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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Daily Prayer Archives

A Prayer for Victims of PTSD

posted by Mark and Jill

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8) The Lord is well aware of our need for compassionate eye contact. Looking into the […]

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A Prayer to Promote Peaceful Plans

posted by Mark and Jill

“Joy fills hearts that are planning peace!” Proverbs 16:20  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 […]

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A Gardening Tip from the Bible

posted by Mark and Jill

May the nations praise you, O God.     Yes, may all the nations praise you. Then the earth will yield its harvests,     and God, our God, will richly bless us. (Psalm 67:5,6) We have a large garden that yields us great fruit […]

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A Prayer for Goal Setting

posted by Mark and Jill

Let love be your highest goal!   1 Corinthians 14:1 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it. Luke 10:42 Prioritization is a big deal. We spend big bucks on books that help us align […]

A Prayer for Small Beginnings

posted by Mark and Jill

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” Zechariah 4:10 If you can’t move your mountain today, you can at least move your molehill. What do you have faith for today? Do you […]

A Prayer to Fix Things

posted by Mark and Jill

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot […]

Hurry Up and Learn to Wait

posted by Mark and Jill

I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him….Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.    Psalm 62:1, 5  Modern humans are not skilled at waiting. We hate red lights, we […]

A Prayer For America

posted by Mark and Jill

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 […]

You Have Arrived at Someplace Safe

posted by Mark and Jill

The other day I was taking a carload of clothes and items to a thrift store called, “Somplace Safe.” My GPS was guiding me, and when I reached my destination Siri chimed, “You have arrived at Someplace Safe.” That was […]

A Prayer To Stop Grumbling

posted by Mark and Jill

And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. (1 Corinthians 10:10) The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them. Instead, they […]

Prayer for a Renewed Mind

posted by Mark and Jill

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2 The Word of God can do what 120 years of daily psychotherapy cannot:  change the chemistry of the mind. Therapy […]

A Prayer for a Spiritual GPS

posted by Mark and Jill

The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way. The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who […]

A Prayer to Elevate Your Thought Life

posted by Mark and Jill

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. 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 praise.” Phil. 4:8 NLT “For […]

It’s a Wonder-filled Life

posted by Mark and Jill

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. Psalm 16:9 My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! Psalm 57:7 Yes, you have […]

Shut Up Or Shout

posted by Mark and Jill

“Do not even talk,” Joshua commanded. “Not a single word from any of you until I tell you to shout. Then shout!” Joshua 6:10 “Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10 The Israelites had messed up God’s […]

A Prayer to Win the Race

posted by Mark and Jill

“…Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on […]

A Prayer to Stop Judging

posted by Mark and Jill

“Even if I have sinned, that is my concern, not yours. You think you’re better than I am…” ~ Job (Job 19:4,5) “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.” ~Jesus (Matt. 7:1) “God alone, who gave the […]

A Prayer for An Extraordinary Life

posted by Mark and Jill

“And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” ~Paul (1 Corinthians 11:1) Often we look at the apostles in Scripture and wonder at their strength, productivity, diligence and power. We sigh and say, “No wonder they were able […]

A Prayer for Our Future

posted by Mark and Jill

The righteous keep moving forward… ~Job (from Job 17:9) I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead… ~Paul (Phil. 3:13) Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. ~Solomon […]

A Prayer for Hope for the Hopeless

posted by Mark and Jill

I pray that God, the source of HOPE, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13) On any given day one […]

Jesus Asked for Volunteers

posted by Mark and Jill

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord […]

Close Proximity to the Cross

posted by Mark and Jill

Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your […]

A Prayer to Give Extravagantly

posted by Mark and Jill

Why waste such expensive perfume? Mark 14:4 A few days before Jesus was falsely accused, sentenced, tried in a trial that was a mockery, and executed (soon to defeat death and be raised back to life by the power of […]

A Prayer for Anger Management

posted by Mark and Jill

So Jesus came to Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around carefully at everything, he left because it was late in the afternoon. Then he returned to Bethany with the twelve disciples… When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus […]

A Prayer for Holy Week

posted by Mark and Jill

…”He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth… ”  Isaiah 53:3-4 AMP For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes… Romans 1:16 NLT […]

Who I Am in Jesus

posted by Mark and Jill

Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT) I love the notion of starting over – of God wiping the slate clean and re-designing my life […]

A Prayer to Find God

posted by Mark and Jill

“Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it! …What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!” ~Jacob (Genesis 28:16,17) Jacob’s plans had […]

I Found My Happiness

posted by Mark and Jill

Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. Psalm 119:35 My favorite part of the The Hobbit is when Gandalf urges the dwarves and Bilbo to stay on the path. He warns them that […]

Chopra and Oprah and Jesus

posted by Mark and Jill

“By myself I can do nothing… I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” ~Jesus (John 5:30) Contrast these words spoken by Jesus with new-age guru Deepak Chopra:  “Know that you are already a complete spiritual being. […]

God is My Life Coach

posted by Mark and Jill

 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 God’s masterpiece. This is who we are, and when he created us, […]

Boat-Sinking Blessings

posted by Mark and Jill

There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that […]

Shepherds and City Folk

posted by Mark and Jill

The Lord is my Shepherd to feed, guide, and shield me, I shall not lack. Psalm 23:1 (Amplified) I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His own life for the sheep. John 10:11 (Amplified) Bless Israel, […]

Restoring the Presence of God in our Marriage

posted by Mark and Jill

“It is time to bring back the Ark of our God, for we neglected it…” 1 Chron. 13:3 “The Ark of God remained there in Obed-edom’s house for three months, and the Lord blessed the household of Obed-edom and everything […]

Enrolling in the School of Communication

posted by Mark and Jill

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14 “I…say only what the Father taught me.” ~Jesus. John 8:28 I am quite certain that it’s […]

Pray While Swiffering

posted by Mark and Jill

I (Jill) like the Fly Lady. She has taught me to not worry about perfectionism. And I love my mom. She taught me how to clean a house thoroughly. But as much as I love her, her voice of perfectionism […]

End of the Rope Prayer

posted by Mark and Jill

God… I can’t. You can. Please do. Thank you. Enough said.

“Peace!”… and there was Peace…

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Maybe the bills have to be paid, and there’s not enough in the account. Perhaps the kids need to be tended, and there’s not enough time. There could be a strange nagging pain, and you’re afraid. Underlying everything perhaps there’s […]

Absolution to Conversion

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Repentance finishes with change – conversion. How will I now live and be different? With each of the specific sins connected to each of the specific Commands I have broken I will seek God for a counter move, a contrary […]

Confession to Absolution

posted by Mark Herringshaw

The work of repentance begins with confession. Confession is agreeing with God about my condition. I have asked God to search my heart and to show me sin. I have acknowledged this in detail and confessed the specifics to him. […]

The Ten Commandments Measure My Life

posted by Mark Herringshaw

“God, the standard I level against myself is your standard, not my own. You have given us all the stipulations of righteousness. We know what you expect and how you have designed us to live. We might break these laws, […]

God Search Me: Know, Expose, Purge, Redeem the Evil in My Soul

posted by Mark Herringshaw

“God you know all. You know me and love me. But not all is well. God hates the wickedness in the world, and though you love me you must hate the evil that has infected and compromised your purpose and […]

Against Those Against God – a Place for Hatred

posted by Mark Herringshaw

But not all is well… Psalm 139:19-22. A stark intrusion enters the frame. Lovely thoughts of God’s loving awareness are shattered by an equally real but bitter awareness that evil exists. Not all in God’s world is as God intended. […]

God is Obsessed with Loving Me!

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Psalm 139:17-18 relays the most shocking and surprising of all truth… God is fascinated by me!  17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.      They cannot be numbered! 18 I can’t even count them;      they outnumber the grains of sand!   And when […]

God Starts the Bidding at Infinity

posted by Mark Herringshaw

We’re obsessed with building self esteem. That’s futile. What does it matter what I think of myself? When we stupidly grant one human the right to “choose” whether or not another human has “right to life” we have shattered the […]

No Final Right to Privacy

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Privacy is an illusion. Psalm 139:7-12  7 I can never escape from your Spirit!      I can never get away from your presence! 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;      if I go down to the grave, you are there. 9 If […]

The Sanity of Accepting a Final Exposure

posted by Mark Herringshaw

There are no secrets from God. All is exposed to him. Living in denial of this fact, in the illusion that I have the luxury of secrecy is a kind of twisted deception and leads me to live my life […]

“After God’s own heart…”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

King David of Israel was “A man after God’s own heart…” He screwed up many times in his life. He proved to be a lousy father, an unfaithful husband, impulsive, reactive, impatient, sometimes emotionally unstable. But David chased God with all his […]

Search My Heart, Oh God!

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I don’t know myself nearly as well as I suppose. I don’t really know my own motives, or the roots of my thoughts and actions. I know that I don’t know… That much is all I’m confident to say. A […]

On Mahatma Ghandi’s Birthday – A Challenge to Pray to a Personal God

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Today is Mahatma Ghandi’s birthday. Ghandi, the spiritual and national father of post-British India is renowned for his none-violent strategies of revolution that led his nation into independence. In my new book, The Karma of Jesus I tell a story […]

If and only if… part 4

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Jesus makes bold and audacious promises about the power and effectiveness of prayer.  If we ask, we will receive. But in the process of making claims Jesus also connects specific conditions to these promises.  Here’s one final dangerous “if/then.”   […]

If and only if… part 2

posted by Mark Herringshaw

There’s a second Biblical condition to answered prayer. Jesus makes some amazing promises about the power of intercession, then attaches some contingencies. You can check out Thursday’s post if you’d like to explore this more. Bottom line: God has put […]

If and only if… part 1

posted by Mark Herringshaw

We pray behind some remarkable promises from Jesus about the power of prayer. You can check out yesterday’s post if you’d like to see a few of those commitments. Essentially, the founder and CEO of the universe offers to put […]

Carrying Everything to God in Prayer

posted by nsymmonds

Oh, what peace we often forfeit,Oh, what needless pain we bear,All because we do not carryEverything to God in prayer! “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” By Joseph Scriven I was reminded of this hymn this morning when one […]

Praying-in Breakfast

posted by Mark Herringshaw

“Give us today our daily bread”   What’s for breakfast? That’s an important question, one of the most important questions in our family, and probably in yours too. Jesus said we don’t live by bread alone – we also need […]

Putting “Play” in “Pray”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I have a new spiritual director: the four year old daughter of a friend who confides her heart to God the way she whispers to her Teddy Bear and the way she giggles when her father whisks her off her […]

Catching God’s Virus

posted by Mark Herringshaw

There’s a lot of talk these days about flu bugs and pandemics. Is God contagious? If we get close, can we “catch” whatever he has? Here’s a bit from my book, Nine Ways God Always Speaks. Beware.   Getting close […]

To God, There’s No Such Thing as Petty Injustice

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Can God be bothered with the minor issues in our lives, those small offenses we suffer and sometimes inflict on others?  Does god care about that stuff? In my book Six Prayers God Always Answers I argue that he does.  […]

God as the King of Torts

posted by Mark Herringshaw

  I am beginning a prayer experiment today.  You’re welcome to join me.    I read again this week Jesus’ story in Luke’s gospel (chapter 18) about a widow who comes to a judge asking for justice. The judge – […]

The Smell of Injustice and the Incense of Prayer

posted by Mark Herringshaw

  In Six Prayers God Always Answers, Jennifer Schuchmann and I argue that pleas for justice are one of the appeals that always move God to action.  We sometimes imagine that God values passive self deprecation.  Wrong!  In the Bible […]

Prayer as Anger Management

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Last week a friend sent me a link to a website featuring articles about “anger management.”  I’m not sure if he felt I needed this information, but he did ask what I thought about the approach.  I had to tell […]

Friends with God: Psalm 143:8-9

posted by Mark Herringshaw

King David banked everything on his friendship with God. God was everything to David.  Here’s how he describes that relationship in Psalm 143:8-9.  Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,      for I am trusting you.   Show me where to walk,      for I give […]

God uses “heart recognition software”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

New experience: I am writing this post using the voice recognition software in my computer. I’ve never used this feature before and it is a weird experience.  When I first began to write from a keyboard it took time for […]

Friends with God: Psalm 143:5-7

posted by Mark Herringshaw

David’s friendship with God was based on what he knew about God; what David knew came by observing God’s past actions. David was able to lay everything on the line in prayer because he knew God’s character was dependable. His splendid […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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   […]

“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.”  […]

“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 […]

Previous Posts

A Prayer for Victims of PTSD
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8) The Lord is well aware of our need for compassionate eye contact. Looking into the eyes of a fearless person has power to ...

posted 12:44:13pm May. 21, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer to Promote Peaceful Plans
"Joy fills hearts that are planning peace!" Proverbs 16:20  "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 What are you plans ...

posted 11:12:52am May. 20, 2015 | read full post »

A Gardening Tip from the Bible
May the nations praise you, O God.     Yes, may all the nations praise you. Then the earth will yield its harvests,     and God, our God, will richly bless us. (Psalm 67:5,6) We have a large garden that yields us great fruit (and ...

posted 11:47:32am May. 19, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer for Goal Setting
Let love be your highest goal!   1 Corinthians 14:1 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it. Luke 10:42 Prioritization is a big deal. We spend big bucks on books that help us align our values and purposes ...

posted 11:00:32am May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer for Small Beginnings
"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin...” Zechariah 4:10 If you can't move your mountain today, you can at least move your molehill. What do you have faith for today? Do you need a million ...

posted 11:20:17am May. 13, 2015 | read full post »

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