Finding Wonder In Creation: Pray Through The Zoo

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4 mins read

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you.”

Job 12:7 (NIV)

If I’m honest, I’m not really an animal person. Sure, I’ll melt over a baby sloth and smile as the penguins go after the keeper’s fish bucket. But, I’m generally happier (and calmer) when there’s a barrier between me and nature.

That all to say, I know there is much for us to learn from nature. That wealth of knowledge goes beyond things like medical discoveries, innovative design practices, sustainability and insight into our past. It connects us with our Maker and reminds us of the vastness of creation and what an amazing artist God truly is.

So, once a year, we plan an intentional visit to the zoo where we create a Church at the Zoo experience. Essentially, we pray around the world… at the zoo. As we walk through the zoo, we take time to observe and learn about the animals and the environments they come from, we read scripture and we pray for the countries, ecosystems and people groups in the parts of the world the animals we visit come from.

It’s a pause to honor the goodness of God, to show gratitude, to be in awe of creation. We need those moments. Especially in times when we navigate difficulties, when it’s hard to see good, when so much seems wrong in the world.

In the book of Job, after Job has experienced the loss of his children, his lifestock, his servants and his physical health, he enters dialogue with some of his friends. He says this…

Job 12:7-10 NIV

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
    or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
    or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature
    and the breath of all mankind.”

God created all. Us humans, animals, creepy crawlies, etc. In Job’s most difficult moments, he pauses and looks to nature to find God’s goodness.

Prayer walking the zoo is a way to connect with God and show gratitude for all of God’s creations. It’s a way to find hope in the midst of the world’s chaos. It’s a way to remember the world is so much bigger than our isolated stories.

So, whether you are a nature lover or not, consider taking a pause and creating your own time of church at the zoo. It does the soul a world of good.

GUIDE TO PRAYER WALKING THE KANSAS CITY ZOO & AQUARIUM

Instructions: You can visit the areas of the zoo represented in our guide in any order that you like. When you arrive to an area, find a good spot to read the guide, share in some discussion and pray before you explore the animals and activities that area has to offer.

Download a full page version to be printed on 8.5×11 inch paper by clicking here.

Download a booklet version (to be printed on 8.5×11 inch paper, double-sided, 2 pages per printer page, flipping horizontally on the short edge) by clicking here.

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