Browsing "51-100"

Advent Prayers


In the rush of Christmas preparations and parties, it helps to spend time preparing our hearts, reminding ourselves why we celebrate this season.  Some traditions include lighting of candles, an advent wreath, Scripture readings and special prayers.

Some advent prayers focus on others in need and bringing justice.  Others reflect on Jesus the light of the world and how we are called to bring that light to those around us.  Sometimes its just about slowing down and encountering Christ in the moment.

You can download a free devotional guide for the advent season from the Billy Graham organization by clicking HERE

Do you have an advent tradition?  How do you connect with God in this busy season?  What brings meaning and joy to you at this time of year?

Hanukkah Prayers


Today is the fifth day of Hanukkah, an eight day holiday celebrated by Jews commemorating the military victory over the Greeks and the miracle of oil that didn’t run out.  We might consider Hanukkah something just for Jews, however, Jesus kept Hanukkah, referenced in John 10:22 as the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah is the Hebrew word for dedication).  Hanukkah represents both religious freedom and God’s miraculous provision.

Around 165 BC, the Greeks had oppressed the Jews, demanding they worship idols and defiling the temple.  A single priest opposed the regime and when joined by a relatively small band of warriors was eventually able to push out the Greeks and began to restore worship in the temple.  It was discovered Read more »

Nov 25, 2013 - 51-100, Everyday Prayers    1 Comment

Five Finger Prayer


Although there are different variations of the five finger prayer, the one below is the most common one, even used by Pope Francis!  It is great to help children focus in prayer, but also for adults as a simple way to remember different people to pray for.

1.  Thumb:  When you fold your hands, your thumb is closest to you, so pray for those closest to you, your family and friends.  Thank God for them and bless them.  Philippians 1:3-5

2.  Index finger:  We use our index finger to point.  Pray for those who “point the way” for you – for teachers, preachers, mentors, parents and others who speak into your life.  1 Thessalonians 5:25

3.  Tall finger:  Ask God’s blessing for all those Read more »

Nov 19, 2013 - 51-100    No Comments

The Sacred Walk


I recently had the privilege of visiting Christ the King Retreat Center (off Van Maren), a sanctuary of peace in the middle of town.  On the beautiful grounds, there is a labyrinth that I enjoyed using as part of my prayer time.  There were new things God spoke to me while using this form.  It was also interesting as I walked the pattern, how at times it felt I was really close to the center and then the path would lead to an outer section, often how we feel seasons of closeness and distance from a “destination” and yet His presence is with us each step of the way.

I’ve adapted an explanation of the labyrinth and its history from The Surrendering Guide by Carlo Walth.  You can learn more about his ministry at

The Sacred Walk is the ancient practice of “Circling to the Center.”  Labyrinths have been in use for over 4000 years.  Various traditions have used the spiral designs as a symbol of their search for meaning and guidance.

Meaningful Design:  The labyrinth is often divided neatly into four Read more »

Physical Expressions of Prayer, Part 8


Art as an expression of prayer might be a new concept for many.  I’m no artist, but a few years back, when I had more time, I enjoyed painting the things that God was speaking to my heart.  I’ve found that it can unlock new understanding and expression of my prayers in a unique way.  Sometimes it related to intercession for other people, but often it had to do with things He was doing in me.  The physical expression in art helped to process what God was saying or my cry to Him.

One time, I felt like God was saying He wanted my “yes” to be bigger, wider, higher, etc.  I didn’t know what that looked like (on canvas or in real life), but I bought Read more »

Physical Expressions of Prayer, Part 7


If you’re a dancer, you probably understand that movement can be an expression of prayer.  Though it may seem a little strange to those of us less use to it, dancing your prayer is simply a combination and extension of the various postures of prayer, raising hands, standing, bowing down, etc.

With or without music, there is something special about motion as you pray.  Its putting your whole body, soul and spirit into the process.

Worship and prayer are inseparable.  Much of worship is simply Read more »

Physical Expressions of Prayer, Part 6


Imagine yourself sitting on a hillside overlooking a lake.  A light breeze rustles your hair as you soak up the sunshine.  Jesus sits beside you.  What do you want to say to Him?  What is He saying to you?

Sitting with Jesus in prayer can be a position of intimate friendship.  Relaxed. Restful.  We enjoy meeting with friends and engaging in conversation, getting to know one another more, a time to ask questions and to listen.

In 2 Samuel 7:18 it says, “Then David the King went in and Read more »

Physical Expressions of Prayer, Part 5


“Come let us worship and bow down.  Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”  Psalm 95:6

I loved to read as child and disliked being put to bed, especially if I was right in the middle of a good story.  One night, I got out of bed so I could try to read by the light coming in from under the door.  I don’t know how my mom knew that I was up, but she did.  She came into my room and found me on my knees by my bed.  She asked me what I was doing.  Trying to cover, I said, “I’m praying.”  She knew I wasn’t that devote or maybe it was the telltale book beside me.  She said, “Yes, you’d better start praying now” as she confiscated my book.

Growing up, kneeling for prayer was an Read more »

Physical Expressions of Prayer, Part 4


Standing in prayer is often in Scripture associated with worship and praise.  “…to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord and likewise in the evening.”  1 Chronicles 23:30  In contrast, bowing down (kneeling) is more often associated with supplication, humility, and sacrifice.  (We’ll look at this more next week).

When we stand, we come from a place of confidence to exalt God and to lift Him high.  Those who know their own weakness, but also the joy of being covered by the blood of Jesus, come with boldness to the throne of glory, with assurance that their prayers are heard.  (Hebrews 4:16, Jude 24)

Standing is also associated with Read more »

Physical Expressions of Prayer, Part 3


While last week’s blog was my least favorite expression of prayer, today’s is one of my favorites!  Praying in bed!  Growing up I was taught that it was not a good thing to fall asleep in prayer and so praying in bed was not approved of, since you might drift off.  However, I’m grateful for the freedom now to go to sleep praying and to wake up praying.

The Psalmist says “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You through the night watches.” (Psalm 63:6)  Or even “Let the saints be joyful, let them sing aloud on the their beds.”  (Psalm 149:5)  God enjoys our worship and our prayers even in bed!

I love to review the day with God and meditate on His goodness to me as I fall asleep.  Sometimes I might use breath prayers (see previous blogs) if I’m needing to relax and stop Read more »