When we pray for someone who is about to go somewhere, how often do we pray for travelling mercies for them? Basically what we’re asking is for God to physically protect the person from harm and that they will safely get to where they are going. However I saw a great excerpt from a book recently, putting a new (and I believe more biblical) light on this cliche that so many of us Christians use.

‘Travelling mercies’ does not mean protection. God never promised to protect us from hurt or to keep us physically safe. The travelling mercies that we can hope for are the hope for a better future, the hope that one day there will be no more tears and no more pain. This is the hope that we have, not for physical protection, but for a better day when we don’t even need to think of praying for protection because death and hurt will have been defeated once and for all.

Many years ago I was about to go white-water rafting with a group of friends. One of the leaders of our group prayed before we set off, and he said that after so many trips, he no longer prays for protection. Instead he prays for wisdom. I used to wonder about that but now I’m more sure that this is a prayer that God is more likely to answer.

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