Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Trusting slowness

“There is one fault I must find with the twentieth century, And I’ll put it in a couple of words: Too adventury. What I’d like would be some nice dull monotony If anyone’s gotony.” I recently stumbled upon these words by Ogden Nash. (My high…

The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer—perhaps more helpfully referred to as Jesus’ Prayer, since it incorporates the kinds of prayers he himself prayed during his adult life—is, in my opinion, the best prayer and model for prayer that Christians can use. In a few weeks,

How Faith Prays

During this first week of the Christian New Year, I wondered whether I might choose a suitable prayer as a focus for this year’s Advent season. That question reminded me that when I was a pastor, I once used the four Sundays of Advent to…

Praying the Ordinary

Poems are wonderfully evocative. With just a few lines, a poem evokes an image, a memory, a possibility, or a feeling. When I recall Robert Frost’s “two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” Bruce Cockburn’s “If I had a rocket launcher,” and Earle Birney’s “David,”…

Also Praying on Vacation

During one of my early years as a pastor, I remember eagerly looking forward to spending a couple of weeks of traveling on a family vacation. Before I left on that trip, an elderly Baptist minister suggested that even while I was on vacation, I should be…

Why do Christians Pray? (Part 2)

What happens when you thank someone? Think back to the last time you thanked a bank teller, the cook in your home, a child who cleaned up his Lego set, a grandparent who recalled a bit of her history, or the greeter who held the door…

Why do Christians pray? (Part 1)

Christians struggle to pray. Or at least, that’s what I hear. Church attenders, my students, and pastors all express to me their dissatisfaction with how they pray. They’ve heard that they should pray. They want to pray. But they tell me that they don’t pray enough, that they’re not…

A Christmas Prayer

Recently, I received a newsletter from the Northumbria Community, in which the following prayer caught my eye—and heart. Written by Pete Askew, these words capture many of my desires at this time of year. I’m spending my days grading, preparing courses, and writing and rewriting—while also 

Prayer: who answers whom?

Many Christians say that they pray because God answers prayer. In prayer meetings and home groups, I’ve heard people tell each other their ‘prayer requests,’ which are then addressed to God for God to answer. I was once part of a group that kept a weekly…