This prayer walk is written specifically for the Botanic Garden in Adelaide (on North Terrace), but the principles can be applied to any garden. If you would like a pdf. version so you can take your phone or iPad/tablet on the walk, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send it to you.
Cacti are extraordinary plants, well-adapted for living in desert conditions. They store water in their fleshy leaves and stems and have special mechanisms to keep their water-loss to a minimum.
How do you cope when you hit a dry patch?
Do you have enough faith stored up to keep going even when it’s hard?
How do you stay thankful and joyful?
Thank God for everything He has already done for you - being thankful and remembering how God has been with you in the past builds up a store of faith.
Murdoch Avenue - avenue of giant figs.
Think of how big God is. Nothing is impossible with Him. As the figs spread their limbs out and enclose us in shade, so God spreads out His arms and protects us as the mother hen protects her young.
Imagine yourself as a child, holding God’s hand, sitting on His lap, or riding on His shoulder.
Just rest in Him for a time and let Him love you.
Summer House - a place of rest.
We all need to rest. The Lord ordained a Sabbath day of rest. Yours may not be on a Sunday, but at some point during the week you should take the time to rest.
How good are you at taking a rest?
Ask God where in your life you need to take a rest. Are there things you should be putting down or taking a rest from?
Are there things you are doing in your own strength?
Are you running on empty and need God to fill you again?
Plants that grow around the Mediterranean are good at water conservation and taking advantage of the rain when it falls.
How well do you use what you have?
Are you prepared to step through the door when God opens it?
How ready are you?
Ask the Lord to reveal what He wants you to be ready for, how to prepare for it, to give you discernment to know when the door has opened, and boldness to step through it.
Simpson Shade House - full of plants that flourish in the shade.
How well do you survive in the shade? Are you happy to work behind the scenes? How are you doing with envy? Are you happy to play a supporting role?
This is the place to think about service - how ready are you to serve if no-one notices?
Roses are beautifully coloured and often fragranced. If there are roses in bloom, move around the garden and smell some of them.
How strong is the fragrance of God in your life? Ask God to tell you how you smell to Him and how to carry His aroma with you through the day.
Kainka Wirra - lake
A lake is a body of fresh water. We all need water to live - both literally and spiritually.
Where do you draw water from? Do you go to God, or do you draw on your own reserves until you are empty?
How full is your ‘lake’ at the moment?
Sit awhile and let God fill you up.
Depending on the time of year, you can see lotus blossoms and seed pods here. The lotus flower lifts itself above the muddy water, not being sullied itself, and standing upright.
How do you stay unsullied in the world, not stained by it? How do you maintain purity?
How do you remain upright when the pressures of the world press down on you?
Ask the Lord to show you any places that He wants you to step back from, or where He wants you to stand tall no matter what pressure comes to bear.
Araucaria Avenue - an avenue of conifers
Conifers are also called evergreens. They stay green all year, not shedding all their leaves in the autumn like deciduous trees.
How do you stay ‘green’ even through the winter?
What steps do you take to make sure that you keep growing?
What areas does God want you to grow in?
Wollemia nobilis was only discovered in 1994 by an officer of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, David Noble. He found three small stands of 35m tall trees growing in deep gorges in the Wollemi National Park, NSW.
This amazing find so close to Sydney highlights just how much more there is to discover in the plant world.
Ask God what He is growing in your life that you haven’t discovered yet.
Are there things you have left behind that need to be rediscovered?
Are there gifts God has given you that you haven’t used yet?
Dead House - morgue associated with the old lunatic asylum.
The morgue is the place where the dead are kept especially before they are identified, claimed, and taken away for burial or cremation.
Ask the Lord to identify any places that are dead in you. Remember that God is able to resurrect that which is lifeless. Are there any parts of you that need reviving?
Are there any parts that need to die?
Ask the Lord to revive those parts that are withering, refresh those that are stale and dry, restore the parts that are broken, and renew a vibrant expectancy that He will work in your life. Ask Him to overcome any resistance in you to the work of the Holy Spirit.
Garden of Health
Two sections: the Garden of Contemplation focuses on wellbeing and encourages contemplation and reflection, while the Garden of Healing is about disease prevention and the treatment of illness.
As Christians we need to think about our spiritual health as well as physical and mental health. Spiritual health is maintained by spending time with God.
How good are you at self-care and spiritual discipline?
Do you make sure you have a time of quiet with the Lord regularly?
Ask God to show you which disciplines He would like you to grow in and how He wants you to do that.
God is the Great Healer. Where do you need healing right now? Ask God to show you if there are areas that He wants to bring healing to. Take your hurts to Him.
One of the natural habitats of Australia.
What is your natural habitat?
If left to your own devices what would be your natural default position?
If you weren’t vigilant about keeping down the weeds, what would be growing in the garden of your life?
What do you find yourself having to uproot regularly?
Admit where you are having problems and ask the Lord to help you to overcome.
How can you make sure that your natural, earthly state doesn’t choke out your spiritual life?
The Palm House
A palm tree thrives in dry places. It is resilient when tossed to and fro in winds and storms, bending and swaying, but it won’t break.
How resilient are you?
When winds and storms come in to your life do you bend or break?
How can you build more resilience into your life?
The palm produces more fruit as it gets older.
Are you becoming more fruitful as you grow in faith?