Looking back at some of my earlier blogs, I stumbled upon this one written from two years ago on my birthday. It is funny how some of my desires and thoughts never change, but are instead enhanced by more revelation and experience. The title caught my eye, as I have been thinking the best way to explain the growth I have experienced in my own prayer life. As I read, He painted a picture for me. Thank you Jesus for your kindness and ease. My desire is to paint a similar picture that He revealed to me about journeying with Him so intimately in prayer.  

_________________________________________________________________________________

The Prayer Trail -- written in its fullness from a girl who just began embarking on her journey of understanding deep intimacy with God.  

Sometimes, we need to walk. Walking is refreshing to the soul. It encourages us to slow down and appreciate the creation around us we would never see if we simply ran all of the time. Running is good too, but only in intervals. If we ran all of the time, our breath would slow, our bodies would begin to ache, and our lungs would gasp for air. We could not survive running all of the time. In fact, with the way our bodies are built, we would eventually collapse despite our passion for running. Our passion would fail us, simply because we have little source of energy. 

But sometimes walking is harder. It takes longer. It allows you more time to think, more time to trip, more time to fall, but also more time to see what you would never be able to see before. Not to mention, walking is less stressful on your body. 

 Today I went on a long walk. It was like a little birthday gift from Heaven. To be honest, I haven't been on one in a long time, and the Lord reminded me that those walks are where I find my peace, where I find my clarity, and where I experience His intimacy the most. For the Lord says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 

He reminded me today to rejoice and walk. He will show me where to step, even when I feel like the ivy is thick. He will protect me from it. He will show me when I am being distracted by the less glorious things about the path. Sometimes, He may even show me the less glorious places before I walk into them because my focus is so delighted in Him. If I get caught in the thicket, do not worry because He will pull me out and heal my wounds if I allow Him close and believe that He wants to heal. I am not be discouraged by the creatures. I am to be attentive to the path revealed. I will remember that He is with me wherever I go. 

As I walk, I will ask Him to reveal the flowers, the beams of sunlight that peak through the trees, and the streams of life beckoning for a sip from my thirsty lips. I will believe in what He is showing me. I will rejoice in the rough patches He has brought me through. I will remember what is behind me, but I will always look forward in joy to what is ahead. I will be encouraged, and I will encourage others who you I may run into on the beaten path. I will use caution in who I choose to walk with for the rest of the way and I will always let God be the one who sends and highlights people to me. I will not be afraid to tell people to walk more. Too many are not walking. Too many are running, or are not even awake at all.  

_________________________________________________________________________________ 

Running is amazing, but not sustainable if you have little source of energy. When I think of prayer in comparison to running, I think of the prayers where I am continually crying out for change. I think of the prayers that feel like birthing pains and are deep deep wails within my soul. I think of intense intercession for family, friends, ministry, and specific desires of the heart. I think of these times of intercession as prayers for Wesley as well. Lead prayer, 36 hour prayer, 7:30 prayer, prayer in discipleships, prayer on the way to places, and never ending prayer for the body of Wesley are all times when I feel like I am running at different paces. 

As His children, we must learn how to walk before we can run. Walking is where we learn to rest. It is where we see His beauty. It is where we experience His joy for us. When we walk, we can see His movement around you more clearly. Walking gives us time to experience His presence in a way that is specific to ministering to our heart. Walking can be a little more difficult sometimes. When we walk with Him, we have the ability to get a little more messy. Time is a little longer, so there is more ability to see the dirt, to notice the distractions, and to contemplate with Him. However in this place, there is room to be completely undone and exposed before Him. There is more ability for us to gaze upon His eyes that are looking upon us face to face. In this place, there is also more temptation to leave such an intimate place, because it is very vulnerable. We may ask ourselves, "Will He show up?" or we may be feel overwhelmed by our responsibilities and relationships with other people.

The truth is the only thing we need to do is walk with Him. Every prayer, every desire, and every action flows from the secret place. I think it is the Lord's desire to enlighten the secret place for us. He wants to show us that walking is the best thing that He could have created for us. He wants us to discover the keys he has placed throughout walking process that will unlock Heaven all around us and deepen the knowing of His voice within our spirits. This is the place where we truly get to know Him. 

 Don’t be afraid if you don't know how to walk, He will teach you. He will guide your steps. 

In this moment, begin to ask Him what He wants to do on your walks with Him. Is He asking you to use more of your mind to engage with Him-- to envision pictures in your mind about His desires? Is He asking you to unlock your creative spirit and write, draw, or create music with Him? Is He asking you to immerse yourself very literally  in His nature and spend time paying close attention to the world He created? Walking with Him, talking to Him, being open and honest, and allowing Him to come so close to you is the best thing you could ever do in your life. The reality is, if every believer gardens this place well, then the entire world will be bursting with life and color. It is in this place that you are reminded that you are victorious and are seated in heavenly places. He covers you in His fragrance. He covers you in His love. Let Him show you how victorious and real He is in this place so that seeds of full authority and confidence begin to bloom when you are running for really  complex situations, the burdens He has placed on your heart, and the ministries He has given you. 

Tuck this treasure deep within you heart--His breath in the stillness will give you life to keep going. For His yoke is easy and His burden is light. 

Author | Emily Helton