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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

January 1970 Archives

Why New Year Resolutions Fail… And what to do to Succeed

posted by Mark Herringshaw

How strong is your will power? Making New Year resolutions is easy. Making them work is not. We intend to change, yet our ability to persevere over the long haul usually isn’t sufficient. It’s a frustrating human reality. As Jesus […]

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The Secret of Successful New Year Resolutions

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Are you making a New Year Resolution? What odds would you give yourself for sustaining your goal? 80%? 50%? 20%?   Bad news: According to studies on weight loss (the most common resolution), by February almost 60 percent of us […]

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Successful New Year Resolutions

posted by Mark Herringshaw

By Mark Herringshaw   “Be it here resolved that in 2010 I will…”   It’s that time once again. December 31st, “National Extreme Makeover Day,” the 24 hour stretch when everything is possible, tomorrow. There’s nothing particularly magical about this […]

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A Prayer on “Good Riddance Day”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Today is “Good Riddance Day.” At this moment in Times Square, New York, several hundred people are arriving lugging cardboard boxes of old income tax records, mortgage papers, old music recordings, and photographs, anything that brings bad memories from 2009. […]

A Prayer for the Solemnity of Christmas

posted by nsymmonds

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman…” Galatians 4:4 God with us,   I’ve come to see you. I’m not as clean as I wish I was, but I’m hoping you’ll […]

Advent Prayer, Day 26: Welcoming the Light

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Christmas Eve “While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.” Luke 2:6 NRSV   Light of the world,   The people walking in darkness await you. We who are living in […]

Advent Prayer, Day 25: Come Lord Jesus

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney The fourth Wednesday of Advent “The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to her son; and when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had lavished on her his […]

21 Ways to Pray: Right off the Front Page

posted by Mark Herringshaw

It seems like there’s always more bad news than good. Take today. Yes, it’s Christmas and where I live, a “white Christmas” at that. But all is not cheer and good will. Just read the paper, or these days, the […]

Advent Prayer, Day 24: Offering Ourselves as Sacrifice

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Tuesday, the fourth week of Advent “Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings […]

Advent Prayer, Day 23: Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Monday, the fourth week of Advent “As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness; […]

Advent Prayer, Day 22: Keeping Watch for the Lord

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney The fourth Sunday of Advent “And what I am saying to you I say to all: Stay awake! Mark 13:37 (NJB) This fourth Sunday of Advent finds us only days away from the celebration of Jesus’ […]

Advent Prayer, Day 21: Always On Time

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Saturday, the third week of Advent “When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are […]

21 Ways to Pray: Stargazing, Dark Matter and Looking Beyond, to God

posted by Mark Herringshaw

We live in a weird universe. Only 5% of the “stuff” out there is familiar to us: stars, atoms, planets, the coffee I’m drinking this morning, all that. 70% is thought to be what scientists call “dark energy,” something we […]

Advent Prayer, Day 20: Jesus is Family

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Friday, the third week of Advent “He was in the world, and the world came into being through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own […]

21 Ways to Pray: A Walk in the Woods or Freezing my Toes

posted by Mark Herringshaw

By Mark Herringshaw My car broke down on Tuesday morning this week, and I sat for an hour beside the road waiting for the tow truck. Not a big deal, normally, except that it’s winter in Minnesota a full week […]

Advent Prayer, Day 19: Let Your Light Shine

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Thursday, the third week of Advent “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe in him. He himself […]

21 Ways to Pray: Echoing Ancient Words

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Today I’m praying by borrowing some of the ancient words of the Bible. Psalm 23 is a good place to start… “The Lord is my shepherd, I will lack nothing…” These words have been said to and of God many […]

Advent Prayer, Day 18: Going the Distance

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Wednesday, the third week of Advent “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, your God reigns.” Isaiah 52:7 […]

A Prayer for Oral Roberts’ Friends and Family

posted by nsymmonds

Evangelist Oral Roberts, died of complications from pneumonia today. Roberts conducted more than 300 healing crusades in over 35 countries on six continents and it is estimated that he has personally laid hands on more than two million people for healing […]

21 Ways to Pray: For a Song

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I live in a household of gifted musicians. My wife Jill, my daughters Emily and Ellie, sons Matt and Michael… Everyone, save yours truly has a nature “swing” woven deep in their bones. For them making music, and for me […]

Advent Prayer, Day 17: Offering Him Our Best Gifts

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Tuesday, the third week of Advent “A star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.” Numbers 24:17 (2). “On entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother; […]

21 Ways to Pray: Brushing my Teeth

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Every morning and every evening I wash my mouth out with soap. I use Colgate, not nasty lye, but the objective is the same: Bacteria build up on my teeth and gums and by scrubbing them clean, I help maintain […]

Advent Prayer, Day 16: Sing Unto the Lord

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Monday, the third week of Advent “The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, He will sing joyfully because of […]

Advent Prayer, Day 15: Rejoice!

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney The third Sunday of Advent “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:4 (NRSV)   This Sunday is called “Gaudete” Sunday, […]

Advent Prayer, Day 14: Giving It All Away

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Saturday, the second week of Advent “A certain ruler asked him, ‘Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but […]

21 Ways to Pray: Menial Labor Redeemed

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Again, I won’t need to work out in the gym today: I’ll be shoveling snow.  On Tuesday and Wednesday St. Paul got hit with a load of snow from the first winter storm of the season. Once the storm tapered […]

Advent Prayer, Day 13: Coming Out of Darkness

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Friday, the second week of Advent “Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher […]

21 Ways to Pray: Through the Family Album

posted by Mark Herringshaw

A picture may say a thousand words; a picture may also prompt a thousand words. This morning I’m looking through a series of photos of my father who died 18 months ago. We were on a fishing trip in Canada […]

Advent Prayer, Day 12: Being Compassionate

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Thursday, the second week of Advent “On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. […]

Advent Prayer, Day 11: Hard Truths

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Wednesday, the second week of Advent “When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and […]

21 Ways to Pray: God is a Dog Person AND a Cat Person

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Our family includes a dog, but no cat. We hold nothing particular against felines, except that four of the six humans in our house get puffy eyes whenever they’re around. JoJo, our feisty firebrand miniature poodle has another kind of […]

Advent Prayer, Day 10: Prepare Us for Greater Works

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Tuesday, the second week of Advent “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days He was tempted by the devil.” Luke […]

Pearl Harbor Day: A Prayer for Those who Fought to Keep us Free

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Today, as President Roosevelt declared it, we remember a “Day that will live in infamy.” On December 7, 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, an act that pulled the United States into the Second World War, perhaps the darkest, most costly, […]

21 Ways to Pray: Sharing a Bowl of Gourmet Ice Cream with the One Who Made it!

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I love to eat, so this is wonderful – and dangerous – time of the year. The tastes, the aromas, the subtle textures, even the sight of food fascinate me. I suppose God could have packaged our necessary nutrients in […]

Advent Prayer, Day 9: Transform Our Lives

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Monday, the second week of Advent “Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus had also been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily […]

Advent Prayer, Day 8: Searching for Christ

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney The second Sunday of Advent “After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his answers. When his […]

Advent Prayer, Day 7: Embracing Jesus

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Saturday, the first week of Advent “Now there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on Him. It […]

21 Ways to Pray: Connecting with God in my Car

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Prayer doesn’t always require lofty language in a sacred space. It can be richest when it’s simple and spontaneous.  All I need to do is see our ordinary moments as the occasions for communicating with God. One of those simple […]

Advent Prayer: Enduring Tribulation

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Friday, the first week of Advent “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the […]

Advent Prayer: Welcoming Grace

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Thursday, the first week of Advent “In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country where she entered the house of Zechariah, and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth […]

21 Ways to Pray: Imperfection Required!

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I played the trumpet until 9th grade, the year I moved to a large suburban school. When I first entered the band room and heard the trumpet section I knew I had to quit. They were fabulous, and I felt I […]

Crashing God’s State Dinner

posted by Mark Herringshaw

The Salahis have chutzpah, you have to give them that. Michaele and Tareq got their 15 minutes – plus – of fame last week when, much to the shame of the secret service, they managed to slink their way into […]

Advent Prayer: Grant Us Understanding

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Wednesday, the first week of Advent “Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he resolved to do this, an angel […]

Advent Prayer: Jesus, Dwell In Us

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Tuesday, the first week of Advent “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about. His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together she was found to […]

Previous Posts

A Prayer Against Cancer
This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else —not only in ...

posted 11:38:08am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

God Can Work With Anything We Give Him
"He turned the intended curse into a blessing because the Lord your God loves you." (Deuteronomy 23:5) Need a miracle? Got fish? Got bread? Boom! God can make a picnic out of anything we give Him. Perhaps you've messed up your life beyond ...

posted 6:18:54pm Jun. 29, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer to Experience a Vibrant Life
And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and LIFE. (John 6:63) These instructions are not empty words—they are your LIFE! (Deuteronomy 32:47) Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep ...

posted 8:30:32am Jun. 27, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer to Think Lovely Thoughts
The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. (Isaiah 8:11) Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of ...

posted 8:04:02am Jun. 27, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer for a Reality Check
“This is what God says: Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands and keep yourselves from prospering? You have abandoned the Lord, and now he has abandoned you!”   2 Chronicles 24:20 "If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much ...

posted 10:19:51am Jun. 24, 2015 | read full post »

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