When Do You Pray?

So, when do you pray? Think about that for a few moments. Most of us pray when we feel in desperate need of help or rescue. At the apex of anxiety over a teenager who is two hours late getting home or the car that’s acting up on the expressway in the middle of a downpour, we send our most blunt and honest prayers. At the other end of the experience spectrum, we utter prayers […]

Prayer in Family Life

Over the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to be with many groups discussing my book, Busy Lives & Restless Souls. Inevitably, after discussing how to make time for prayer in each person’s life, the conversation turns to, “How do we incorporate prayer in our family’s life?” I always chuckle and say, “I am not expert in how to incorporate prayer in family life, since so much of what we do is figuring it […]

God Deals with Us Directly

We can trust our experience because God deals with us directly. Ignatius certainly believed that the Church and Scripture are trustworthy teachers of truth, and that we need that truth to help us interpret our experience. He also believed that Christians receive spiritual nourishment in the sacraments and in devotional prayer. But he also believed that God communicates directly to each of us. We can have a personal relationship with him. Prayer in the Ignatian mode […]

Direction

A ship may be tossed on the seas, buffeted by storms of every sort. Its crew may be struggling mightily every day simply to keep it afloat, wearying themselves, becoming chilled to the bone. They may fear for their lives every day, and regret ever having set sail with the hopes of adventure and fame and wealth. There may be days when the supplies are running low when they fear starvation. Perhaps every now and […]

Four Essential Elements of a Prayer Routine

Many families with children are settling into their rhythm and routines of the school year. Women and men in ministry are often leaning into new ministry calendars at this time of year. Autumn is upon us, and it ushers in cooler weather, shorter days, and visible changes to our natural world. When the calendar begins anew or seasons change, I find it is helpful to take a brief check of the four essentials of my […]

Three Simple Prayers for Your Day

1. Start with Openness. When you get out of bed in the morning, stand up straight and extend your arms out to your sides, palms open and facing upward. Say, out loud or silently, “God, I receive the gift of this day, and I open my heart to your desires for my life and this world.” 2. Pause to Reflect and Regroup. In the middle of your day, take a few moments to get quiet […]

Hours of Light and Dark

I don’t know how old I will be when I have finally learned to live in synch with times of day and night. Thanks to electricity, many of us humans no longer sleep at night and move around in the daytime. I wonder how many health problems are related to that. And I understand that some jobs must be done at night, and we need nighttime workforces. But on an individual basis, perhaps each of […]

Five Creative Ways to Give Grounding to Your Spiritual Journey

1. Consider gardening a sacred activity. Allow yourself enough time to attend carefully to each task, whether it is planting, weeding, watering, or other care. Offer the plant to God, and ask God’s help and blessing on the growth of the garden and on the end results of its fruits. And when it’s time to harvest the tomatoes or cucumbers or herbs, your prayer can then move right along to the preparing of a meal […]

Praying with People

In the summer, many of us spend time with people more than usual. We’re on vacation with family, or we host visitors. We go to special events such as weddings and anniversary celebrations. We attend concerts, parties, and sporting events. Is there any way to incorporate prayer in all of this? No, I’m not going to suggest that you try to lead your fellow sports fans in a prayer before the game starts. But think […]

Praying with Creation

Sometimes we fail to see that an entire created world can lead us to prayer. We don’t need to look far for it, because often it’s in our own home or yard. This week, let’s pray with creation. When you tend a plant, you are fulfilling one of your purposes as a human being on this earth. The Book of Genesis tells the story of God creating the world; Adam and Eve represent humanity, and […]

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