Prayer for the journey

Oh living Lord Jesus
I am not doing so well on this journey.
Please may I travel with Thee instead, and go the way Thee is going?  Take me with Thee, dearest of Friends.

Where I would run on ahead, warn me of dangers and be ready to help me up – for Thee knows how I fail to see the rabbit hole, the bramble and the treacherous ice on the road.

Where I am afraid to follow Thee, talk to me gently – reason with me, explain to me, hold my hand. If necessary pick me up and carry me, only for God’s sake do not leave me or let me stray from Thee, for without Thee I have not the smallest atom of hope at all.  Without Thee I am lost and I shall never make it home.  I need Thee.  It is as simple as that.

When I am bored and discontented, be patient with me; call me beyond myself.  Point out to me the beauties of the journey, the flowers and the animals, the glories of the sky and the great trees, the wonders of the landscape.  Please may we go by the places where I can see the sparkle of light on the ocean, and the geese taking flight from the lake, and the tumble of the beck high in the lovely spring woods.  Please may we see these things together, and take delight in them as we go, Thee and I.

When we sit down to eat, oh Lord Jesus remember Thee is wiser than I am.  Teach me, open my eyes, help me to learn what will feed and strengthen my body, and even give stability and serenity to my soul.  Remind me that what we have in our lunch pack is sourced from the whole world, and help me to choose from what there is a selection that will bring blessing to its source as well as to the one who enjoys the fruit.

I would say “When I am lonely”, but I shall not be lonely with Thee.  Still, when there are pastimes and gatherings Thee and I must pass by, for they are not on our Way, remind me where we are going and who we are, so that I harbour neither blame nor regret.

When I am tired, please, please don’t go on without me.  Curl up and rest with me and wake me when it is time we were moving on.

When the Way gets too difficult, too frightening, and I cannot even see the path when Thee points it out to me, oh Lord Jesus then I beg Thee to pick me up and carry me – just do not leave me, whatever betide.

Talk to me as we go, and will Thee also sing to me?  I love the songs of heaven, and the words are harder to remember without the music.

I have asked Thee for so much, and maybe Thee has noticed I have promised Thee nothing.  Maybe Thee was hoping that I might offer something constructive in return for all Thy patient love and faithful Friendship.  I feel ashamed to say it, but there is no point.  My promises are like soap bubbles that last until they hit a thorn and then are forgotten. I’ve known two-year-olds with more resolve than I.  Even my imagination writhes and screams and runs when I think about the cross, the lions, the torture chamber; may I never have to know what I would do faced with the real thing.  No, I have nothing to offer Thee except myself, all of myself – my need of Thee, my longing for Thee, and my certain knowledge that without Thy hand holding mine I am entirely desolate.

Let me go with Thee, oh Lord Jesus, not today only but every day.  Fit Thy pace to mine except when Thee carries me.  Hush me when I prattle and when I complain.  Thee has heard me before; I think Thee knows what I mean.  Oh – and I am hoping Thee knows some good jokes, and some more stories as well as the ones I have heard.  The old ones are good too.  Tell me them again.  They sound different when I hear them in Thy voice.

When we come to the gates of Heaven, I think Thee might find they will not be straining their eyes looking out for me in great excitement.  I am no hero and no saint, and am not even the kind of sinner that people find interesting.  I am lazy and I complain a lot, and am very inclined to criticise.  And I can be cruel.  That’s not the kind of person they will be looking out for, is it? I have not been a credit to Thee, and if Thee had not come searching and found me, I should never have managed to get there by myself at all.  I am pinning my hopes on them opening the gate for Thee, and that they will let me in because I am with Thee.

I have no idea what Heaven is really like.  What people have told me sounds terrible.  I am hoping there might still be grass and trees and flowers, mountains and birds, rocks with moss on them, watermelon and mango and oranges.  And grapes.  I am hoping that I might be able to play with the animals in Heaven – not own them there, or take them about on leads, neutered and separated from their own kind and trained to obey us like they were here – just play with them.  I am hoping there will be guitars and campfires to go with all the singing.
But before any of that, I know there is my Judgement.  Lord Jesus, when that comes, will Thee still hold my hand?  There are things I have done in this life I cannot bear to think about, that haunt me still.  Things I am so ashamed of, even though Thee has forgiven me.  I guess there must be lots of other things too, of which I was cheerfully oblivious until we get to that Judgement Day.  Without Thee beside me, I shall not be able to bear it Lord Jesus.  I don’t care what Thee knows about me, what Thee sees that I have done, just don’t leave me is all I ask.

Anyway, we’re not there yet.  Today is just beginning.  When I woke up this morning, I found Thee here with me still.  Let’s make a start then, on this day.  If Thee’s not already wishing I’d shut up finally, there’s about a million things I want to thank Thee for . . .