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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer Archives

A Prayer to Learn to Pray Without Distraction

posted by Mark and Jill

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. (Colossians 4:2) If you are like me, you struggle with staying focused when you pray. The answer is simply this:  keep the thanks flowing! As we lift up the people in […]

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A Prayer for Grace and Peace

posted by Mark and Jill

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.   (1 Corinthians 1:3) Seventeen times in Scripture, the writers of the epistles bless their readers with these two virtues:  Grace and Peace. When we look […]

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A Prayer for an Obedient Heart

posted by Mark and Jill

If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world.You will experience all these blessings […]

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A Prayer to Grow Old Gracefully, Fruitfully, and Strong

posted by Mark and Jill

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 […]

A Prayer for Hospitality

posted by Mark and Jill

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. […]

A Prayer for Blind and Deaf and Dumb Church-Goers

posted by Mark and Jill

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 […]

A Prayer to Tend the Garden of My Soul

posted by Mark and Jill

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 […]

A Prayer to Find God’s Promises

posted by Mark and Jill

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 […]

A Prayer for a Heart Change

posted by Mark and Jill

“The Lord your God will change your heart… so that you will love him with all your heart and soul and so you may live!” (Deuteronomy 30:6 NLT) “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put […]

A Prayer For My To-Do List

posted by Mark and Jill

Carefully determine what pleases the Lord…Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. (Ephesians 5:10,17) Paul encourages us to not allow life to happen to us, but rather to live intentionally – living out God’s intentions for our […]

A Prayer of Belonging

posted by Mark and Jill

“I belong to Jesus.” (Galatians 6:17) To belong means to be “rightly placed in a specified position; to be rightly classified in or assigned to a specified category; to fit in a specified place or environment.” (~Siri) Are you unsure […]

A Prayer for Our Garden

posted by Mark and Jill

Lord, you poured out blessings on your land! …Our land will be filled with his glory.   Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings. Our land will yield its bountiful harvest. (Psalm 85:1,9,12) The Lord God placed the man in […]

A Prayer Against Cancer

posted by Mark and Jill

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 […]

God Can Work With Anything We Give Him

posted by Mark and Jill

“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 […]

A Prayer for a Reality Check

posted by Mark and Jill

“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 […]

God Cares For You – A Prayer to Believe the Truth

posted by Mark and Jill

“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7) “My people don’t recognize my care for them.” (Isaiah 1:3) “…For they did not believe God or trust him to […]

A Prayer for Freedom From Injustices

posted by Mark and Jill

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28) If someone has messed up your day, your plans, your hopes, […]

A Prayer for Emmanuel A.M.E. Church

posted by Mark and Jill

“They shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:23) Father, Our hearts sorrow deeply for the nine victims of the massacre shootings at Emmanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina. A pastor, a bible teacher, a […]

A Prayer for a New Season of the Soul

posted by Mark and Jill

Look, the winter is past,     and the rains are over and gone. The flowers are springing up,     the season of singing birds has come,     and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. (Song of Songs 2:11,12) For the spring is really […]

A Prayer for Deliverance From Troubling Circumstances

posted by Mark and Jill

Your road led through… a pathway no one knew was there! (Psalm 77:19) This Psalm was written by a poet who was experiencing a painful crisis. Nothing seemed to be working in his life and his stress level was at its […]

Am I a Disciple of Jesus? …Or Not?

posted by Mark and Jill

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5) I, Jill, was always good at showing […]

Don’t Brood Over Your Past – A Prayer to Press Forward

posted by Mark and Jill

 God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past. (Ecclesiastes 5:20) I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to […]

A Prayer to Desire God

posted by Mark and Jill

Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. Psalm 73:25 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4 For God is working in you, giving you […]

A Wedding Anniversary Prayer

posted by Mark and Jill

Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. (Philippians 2: 2) “They say when you marry in June, you’re a bride all your life.” ~ Johnny Mercer […]

A Prayer for Goal-Setting

posted by Mark and Jill

Our goal is to please him. (2 Corinthians 5:9) The Apostle Paul’s goal in life was to live each moment to please God. We are urged to follow his example. What pleases God? Here are a few Scriptures that help […]

A Prayer to See From God’s POV

posted by Mark and Jill

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last […]

Learning To Love Yourself

posted by Mark and Jill

To acquire wisdom is to love yourself. Proverbs 19:8 Loving and forgiving others is a skill that few of us fully perfect. Loving and forgiving oneself is no less of a challenge. Reading in Proverbs today, this Scripture stood out as though […]

A Prayer to Remember The Fallen

posted by Mark and Jill

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 “The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die.” Psalm 116:15 “…That from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Blog is About You

posted by Mark and Jill

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21   Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the […]

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 […]

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 […]

If Your Boundaries are in Rubbles, Say, Pray, and Do This

posted by Mark and Jill

“The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”     ~Nehemiah 2:20 If the boundaries of your life are in […]

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. […]

Love, Attention Deficit, and Dementia

posted by Mark and Jill

Love… is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it – it pays no attention to a suffered wrong.   1 Corinthians 13:5 (Amplified) Love pays attention to the right things. It […]

Repent and Rebuild

posted by Mark and Jill

“Joash decided to repair the Lord’s house.” 2 Chronicles 24:4 King Joash of Judah didn’t make the mess he found himself in; his ancestors had neglected the temple and abandoned God, but he took it upon himself to do something about […]

Sticks and Stones Hurt, But Tongues Hurt More

posted by Mark and Jill

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:3 The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21 This month we are praying about communication in marriage. Scripture tells us that words are not […]

Tears In A Bottle

posted by Mark and Jill

Every tear that you’ve ever shed is saved, valued, and treasured by God. David spoke this prayer, both poetry and Truth: “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded […]

A Prayer for Gary Coleman

posted by nsymmonds

Gary Coleman is currently on life support with a brain hemorrhage following an injury he suffered while in his home on Wednesday. Please join us in prayer for Gary, his family and friends at this time. Heavenly Father, Before we […]

A Prayer for Ascension Thursday

posted by nsymmonds

Today, several Christian traditions are acknowledging Ascension Day through prayer and celebration. Be a part of this day by joining our fellow blogger Deacon Greg Kandra in prayer or by learning more about this day. Prayer for Ascension Thursday What Is […]

A Prayer to Not Be Anxious About Finances

posted by nsymmonds

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ.” Phillipians 4:6-7 […]

Just Pray on the National Day of Prayer

posted by nsymmonds

This morning, I saw several Facebook status update about prayer because today is the National Day of Prayer. Everyone is encouraging each other to pray on this day which I think is a beautiful thing since leading up to today […]

A Prayer for Bret Michaels

posted by nsymmonds

Since Sunday, rock singer and reality television star Bret Michaels has been in critical condition due to a brain hemorrhage that sent him to the hospital on Friday. He is under 24-hour supervision and doctors are hopeful that he will […]

Prayer for Oil Rig Explosion

posted by nsymmonds

Last night at about 10PM, an oil rig explosion occured on a rig named Deepwater Horizon. At least 12 people are missing and another seven were critically injured. Please join us in prayer for those who are missing, the injured, […]

Praying for Senate Chaplain Barry Black

posted by nsymmonds

I just read a really great story about Barry Black, a Senate chaplain and spiritual counselor to everyone from senior senators to young staffers. Black is the “go to” guy when senators and other leaders on “the Hill” are looking […]

Praying for You Michele McGinty

posted by nsymmonds

Michele McGinty is a blogger here at Beliefnet on Reformed Chicks Blabbing, who has been struggling with cancer for some time now. We received an update saying that her cancer has returned and it is very aggressive. She is experiencing a […]

Praying to Let Go of Dead Weight

posted by nsymmonds

Last night I had the weirdest dream. Somehow I was presented with the task of disposing of a dead body. I didn’t kill the person, but somehow it became my responsibility to bury them. In my dream I was utterly […]

Prayer for Accepting God’s Will

posted by nsymmonds

It is one thing to pray for God’s will to be done in your life, but it is quite another to accept His will. Many of us talk a good game about wanting His will for our lives, but once […]

Prayer for Santiago, Chile Earthquake

posted by nsymmonds

Early this morning, an 8.8-magnitude earthquake hit Santiago, Chile. At the writing of this post, the death toll was reported to be at least 147 people, but the numbers are bound to rise. Please join us in prayer for the […]

A Prayer for SeaWorld Trainers and Zoo Trainers

posted by nsymmonds

Yesterday, Dawn Brancheau, a 40-year old SeaWorld trainer was killed by Shamu, the park’s captive killer whale. Please join us in prayer for Dawn’s family and friends in their time of loss and also pray for every trainer who works […]

A Bar Exam Serenity Prayer

posted by nsymmonds

At this very moment there are thousands of people across the United States taking the Bar Exam. Each of those people have studied and sacrificed for the past several months just to get them to this very moment, a 2-day exam […]

A Prayer for Bill Clinton

posted by nsymmonds

Earlier news broke that Former President Bill Clinton was hospitalized due to chest discomforts. He has since undergone a heart procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries. Please join us in prayer as we pray for […]

A Prayer for Alexander McQueen’s Family and Friends

posted by nsymmonds

Today, on the first day of New York Fashion week, the fashion world received the tragic news  that British fashion designer, Alexander McQueen, was found dead in his flat in Central London. The avant garde designer was only 40 years old. He […]

A Prayer for the Family and Friends of David Hames

posted by nsymmonds

A few weeks ago, we posted an update on David Hames, the Compassion International volunteer who was buried under the rubble of the Hotel Montana following the massive earthquake in Haiti. It is with a heavy heart that we provide you […]

Prayer for Middletown, Connecticut Power Plant Explosion

posted by nsymmonds

At about 11:30 this morning, an explosion occurred at an under-construction power plant in Middletown, Connecticut. Details have been ever-changing in regards to the injuries and fatalities caused by the explosion. Currently, the number of casualties is at 13. Please […]

National Prayer Breakfast Transcript

posted by nsymmonds

This morning President Barack Obama held court at the annual National Prayer Breakfast. Please see the transcript below. REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENTAT THE NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST Washington HiltonWashington, D.C. 9:08 A.M. EST THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you very much. […]

An Update on and Prayer for David Hames

posted by nsymmonds

Last week, we published a story about two Compassion International volunteers who were in Haiti when the earthquake hit. They each were only separated by a couple of feet when the earthquake hit, but only one of them, Dan Woolley, has […]

A Prayerful Hymn for Haiti

posted by nsymmonds

Ephesians 5:19 encourages us to speak to one another with songs, psalms and spiritual songs, making music to the Lord in your hearts. In fulfillment of this verse, the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette and her husband Bruce wrote “In Haiti […]

A Prayer for the Welfare of Haiti

posted by nsymmonds

It has been one week since the 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti. The death toll is ever increasing and the destruction has yet to be rebuilt, but despite these perilous conditions there is still an outpouring of compassion from people of […]

A Prayer for Haiti

posted by nsymmonds

Yesterday evening at 5:00PM, a magnitude-7.0 earthquake hit Haiti, destroying much of the capital, Port Au Prince. Many buildings have been destroyed or sustained extreme structural damage, many have been injured and the body count is innumerable. Within the last […]

Prayer for ABB Shooting Victims

posted by nsymmonds

Earlier this morning a disgruntled employee stormed the ABB power company in St. Louis, Missouri and killed two people and injured five others. The suspect is also believed to be dead, but authorities are awaiting confirmation from the family. Please […]

A Prayer for the First Workday of the New Year

posted by nsymmonds

After being on vacation for two weeks today is my first day back in the office. While I was on vacation I imagined how I might dread coming back to cold New York and my office instead of being in relatively […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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; […]

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 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: 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 […]

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: Listening

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney Monday, the first week of Advent “In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of […]

Advent Prayer: Behold His Coming

posted by nsymmonds

By Claudia Mair Burney The First Sunday of Advent  “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14, KJV. The word “advent” means “coming.” But the season is not merely a time […]

A Black Friday Prayer

posted by nsymmonds

Tomorrow, millions of Americans will be headed out to the malls and to their local Walmarts, Targets, Kmarts and other retailers to celebrate the national retail holiday known as Black Friday. It’s ironic that it is called Black Friday because […]

Thanksgiving Prayer: Praying to be a Blessing

posted by nsymmonds

For the first time in probably five years, if not more, I am spending Thanksgiving with my family. It is not because I was estranged from them, but more so because the cost of plane tickets deterred me from going. […]

Thanksgiving Prayer: Patience

posted by nsymmonds

The holiday season brings with it its fair share of expectation, but sometimes with expectation comes the inability to wait patiently for a thing to happen. Some of us are working toward the respite of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and we […]

Prayer for the Unemployment Rate

posted by nsymmonds

Today it was announced that the unemployment rate hit 10.2%, the highest it has been since April 1983. This is startling news since it would seem that if we are crawling out of the recession less jobs would be lost. […]

Pray for Fort Hood Shooting Victims

posted by nsymmonds

11 have been killed and 31 injured in a mass shooting at Fort Hood in Texas. I submit this prayer for the family and friends of the victims who will be receiving news about their loved ones. Please pray and share […]

Praying for Those Who Are Precious to You

posted by nsymmonds

I’ve been talking alot about looking forward to a thing since we started the Thanksgiving Prayer series on Monday. So to keep things consistent, I wanted to share something I am looking forward to. This Friday is the release of Lee […]

Thanksgiving Prayer: Self Control

posted by nsymmonds

I am currently in the midst of my church’s annual 21-day consecration in which we dedicate ourselves to fasting, increased prayer, and study of the word of God. As is always the case when it comes to fasting, it brings […]

Thanksgiving Prayer: Expectancy

posted by nsymmonds

I know what you are thinking, “Isn’t it a bit early for a Thanksgiving prayer?” But in actuality, Thanksgiving, as we know it, started well before it was a national holiday associated with turkey, football and lethargy. Thankgiving was and is a […]

Pray for Falcon Heene, Missing Colorado Boy

posted by nsymmonds

It started as a CNN breaking news alert, “A 6-year-old climbed into a balloon-like experimental aircraft built by his parents and floated into the Colorado sky.” Falcon Heene is the name of the little boy who took flight earlier today […]

Prayer for Conde Nast Magazines Closures

posted by nsymmonds

It was announced today that four Conde Nast titles–Gourmet, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride and Cookie magazine–would be closing following a consultant recommending cost-cutting efforts for the huge publishing company. I am no stranger to the publishing industry’s often-sharpened ax having sort of been under […]

Praying with Our Hearts

posted by nsymmonds

I was reading an introduction from William Cleary’s book, “We Side with the Morning: Daily Prayers to the God of Hope” when I came across this beautiful passage about prayer, the difficulties some have with it, and what prayer can be compared to. […]

Prayer for American Samoa Tsunami Victims and Hawaii

posted by nsymmonds

An earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0 hit the American Samoan islands earlier today. This earthquake triggered three 5-foot tsunamis which caused damaged and killed an undetermined number of people. Hawaii is currently on tsunami watch. Please join us in prayer […]

A Prayer by Forrest Church

posted by nsymmonds

A writer, friend of Beliefnet, and leader in the Unitarian Universalist church, Forrest Church has passed away. We here at Beliefnet have had the opportunity to work with him and publish his writing on the site, the latest of which was […]

Join Us in Prayer for Relationships

posted by nsymmonds

As some of you may know, or not, Beliefnet has a community that operates like a social netowrk for believers of all stripes. One of the most robust parts of the community are our prayer circles where users are invited […]

Prayer for Flooding in Atlanta

posted by nsymmonds

Here is a prayer from my partner in prayer blogging, Mark on the flooding in Atlanta. More rain is forecast in Georgia a day after storms there killed at least six people. Rising waters washed out roads, snarled traffic and […]

How Prayer Works: God’s Guarded Trade Secret

posted by Mark Herringshaw

In a response to yesterday’s post, “Praying with our head’s screwed on,” “Kris” offered this comment: “If prayer is for our benefit why must we be so specific? Is it the time we spend on prayer itself and research in […]

Pray on the International Day of Peace

posted by nsymmonds

On September 21, people all over the world will stop what they are doing at high noon and pray for peace for one minute in acknowledgement of the United Nations International Day of Peace. The UN’s goal is get 1 million people to […]

Start Praying for Kanye West, Stop Talking

posted by nsymmonds

From 9:15 on Sunday evening until now we have all had our fair share of lambasting Kanye for his outburst at the VMAs. If you haven’t heard the story, the short of it is that when Taylor Swift was giving […]

When I’ve screwed up my kids… it’s time to pray

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Well, it’s official: we are a dysfunctional family. One of my kids is taking a college course called “Family Relationships,” and according to a standardized metric this family of origin is wacked out, screwed up, messed over, and unhealthy inside […]

A Prayer for Whitney Houston

posted by nsymmonds

In the Peach Buzz section of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Tyler Perry, a friend of Whitney Houston, asked fans of Houston to pray for her. He suggested that as they went out to buy her latest album, “I Look to You” in stores […]

Ted Kennedy, “A Man of Quiet Prayer”

posted by nsymmonds

As the nation mourns the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy, many are coming to find out about parts of his personality that were otherwise hidden or overshadowed by his political personality. In a WCVB-TV Boston Channel story, Kennedy was described […]

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 […]

Pray and Believe

posted by nsymmonds

“So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24 I have been living this scripture for the last few weeks unlike I have ever lived it […]

Jesus Copycat

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I learn best by modeling. I’m too old and too soon gone from the planet to learn all I need to know by trial and error. I’ll mimic my Master, and live by his experience. I’ll copy Jesus.   When […]

Prayer for Hurricane Bill and Hurricane Season

posted by nsymmonds

Hurricane Bill is not projected to do any real damage in the United States, but I still feel compelled to send up my prayers to those who may be in the midst of the storms that may ensue because of […]

Winning the War of Words

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Today I’m walking uphill against the wind. I’m exhausted physically, my mind is skipping circuits, and I have the motivation of the banana slugs I used to collect as a child in the mountains above Santa Cruz. If I look […]

The Sex Prayer

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Last week writer Matthew Paul Turner dedicated a week on his blog, “Jesus Needs New PR” to talking about sex. He calls it “Sex Needs New PR.” Jennifer Schuchmann, my co-writer on Six Prayers God Always Answers, and Nine Ways […]

A prayer for anyone with a broken heart

posted by Mark Herringshaw

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).   The image of heartbreak describing the devastating emotional pain of a broken relationship transcends culture and is expressed in the same way in […]

God, the Jilted Lover, a Friend of Jilted Lovers

posted by Mark Herringshaw

  Love hurts. Last night I sat and listened to a young woman, a friend of Jill, my wife, tell the devastating story of her recent breakup with her boyfriend. I listened, then prayed that God would heal her wounds […]

For God’s Sake, Say Something!

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I grew up with an image of Jesus as a meek and mild saint.  But when I explore the gospels I see another side of him: Jesus the warrior.  This may not be popular notion, but it is undeniable.  Jesus […]

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.  […]

A Prayer for People Held Captive

posted by Mark Herringshaw

“God, you are a friend of the oppressed.  Jesus said that he came to release the oppressed.  We believe this, and as Jesus followers we carry forward his mission with our prayers of faith.  We appeal to you, our God […]

A Prayer for the MercyMe Bus Crash

posted by nsymmonds

Early on Saturday morning, a MercyMe tour bus going through a greenlight collided with a car that suddenly made a left turn. Three of the passengers in the car, Barbara Schmucker, 17, her boyfriend Dario Boutte, 19, and the baby […]

A Prayer for Eunice Kennedy Shriver

posted by nsymmonds

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of President Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and Ted Kennedy has been hospitalized. She was listed in critical condition but has since stabilized. Join me in prayer for this woman of strength. Heavenly Father, I pray that just […]

Friends with God: Psalm 143:10-12

posted by Mark Herringshaw

David was God’s friend. God was David’s friend. This intimate Psalm written three thousand of years ago outlines for us what we can expect from God in this relationship. Prayer is based on the certain facts we know about God. […]

Prayer for Lonely People

posted by nsymmonds

As news continues to unfold about George Sodini’s struggle with loneliness, I can’t help but think there are so many people in the world just like him. People who live reclusive lives not because they want to, but because somehow […]

A Prayer for the George Sodini’s Victims and Family

posted by nsymmonds

Yesterday, George Sodini entered a Pittsburgh L.A. Fitness gym aerobic’s class, turned off the lights and opened fire. The 50 rounds of bullets killed three women and injured 10 other people. Sodini then turned the gun on himself and killed himself. Sources […]

A Happy Birthday Prayer for President Obama

posted by nsymmonds

Today, the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, turns 48-years-old. I just wanted to take a moment to wish President Obama a happy birthday and ask that you join me in praying for him today and continuing to […]

To Pray or Not to Pray

posted by nsymmonds

On Saturday morning I was talking to my mom about life and how I am tired of the single life. At hearing this my mom said, “Well, have you been praying for a mate?” To this I rolled my eyes, let out […]

God Talks Too i

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Prayer is just half of the equation. A relationship with God – a “friendship” as I’ve been defining it – requires communication. And communication must be two-sided. We talk with God in prayer. God hears. We believe this; that’s why […]

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 […]

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. […]

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, […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 Learn to Pray Without Distraction
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. (Colossians 4:2) If you are like me, you struggle with staying focused when you pray. The answer is simply this:  keep the thanks flowing! As we lift up the people in our ...

posted 2:25:46pm Jul. 31, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer for Grace and Peace
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.   (1 Corinthians 1:3) Seventeen times in Scripture, the writers of the epistles bless their readers with these two virtues:  Grace and Peace. When we look at the deeper ...

posted 10:14:35am Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer for an Obedient Heart
If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world.You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your ...

posted 12:56:59pm Jul. 29, 2015 | read full post »

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 »

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