January 30, 2012
Ever heard that old saying, “To sing is to pray twice”?
I was thinking of it this morning on my subway ride to work. As I’ve said before, I use my subway commute in the morning as a time for prayer. This morning I was going through the words of Psalm 95, a psalm I’ve been working at memorizing. Then I prayed through the names on my list of people who have asked for prayers or are going through some trouble.
January 27, 2012
“Deliver us from evil.” There it is in the Lord’s Prayer, the central prayer of my faith. The idea that there is evil in the world is one I mentally skirt away from, and yet no person of faith can deny that evil exists. How do you pray when you’ve brushed against it? How do you make sure evil and fear don’t overcome you?
January 23, 2012
The first anniversary of my dad’s death is coming up next month. I’ve spoken to a lot of friends about what they went through when they lost a parent, how the grieving doesn’t just go away after a month or two, even when the death was expected. I’m particularly grateful to a Jewish friend who explained the ritual she followed after her mother’s death.
January 16, 2012
Most of us pray for patience very impatiently. Actually, impatience is one of those faults that people don’t mind bragging about. In a job interview, when people are asked about their faults, “impatience” is probably the most common answer. An impatient person is surely one who gets things done.
I think of my mom when she was Dad’s primary caregiver. He didn’t move very fast in his walker. One day, as they were getting from the car to church, Mom muttered to some friend on the sidewalk, “I pray and pray for patience.”
January 10, 2012
I’ve heard two lines of thought about repetition in prayer. Some people say that you should fill your prayers with new language, that if you repeat the same thing over and over then you won’t concentrate on your prayer. Others say that there’s a value to using a familiar phrase in prayer, that it releases you from getting too much inside your head and lets the spirit work through you.
January 6, 2012
“That we all may be one.” We say that prayer almost every Sunday. The other Sunday as we were saying it, something clicked in me and I thought, Wow. This prayer is a huge challenge for all of us Christians.
January 3, 2012
All holidays feel like moveable feasts. I’m ready for Christmas in July and think Easter is worth celebrating every Sunday, which I sort of do anyway (church puts me in a Resurrection mood).
I’d like to propose a mini Thanksgiving right now. Don’t bother with a turkey and stuffing. A celebration of thankfulness will do. Here’s a smorgasbord of what I’m thankful for right now. Got any of your own mid-winter prayers of thanksgiving to add?
Rick Hamlin is the executive editor of Guideposts magazine and the author of 10 Prayers You Can't Live Without. To learn more about the book and explore your own prayer journey, watch this video.