“Run By My Side”
This delightful prayer has been floating around the interwebs for some time, in posts and images shared to blogs and social media. It’s usually under the title “Runner’s Prayer” or “Run By My Side.”
Run by my side; live in my heartbeat;
give strength to my steps.
As the cold surrounds, as the wind pushes me,
I know you surround me.
As the sun warms me, as the rain cleanses me,
I know you are touching me, challenging me, loving me.
And so I give you this run.
Thank you for matching my stride.
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Where did the Runner’s Prayer come from?
After some curious searching, I discovered that “Runner’s Prayer” originated in the book Day by Day: The Notre Dame Prayerbook for Students. The book was first published in 1975, and it’s still in print today. (The prayer appears on page 71 of the 2004 edition.)
It’s a great prayer, and a wonderful way for the Christian runner to be intentional about making that next run Christ-centered, and making the effort a spiritual one as well as a physical one.
Why pray before a run?
Some might ask, “why pray before a run?” The copout answer is, why not? A better answer is: are urged to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). That would imply even praying before, during, and after a run.
This reminds me of a G.K. Chesterton quote:
You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert & the opera, and grace before the play & pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.G.K. Chesterton
(quote found on page 43 of Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton: Collected Poetry : Part 1 )