Why Worn Ways Win

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Devotions 51 Comments


‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ (Matthew 3:3b, NIV)

John the Baptist told God’s people to “prepare the way for the Lord” … to purify their hearts and get ready for Jesus to come, redeem, restore, heal, love, challenge, and change the world. (Matthew 3:3)

I read this and smile because I like preparing things. I like to cook. I love hosting gatherings, planning party details, and preparing for guests. My son recently graduated from high school and I spent countless hours prepping for the celebration we had in his honor. It was wonderful.

When presidents, dignitaries, and heads of state are going to visit a particular town they often send people ahead of them to make sure the area is made ready for their visit. This is a different type of preparation than my domestic kind. They are serious to vet out each location regarding security. They vet out the people that will be in attendance and in charge. They prepare the way for those to whom they are in service.

John the Baptist “prepared the way” for Jesus much like this. He went to Jerusalem, all of Judea, and to the whole region of the Jordan telling the people of Israel to repent and prepare the way for Jesus by “making straight paths for Him.” (Matthew 3:6)

Prepare the way. Make straight paths.

Since these are not modern things to say, it is a smidge confusing, right?

I wondered about it, so I investigated a bit further. Here’s what I found out. The Strong’s Bible Concordance tells us that the word for “paths” in this verse is the Greek word tribos, which means, “a worn way.” (Strong’s Number G5147)



When I think of things that are worn I think of things that are familiar. Known. Broken in. Comfortable.

I love my worn jeans and the well-worn path I walk on in the woods by my house. I love my worn leather shoes and my worn Bible.

As I think about this phrase further, a few thoughts cross my mind about a “worn way.”

When a path is worn it is easy to follow. Natural.

When a path is worn, it leads to a specific destination.

These observations cause me to reflect. Have I worn a path for my heart, soul, and mind to welcome and prioritize Jesus today? Do my thought patterns, spiritual disciplines, and behaviors pave a worn path to truth and grace? Do my actions “prepare the way” for others to encounter and wonder about Jesus?

Every life points somewhere. Mine will either point others toward Jesus or away from Him. Yours will too.

I want to be a worn-path-to-Jesus woman… but how?

I make straight paths for others to see Jesus when I am kind, when I am slow to anger, when I am quick to forgive and quick to listen. When I am compassionate, faithful, and humble.

I make straight paths for others to see Jesus when I am accessible and honest. When I choose His peace over my impatience and His joy over my frustrations.

I become the worn way for my loved ones, my co-workers, and community to see Jesus when I am influenced by and responsive to the ways He loves, shows compassion, and grace freely.

What a beautiful reminder that you and I have the opportunity each day to influence others toward Jesus.


Dear Lord, Please purify my heart. Lead me in Your ways and make me a worn path to You! In Jesus’ name, amen.



What is one thing you can do today to prepare the way for your family, your workplace and your community to see Jesus?

Let’s pray together today! Click over to my Facebook page, post a prayer request and pray for a few other posted prayer needs.

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Comments 51

  1. I cannot or do not want to be on Facebook so much not for political stuff or people to know my prayers just you only.My Uncle David I guess is ok in the hospital he’s already had thripple heart by pass his son Davis d had surgery move growth Sinai’s thinks he has cancer he’s 5//6 wks younger then I age 50 abt I claim 40 most days My husband truck driver Needs God , me our marriage more then keep on. The road for bills ! Our little be life used to be so good After 19 yrs just ignores me I hurt Cry my eyes put up to the heavens!

  2. Please pray for my oldest nephew who experiencing financial, emotional, and spiritual challenges and hopelessness because of a string of unwise decisions. I pray that the strongholds that plague him are destroyed in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

  3. Please pray for my neighbor’s son in law, Ryan. He is facing open heart surgery today to replace a valve destroyed by an infection. He has had several set backs including 2 small strokes. He is a young husband and father. I know God is with him and his family. Please help me lift them up!

  4. Prayers asked for our son-in-law and daughter. They are 39 and 40 and SIL is trying to change careers. Praying that this is what he finds fulfilling and is his “niche”. Much stress and pressure on our daughter as he tries to make this work. Prayers for success for him and that their finances will cover their expenses.

  5. Gwen,
    Thank you for your devotion to God’s Word. Your devotionals are very inspirational. Our God is so adept at using His Word at the appropriate time in my life–just when i need Him most.
    To God be the glory.

  6. Please pray for my children, my husband and my path to be clear for the future so that we are walking in the way that will honor God. Prayers also needed for your community this week as we prepare for the rising waters in the Lowcountry of SC left over from hurricane Florence. Protect our homes and businesses from total destruction.

  7. Please pray for the crippling anxiety that I struggle with. Needing deeper belief that life won’t always be this way.. that God is bigger than the anxiety. That He has holds me in his hands.

  8. I’ve been following you a very long time, and have told a lot of people about Girlfriends in God, I am glad I found this page to read and see all about Jesus more,
    thank you for all you do.

  9. I am struggling to go out on my own. I have had trouble with my walking and I’ve always wanted somebody to walk with me I used a wheelchair and Walker and Cane for 19 years and now I’m wanting to go out on my own without my husband and I want to have my Independence and my confidence back and it’s reassuring that God is with me on the path of life.
    Today I started a calendar of writing down the times that I’ve gone out by myself. Pain comes just before I want to go outside and do something and I wonder if I’m going to get going or notperiod today when I went out I didn’t have any pain until I came back. And I know that God has this and that he hasn’t failed me yet or ever

  10. So in need of prayer for my daughter. I wasn’t a devout Christian when I was raising her and was a weekend alcoholic. She followed in my footsteps but it escalated for her into bad drugs, her son being taken away, and dangerous people. I have been praying hard for her ever since I returned to God many years ago and sometimes she seems OK but then gets worse again. I’ve been trying to get her to a good one year faith based rehab but she keeps trying to quit on her own. She got her own place a month ago away from her enabling BF and today started a new job. We need as much prayer as possible so she can stay clean and get her son back. Thank you and God bless.

  11. As I read this today I thought what a wonderful way to look at the path we take as we follow Jesus. Oh we might get off the path at times because we are human and none of us are perfect, but I love when I repent and step back on track and feel God’s embrace. yes the path is worn with some rocks or dips in it but doesn’t it feel wonderful when we are in step with Jesus?

    1. Yes, I feel the same, I want to stay on the right path, of Jesus and Our Heavenly Father, I pray for clarity, strength and Thy Kingdom Come.


  12. Fantastic post today. I ask for prayer for me and my family. I lost my job two weeks ago and my mom and brother are unemployed as well. Our future is uncertain but I have tremendous hope in the Lord. I ask for prayer for guidance.

  13. Good Afternoon,
    Thanks for your share. Please pray for me that my relationship with God will be “worn”, so others will see His light in me… Also pray that I am not easily distracted but my faith and trust will be fully in Him as I walk along on new and familiar paths that He takes me. Lastly pray that my daughter will see Christ in me and will want to live a life for Christ that is worn… Peace and Blessings

  14. May the God of all wisdom show each of us how to be a well worn path to lead others to His throne! Amen!

    Jesus is the perfect example of how to be a worn path to others!

    “To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; For God is my defense,
    My God of mercy.”
    -Psalms‬ ‭59:17‬ (NKJV)

  15. Thanks for beautiful insights. You truly bless my heart! Please pray with me for a new father to meet Jesus and fall madly in love with Him so that he will be the father God desires him to be.

  16. Your devotion reminds me of our service last night where are DS preached on opportunities. We have daily opportunities for Jesus everyday. At work, family, neighbors, and as we are in this world each day. As Christian we have the answer for world which sees many things as hopeless. We have hope the answer is Jesus and He is with us always with through all. Praise the Lord.

  17. Please pray for my two daughters, their husbands found a new love. My grandson, who is sometimes depressed and very disappointed in his daddy. Thank you.

  18. I ask for prayer for my marriage and protection of our marriage covenant with God. That my husband come home this week after 8 months. I want to show him the changes and well worn path to Christ in my interactions with him.

  19. Encouragement today is such a blessing…..Please pray for me to be a humble witness for Christ in my home, work and community. That I may love with my whole heart and forgive those that have wrong me, that I too will be forgiven for what I have done wrong

  20. Lord, I pray for the strength and wisdom to be the worn path to you for those in my life especially my daughter and her husband who have lost sight of their own worn path. They delivered twins on Saturday only to pass away hours later. Their pain has shattered their faith because they feel their prayers and the prayers of countless others went unanswered. Lord, you are the only way they will be able to get back on their feet again. Lord, please ease their pain, give them strength, peace, and understanding so they can find comfort on their own worn path again.

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    2. Paula, Your prayer request breaks my heart. I can’t imagine how unbelievably hard it is for your daughter, husband and yourself to lose those precious babies. Your whole family was preparing for these babies and now you all are heart broken. Your family will be in my prayers each day. God, I ask You to wrap your arms around this family and bring them comfort and peace. We don’t begin to understand why things like this have to happen. Help this family thru the lonely times ahead and help them be strong to face each day. In Jesus Name I pray.

      1. Sue and Gwen, Thank you for your words and your prayers. Today was another difficult day. I returned to this blog searching and found your responses. They truly helped.

  21. Dear Lord, I need Your peace instead of my impatience and Your joy instead of my frustration. I am always trying to rush in and eliminate every financial challenge presented to my family, but it takes me away from the people I love and who need me the most. Give me the power to release my impatience and frustration and REST in Your peace and joy and remain where you need me to be.

  22. A worn path, it is where I go when I am in need. What my mom taught me fifty some years ago and what I hope I have instilled in my children. Prayers to the Almighty.

    Right now those prayers are for my daughter’s family to find a place to live in the next two weeks.

  23. Lord, I pray that you would give me an opportunity today, and that, when presented with the opportunity, I will take it and use it to lead someone to you.
    Thank you for your love and grace that is freely given to me each day.
    We love you.
    In Jesus’ name,

  24. Praying to have a worn path to Christ , to win souls to Christ, family members, friends & co workers , Anyone that comes in my worn path of life. Praying for reconciliation with my spouse who is on saved . I Pray in Jesus name Amen.

  25. I ask for pray for my whole family. My husband who does his best to provide and protect us. My oldest who has medical conditions and don’t follow doctors orders and Medication which caused him to go into the hospital this past weekend. My younger son that he will start attending church more work with me and follow the voice of God. That they both fine implements and become productive citizens. And finally me to be the woman that God has called me to be in my home and in the world I me medication which caused him to go into the hospital this past weekend. My younger son that he will start attending church more work with me and follow the voice of God. That they both find employment and become productive citizens. And finally me to be the woman that God has called me to be in my home in in the world amen.

  26. I pray that the Lord will uproot any and every old/destructive patterns of relating with others (family, friends, acquaintances) and create in me His ways of cultivating healthy and loving relationships that will draw others to Christ.

  27. Beautiful teaching. It is just what I needed to have in my spirit this morning. Please pray for me that my sincere desire would be to point others to Jesus through my actions.

  28. Dear Lord, I would like to pray for my daughter, who is turning 14 Saturday. I am having hard time getting her to be responsible for her grades and chores. She lies and it hurts my feelings. She is disobedient and loving at the same time. I really need some help with her. I would also like to pray for my church family, Faith Tabernacle of Spartanburg SC. Lastly but not least, I would to pray for my job, Minghua USA. We are a start-up company that is having several issues. I love my job, which I have not been able to say in a long time, I pray we continue to prosper and move forward.

  29. First of all i love your writings
    I ask for prayer for a new affordable home where God dwells. I ask for peace within my sisters and brothers together with my father and mother. So that they can give their lives to Christ. And that the love of Christ can fill my two kids their hearts and that they do their best in school. That their father may come to know Christ.

  30. I ask for prayer for peace in my home and in me we are going through a unknown decision that might change everything we thought was solid I ask for your prayers for peace and God’s outcome to be joyous

  31. Truly a pleasure to read your writing. I am inspired and motivated by what God is showing you through your own studying..thanks for sharing your thought process. Such an effective way of sharing the love of Christ. He’s doing amazing things💜

  32. Thank you. You are God’s best. It is so humbling yet very inspiring to note that even though I am in a spiritual valley, our faithful loving Abba Father can bring inspiration such as this, using you who has been blessed to be a blessing to others.

    I was reminded of my reflection of Ps 1 – 2, that no matter what the enermy tries to do to harm us, God’s best for each of us comes to pass, if we can only open up to Him and embrace His best.

    I can now relate well to the fuss and focus that APEC is bringing to PNG in the Pacific :). God is glorified no matter how trivial or major a situation is.


  33. Hi Gwen. This really stuck out to me today. When a path is worn, it leads to a specific destination. It made me think of Psalm 16:11, You will show me the path of life. In Your presence is fullness of joy, At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. God has a path for each of us and it leads to the destination of Jesus. When we stay on the path we will have joy and pleasures unimaginable! Thank you so much for sharing this truth with us. Praying that we will all follow the well-worn path that leads to the Savior. Blessings to you!

  34. Thank you Gwen for your openness & honestly & most importantly for sharing your love for Christ!!
    I am not on Facebook, however, I am using my son’s at this time to read your posts and comments from others.
    I subscribed through my email address to your daily inspirational readings Girlfriends in God. I read it daily & sometimes I find it is written just for me because of how easily I can relate. Your lessons often help me make decisions, or lead me to Bible verses that I may have missed. Your prayers are often God sent to me. Please don’t ever stop what you are doing! You 3 ladies are helping women (& men) all over the world. I appreciate your dedication to your work in Christ.


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  35. Can I just add that on the worn path, there’s no confusion on the direction, and that it is easier to identify the things that should not be there. I’m so grateful for the worn path that God has laid down for us (His Word which is the Truth) that leads to Him so that we , in turn, guide others to that path. It may not be an easy trek, but it is worth it in the end! I am so grateful that I’ve reconnected with your blog, it’s been ministering to me greatly, and helping me understand things happening in this season of my life, and in general, and pointing out scripture to meditate on. God continue to bless you my sister!

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