All posts tagged: prayer

Not So Subtle

The first time it happened, I thought maybe it was coincidence. The second time it happened, I knew it was real. Sometime after Thanksgiving, when our paper plates held another round of leftovers, Zach and I stopped to pray. It’s out custom to pray before we eat, and we always hold hands. This time we just folded our hands and bowed our heads. Months ago, Abigail caught on to our custom. We first had to grasp her tiny hands and they’d slip out to pick up whatever food lay before her. Eventually, she began to reach for our fingers before grabbing her food. Tonight, she put down her half-eaten pizza to pray with us. It didn’t take much for her to catch on except encouragement, modeling, and patience. So, when we were in the base chapel’s cry room a few weeks ago, her actions during prayer time shocked me. Abigail didn’t reach for our hands. She folded her own, closed her eyes, and bowed her head. Zach and I weren’t even doing that at the …

Dream Daringly, Expectantly, and Without Fear of the Future (Part Two of the Dream Series)

I’d just returned from a Christian Educator’s retreat in the Texas Hill Country. We’d slept in an eerie house uphill of the emerald, silty river protected by old cypress and oak trees, the Guadalupe. We’d been taught to write out scripture as prayers on notecards, to sign and date them – covenants. I had baby on the brain. I’d been waiting since April for a positive pregnancy test. It was early August. Three months is not a long wait, but when you’ve got baby on the brain, even two weeks feels like two years. Back home, I gave covenant writing a shot. I wrote out Psalm 37:4, set the notecard bedside on my green shelf, and began to lesson plan. By the end of the month, I was holding a positive pregnancy test. I do not believe in magic formulas because God is not magical (in that sense), nor is he formulaic (in that sense). He’s not a math problem; he’s not a code to crack. There’s no poem to recite or spell to cast …

On Grief and Genuine Prayer

Death sharpens the senses. Stars don’t sparkle; they burn. The crescent moon doesn’t arc over unnoticed; it glows, suspended in time over the sparkling dark ocean or the sleeping neighborhood.┬áLike the moon you notice for the first time in a long time, you wish time would rewind and then suspend midair. Seventeen days ago, an emergency rattled me, and I began to pray unceasingly. I prayed while eating breakfast, while pushing the stroller, while driving to the store, and while washing dishes. I prayed in the quiet moments. I prayed in the busy moments. I prayed like my prayers were medicine. For those who also prayed, thank you. Though she slipped away from us, God is good. Though she slipped away, God taught me to pray, and for that I am grateful. I’ve never prayed unceasingly, and at just the right time, God gave me these four words: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. These four words – printed on a Bible study worksheet – revived my relationship with God. I am no stranger to “urgent …