How to pray when you don’t feel thankful

I have been humbled by the thankfulness of my friends. I’ve shared in their Thanksgiving Day celebrations, sat as their tables and heard them express their appreciation. Even if someone has had a tough year, they have managed to find something to be thankful for. By listening to them and sharing one small thank you…

How to pray when you’re tempted

A bag of leftover Halloween candy sits in our pantry tempting me to slip in my hand and take one piece as I pass the doorway. I know it’s not good for me. I can fool myself, though. “One small piece does no harm at all,” I convince myself. After all, they are only bite-size….

God wants to celebrate the good with us as well as carry us through the bad. Let our problems and our praises keep us on our knees.

How to pray when things are easy

  Sometimes I have to remind my children “don’t just text me when you’re having a problem. Get in touch when things are going well.” I am glad to help sort out the insurance claim when a driver failed to brake at a stop sign and crashed into the side of my daughter’s car. Well,…

How to Pray When You’re Fuming

Sometimes, I’d rather stay furious than take seriously the words: don’t go to bed angry. I find some satisfaction in being annoyed. If I back down too easily, it’s like I’m letting off the other person who has wronged me. I can think of at least one occasion when this has happened. Returning from a pediatrician’s…

God sometimes feels far away when we are in a mess.

How to pray when fear is close and God is far

Why is it God often seem distant in the middle of trouble? Often, when we’re struggling, he seems silent. I remember crying out to God when my six-week-old twins were diagnosed with meningitis, when I discovered a lump, when my son faced his second emergency surgery in two weeks, wondering if God was there with…

How to Pray When God Seems Distant

Sometimes God seems no closer than the Milky Way. What is it that makes God seem distant? Is it because he is holy and majestic and needs to be detached from a far from perfect mortal like myself? Are my day-to-day activities too insignificant to receive his undivided attention? Does he withdraw because, well frankly,…

Dont feel guilty about struggling to accept God's purpose. Remember that he has good intent toward you.

When God’s will is not my will

Last week, we started our Prayer 101 series by discovering how to pray “not what I want, but what you want”. We began with asking God to reveal his good and perfect will, and for his wisdom. Today we look at three more steps to backing down in prayer. I am well-acquainted with being at odds with God’s will.  It…

How do we pray when we don't understand God's plan?

How to back down in prayer

My grandmother would often add a strange little phrase to the end of statements, especially if she talked about her plans. “We will come and visit you next month,” she would say to my mother, and then tag on: “DV.” I now know it stands for deo volente, which is Latin for “God being willing”….

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How do I pray when …???

“Teach us to pray,” Jesus’ disciples asked him. This seems a strange request from men who were undoubtedly devout in their faith. They prayed and heard prayers being said at the temple. They listened to the prayers of their ancestors read from the scriptures. They had been following Jesus, for goodness sake, and observed him praying….