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Jesus Creed

Prayer and Formation Archives

Eugene Peterson: Practice Resurrection 2

posted by Scot McKnight

In Eugene Peterson’s new book, Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up in Christ , we are treated to a response to the posted from Wednesday about criticizing the church. What is the church? Do you tend to idealized the earliest churches? […]

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Eugene Peterson: Practice Resurrection 1

posted by Scot McKnight

There is nothing predictable about Eugene Peterson’s set of books, Conversations on Spiritual Theology. After volume one I had a hunch of what volume two would be; but not so and so on and so on. Now we get volume […]

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Prayer for the Week: First Sunday in Lent

posted by Scot McKnight

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find […]

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Lengthening our Memory 9

posted by Scot McKnight

This post concludes our series with Chris Hall, author of Worshiping With the Church Fathers , a book that examines how the earliest fathers — theologians and pastors and leaders — understood spirituality. Eucharist and baptism, prayer, and withdrawal are Hall’s […]

Finally, an NIV Psalter

posted by Scot McKnight

I knew it would eventually be done, and it has: Paraclete has produced a beautiful NIV Psalter called: The Paraclete Psalter: A 4-Week Cycle for Daily Prayer .   I have used for years The Book of Common Prayer , and […]

Lengthening our Memory 8

posted by Scot McKnight

Chris Hall, in Worshiping With the Church Fathers , examines another topic — withdrawal into the desert — and it leads me to ask a question, one that I hope you give some thought and then weigh in: Why do you […]

Lengthening Our Memory 7

posted by Scot McKnight

Chris Hall, in Worshiping With the Church Fathers , examines St Augustine’s letter to Proba about prayer, and in that letter, Augustine said this: “… pray to God in world at certain fixed hours and times, so that we may encourage […]

Lengthening Our Memory 6

posted by Scot McKnight

Chris Hall, in Worshiping With the Church Fathers , examines the topic of prayer in the fathers and he has several chps because the topic of prayer was so central to the worship of the early fathers. Proba, a woman, wrote […]

Lengthening Our Memory 5

posted by Scot McKnight

Chris Hall, in Worshiping With the Church Fathers , examines the topic of prayer in the fathers and lands on an insight that is fundamental to prayer: Our image of God. That is, what image of God do we have in […]

Lengthening Our Memory 4

posted by Scot McKnight

Chris Hall, in Worshiping With the Church Fathers , examines the topic of prayer in the fathers and begins with a rather bald description of his own difficulties in praying — that paragraph is worth the price of the chp — […]

A Favorite Prayer

posted by Scot McKnight

Here is one of my favorite prayers from The Book of Common Prayer, and it was in our daily prayers this morning. It focuses on prayers of petition, and this weekend in our prayers for Haiti this prayer might be […]

Third Way Preaching and Education 2

posted by Scot McKnight

We are pursuing on this blog a set of posts on the church’s educational ministry and how a Third Way approach to preaching can reshape and revitalize preaching’s impact. * I believe most preachers think sermons have an impact. * […]

Counterfeit Gods 2

posted by Scot McKnight

Love itself can become a counterfeit god. In fact, it can become “apocalyptic romance” — that is, love can be used to attempt to gain transcendence, meaning, and ultimate joy. Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC, in Counterfeit Gods: […]

Counterfeit Gods 1

posted by Scot McKnight

Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC, is perhaps the most balanced pastor, theologian, cultural critic and evangelist in the American scene today. His newest book, Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only […]

The Jesus Prayer

posted by Scot McKnight

A few years back, when I was working on a small book on prayer, I found my way to the Eastern Orthodox standard prayer book. I began to use it with the goal of using it every day for a […]

God Hides in Plain Sight 9

posted by Scot McKnight

This is our last post on Dean Nelson’s book, God Hides in Plain Sight: How to See the Sacred in a Chaotic World , and it’s been a good book. One I expected to scan and then put away, but […]

God Hides in Plain Sight 8

posted by Scot McKnight

Do you know someone facing death? Are you being asked to help someone face death? I love how the 7th chp of Dean Nelson’s new book opens up:  I have found what I was searching for without ever having discovered […]

God Hides in Plain Sight 7

posted by Scot McKnight

At times I sense Dean Nelson could be our generation’s male Anne Lamott. He offers to us a disarming honesty along with an honest quest for God, but there’s nothing romantic, idealistic or utopian. He offers the quest for placidity, […]

God Hides in Plain Sight 6

posted by Scot McKnight

How does marriage fit into the presence of God in our lives today? Families mediate God to children and to adults. How has family mediated God to you? to your family?  This is what Dean Nelson examines in God Hides in […]

God Hides in Plain Sight 5

posted by Scot McKnight

Many of us prepare ourselves for the Great Interior — a life of intimate communion with God. But, after all the preparation, how many of us enter into that Interior? I do wonder if the Interior is where we are […]

Transforming the Words of our Prayers

posted by Scot McKnight

C.S. Lewis, in “Footnote to All Prayers” (Poems ), made this brilliant observation: Take not, O Lord, our literal sense. Lord, in thy great Unbroken speech our limping metaphor translate.

God Hides in Plain Sight 4

posted by Scot McKnight

Do you practice confession? Do you know the power of forgiveness and grace and reconciliation? Why are these terms so challenging? This is what Dean Nelson in God Hides in Plain Sight: How to See the Sacred in a Chaotic World  […]

God Hides in Plain Sight 3

posted by Scot McKnight

How can meals become places to see the presence of God? This is what Dean Nelson in God Hides in Plain Sight: How to See the Sacred in a Chaotic World  explores in chp 2 of his new book. A Belgian […]

God Hides in Plain Sight 2

posted by Scot McKnight

How does our vocation fit into a life that is increasingly attentive to God’s presence and God’s work in this world? This is what Dean Nelson in God Hides in Plain Sight: How to See the Sacred in a Chaotic World  […]

Prayer of the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives […]

Prayer of the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our […]

Prayer of the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

O God, because without you we are not able to please you,  mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts;  through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy […]

Prayer of the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ […]

You and the Liturgical Year

posted by Scot McKnight

Lots of folks write to me about the use of liturgical prayer, and my book on prayer (Praying with the Church: Following Jesus Daily, Hourly, Today ) has been of help to some. But many want more than just to […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving?kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives […]

Struggling to Pray?

posted by Scot McKnight

Here’s a letter from a former student in response to one of the prayers we posted on Sunday as Prayer for the Week, which come from The Book of Common Prayer… Dr. McKnight, Why is that prayer is often called […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love, that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion; for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads […]

You and Prayer

posted by Scot McKnight

I’m curious about our readers: What is your practice when it comes to the use of set prayers? Do you pray through a psalm or the Psalms? Do you pray with prayer books? Do you, as Kris and I do, […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people: Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy […]

Prayer for the Week: Third Sunday of Easter

posted by Scot McKnight

O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the […]

Prayer for the Week: Second Sunday of Easter

posted by Scot McKnight

Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; […]

Christian Devotion: Where to go?

posted by Scot McKnight

We get asked about books often, and it is not always easy to know where to begin. I once was asked about books on spiritual formation, and I just couldn’t keep it to one and before long I had mentioned […]

Image and Spiritual Formation at Messiah College

posted by Scot McKnight

Last week I was invited to Messiah College to speak to the 1st Year students at chapel time, and I was asked to do deal with The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others . While there is only so much […]

Prayer for the Week: Easter

posted by Scot McKnight

O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may […]

Prayer for the Week: Palm Sunday

posted by Scot McKnight

Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great […]

Prayer of the Week: 5th Week of Lent

posted by Scot McKnight

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our […]

Prayer of the Week: 4th Week of Lent

posted by Scot McKnight

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed […]

Prayer Coach

posted by Scot McKnight

James Nicodem, pastor at Christ Community Church in St. Charles Illinois, gives the church a gift in his book about learning to pray: Prayer Coach: For All Who Want to Get Off the Bench and onto the Praying Field . […]

A Prayer

posted by Scot McKnight

O God, the source of eternal light:  Shed forth your unending day upon all of us who watch for you,  that our lips may praise you,  our lives may bless you,  and our worship may give you glory;  through Jesus […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you […]

Inaugural Prayers

posted by Scot McKnight

There was quite a dust-up about the prayers at the Inauguration. Analysis of the prayers of others is not something I’m fond of, so I stayed back but this week’s prayer in The Book of Common Prayer — to be […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; […]

A Prayer for our New President, Barack Obama

posted by Scot McKnight

Our prayer today, Our Father, is for our President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Our prayers include [Please add your prayers as well]: That You, the infinite font of wisdom, might grant him wisdom daily, for our country […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ?s glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns […]

Third Way and Spirituality

posted by Scot McKnight

Adam Hamilton has a way of grabbing his reader’s attention: in his discussion of the truth about the spiritual formation of most of us, he says this: some days are good but somedays are not — on those days you […]

First Sunday after Christmas Prayer

posted by Scot McKnight

Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well?beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed […]

(Re)Awakening Your Prayer Life

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

Prayer is not only hard for most Christians, it is discouraging to be reminded of the importance of prayer. Sometimes it is a scolding preacher and other times nothing more than the word of someone who seems so good at […]

Spirituality: What is it?

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

How do you define spirituality? In Evan Howard’s new book, Brazos Introduction to Christian Spirituality, The (Brazos Introduction), we get an opening chp that is devoted to this discussion. Here are his central claims:

Prayer for the Week

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, […]

The Dark Side of Sovereignty

posted by Scot McKnight

Many evangelical Christians emphasize what is called the doctrine of assurance, the conviction that one is saved and destined/elected for eternal blessedness. But, what happens to the person who, once fully assured and confident and joyous, discovers that assurance has […]

A Compline Prayer

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

How many of us have prayed a prayer like this one? My dear ones, O God, bless Thou and keep, in every place where they are.

Prayer for the Week

posted by Scot McKnight

O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he […]

Spiritual Disciplines: A Critique

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

For some, the essence of the Christian life is the practice of spiritual disciplines. It’s a kind of machine-like approach to the Christian life: get your life enmeshed in the disciplines and spirituality will be the product. I exaggerate. But […]

All Saints Day

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give me grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that I […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service: Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and […]

Prayer as Activism

posted by xscot mcknight

I have asked two of my fine students, Brittany Bennett and Nick Johnson — who are getting married this summer — and who have a ministry passion for issues of justice and the church, to take a look at Shane […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Kathleen Norris combines ancient classical writers on spirituality with the modern search for God. She thinks for herself and yet her memoirs seem to tell the story of others. Her newest book, Acedia & Me: Marriage, Monks and the Writer’s […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and […]

Our Sunday Prayers

posted by xscot mcknight

Every Sunday morning I post a prayer drawn (almost always) from The Book of Common Prayer and we use the weekly collect (set prayer). Many of you have written me to say how much you appreciate the wording or the […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our […]

O God, you declare your

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who […]

Compline

posted by xscot mcknight

Save us, Lord, while we are awake, guard us while we are asleep; that, awake, we may watch with Christ, and, asleep, may rest in His peace.

The Liturgical Turn: One More Time

posted by xscot mcknight

Recently we’ve had two good conversations about the liturgical turn of low church evangelical Christians. So today I ask: What can be done about it? One option is to ignore the turning folks and carry on with what we’ve got. […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our […]

Peter Kreeft on God and Prayer

posted by xscot mcknight

I’ve been reading Peter Kreeft’s fine book about God (The God Who Loves You). One of the more interesting chps of the book deals with how the love of God and loving God resolves some theological issues. One of them: […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, because without you we are not able to please you mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the […]

The Liturgical Turn

posted by xscot mcknight

Those who are watching trends among evangelicals know that many today are returning to the ancient ways, picking up prayer books, and finding ancient liturgy a source of spiritual strength. I myself have tapped into this in a book called […]

Influences in Spiritual Formation: A Letter

posted by xscot mcknight

Here is a letter from one of our readers, and I asked the person if it was OK to post and it is used with permission. I’ve done some reading and writing in spiritual formation; I have not read exhaustively, […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ […]

Our Prayers

posted by xscot mcknight

For all the people, homes, neighborhoods, communities, businesses in the path of Gustav … our prayers are for you today.

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in […]

Unanswered Prayer: A Query

posted by xscot mcknight

I throw this letter open to you …

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, […]

A Compline Prayer

posted by xscot mcknight

Our dear ones, O God, bless Thou and keep, in every place where they are.

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our […]

Compline

posted by xscot mcknight

I will lie down this night with God, and God will lie down with me; I will lie down this night with Christ, and Christ will lie down with me; I will lie down this night with the Spirit, and […]

Compline, a prayer

posted by xscot mcknight

We are going now into the sleep: O be it in Thy dear arm’s keep, O God of grace, that we shall awake.

Prayer of the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus […]

Compline

posted by xscot mcknight

Christ with me sleeping, Christ with me waking, Christ with me watching, each day and each night. Save us, Lord, while we are awake, guard us while we are asleep; that, awake, we may watch with Christ, and, asleep, may […]

Do you journal?

posted by xscot mcknight

Last year a professor at North Park seminary, Helen Cepero, sent me the manuscript of her new book Journaling as a Spiritual Practice, asked me to take a look at it, and asked me to blurb it. I couldn’t even […]

Compline from Celtic Prayer

posted by xscot mcknight

The Sacred Three to save to shield to surround the hearth the home this night and every night.

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbor: Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole heart, and united to one […]

A Compline Prayer

posted by xscot mcknight

From Aidan, the compline prayer for Monday in the Celtic Book of Prayer: May the virtue of our daily work hallow our nightly prayers. May our sleep be deep and soft so our work be fresh and hard.

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be […]

Praying during July

posted by xscot mcknight

I have a recommendation for you. It is a recommendation to use a prayer book during July. Kris and I will be using Mark Van Steenwyk’s new The Missio Dei Breviary. As some of you know, I have myself written […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving?kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives […]

Depth of Spirit

posted by xscot mcknight

Gordon Macdonald, upon a trip to South Africa to speak, was met by Trevor Hudson. Gordon said this of Trevor: “I quickly learned I was teaming up with a man younger in years but older in spiritual maturity.” I, too, […]

A Slowed-down Spirituality

posted by xscot mcknight

Ian Stackhouse, a Baptist pastor in England, points us in the direction we want to go but are either too busy or afraid. His proposal: slow down. He gives us a slow spirituality in a fast moving world in The […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love, that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion; for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives […]

In Constant Prayer

posted by xscot mcknight

Some of you may know that I’ve written a book on fasting in a series from Thomas Nelson. The first volume in the series was by Brian McLaren, Finding Our Way Again, and now the second volume is out. It […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, from whom all good proceeds: Grant that by your inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by your merciful guiding may do them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and […]

An Offer

posted by xscot mcknight

I want to make an offer to some of you to read a book and engage in a conversation here about that book. I’d like the conversation to take place near July 1; so about a month from now. The […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, your never-failing providence sets in order all things both in heaven and earth: Put away from us, we entreat you, all hurtful things, and give us those things which are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Grant, O Lord, that the course of this world may be peaceably governed by your providence; and that your Church may joyfully serve you in confidence and serenity; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep […]

Finding Our Way Again

posted by xscot mcknight

I’m not hearing much about this book, but I suspect we will be hearing the conversation soon. Brian McLaren has a new book out called Finding Our Way Again. The subtitle is The Return of the Ancient Practices. Brian’s is […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to […]

On Reading the Bible for Formation

posted by xscot mcknight

Yesterday on our blog we had an interchange that I want to toss into the pot today for a discussion. I referred to 1 Peter as by Peter. Here’s what one person said … and let me add that the […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people: Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy […]

A Father’s Joy

posted by xscot mcknight

Praise God! ?and many thanks for the prayers for my son, his girlfriend, and the many other students at this conference. The kids returned this afternoon and we have found out that my son and his girlfriend have made a […]

Prayer

posted by xscot mcknight

You may remember our post about a father and a son and some doubt. Good things are happening so if you could read this and then pray for them.

Prayer of the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the […]

Smells and Bells

posted by xscot mcknight

There is a tension in many of us — I call it the “Willo-palian” problem. What is it? The yearning for many of us low church types to experience a liturgical life. Many of us are not willing to go […]

Easter

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may […]

Holy Saturday

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, […]

Good Friday Prayer

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and […]

Meet Nancy Ortberg

posted by xscot mcknight

Nancy Ortberg has just published a book that Kris and I both enjoyed, and now our daughter, Laura, is reading it (Nancy was one of Laura’s leaders in the days of Axis at Willow Creek). There’s a depth as well […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of […]

Pray for NIU

posted by xscot mcknight

A tragic shooting at NIU draws our support and our prayers, and we ask you to join us today.

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

(Say the Jesus Creed morning and evening during Lent.) Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the […]

Pray for Union University

posted by xscot mcknight

Pray for those who suffered in the tornadoes Tuesday night, among whom are students at Union University where some of my former students are now professors. The clean up will take a long time and it will means lots of […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

The Last Sunday after Epiphany O God, who before the passion of your only ?begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

The second section of Edith Humphrey, Ecstasy and Intimacy, is about Light. She chooses to root her reflections in the Transfiguration, a text/event rarely discussed.

St Thomas

posted by xscot mcknight

Most of those who read this blog have an interest in theology; many are students. One of the great students of theology and the Bible in the Church was St. Thomas Aquinas and this is the day, according to my […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

3d Sunday after Epiphany Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

The first part of Edith Humphrey’s book, Ecstasy and Intimacy, is about Love and has three sections: the Holy Tryst and Story, Separation and Approach, and (today’s post’s topic) Word and Wisdom/Knowledge and Faith.

St. Paul Day

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, by the preaching of your apostle Paul you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we pray, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show ourselves thankful to you by […]

Prayer of the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

One of the most rugged realities of human and Christian existence finds best expression in words like darkness and separation. Those who dispute the value of the word “sin” or the reality of a “fall” fail, so I think, to […]

Church Day

posted by xscot mcknight

On January 18, the Church celebrates the day of her founding. She recalls with awe the assertion of a Galilean fisherman, ?You are the Christ,? and the response of the God-among-us, ?Upon this rock, I will found my church.?

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of our Lord Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

I cannot count the number of times I have, in reading someone or listening to someone, thought to myself: that is a spirituality that is closer to gnosticism than it is to the biblical faith. That is one reason I […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Epiphany January 6 O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the Peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

“At some point in the past twenty years,” Edith Humphrey writes in her book Ecstasy and Intimacy, “North Americans crossed a Rubicon.” Which? “When I was an undergraduate, the emphasis in class was completely upon ‘objectivity,’ ‘neutral observation,’ proving one’s […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in […]

Divine Embrace 14

posted by xscot mcknight

John Piper and Robert Webber (The Divine Embrace) have one big, central idea in common: Christian spirituality is not about the self but about God. Whereas Piper focuses on a Calvinist vision of God, Webber focuses on a liturgical vision […]

Divine Embrace 13

posted by xscot mcknight

Do you have a “rule of life”? What have you learned from adapting or forming a rule of life? In the 9th chp of Robert Webber’s The Divine Embrace we are treated to three groups of three teachings, each of […]

Divine Embrace 12

posted by xscot mcknight

If any one chp summarizes Robert Webber’s take on spirituality, chp 8 of The Divine Embrace is it.

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Telford Work’s style in Ain’t Too Proud to Beg is to begin somewhere, not always one might think, and meander his way to the principle idea in one of the petitions in the Lord’s Prayer. This week he begins here:

Divine Embrace 11

posted by xscot mcknight

In chp 7 of The Divine Embrace Robert Webber tells “My Story” of God’s embrace. This is not what you think it might be, and for me it reveals the genius of the Ancient Future approach of Webber. “My story” […]

Divine Embrace 10

posted by xscot mcknight

“God’s story,” Robert Webber argues in chp 6 of The Divine Embrace, “is the brief interpretation of everything” (142).

Praying with the Church

posted by xscot mcknight

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, […]

Prayerbooks and the Church

posted by xscot mcknight

There is a steady supply of prayer books, but the new one by Thomas Oden and Cindy Crosby, Ancient Christian Devotional, is unique. If you’d like to draw deeply on Orthodoxy’s rich heritage, this is the book for you. Here’s […]

Divine Embrace 9

posted by xscot mcknight

Chp 5 is one of the more important chps in Robert Webber, The Divine Embrace. Here’s why: it addresses the postmodern provocation in spirituality noted by neo-Gnosticism.

Divine Embrace 8

posted by xscot mcknight

Robert Webber, in The Divine Embrace, points six negative influences shaping contemporary evangelical spirituality. Here they are and what are your thoughts?

Divine Embrace 7

posted by xscot mcknight

A third danger developing in modern evangelicalism’s understanding of spirituality, according to Robert Webber in The Divine Embrace is experiential spirituality. Here are some of his thoughts:

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

What is wealth? How would you define it? Why is wealth such a hot topic for Jesus but, by and large, ignored today? And even when we do push the topic we know deep inside that our sacrifices don’t mean […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

1st Sunday of Advent Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit […]

Prayer of the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed […]

Prayer of the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

The second expression in the Lord’s Prayer concerns hallowing God’s very name. Telford Work approaches this petition, in his book Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, from a singular and interesting angle: How can God put up with the slander, with […]

Prayer of the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he […]

Ain’t Too Proud to Beg 1

posted by xscot mcknight

We begin a series today on Telford Work’s new book, Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, a book on the Lord’s Prayer unlike any book on either prayer or the Lord’s prayer I’ve seen. Here’s why:

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service: Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and […]

Prayer about Freedom

posted by xscot mcknight

Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

We finish up today Marko Rupnik’s In the Fire of the Burning Bush. The last sections we cover deal with a number of topics and I thought I’d just lay out a few potent statements he makes:

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and […]

Do you pray with beads?

posted by xscot mcknight

I confess I have never prayed with beads, either the Orthodox kind or the Catholic kind. I confess, though, that I do have a rosary I bought in Asissi and which drapes over a Franciscan cross in my office. So, […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Marko Rupnik’s In the Fire of the Burning Bush is an exposition of the Christian life by a Roman Catholic in terms of Eastern Orthodoxy. The book is rich, evocative, and penetrating.

Saint James

posted by xscot mcknight

Grant, O God, that, following the example of your servant James, the brother of our Lord, your Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through Jesus Christ our […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

I begin today’s post with an admission: I was thinking we’d polish Marko Rupnik’s book,In the Fire of the Burning Bush, off in a three weeks or so. And, after reading that opening section I was wondering if it might […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Today we begin looking at Marko Ivan Rupnik, In the Fire of the Burning Bush. Rupnik is a Jesuit, is a director and teacher in Rome, and is also a visual artist. A theme of the first section of this […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

We part company today with a new friend, Tracy Balzer, who in her Thin Places has instructed us and led our conversation about Celtic spirituality. I’ve enjoyed this book and hope you have as well. And what better way to […]

A Prayer

posted by xscot mcknight

I like this prayer: Almighty and everlasting God, increase in me the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that I may obtain what you promise, make me love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

I will try an experiment today because this blog community has been so versatile and spirited. Today in our chp from Tracy Balzer, Thin Places, I want to post two items and get your reflections.

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

“We miss the meaning to be found in our lives because we ignore a principle that is as old as Creation itself: the intentional back and forth rhythm of work and rest.” So says Tracy Balzer in Thin Places,.

Evening Prayer

posted by xscot mcknight

Christ with us sleeping, Christ with us waking, Christ with us watching, each day and each night. Celtic Daily Prayer

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

O God, because without you we are not able to please you, mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Have you ever taken a pilgrimage or a retreat? Tracy’s Balzer’s book, Thin Places,, has a chp on how the ancient Celtic Christians took pilgrimages. She joins Tom Wrightin encouraging us to reconsider the value of retreats and pilgrimages.

Breathe

posted by xscot mcknight

This for a magazine for Cornerstone University and also posted here; the theme was called “breathe.”

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ […]

Friday is for (Celtic) Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

When the word “prayer” is said to you what comes to mind? This is a question Tracy Balzer asks in her book Thin Places. Guilt? Longing? Confusion? Consolation? Desolation? Prayer is important and her chp on prayer provides a way […]

On Listening to the News

posted by xscot mcknight

Sometimes the news, particularly the items judged newsworthy, can be depressing. So, I thought this might be a good prayer for us today:

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Do you have an anamchara, the Celtic word for “soul friend” or “spiritual director”? Tracy Balzer’s second chapter, in Thin Places, is a delicate and insightful survey of the Celtic practice and how spiritual direction or soul friendship can be […]

Prayer for the Week

posted by xscot mcknight

Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with […]

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