Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | June 30, 2015

June 30, 2015 “Traveling Mercies”

“I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)

Good Morning Fellow Travelers!

Each Sunday morning during our worship services, I invite members of the congregation to share any particular prayer requests they may have so we as a church may stand in agreement with them as we lift up our prayers. Quite often, those requests include prayers for safe travel, or “traveling mercies”, as they embark on a long journey or as a loved one makes a trip somewhere. These are quite common in the summertime, and I, as well, invite those prayers as I travel. In fact, my wife, my mother and I will be leaving for the Midwest tomorrow, so you can start praying for our safe travels as well, please. I began to wonder where that expression “traveling mercies” originated and came across this article that explains its origin:

“Before Christians go on trips, they often ask for “traveling mercies.” What are these special prayers? The New Testament books in general talk a lot about prayers and praying, and in the Acts of the Apostles and in Paul’s letters there are a number of references to trips and traveling. But rarely in the Bible are the two topics of prayer and travel intentionally combined as is the case with the Christian expression “traveling mercies.” Traveling mercies are prayers that are made for someone who is about to undertake a big journey. When the term first started being used in the late 19th century, it meant prayers for missionaries who were going on long journeys to remote parts of the world. When you think about it, the late 19th century probably wasn’t so very different from the 1st century in terms of the dangers of travel. Delays, thefts, illnesses, unexpected expenses—such misfortunes plague long-distance travelers of every age and every part of the world.

The term “traveling mercies” caught on and started showing up in print quite a bit in missionary magazines and other kinds of Christian publications during the early part of the 20th century. It wasn’t long before non-missionaries wanted these special prayers too. After all, why should ordinary lay people settle for just “hedges of protection” when they can have traveling mercies too? And so by the mid-20th century, the expression “traveling mercies” was being used by pretty much anyone who wanted prayer for an upcoming trip, whether the trip was specifically religious in nature or not. The special connection between traveling mercies and missionary work had become a relic of a bygone time.”

Be it a missionary journey or a trip to grandma’s house…a business venture or a beach vacation destination, my prayer for you is for “traveling mercies” on your journey. Remember God’s promise to Joshua…”I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.”  Let’s pray!

Lord of all our days; I pray for your traveling mercies as we proceed on life’s journey, that we would arrive safely at our ultimate destination…our heavenly home. May all our journeys be made surrounded by your protective hand. This I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen





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