Rethinking Prayer

I have struggled to pray for most of my life. Prayer has rarely made sense to me, not in an intellectual sense, but as a practical matter. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing when I pray, especially when I’m praying by myself. I feel restless and off-kilter, my efforts awkward and superficial. [Read More...]

God is “Dog” Spelled Backwards

My daughter tells me that when I’m not at home, our dog (whose name is Sunday) wanders around looking for me. She sniffs all the places where I can usually be found, like the dining room window seat, the kitchen, or the den. She wanders, restless, when she can’t find me. While Sunday loves pretty much [Read More...]

Why Church is Important (One Reason, Anyway)

Perhaps part of me thinks that to be worthwhile, prayer and Bible study have to be strenuous and difficult and unpleasant. Showing up to church to sing beautiful music, read ready-made prayers, and hear an excellent sermon seems too simple. [Read more...]

Why I Don’t Pray or Study the Bible (Much)

While I grew up in the Episcopal Church (the same Episcopal Church I currently attend, in fact), I didn’t start thinking proactively about my Christian faith until I got involved with an evangelical fellowship in college. I learned a lot of unfamiliar evangelical lingo, including “quiet time” (sometimes shortened to “QT”) to refer to time [Read More...]

What Happens When We Pray

I don’t understand how prayer works. But I believe in a God who is good, a God who is love. I keep praying because I believe that prayer, somehow, makes that goodness and love more real and accessible in the midst of whatever nightmares mark our days. [Read more...]

Pray Honestly. God Can Take It.

At my Episcopal church’s Sunday service a few weeks ago, we read Psalm 137 aloud. This psalm is a lament about God’s people being exiled in Babylon, forced to sing for their captors. The opening line is familiar to many of us: “By the waters of Babylon, we sat down and wept when we remembered [Read More...]

Grappling for a Christian Response to Syria

Oh, but this is an uncomfortable place to be, this place of uncertainty, where we are confronted with the grave suffering of God’s beloved children and want to do something but suspect that there is nothing we can do to make it better, now. [Read more...]

Why “Sophia” is My Favorite Word for Praying

One of the great pleasures of the past year has been getting to know Micha Boyett (a.k.a. “Mama Monk”), a writer, poet, and fellow blogger on Patheos. Micha has a series of guest posts titled “One Good Phrase,” in which she invites writers to explain a particular word or phrase that has power in their [Read More...]


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