Go-Between Prayer

By |2020-05-05T15:38:42-04:00May 7th, 2020|

Late one Saturday afternoon, my family and I stopped at a local restaurant for lunch. As the waiter set crispy fries and thick burgers on our table, my husband glanced up and asked his name. Then he said, “We pray as a family before we eat. Is there something we can pray for you today?” Allen, whose name we now knew, looked at us with a mixture of surprise and anxiety...

Right Beside You

By |2020-04-22T13:12:13-04:00April 29th, 2020|

Each day at a post office in Jerusalem, workers sort through piles of undeliverable letters in an attempt to guide each to its recipient. Many end up in a specially marked box labeled “Letters to God.” About a thousand such letters reach Jerusalem each year, addressed simply to God or Jesus...

Praying Like Jesus

By |2020-03-30T16:20:03-04:00April 1st, 2020|

Every coin has two sides. The front is called “heads” and, from early Roman times, usually depicts a country’s head of state. The back is called “tails,” a term possibly originating from the British ten pence depicting the raised tail of a heraldic lion. Like a coin, Christ’s prayer in the garden of Gethsemane possesses two sides...

It’s Time to Pray . . . Again

By |2020-03-24T16:14:42-04:00March 25th, 2020|

I pulled into my driveway, waving at my neighbor Myriam and her little girl Elizabeth. Over the years, Elizabeth had grown accustomed to our spontaneous chats lasting longer than the promised “few minutes” and morphing into prayer meetings. She climbed the tree planted in the center of their front yard, dangled her legs over a branch, and busied herself while her mother and I spoke...

The Picture of Despair

By |2020-03-20T14:56:34-04:00March 22nd, 2020|

During the Great Depression in the United States, photographer Dorothea Lange snapped a photo of Florence Owens Thompson and her children. This well-known photograph, Migrant Mother, is the picture of a mother’s despair in the aftermath of the failed pea harvest. Lange took it in Nipomo, California, while working for the Farm Security Administration, hoping to make them aware of the needs of the desperate seasonal farm laborers...

Before You Even Ask

By |2020-03-16T16:26:54-04:00March 17th, 2020|

My friends Robert and Colleen have experienced a healthy marriage for decades, and I love watching them interact. One will pass the butter to the other at dinner before being asked for it. The other will refill a glass at the perfect moment. When they tell stories, they finish each other’s sentences. Sometimes it seems they can read each other’s mind...

No Line to Love

By |2020-01-24T11:59:58-05:00January 24th, 2020|

Sometimes when my Labrador retriever wants attention, he’ll take something of mine and parade it in front of me. One morning as I was writing at the desk with my back turned, Max snatched my wallet and ran off. But realizing I hadn’t seen him do it, he returned and nudged me with his nose—wallet in mouth, eyes dancing, tail wagging, taunting me to play.

Prompted to Pray

By |2019-12-24T12:07:23-05:00January 1st, 2020|

“Several years ago I was prompted to pray for you often, and I wonder why.” That text message from an old friend came with a photo of a note she’d kept in her Bible: “Pray for James. Cover mind, thoughts, words.” Beside my name she’d recorded three separate years. I looked at the years and caught my breath. I wrote back and asked what month she began to pray. She responded, “Sometime around July...”

Asking God

By |2019-12-13T15:04:19-05:00December 13th, 2019|

When my husband, Dan, was diagnosed with cancer, I couldn’t find the “right” way to ask God to heal him. In my limited view, other people in the world had such serious problems—war, famine, poverty, natural disasters. Then one day, during our morning prayer time, I heard my husband humbly ask, “Dear Lord, please heal my disease...”