along the way. Introduce prayer into as many conversations as you can, and back it up with that prayer. In fact, let the people SEE you writing down their names on your list. It will make a huge impact on people who you may never see again.
“Lord, when we are traveling, help us along the way to minister to those we contact. When we see others who are traveling in our area, guide us to pray for them. After all, each step we take along this road of life, is a step we are taking into someone else’s. In Christ’s Name. Amen.”