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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Praying Archives

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 […]

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Affirmation and Encouragement in Marriage

posted by Mark and Jill

“We are yours, David! We are on your side, son of Jesse. Peace and prosperity be with you, and success to all who help you, for your God is the one who helps you.” 1 Chronicles 12:18 Amasai was a […]

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Found in Translation

posted by Mark and Jill

As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by […]

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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 […]

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. […]

Adverbs of Prayer

posted by Mark Herringshaw

The world is a dangerous place; but God is good and able.  This is “why” every parent must pray.  The second question arises: “How should every parent pray?” A few years ago someone shared with me the “adverbs of prayer.” […]

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.  […]

Provoked to Prayer

posted by Mark Herringshaw

The title Six Prayers God Always Answers is someone audacious, I admit. But I truly do believe that God does always listen and always respond.  We simply need to learn to pray expected, and listen for his hand.  In the […]

To Pray or Not to Pray, Part 2

posted by nsymmonds

So I’ve gotten quite a bit of response–both on this blog and off–from “To Pray or Not to Pray“. I’ve heard from alot of you that you think it is ok to continually pray about a situation, in my case, praying […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

It's a Wonder-filled Life
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 been with me from birth; from my mother’s ...

posted 10:50:50am Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Shut Up Or Shout
“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 plan and suffered the ...

posted 1:10:57pm Apr. 22, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer to Win the Race
"...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 Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects ...

posted 11:11:33am Apr. 21, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer to Stop Judging
"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 law, is the Judge. He alone has ...

posted 3:46:41pm Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer for An Extraordinary Life
"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 to move ...

posted 2:33:00pm Apr. 16, 2015 | read full post »

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