Prayer Walk (Mark 10:46-52)

Jesus and his disciples are walking from Jericho. Sometime today, tomorrow and the next day, I invite you to take a walk. Place yourself within this passage. It may be helpful to have a time limit, if you’re not used to doing an exercise like this.

I used to not enjoy reading when I was younger. So in my early twenties, I picked up some audio books and listened to them. This was something I enjoyed and found when I heard the story, I was able to remember it better and place myself within the story to picture it. One day I decided to pick up some books and read them. I began to picture the story line and the books began to come alive to me. This is one of the reasons I love to read the Bible: many stories in there that can actually tell our story.

So, this is an exercise to try and make the scripture come even more alive, in our imagination. I have found it is too easy to sit and read and not let the Word take root in us; but if we move like the people in the Bible, we’ll be able to experience more.

The exercise:

Read. Read the passage a couple times before heading out for a walk. (passage is below). If you have an audio version you can take with you on the walk, awesome.

Pray. Pray before heading out asking God to reveal himself to you in a new or different way.

Walk. This is one of my favorite parts. Walk and reflect on the passage. As you find yourself walking, picture the story happening right where you are. Imagine Jesus, the disciples, a crowd, a shouting person asking for help. Do you keep walking? Do you stop and just watch? Do you call someone else? Is it time to make fun of or chastise the person? Do we pray and ask God to send someone else so they can help?

Imagining the story like this helps me to be able to see God working in our day to day life. This also helps to remind me to look for opportunities to be present and see God, his people and his mission wherever I am.

Journal. I recommend journaling what you experienced, what God showed you on your walk. This way, it is easy to remember and we have a record we can go back and read later.

Pray. Pray again. This is a simple prayer of thanks. Thanking God for the opportunity to see the world as he sees it. Also, asking God to help us see the world and his people this way in all aspects of life.

Prayer walks are enjoyable to me. I hope God reveals himself to you as you try this exercise.

Next week, we begin a new series on “Giving Thanks.” We’ll have one devotional each week for the month of November, but there will be 7 things to pray for (one for each day of the week). I’m excited about this upcoming series and seeing what will happen when we take intentional time to thank and praise God, even the trials we experience.


Mark 10:46-52 (CEB)
Healing of blind Bartimaeus
Jesus and his followers came into Jericho. As Jesus was leaving Jericho, together with his disciples and a sizable crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, Timaeus’ son, was sitting beside the road. When he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was there, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, show me mercy!” Many scolded him, telling him to be quiet, but he shouted even louder, “Son of David, show me mercy!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him forward.” They called the blind man, “Be encouraged! Get up! He’s calling you.” Throwing his coat to the side, he jumped up and came to Jesus. Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Teacher, I want to see.” Jesus said, “Go, your faith has healed you.” At once he was able to see, and he began to follow Jesus on the way.

New Attitude and Thinking

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Colossians 3:5-11 So put to death the parts of your life that belong to the earth, such as sexual immorality, moral corruption, lust, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). The wrath of God is coming upon disobedient people because of these things. You used to live this way, when you were alive to these things. But now set aside these things, such as anger, rage, malice, slander, and obscene language. Don’t lie to each other. Take off the old human nature with its practices and put on the new nature, which is renewed in knowledge by conforming to the image of the one who created it. In this image there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all things and in all people. 

Click here for Colossians 3 in context

This is a point that Paul is trying to make in all of his letters to the different churches. I find it interesting that he has to remind the people over and over again to put aside things of the world and live the life of Jesus Christ. It almost seems as though the people would remember they are new creations because of Christ. It seems like we should remember this as well.

How easy it is to fall back into the old temptations and old ways of living. The pull of physical satisfaction is great and we can forget that we are new creations, that we have a new mind because we have died with Christ. The actions and attitudes that Paul describes “sexual immorality, moral corruption, lust, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry)…anger, rage, malice, slander, and obscene language” are things that we should not allow to control us or define our lives.

The world around us says differently though. The world around us says it is the most important thing in life to make sure the physical desires and wants are satisfied and taken care of. But, if we have died with Christ, these actions and attitudes should not be part of our lives. The reason? Sin does not do really anything except tear down. We are called to build people up and help them live as Christ is desiring them (and us) to live. The other reason I can see is that these actions and attitudes listed really come from selfishness. We are called to the body of Christ which means that we all have a part to play and each person is important. We look for ways to love people, even when it hurts or is difficult.

Paul reminds the readers, and us, that in Christ we are all one. There is no distinction between groups. Christ is in all things and situations. Christ is in all people. He gets the glory and we can praise Him even when people do not do what we ant them do to. We can love those who do not act lovable. We can do all of this because Christ brings us together. Many parts, one body.

#ToTheGloryOfChrist

A Holy Calling

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Today we are at a point in the letter to the Galatians, Paul could be at a loss for words. Instead of keeping silent, Paul begins to prove why the message he gave to the Galatians is the right message and why/how he is commissioned to carry out this work.

Today we pick up Paul’s letter in Galatians 1:13-24.

13 You heard about my previous life in Judaism, how severely I harassed God’s church and tried to destroy it. 14 I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my peers, because I was much more militant about the traditions of my ancestors.15 But God had set me apart from birth and called me through his grace. He was pleased 16 to reveal his Son to me, so that I might preach about him to the Gentiles. I didn’t immediately consult with any human being. 17 I didn’t go up to Jerusalem to see the men who were apostles before me either, but I went away into Arabia and I returned again to Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I didn’t see any other of the apostles except James the brother of the Lord. 20 Before God, I’m not lying about the things that I’m writing to you! 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, 22 but I wasn’t known personally by the Christian churches in Judea. 23 They only heard a report about me: “The man who used to harass us now preaches the faith that he once tried to destroy.”24 So they were glorifying God because of me.

Before we continue, I have a question for us to answer. How do you respond to those people who try to discredit you? If we are honest, we would say that we get flustered and angry. Then we go about trying to prove the people wrong; or worse, try and get revenge on them to discredit them. We see this all the time, especially when people are going for some kind of position no matter the level.

We would try to denounce our former way of life to show that is not us anymore and that we have changed. Paul seems to embrace is former life (murdering Christians, imprisoning Christians, being arrogant in his knowledge) and says, in essence, “this is who I used to be and I cannot change that.” He seems to have a common thread throughout his letters to demonstrate a “new creation” and that it is Christ who makes us “new.”

We need to remember that our past does not define us. It does show us, and others, who we were before our conversion to Christ (or even at points after our conversion – we are human after all). We can show people this is how we used to live and then compare it to how our lives are now. Christ has redeemed us from our sins and our past and we are made new in his image.

Then, Paul goes on to say something interesting in verses 15 & 16. Read the verses again. But God had set me apart from birth and called me through his grace. He was pleased 16 to reveal his Son to me, so that I might preach about him to the Gentiles. 

I LOVE how that sentence starts, “BUT God…” We can have the most rocky and unholy past, BUT GOD comes in to change us! How cool is that? This is what our testimonies should be about. “Yes I did…(fill in the blank). BUT GOD came in and changed everything!”

Paul continues to say something amazing that we know in our heads but sometimes have a hard time allowing this truth to sink into our hearts. God had set me apart from birth and called me…

Paul’s life was able to be transformed and God was able to use his past to be a preacher to the Gentiles (non-Jewish people). It always amazes me how God works.

Paul was set apart from birth. You were set apart from birth. Do you think you don’t have the credentials, the experience? What do you “think” you’re lacking to live the life you know God wants you to live? God has called you and somehow provides to make his calling be fruitful. The best part is that we do not need a lot of material items, because God calls us to be his witness (be his preacher) to those around us first (like our family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc). Then we go to the outer parts of the circle. That’s what Paul did.

His past reputation followed him where ever he went. Whenever Paul went to a place that did not know him, only heard of him, it was his former (violent) way of life the people knew. And that was okay because God was getting all the glory. Paul was able to say, “This is who I used to be, BUT GOD…”

What a testimony! We are now FREE from our past. We are now FREE to live into the life God has called us to live. The life set apart for us from our birth.

Tomorrow, we begin chapter 2.

#LiveFreeInChrist