by Ryan Hart
Updated on January 31, 2019
In this post I’m going to share with you the Footprints in the Sand prayer and why it’s such a special poem for Christians.
Many people believe that the poem is actually about Jesus’ footprints, not God’s.
Ready to learn the footprints prayer?
Let’s get started!
One night I dreamed a dream. I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord.
When the last scene of my life shot before me I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints. I realized that this was at the lowest and saddest times of my life. This always bothered me and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma.
"Lord, You told me when I decided to follow You, You would walk and talk with me all the way. But I'm aware that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I just don't understand why, when I need You most, You leave me."
He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."
The Footprints in the Sand prayer is special to so many Christians because it speaks directly to our unique relationship with God. Our faith in God does not excuse us from experiencing hardship and sadness.
The reality is that we all go through ups and downs in our lives. Sometimes God walks beside us, and other times He must carry us.
When times are good, we are quick to thank God for his kindness. For instance, when we meet our soulmate, it feels as if God put two people in the same place for a very special purpose - like it was meant to be.
If we were to look behind us the first time we met our spouse, we would see two sets of footprints: “one belonging to me and one to my Lord.”
On the other hand, when our relationships are rocky, it can often feel like God is no longer working to keep us together with the person we love so much. No matter what we try, we cannot recreate that same spark we had the day we first met the love of our life.
When times are tough and we turn around to look at our footprints in the sand, we might only see one set of footprints.
You might assume, since there is only one set of footprints in the sand, that they are your own. After all, when we pray for God’s guidance but our relationships do not immediately improve, it feels like God is no longer walking with us.
Suddenly, it feels like we are alone on this journey.
During troublesome times in your life, you might wonder, like the author of Footprints in the Sand, why when you need God the most, He would leave you?
The truth is that He was with you all along, even when you were sad. However, instead of walking beside you, he was carrying you.
One of the most inspiring lines from the poem is when God says “When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
Although the Footprints in the Sand prayer does not appear in the bible, some believe that it’s based on scripture. For instance, Deuteronomy 1:31 says “There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”
This bible verse shares much of the same sentiment as the poem. When we need help, God carries us like a father carries his child.
And now I’d like to hear from you.
Where did you first learn Footprints in the Sand?
What does the footprints prayer mean to you?
Either way let me know by leaving a comment below right now.