April 11, 2019

For years I believed that I was bad at contemplative prayer. Heck, I just believed that I was bad at all all kinds of prayer. I didn’t really know where to start with prayer other than just talking a lot. Using the prayers of others felt like cheating, and I didn’t know a lot about silence or centering prayers. I made plenty of requests, but that was the limit of my prayers for years. As I learned about the disciplines… Read more

April 8, 2019

Author Christine Sine is sharing a guest post today about her highly anticipated new book, The Gift of Wonder: Last week spring erupted in Seattle with all its glory. Daffodils and tulips smiled at me as I walked along. Cherry blossoms took my breath away as drove down tree lined street sand lush green grass emerged in our backyard. I watched the kids as they climbed trees to smell the fragrance of the cherry blossoms and giggled with delight while… Read more

March 11, 2019

For years I described myself as an anxious Christian, especially when it came to prayer. I always felt that I could never truly pray enough or do enough for God, and I carried a looming burden of guilt and fear. In the back of my mind, the God I imagined in my prayers wasn’t a particularly caring or involved God, but when I described myself as an “Anxious Christian,” I always circled back to the apparent crisis that I could… Read more

March 6, 2019

What do I lose when I take the words of Jesus seriously and surrender to God as if my life is as good as dead? Is demanding this kind of surrender loving or cruel? Is Jesus asking too much of us to count ourselves as good as dead? For some of us, the command of Jesus may even be jarring. After struggling with self-acceptance or self-esteem issues, lack of attachment, bullying, or a fear of abandonment if we don’t measure… Read more

March 2, 2019

When I released Flee, Be Silent, Pray, a book that’s essentially about finding time to pray, I gave myself a reprieve from my social media boundaries by loading the Facebook app onto my tablet for the sake of book marketing. I planned to use it for a week. I didn’t make it past five days. Typically, I can only access Facebook on my laptop, the news feed is completely blocked, and a timer ensures that I can only spend 30… Read more

February 21, 2019

One of the stranger aspects about working as a professional writer (who also writes about contemplative prayer) is interacting with someone who thinks that everyone can write and devalues what a professional writer can bring to a project. To a certain extent, everyone can write something, but not everyone can write with the clarity and precision of a professional with hours of experience. Prayer can be a bit like writing in this regard. Anyone can pray, and surely God desires… Read more

February 11, 2019

Contemplative prayer can be one way that we are filled to the full measure of the fullness of God. Most Christians have not been prepared to understand or experience the love of God in this personal, immediate way.     As an evangelical, I learned about God’s love as one doctrine among many to affirm, a fact to be grateful for, and something to reciprocate. God’s love was something I could experience in theory, but devoting ten, twenty, or forty… Read more

February 2, 2019

Is it time for Christians to tidy up our beliefs and spiritual practices? That is the perhaps inevitable question being tossed around among Christians and #evangelicals of late due to the popularity of the best-selling The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and the toxic beliefs and practices that have wounded so many sincere believers. On the surface, it’s a perfect match. A friend of mine who grew up in a particularly restricting and toxic fundamentalist church posted a provocative… Read more

January 25, 2019

The approach to contemplative prayer is largely counterintuitive for many American evangelicals. Contemplative prayer tells us to withdraw and retreat in order to one day move forward. Contemplative prayer nurtures silence in order to speak with wisdom and compassion. Contemplative prayer places our faith in an unseen, mysterious God rather than offering air-tight theology systems or the answers of careful Bible study. Contemplative prayer assures us that we will make progress and see results–eventually. When Henri Nouwen and Thomas Merton… Read more

January 17, 2019

If there’s any group of people who could benefit from the grounding awareness of God and the empathy and compassion for others that come from contemplative prayer, it may be American evangelicals. Having said that, if there is any group in the world that may be the most resistant and ill-prepared for contemplative prayer, it may be American evangelicals. Our deficits in compassion and empathy are often on display in the ways that some white evangelicals fail to heed the… Read more

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