No matter what type of travel you’re about to experience, make sure to bring these travel prayers with you!
That moment on the runway when you know the surge forward of the airplane is coming exhilarates me every time. The gut punch of speed and feeling of semi-floating upon liftoff sends my spirits soaring as high as the plane will go because. . . adventure is imminent.
My photo collection from the past 25 years have bursts of out-of-the-ordinary images from 26 different countries and 48 of the 50 states. To say that I’m a travel fanatic could be an understatement. I’m always up for adventure and anticipate adding those last two states and the three remaining continents (yes, even Antarctica) to my life’s itinerary.
While I enjoy travel immensely, I’ve lived through the less than desirable parts too. Cancelled flights, missed connections, whining children, and wondering if you’ll make it to the gas station before the gauge really means empty can steal the joy of adventuring to new places.
Since rededicating my life to the Lord in 2005, I’ve discovered that prayer maintains my hope and directs my mindset off less than desirable circumstances and onto the Living God who knows every detail. It is in Him that we obtain true peace when plans go awry.
So, I am offering five Scripture-based travel prayers to help your heart and mind focus on the right person—Jesus—no matter where your travels take you.
As I’ve reviewed in my mind’s eye the ups and downs I’ve experienced, five different hardships came to mind and I hope these prayers help next time you’re in a precarious position.
Want to print these travel prayers? Get the easy-peasy PDF version here!
A Prayer for Travel Anxiety
Travel nerves are for real. All the little details necessary to pack with precision, be on time for connections, and if you’re traveling with children. . . Well, the likelihood of nerves on overdrive are high.
Last summer, I decided to fly to Tennessee to meet friends in person I’d only zoomed with and hear my favorite Bible teacher. Seemed simple enough but this journey resulted in major frazzle.
Two cancelled flights and major reroutes that took me from Seattle all the way to New York City just to get to Nashville exacerbated my state of mind.
However, I did have my relationship with Christ and a handful of memorized Bible verses to cling to. As I viewed the skyline of Manhattan out my window, an unexpected sight I hadn’t counted on that day, calm finally settled over me. God had everything in hand and His advice from Philippians 4, to pray about everything, did its work in me.
So, here’s a prayer for you for those times that travel turns your tummy into butterflies.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7, NLT.
Lord Jesus, I’m going to lay it out for you. I. Am. Nervous. It’s hard not to worry when so many things can go wrong! You are the God of peace, the guardian of my heart and mind, and I praise You for Your good plans. If You say in Your Word not to worry about anything, and to pray instead, then it is possible.
No matter what may go awry, I know You are there. Every bump in the road and air passed through your hands. You knew all my needs for this journey even before I did and have a good plan. Please help me God. In this moment, bring the peace that surpasses understanding. Calm my soul.
A Travel Prayer for the Grief-Stricken Traveler
Several years ago, I sat down on a plane with my 16-month old son, traveling alone from London to Seattle after my former husband asked for a divorce. To say I was brokenhearted feels like a massive understatement. I was shattered.
To make matters worse, I didn’t have a seat for my lanky toddler as he’d outgrown the baby cot on the bulkhead of the plane. I faced eight grueling hours trying to care for him in a middle seat on my lap.
I spied two seats across the way on the sold-out plane and leaped up with tears streaming down my face to ask if we could have them once the doors were sealed.
The man on the aisle said he’d trade. We were gifted three seats. I’m convinced Jesus occupied that third seat to offer covering and begin healing my broken heart.
If you find yourself in anguish when you must travel, take heart that Jesus is close by with this prayer.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18, NLT.
Father God, am I running out of tears yet? My sadness overwhelms me. My tears fill your jar and I know you are here. But I have no energy to make this journey. I’m placing my footsteps forward on your steady foundation because I cannot do this on my own. My strength will fail if I am alone, but I am not. Please help me to feel you close as I move towards my destination.
You are my great rescuer, my shield from the crushing pain of loss. I need help calling to mind Your unfailing love. I feel so alone in my grief and I desire to feel your comfort, to be held. On the other side of this, please help me to comfort others as You have comforted me. My only desire is to bring You glory, even through heartbreak. Through my sorrow, help me point others to your comfort and peace.
A Prayer For When Travel Plans Fail
When March 2020 hit the world and everything shut down, an ember of hope kindled in my heart that our family sojourn to Israel in June would continue as planned. I’d spent months researching the perfect itinerary, booking beautiful AirBNBs, and could not wait to go!
But alas, it was not to be and rescheduling this time in the Holy Land with my family continues to be a dream. God knew this would happen.
In the end, I paused to pay for the things we would never have been refunded. We cancelled our trip with little financial burden—including the tickets booked with an airline that was notoriously not refunding cancelled flights.
For those times that plans are disrupted and a reminder of God’s establishment of our steps is needed, this prayer is for you.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9, ESV.
Why is this happening? I painstakingly planned every detail of this sojourn but the rug was ripped from under me. I’m left behind from the adventure and I struggle to understand why. Apparently you had other plans that I was blind to. Lord, I want to understand these plans but in the heat of frustration I can only see loss. But I praise You that I can lament my circumstances and You hear me.
In my reroute, please help me to see Your new plan. I praise You that my steps are established through Your will. Though I am disappointed, I can depend on your guidance to lead me on a different path. Please shift my mind from irritating circumstances to see what You see. Help me to feel your care and comfort as I navigate forward.
A Prayer When Illness Descends in the Midst of Travel
For the year 1998, I lived in Niigata City, Japan. As my teaching contract completed, I planned to whisk away to the Philippines with a few friends before returning to the US.
The trip began with a little runny nose and an unexpected upgrade to business class. I thought this would be THE BEST TRIP EVER!
However. . . The cold worsened, I experienced food poisoning, the cold moved into my sinuses and my head pounded for days, and to top it off on a rare day of feeling ok I received an eye infection snorkeling in the South China Sea.
I barely made it home. After the delirious journey, I occupied my parent’s couch for a month to recuperate. Thankfully, a few months later, my health fully restored.
If you ever need a prayer for traveling illness, because you have no words, this one is for you.
“The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.” Psalm 41:3, NIV.
Oh Lord Jesus, I’m in trouble. Sickness found me at the most inopportune time and I am a mess. Jehovah Raffa, my healer, I need You desperately. An infirmity took over and now I’m stuck wondering how I will ever get home. I’m not even sure how I will take the next step.
I praise You that I don’t have to wonder who sustains me in my ailment. You will restore me! It is hard to see now, but in my heart I know your protection covers me. Though I lie in a bed of illness, you will nurse me and strengthen my body. Please help me to be patient as You work this all out for good.
A Prayer for Travel Exhaustion
My last story of travel woe took place when I visited Europe the first time in 1997. Back then, I made sure I researched (without Google) how to deal with jet lag as this would be a new experience for me.
Upon landing, I made sure to keep myself busy though I felt in a haze and forced myself to wait for sleep until about 10pm. I woke up invigorated and had five weeks of wonderful country hopping ahead.
When I came home, well, I didn’t research that part. I landed and went to bed around 1pm. MISTAKE. My circadian rhythms went crazy and my sleep was off at least a week. I whipped up some massive help me! prayers to help move past this. But I think this one is better and may come in handy when you’re too tired to muster up the words.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40: 29, NIV.
I have overdone it! Rest proves illusive on this journey and my energy fails. I am weary to the marrow of my bones and cannot take another step without You. Until refreshment increases, I am unable to move.
You are the only source of strength needed to combat my exhaustion. But I need help to receive it. Lord, please bring rest to me. Support my tired heart and mind with Your power and strength. Refresh my strength as only You can. I praise You in advance for all the energy You will supply and may I bring glory to You in both strong and weakened states.
A Final Note About Travel Prayers
Make a few copies of these travel prayers and tuck it into your suitcase for future travel. Or use this as inspiration to bless the luggage of a loved one and tuck in a few of your own thoughtfully written prayers.
My friends, may we be people who pray and believe that God provides when the unexpected happens. The Living God is active and alive, even when anxiety, sadness, failures, illnesses, or exhaustion overtake us. Let us rely solely on Him for all our needs as we make plans to travel and enjoy the world He graciously gave us.
Jennifer Elwood resides in Yakima, Washington and hosts the Refuge Podcast and Bible Study Community where women cultivate their faith in the shelter of God’s Word. She is a lover of Jesus, wife of Tom, mom of three, and bonus mom and grandma. She enjoys rich coffee, European chocolate, and the color orange. Going to Israel for the first time in 2015 sparked her desire to write and she has not stopped since. Counting Up to Christmas: Twenty-Four Gifts from the Gospel of Luke is her first book. She also contributed to Mommy and Me: Cooking with Jesus as a writer and editor. Stay up to date with her at www.jenniferelwood.com and check out her biblical culture insights (and cute pics of her kids) @jenniferelwoodauthor on Facebook and Instagram.