Traveling mercy

On this day, I’d like to show my appreciation to my mother. Since today is Mother’s Day it is the perfect way to share some highlights from her recent trip to the UAE. Having her here was one of my top 5 experiences because she had the opportunity to experience life, as I do in Abu Dhabi. I often share my observations about being an expatriate with my mother, but upon arriving she make her own observations about Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

My sisters and I surprised my mother with this trip to show appreciation for her daily sacrifices. As she updated me on her travels I could not help but feel extremely worried about her getting here safely. For a second I experienced the worry my parents do when I travel internationally. Often, I will call my parents from another country and realize that I failed to expose my travel plans beforehand. I was selfish and did not understand how they felt until she was en route.

While here I showed my mom my favorite places to eat, I took her to my school and one of my classes threw her a party. We celebrated Mother’s Day (UAE version) and took trips to Dubai and Al Ain. This was the longest uninterrupted one on one time I have had with my mom in a while and I greatly appreciated it. Below are some of our highlights!

traveling mercy

Mom and I at a Desert Safaritraveling mercyBrunchin’traveling mercyMom looking sporty!traveling mercyLV at the Burj Khalifatraveling mercyInside Dubai Malltraveling mercyATV Riding!traveling mercyMom and I on a pier in Dubaitraveling mercyMom and Burj Al Arabtraveling mercyDancing on the beach!traveling mercyMom in deep thoughttraveling mercyKissing on a camel ❤traveling mercyMom getting her henna done.traveling mercyMom loves her datestraveling mercyWe met SALT BAEtraveling mercyMom and I after Ladies Night!

traveling mercy

traveling mercy

Datestraveling mercyOrdering Burger King for the roadtraveling mercyThese are the snacks my students bought for my mom’s surprise partytraveling mercyMom and I at my schooltraveling mercyMe posing at schooltraveling mercyThe garden at my school

traveling mercy

Mommy and I on the way to my schooltraveling mercyKite Beach, Dubaitraveling mercyWalking in Dubai, Burj Khalifa in the backtraveling mercyAl Aintraveling mercyMommy and I walking in Abu Dhabitraveling mercyAt the museum in Al Aintraveling mercy

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 Christianese 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.

traveling mercies n.Prayer› See various senses.

The term arose in the late 19th century and was used at first almost exclusively of church workers who were on a long journey for the purpose of ministry work (see sense 1), but by the mid-20th century the term was being used in a general way of any Christians who were on a journey for any reason (see sense 2).

1. God’s blessings and protection on missionaries, preachers, and other church workers who are traveling to or from a place of ministry, usually at some distance.

• Sakurai Minutes of the Second Bienniel Convention of the World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union 17 : He has blessed me with traveling mercies and allowed me to come here to try to do something for him. The Interior XXV. 1721 : The Lord was good indeed, and gave us traveling mercies innumerable throughout our journeying in England, Scotland and the United States, and now we are thankful to be brought again in health and strength to our loved field of labor in the Holy City. The Advance XLV. 699 : She wrote of their comfortable journey while ships just before and after had suffered. This was spoken of as one of the “traveling mercies” which we often ask for our missionaries. The Nazarene Messenger XII. 64 : We had traveling mercies, and on arrival in this city were very warmly welcomed by the people of the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene. We were made comfortable by the kindness of the saints in a home of our own. Presbyterian Mag. XVI. 558 : The missionary, thankful for traveling mercies, reached Mejdel warm and dry, being clad in a complete suit of rubber. YMCA Association Men XXXVI. 426 : Pray for the thousands of delegates now enroute to the Triennial International Sunday School Convention at San Francisco. For traveling mercies, open-mindedness, spiritual vision, and obedient wills. Missionary Voice III. 449 : Pray for traveling mercies for them and for a great outpouring of blessings upon Brazil. Missions: An International Baptist Mag. XIV. 346 : Bon voyage to the delegates and friends bound for the Old World. May God give to all traveling mercies and a safe return! Miller Patty Lou in the Wilds of Central America 12 : She finished by saying, “And as we start on the final lap of the journey, give us traveling mercies. Keep Thy hand over us every moment of the voyage as we sail across the Gulf of Panama into the San Miguel Gulf and up the Tuira River to our headquarters.” The Moravian vols. 99–101 171 : Our thanks as a church are due for traveling mercies accorded to them all. They can be assured of the prayers of many, especially in the case of those who now undertake missionary responsibility for the first time. Huss Robert G. Lee: The Authorized Biography 204 : All of the men took turns praying that their pastor would be afforded traveling mercies, that he would be mightily used of God, and that he return to them safely. Hunter My Love Affair with Charles 65 : Please remember to pray for God’s traveling mercies as we drive on Thanksgiving Day to Clearwater for the Youth Convention, and then pray that God will make me a blessing to all the youth who will be attending.

2. God’s blessings and protection on any people who are traveling.


They Did Not March Alone 2 : Then the two men in uniform, the enlisted man and the Chaplain stood for a short prayer, asking God to give the young soldier traveling mercies and to bless him and the bereaved loved ones back at home.

North Carolina State AFL-CIO

Proceedings of the Annual Convention 110 : We pray that you have your way in the rest of this convention here this afternoon and that we as delegates and visitors going to our respective homes, that You give us traveling mercies as we go on the highways, through the air or however we go, and may we arrive home safetly for we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Beardsley, Spry

The Fulfilled Woman 23 : Always pray for traveling mercies and ask God to make your husband a safe, alert driver.

a1997 Wimber

Everyone Gets to Play (2007) 83 : I’ve been in hundreds of prayer meetings and have heard all kinds of prayers from prayers for traveling mercies to unspoken requests.


They Like Jesus But Not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations 44 : We find ourselves regularly using Christian words and phrases and clichés, such as

backsliding ,

prayer warrior ,

fellowship ,

quiet time ,

traveling mercies .


Branded: Sharing Jesus with a Consumer Culture 97 : I’m not trying to pick on anyone, but “traveling mercies” is one of my favorite Christianese phrases. Instead of praying for a safe trip to grandma’s house, we say, “Please pray for traveling mercies as we visit family this weekend.”


Why Men Hate Going to Church 103 : Please pray traveling mercies for my son. He’s flying back to Harvard for the spring semester.

Anne talks about her childhood at length. She is the child of atheists but likes it when she has the opportunity to attend church. She says she pretended church was foolish to please her father who was raised by missionaries in Tokyo and despised Christianity. Her mother sometimes attends midnight mass but Anne’s opportunities to attend church are largely limited to when she goes with a Catholic friend or her grandparents.

Traveling Mercies is actually a series of essays about Anne’s life. The first is the longest and gives the reader a look at her childhood and her early years roughly to the point when she gives up the alcohol and drugs. Thereafter, there are a series of essays, each offering a brief look at some particular aspect of Anne’s life.

The essays cover a range of topics but center on her son, Sam. Anne almost has an abortion when she becomes pregnant with Sam—her second pregnancy. The first pregnancy did end with an abortion. She talks to a minister who tells her she should imagine she has just made the decision to have the abortion and gauge what her reaction would be. Then she is to imagine she has decided not to have it and compare that reaction. She says that advice was sound and she decides not to have the abortion. She later uses this same tactic to decide whether Sam can go paragliding at seven years old. When she considers that she has refused permission, she is elated and uses that to make her decision.

Anne and Sam go to Mexico on vacation to swim with the seals, visit friends and interact with those in their church, St. Andrews. Anne calls it a “funky” church and says the people there become her family and she knows she can always find her way home from there. She is a writer by trade and has periods when she is having trouble writing, making the finances tough. She deals with a potentially serious blood disorder with Sam but it turns out to be nothing. She worries about her own health because her father died of melanoma. His death leaves a giant hole in her life and it is some twenty years before she admits she is a person without a dad and it is not going to change. She admits then she has always tried to mold men into her father’s image and none of them are capable of filling that place in her life.

Anne claims to be a Christian but admits she is a bad Christian. She says some friends call her “Christian-ish.” She refers to God as “he or she” and admits at the end of the last essay that she is not even certain to whom she is praying when she says, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” She says the two most important prayers are “Thank you” and “Please.” The essays are sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant and all have a lesson most readers will understand and relate to.

Traveling mercies look to the Lord for a safe and smooth travel. From a time in the late nineteenth century when travel was difficult, traveling mercies with travel with those that were heading to their ministry destination. If you are embarking on a similar state of travel, here are some good prayers for traveling mercies.

Prayer #1

In the name of God I go on this journey. May God the Father be with me, God the Son protect me, and God the Holy Ghost be by my side. Amen.

Prayer #2

Lord, be our guide and our protector
on the journey we are about to take.
Watch over us.
Protect us from accidents.
Keep us free from harm to body and soul.
Lord, support us with Your grace when we are tired.
Help us be patient in any trouble which may come our way.
Keep us always mindful of Your presence and love.

Prayer #3

My holy angel guardian, ask the Lord to bless the journey which I undertake, that it may profit the health of my soul and body; that I may reach its end; and that, returning safe and sound, I may find all at home in good health. Do thou guard, guide, and preserve us. Amen.

Prayer #4

Lord, guide our hands as we steer our vehicles on the roads. Guide the hands of the driver of the vehicles that are about to take us to our various destination; whether it is by car, by bus, by train or even plane, Dear God so that we can avoid any accidents from occurring.

Prayer #5

Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You that You are my ever present help and Companion, no matter where I am of where I go. Lord as I set out on my travels, I ask that You would be with me to guard and to guide me through every part of this journey.

Keep me I pray from all harm and danger and I pray that You would go with me Lord, and encamp around me and stay close to me as I continue on my way. Give me travelling mercies I pray, and bring me safely to my final destination. Be with me Lord and give me Your peace and rest in my heart.

Lord Jesus, I place myself in Your safekeeping as I journey on my way and thank You for Your never failing mercies which are new every morning. In Jesus name I pray, Amen

Prayer #6

Loving Father I thank You that You provide us with times when we are able to stand aside from the business of the world. It was You Who took Your own disciples aside to rest awhile and I thank You for this vacation – so that I too may take time apart and gain physical refreshment and renewal – not only physical Lord, but emotional and spiritual refreshment too.

As I set out on my vacation I ask that You give me travelling mercies. Be with me Lord as I set out on my journey and keep me from any unforeseen dangers or accidents that would cause anxiety or difficulties. Watch over me and protect me I pray, wherever I may be – whether among the busy crowds or during those times of quiet solitude.

I pray that this may be a time when I am replenished in body, mind and spirit so that I may return home refreshed, renewed and ready to return to my daily work and may be equipped to better serve You in the days that lie ahead – Thank You Lord for Your generous provision in Jesus name,


Prayer #7

Jesus as I head out on my trip I invite You to be with me, watching over me and keeping me safe. I pray for an alert mind while traveling. I pray You would keep the vehicle I am in safe from mechanical failure. Lord use these next days to Your glory. I invite You to be a part of my agenda. If there are additional appointments You want me to have while I am away I pray You would arrange these. My life is in Your hands Jesus. Thank you for the commitment You made to me at the cross. Amen

Prayer #8

O Almighty and merciful God, who has commissioned your angels to guide and protect us, may they be our companions from our setting out until our return. Clothe us with their invisible protection; keep from us all danger of collision, of fire, of explosion, of falling; and finally, having preserved us from all evil, and especially from sin, guide us to our heavenly home. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer #9

O Almighty and merciful God, who hast commissioned Thy angels to guide and protect us, command them to be our assiduous companions from our setting out until our return; to clothe us with their invisible protection; to keep from us all danger of collision, of fire, of explosion, of fall and bruises, and finally, having preserved us from all evil, and especially from sin, to guide us to our heavenly home. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer #10

O God, Who did cause the children of Israel to traverse the Red Sea dryshod; Thou Who did point out by a star to the Magi the road that led them to Thee; grant us we beseech Thee, a prosperous journey and propitious weather; so that, under the guidance of Thy holy angels we may safely reach that journey’s end, and later the haven of eternal salvation.

Hear, O Lord, the prayers of Thy servants. Bless their journeyings. Thou Who art everywhere present, shower everywhere upon them the effects of Thy mercy; so that, insured by Thy protection against all dangers, they may return to offer Thee their thanksgiving. Through Christ our Lord.

Prayer #11

My holy Angel Guardian, ask the Lord to bless the journey which I undertake, that it may profit the health of my soul and body; that I may reach its end, and that, returning safe and sound, I may find my family in good health. Do thou guard, guide and preserve us.

Prayer #12

God’s Angels guard and keep you
All the way that you must travel
Till earth’s days are past
When blossoms fade and
Time is fleeting fast
In times of purest joy
Or pain and fear
God’s Angels guard
And keep you safe.

Prayer #13

O God, Who brought our fathers through the Red Sea
and carried them safely through the deep
as they sang praises of Thy name,
we humbly beseech Thee
to guard Thy servants aboard ship,
and having repelled all adversities,
bring them to the desired port after a calm voyage.
Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Thy Son,
Who livest and reigneth with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end.

Whether you are traveling close to home or long distance overseas, here is the perfect prayer for traveling. It is important to keep in mind as Christians, that there is no road you ever travel alone. This prayer will help to bring you comfort and peace during your journey.

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