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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

January 1970 Archives

Time is Short – So I Pray!

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I’m feeling mortal this morning – a stiff back, a bum knee that’s keeping me from running and driving me to the doctor next week, and a general sense of finality. The clock is ticking. Counterweight: I recently came across […]

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Prayer for Adoption

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I know two families – Erik and Sheryl, and Shelley and Ed who are presently in the process of adopting siblings from 3rd world nations. Both are having very difficult times closing the deal because of nonsensical governmental bureaucracy in […]

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Wheeler-Dealer God iv: Poker with Jesus

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I believe God does bargain, but his terms are high stakes. Most of the time I don’t have courage to stay in the game. I fold my hand before the bidding starts. Here’s another clip from Six Prayers God Always […]

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A Prayer for Forgiveness

posted by Mark Herringshaw

King David was known as “a man after God’s own heart.” David loved God, lived with passion and prayed with poetic and transparent honesty. But David was also a sinner. He stole the wife of one of his most loyal […]

Prayer for Abolition

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Check out Nicholas Kristof piece chronicling slavery in the United States. Yes, this evil is “alive and well” in the 21st century. Human trafficking is now the third largest illegal industry in the world – just behind drugs and weapons. […]

Praying “St. Patrick’s Breastplate”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

This prayer is often called “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” because it seeks God’s protection in a world of both tangible and invisible dangers. Though Patrick of Ireland lived more than 1500 years ago his prayer asking that God himself would cover […]

Wheeler-Dealer God iii

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I need wisdom, and fast. I have a challenge before me. It’s a good thing – actually too much of a good thing. I need wisdom and perspective beyond my own capacity to make the right decision between two good […]

Wheeler-Dealer God ii

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Bargaining with God: Personally, this is a pressing question for me at this moment, here and now. I need something very specific from God this week, something deeply personal and practical and yet completely out of my hands to deliver. […]

A Prayer of Mother Teresa

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Mother Teresa taught her Sisters of Charity this prayer. It is based on a prayer of Cardinal John Henry Newman. Dear Jesus, help us to spread Your fragrance everywhere we go. Flood our souls with Your spirit and life. Penetrate and […]

Prayer for Iraqi Christians

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Pray for followers of Jesus living in Iraq. On Sunday a 30 year old Christian man was shot to death by gunman. Last week as many as seven churches were bombed. And many experts say that the full scope of […]

Prayer for Taconic Parkway Accident

posted by nsymmonds

Yesterday afternoon, a Long Island woman by the name of Diane Schuler, had been driving–unbeknownst to her–in the wrong direction for two miles before her minivan collided into an S.U.V killing eight people and injuring three. Though this is a NY-based accident, […]

A Prayer from Bernard of Clairvaux

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 – 1153) was a French monk and the inspirational leader behind the Cistercian monastic movement. The Cistercians were influential in reawakening the need for practical work in the world back the Western Christianity. Bernard taught […]

Wheeler-Dealer God i

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Will God cut a deal? I don’t know about you, but I often pray as though I believe he will. Is bargaining prayer legit? Will God swap favor of favor? Let’s explore this question this week. I’ll prime the pump […]

iPray from your iPhone

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Kudos to Allen Wright, the Sacramento teenager who dreamed up a brilliant new application for the Apple iPhone called “A Note to God.” Wright, 17 and a student at Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, California said he got […]

Is God to Blame?

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Recommendation: Read “Hugo’s” very articulate, very honest response to Friday’s post “The prayer God hates to answer… but will.” Also, read the tender and gracious response to Hugo posted by “All4God.” Hugo and his family endured a bitter and unjust […]

“The prayer God hates to answer… but will”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

On Wednesday I posted an excerpt from an interview that poet and force behind www.popthought.com , Alex Ness posted on his blog last year. Here’s another. Background: We’re talking about “Six Prayers God Always Answers,” one of the books I’ve […]

The Prayer of St. Francis

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Sometimes we learn best by modeling those who go before us. We can learn by our own experiences; we can learn by the experiences and counsel of others. One way to grow in prayer: emulate those who pray easily and […]

Putting the Screws on God

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Last year, my poet/blogger/cultural-critic/brain-trust behind “Popthought” friend Alex Ness, ran an interview he did reviewing “Six Prayers God Always Answers” the book I wrote last year with Jennifer Schuchmann. Alex has a poignant way of cutting through the “c” to get […]

Praying from the Gut

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Sometimes I “try” to pray, with a deliberate discipline and effort. Well and good. But other times I find that prayers come bursting out of me accidently. I wonder, is reaching out to God when I’m at the raw edges […]

Bare Naked Prayer

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I’m feeling vulnerable in my relationship with God today. I began by asking him for wisdom about our family finances, which – with two kids in college and a couple boys eating us out of house and home – are […]

Prayer is…

posted by Mark Herringshaw

God is teaching me to talk. Like a parent patiently listening and answering a stumbling and fumbling 18 month old child who is just learning the ropes of human language, God sitts with me as I bumble my way through […]

A Prayer for Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl

posted by nsymmonds

On June 30th, Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban from the Paktika province in southeastern Afghanistan. Bergdahl has comrades, family–including a girlfriend he hopes to marry and friends who are all praying for his safe return. Please join us in […]

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly… and God

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Either way, we’re doomed to failure! Go figure. In the last 12 hours I’ve had conversations with two friends; both are in way over their heads; both are struggling with their jobs and businesses; both are desperate for God; each […]

“I can’t. You can. Please do. Thank you!”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I looked at my calendar for the day. It’s packed. A two hour meeting begins at 8:00 AM. Another follows without a break. If I’m efficient, I’ll be able to hurry back to my office for an hour to return […]

A Prayer for Frank McCourt, His Family and Friends

posted by nsymmonds

“‘I didn’t call myself anything. I was more than a teacher. And less. In the high school classroom you are a drill sergeant, a rabbi, a shoulder to cry on, a disciplinarian, a singer, a low level scholar, a clerk, […]

“Down-and-Dirty, Honest-to-God!”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I read again today an old poem of prayer.  It’s 3,000 years old, but tell me, can you relate?  I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,      and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of […]

Pray for Iran Plane Crash Family and Friends

posted by nsymmonds

A Russian-made Tupolev 154 plane carrying 168 passengers crashed into the small Iranian city of Qazvin. All 168 of the passengers died and the plane has created a small crater in the land of the city of Qazvin. Please join us […]

Bible Prayer: The Priestly Blessing

posted by nsymmonds

A part of praying plain and simple is realizing that prayer has already been well laid out for us in the Bible. Praying God’s word back to Him is one of the most simple things we can do and it doesn’t […]

Eating Prayer

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Our impulse to beat ourselves up in order to find God dies hard.   The wonderful film “Babette’s Feast” tenderly and playfully challenges Christendom’s assumption that self-denial cuts a path to spirituality. The story takes place on the desolate coast […]

No Pain, No Gain… No Way!

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Do you have a prayer hero, a role model or “guide” for spiritual direction? Whether or not we choose one consciously most of us probably have some impression in our minds about what proper prayer looks like and that impression probably […]

Tennis with God

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Communication takes a miracle. The 500 most commonly used English words have an average of 28 meanings each! So the odds that you actually know what I’m saying here are not very good. The odds that I know what I’m […]

“Praying in Route”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

“For many years I was bothered by the thought that I was a failure at prayer. Then one day I realized I would always be a failure at prayer; and I’ve gotten along much better ever since!” Brother Lawrence   […]

Praying for the Family of Byrd and Melanie Billings

posted by nsymmonds

One of the reasons why I started this blog was to serve as a place for prayer on breaking news. A little while ago, it was brought to my attention that Byrd and Melanie Billings, a couple in Beulah, Florida […]

Happy 500th Birthday John Calvin

posted by nsymmonds

Today marks the 500th birthday of John Calvin, the father of Reformed Theology. To commemorate the occasion on Prayer Plain and Simple, I’d like to share a quote from him on prayer:   “Our prayer must not be self-centered. It must […]

“No More Mr. Plastic Man”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

My wife Jill and I just had our 26th anniversary. If you could only know what a miracle that really is! Obviously, I married up.  And even then, we almost never got started. The day I met her I made […]

“Prayer Doesn’t Work…”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I suppose one of the reasons I got this gig to do a prayer blog for Beliefnet is because I’ve co-written two books with my friend Jennifer Schuchmann about communicating with God. Our first, “Six Prayers God Always Answers – […]

“Unfit to Pray”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I’m in no shape to pray. So I will.  At the moment I feel anything but spiritual. I’m exhausted, hungry, in need of a shower and buzzing with that vague sense of irritation I often pass off as my “moodiness.”  […]

Teaching What I Need to Learn

posted by nsymmonds

Hi, I’m Nicole Symmonds, the Prayer Editor here at Beliefnet.com, who has chosen to go on this journey with Mark Herringshaw of making “Prayer Plain and Simple”. Now let it be known that I am not the most eloquent pray-er. I am […]

Remembering Michael Jackson

posted by nsymmonds

At this moment, like many across the world, I am watching/listening to the Michael Jackson memorial service. It has been a deeply spiritual affair with the singing of “Soon and Very Soon” when his casket was being brought into the […]

“Breaking my Addiction to Religion”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

My name is Mark. I’m a recovering religious addict.   You should know this on day one of this blog about prayer. Truth be told, launching “Prayer Plain and Simple” with Nicole Symmonds is part of my treatment. We want […]

Welcome to “Prayer Plain and Simple”

posted by nsymmonds

Prayer Plain and Simple is a blog about prayer, but not in the traditional bowed heads, clasped hands, on your knees sense. This is about making prayer as routine as brushing your teeth and as easy as ABC and 123. […]

Previous Posts

A Prayer to Grow Old Gracefully, Fruitfully, and Strong
Even in old age they will still produce fruit;     they will remain vital and green. (Psalm 92:14) I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you ...

posted 1:47:16pm Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer for Hospitality
And everyone who has given up houses...for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. (Mark 19:29) Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. (1 Peter 4:9) "Anyone who ...

posted 3:11:45pm Jul. 24, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer for Blind and Deaf and Dumb Church-Goers
Who is as blind as my own people, my servant?     Who is as deaf as my messenger? Who is as blind as my chosen people,     the servant of the Lord? You see and recognize what is right     but refuse to act on it. You hear with ...

posted 11:29:07am Jul. 23, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer to Tend the Garden of My Soul
Sow for yourselves according to righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God); reap according to mercy and loving-kindness. Break up your uncultivated ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, to inquire for and of Him, and to require ...

posted 12:43:43pm Jul. 22, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer to Find God's Promises
Search the book of the Lord, and see what he will do... for the Lord has promised this. His Spirit will make it all come true. (Isaiah 34:16 NLT) What do you need today? Hope? A home? Joy? Encouragement? A Miracle? Healing? ...

posted 10:02:10am Jul. 20, 2015 | read full post »

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