A Posturing Prayer

Lately, I’ve found myself more and more concerned with my prayer posture.

There are certain physical postures appropriate to prayer, such as bowingkneelinglying face downlifting up hands, and a lot more. I think physical postures are important and they are meaningful and they should be assumed as the Holy Spirit leads.

I’m not talking about physical posture today. I want to talk about the inner posture of prayer.  Evelyn Underhill, a spiritual who lived at the turn of the 20th century, put it this way: “prayer, then, begins by an intellectual adjustment.”1  This quote stuck with me and on me like an aroma or a bandaid – take your pick.

A couple of months ago I noted a “posturing prayer” in my journal, a prayer to return to that inspires me to adopt an intellectual adjustment for prayer.  The words might not mean much to you reading this post, but perhaps the spirit of the prayer is something you can capture for your own prayer life.  I hope that it serves as a reminder of the inner posture of our life, the necessity of assuming a internal position of surrender in our hearts.

A Posturing Prayer

Lord:

Let me be still.
Let me be quiet.
Let me be empty.
Let me fall dumb.

So that:

You will move.
You will speak.
You will fill.
You will wizen.

“May the words of my mouth-”

be few! –

“And the meditations of my heart-”

be pure! –

“Be pleasing in your sight, O Lord,

My Strength
and My Redeemer.

Footnotes

1. This is a quote from a selection found in Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups edited by Richard Foster & James Bryan Smith.

Two Dogs, a Beer, a Funeral…& Jesus

I originally wrote this piece for my church’s website in January 2017.  This reflection comes from an event that occurred when my wife and I pastored in northeast Wyoming.

I had a hard time seeing the sign for the turnoff – not only was the setting sun blaring into my face through my car’s windshield, but this was the kind of place that GPS didn’t know about.  I had paper directions.  The last time I used paper directions was when I printed them out from MapQuest at a university computer lab.

I was headed to a funeral service.  I’m not sure that service is the best descriptor.  A service denotes order, specific function, and an agreed upon liturgy.  This…funeral didn’t have any of those elements.  But it did have hurting people, and I do hold one simple conviction as a pastor if I hold any: hurting people need to be loved.

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The Beauty in Longing

This is the first in a series of blogs for the 2017 Advent season.

This year will be the first Christmas without my grandpa.

Since he passed on that hot afternoon in late August, my family has been making firsts.  Dad turned 60 without him around.  The first Thanksgiving came and went without him. His birthday was December 22 and it’ll come steadily into focus and then fade away just before Christmas – without him.

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Slaying a Giant

“And so castles made of sand, fall in the sea…eventually.”

When Harvey Weinstein’s story broke, a chink in the armor of the rich and the powerful of Hollywood’s elite was exposed.  Thankfully (in this case), the media and the nation at large jumped at an opportunity to expose moral corruption in the ranks of the culture-makers who move and shape using the power of visual arts.  It wasn’t long before the long, sharp blade of scrutiny pierced through this particular armor and began to wound a system of abuse.  A list of the accused* has steadily grown.  The authorities have mobilized,vowing justice.

The problem is, reputations carry weight.  How we have conducted and do conduct ourselves matters and the things we do don’t go away or disappear with time.  I don’t mean to suggest that people don’t change – they can, they do.  And I don’t want to imply that there is no room for repentance and forgiveness.  But that’s not what we’re talking about, here.  We’re talking about people leveraging status and power to do things they knew they shouldn’t have been doing and now find themselves “caught.”

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