University Blog

Connection To Heaven

Posted by Ben Trammell on

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say…
(Luke 11:1-2a)

Friends,

At the beginning of my pilgrimage in Spain following the ‘French Way’ of the Camino de Santiago, I committed to regularly praying the Lord’s Prayer and the Pilgrim’s Prayer that I picked up in Pamplona. Whenever I came to a church, a monument, or a cross, I would pray both of these prayers and whatever additional thoughts or petitions came to mind before God. I thought this would mean praying them 3 to 4 times a day…but it was closer to 3 times an hour as I greatly underestimated the number of churches and crosses I would encounter. Fortunately, as I monitored the side effects of overdosing on prayer, it was beneficial to my heart and soul. I found that this practice saturated my days with prayer and the presence of God. Above Luke’s gospel tells us of the Lord's Prayer as instructing his followers as a model for how prayer should be offered. Most have encountered and recited these words many times, perhaps so many times that we can be tempted to miss the missional nature of this prayer. We are told to pray that God’s “…will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” It is a prayer that orients us towards and connects us to Heaven's invasion of us and Earth at the heart of the good news. Our sermon series that begins this Sunday, April 24th will draw us towards the resurrection appearances of Jesus and challenge us to pray, think, and live toward God’s will being done in San Antonio (or ‘Here’ if you live outside the city) as it is already in Heaven. I am excited about what God has for us in this season and lean together into what God will do through the people of University. 

Below is the Pilgrim Prayer that was unknown to me before my journey. Like the Lord's Prayer, the Doxology (‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow…’) and a few other inherited gems of our faith, this prayer has, in repetition, worn groves into my heart and soul that keep me awake to the power and presence of God.

I invite you to pray it as we journey together as pilgrims in this Resurrection season:

God, You called your servant Abraham from Ur in Chaldea,
watching over him in all his wanderings,
and guided the Hebrew people as they crossed the desert.
Guard these your children who, for the love of your Name,
make a pilgrimage to Compostela.

Be for us {or my} companion on the way,
our guide at the crossroads,
our strength in weariness,
our defense in dangers, 

our shelter on the path,
our shade in the heat, (I added cold, wind and wet!)
our light in the darkness,
our comfort in discouragement,
our the firmness of their intentions;

that through your guidance,
we may arrive safely at the end of our journey and,
enriched with grace and virtue,
may return to our homes
filled with salutary and lasting joy.

Amen,
Pastor Ben

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