Pilgrimage prayer time doesn’t have one look, but it really makes a difference to your walk.
We’ve talked about Inner Preparation (Step 3) for the pilgrimage journey before, in the list of 8 Steps for Pilgrimage Planning. Whether or not you’re a religious person, this inner preparation is essential.
On any journey, we not only carry our packs—tangible, physical items—but the weight of our inner world. Worries, griefs, anger, to-do lists.
All of it has “weight” and takes up space in our minds and hearts. When we ignore this aspect of pilgrimage, we’re far more likely to carry around inner clutter that steals strength from the journey. We need to be intentional and mindful.
For those on a journey of faith, pilgrimage prayer is essential—before, during, and after. Scripture reading precedes prayer to prepare the mind spiritually and focus it on particular truths.
I found a particularly good way to approach this during a more random search online. Reading through a blog with details on medieval anchorites, I saw a link to a previous writing titled “How Do You Pray for Half-an-Hour for Someone?”
To be honest, although I do prayer for myself and the people I care about, it had never occurred to me in decades of existence that you could pray for a whole half-hour for one person. But this blog walks a person through how to do that.
Is that relevant to pilgrimage prayer ? Absolutely.
That type of deliberate, focused prayer and preparation, even when praying for someone else, alters my outlook and perception. So when I walk out on today’s journey, my pilgrimage prayer has readied me for a completely different type of thought and conversation. It also readies me to listen. To remember, as Stephen Covey taught, to “seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
I respond better when I begin by truly hearing. And pilgrimage prayer is a great way to practice listening. Because is the best kinds of prayer, we’re not only speaking—Praise, Repentance, Asking, and Yielding—we’re also pausing and listening for where God leads.
Listening for what he says through his word, through the clarity of thought he gives, through the words of others—even through messages set in place years before that we find at just the right time … set in place by the One who knows the end from the beginning.