O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1 NIV)
To me and to others, the Gethsemane Prayer Garden is more like a sanctuary than just a pretty garden. David continued in the second verse,
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory. (Psalm 63:2 NIV)
Truly, we don't need a prayer garden to experience God's power and glory – after all, David is reported to have been in the Judean Desert when he wrote these words, a land parched with just inches of rain in a year. Yet in the same way that David found a personal sanctuary in the desert, so this garden is offered as a sanctuary in a spiritual desert. The flowers help remind us that this is a special place, a meeting place with God.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you. (Psalm 63:3 NIV)
In the second verse, David was experiencing God's glory; now, in verse 3, David's presence with God's love has enabled him to turn this glory back to God. That's what this outdoor sanctuary can do: get our eyes off of the desert, get our eyes off of ourselves, and then give the glory back to our loving Lord.
End Note: The overall theme for this series of articles is flowers and plants, showing how they point to love. Sometimes I write 'how to' do something, other times the emphasis is a status update, or the article will be about how a plant or flower touched my heart. All of these writings are based on plants from the Gethsemane Prayer Garden in Syracuse, NY. Please consider some of the other blog articles: Index of Articles About the Gethsemane Prayer Garden.