Very recently I asked my Sunday school class, “How do we pray?” I was met with silence. Either the answer to my question seemed so obvious that it warranted no explanation or so intimidating that my friends feared getting it wrong. A third possibility exists: we did not really know.
Examen of Consciousness St. Ignatius practiced the Examen twice daily. This simple, 5-step guide can take only 15-30 minutes, yet produces rich intimacy with God. This rich intimacy is something that you can experience by doing the Examen on your own, or with a close friend, or even a small group of students or adults.
Anne Lamott wrote there are three essential kinds of prayer: “Help!” “Thanks!” and “Wow!” We cry for help when we are in crisis and express awe when overcome by wonder, but gratitude is mainly a habit. Thanksgiving is a practice requiring attention and noticing. Gifts must be recognized as unmerited and the giver as generous
Two of the values imparted to me while growing up were independence and responsibility. My family expected me to tend to my studies, enter the workforce, get a job, start a family, make my way, and become responsible for myself.
I have spent most of my life in ministry with teenagers, college students, and young adults. I have often heard this question: “What am I supposed to do with my life? What is God's will for me?”
Prayer not only leads us to knowledge of God, but can also lead to knowledge of self. The human heart is unfathomably complex, a tangle of virtue and vice. Alexander Solzhenitsyn observed, “Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either--but right through every human heart--and through all human hearts.”
What is eternal life? When I ask this question I often hear a discourse about heaven, a place experienced on the other side of death that is designated for those who have prayed a certain prayer or who have undergone a religious experience.
Each Saturday, during our sermon series on prayer, Talking With God, we will offer a different prayer practice. I encourage you to try each of them, even if they seem different or out of your comfort zone. God will use our efforts to pray, no matter how uncomfortable or clumsy they may be.
Prayer is response, communication, relational, and personal. Prayer is also transformational. John Wesley considered prayer one of the works of piety and a means of God’s grace. God works through prayer to change our heart, mind, and soul, and then moves outward from the core of our being to transform our relationships with God, self, and others. Jesus revolutionizes the heart.
Personal knowledge, self-disclosure, and shared history come to define friendships. Friendships have depth and a common story.
Prayer is relational, a dynamic exchange between persons bound to one another. Talking with God is grounded in relationship. So how does God relate to human beings, and how do human beings relate to God?
The most classic definition of prayer is communication with God. Communication involves both speaking and listening, sending and receiving. Communication has occurred when one person issues a message and another comprehends the message as intended. Communication involves both verbal and nonverbal signals.
What is prayer? It is a great question. Prayer is often explained as communication or presence, a means of lifting heart, mind, and soul to God. Those are good answers. Prayer is all of these things. I bet you have heard a definition like this before.
Together, we are all pursuing a better life and with this new resource what we hope to do is to provide you a chance to pause and measure your progress towards that better life.
Three months ago, we dove into the book of Acts together. If you will remember with me, we began in Jerusalem, the capital city of the Jewish people, but today we end in Rome, the capital city of the Gentiles. We began with Peter and other apostles ministering to the Jews.