Guest Post – Give Us the Right Feet For the Path

This post originally appeared on THEACTUALPASTOR.COM, a blog run by Steve Wiens.  In addition to sharing his thoughts with the world via his blog, Steve is also planting a church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  It’s a great read!


There is a kind of praying that asks for rough roads to be made smooth, for mountains to be leveled, and for valleys to rise up to meet you in your walking. I think it’s good to pray this way, because sometimes the path that you are walking is too difficult, and you’re broken down on the side of the road begging for a miracle. God loves to help beggars.

I have prayed prayers like that for my friends and my family, and for myself. I will keep praying that way when anyone is starving on the side of the road and cannot get up. Sometimes, the path needs to change in order for us to keep walking on it. I remember when we plodded along the cheerless road of infertility. We hated that road, every inch of it. Many times, we prayed for our road to change, for the valleys to be filled in. God heard every one of those prayers.

But there is another kind of praying. A new friend taught me a new prayer last week, and it has lingered in my mind, settling down into me, inviting me on a new journey.

“Lord, give us the right feet for the path.”

It is an ancient rabbinic prayer, and it reflects the Hebrew mind, shaped for endless generations by the terrain of the Holy land. In Israel, roads are made not by leveling mountains or filling in valleys. In Israel, roads are made by reverencing the natural terrain. Every valley and peak becomes a part of the road, a story to be told and a journey to be walked. Anyone who has ever made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem knows what it means to ascend the holy mountain. You cannot get to Jerusalem unless you are willing to climb.

The Romans, my new friend told us, made roads by leveling the natural terrain. Their roads are wide and flat, and many could travel them. They’re efficient and predictable. By contrast, roads constructed by Hebrews are narrow, and are traveled only by a few. They can be treacherous and difficult. They follow the terrain of the land, as it winds and climbs and falls, like life itself.

“Lord, give us the right feet for the path.”

These days, that prayer is the right prayer for me as we walk the road of church planting. Already, we have experienced some dizzying heights and dangerous valleys. This particular road is winding, with joys and challenges as it bends around life’s natural curves. As our feet are adapting to this new terrain, we are learning to be patient with ourselves and with each other. Every day of this journey, something new meets us.

“Lord, give us the right feet for the path.”

“We journeyed through dangers,” we read in Psalm 66:12 (The Voice Translation), “through fire and flood, But You led us finally to a safe place, a land rich and abundant.”

There are times to pray for the path to change and for the dangers to disappear. But there are also times we need to journey through the dangers, through fire and flood, in order to find out that God does finally lead us to a safe place, when the time is right and when the journey is over.

May God give you the right feet for the path, and may you learn the wisdom to know what you need on your journey.

Thanks for sharing the wisdom you are learning, Steve.

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