Walking the streets before dawn’s light,
Feeling the city’s pulse slowly rise.
Roosters crow, dogs bay
Humanity greets the day
Walking, listening, feeling the creators delight

As I went for an early morning walk here in Montana, I found myself missing my early morning walks on the village streets in Cambodia. Here I am surrounded by beauty. Quiet snowy woods surrounded by towering peaks. I walked with only the compony of my dog to the river, and saw no one, except a few deer. My prayer time was quiet, subdued, introspective, sensing my smallness in the grandeur of creation. In Cambodia, the ambiance is quite different. The streets are nearly never quiet. Dogs, chickens, cows, birds, and bugs set up a natural racket. The people often talk and sing late into the night, and many rise early to begin their work. The natural beauty is often marred by trash, dilapidated structures, and harsh smells. On my walks there I found myself attuned to creation in a different way. I found myself participating with God praying blessings over those I saw. My prayers were not introspective, instead it was quite the opposite. My attention was drawn to the needs, lives, and joys of the people around me.

It is true that Jesus often went into the wilderness to be alone surrounded by the beauty. It is also true that He walked through towns and villages on his way there. It is true that his heart was moved by the needs of the people, and that he wept over Jerusalem.

Both introspective and extrospective prayer are visible in Jesus’s life as they should be in ours. Where ever we find ourselves may we be attuned to the Spirit as we walk and as we pray.

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