Silence for 2-5 minutes:
If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, "I surrender to your love" or "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me" until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
Many have had spiritual experiences in nature, even non-believers. There is something about the majesty of the mountains or the untamed ocean with its teeming life that says there is a God. God has given creation as an evangelist to tell us to search further and deeper than our narrow lives and to discover who He is and what He has done.
I believe this is also an invitation for urban dwellers to escape the asphalt jungle and discover God in His creation. Read the testimony below of the author of the beautiful hymn, This is My Father’s World.
When Maltbie Babcock resided in Lockport, he would take strolls along the Niagara Escarpment to savor the overlook's scenic view of upstate New York surroundings and Lake Ontario, telling his wife he was "going out to see the Father's world". Soon after his death in 1901, she released a collection of Babcock's poems entitled Thoughts for Every-Day Living that contained the poem "My Father's World."
The original poem was composed in 16 four-line stanzas, each beginning with “This is my Father’s world.” One of Babcock’s friends, Franklin Shepherd (1852-1930) adopted an English folk song inserting portions of Babcock’s text into three, eight-line stanzas. The hymn in this form first appeared in the composer’s hymnal Alleluia, a Presbyterian Sunday school book published in 1915.
You are invited to go out and see the “Father’s World.”
Sing or recite This Is My Father’s World. Even better, sing the song as you take a walk in an outdoor setting.
1. This is my Father’s world, And to my list’ning ears All nature sings, and round me rings The music of the spheres. This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas— His hand the wonders wrought.
2. This is my Father’s world: The birds their carols raise, The morning light, the lily white, Declare their Maker’s praise. This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair; In the rustling grass I hear Him pass, He speaks to me everywhere.
3. This is my Father’s world: Oh, let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet. This is my Father’s world, The battle is not done: Jesus who died shall be satisfied, and earth and heaven be one.
O, Father, help me see your hand in nature and help me hear your voice in the sounds of your creation. Let what you have made be an evangelist to me of the good news of Jesus Christ! Even so come Lord Jesus and make heaven and earth one. Amen.