• Praying Scripture

    My Own Devices

    I set yesterday aside to be a Quiet Day– a day without texting, emailing, or phone conversations, in order to rest in soul and body and quiet myself in God’s presence. For years I’ve tried to schedule a Quiet Day once a week, a sort of Sabbath, but recently I’ve been finding that appointments of various sorts and other commitments and communications have taken over my resolve to stay away from my phone or email. As a result, I haven’t taken regular chunks of uninterrupted time for reflection, rest, and prayer. So yesterday I was finally to have a proper Quiet Day. I like to start my Quiet Days early,…

  • Praying Scripture

    Apple of God’s Eye

    I decided to do something different this week; rather than daily prayer suggestions, I sketched what jumped out at me from my psalm reading yesterday morning. I’ve been meditating on these verses, and sketching slows me down and helps me visualize something from Scripture in a way that makes it stick in my mind more clearly and for longer. I may do more of this sort of prayer in the coming weeks. This week I’m sharing my sketching meditation on Psalm 17:6-8. If anyone reading this would also like to sketch it, I would love to see your sketches, if you’d like to share them. I call on you, O…

  • Art and Prayer,  Praying Scripture

    Marvelously Made

    You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.You saw me before I was born.    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.Every moment was laid out    before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:13-16 Fifty-four years ago this past week my sister Megan Ariel was born. Megan has lived in heaven for all but six weeks of these fifty-four years, because of a heart defect she was…

  • Praying Scripture

    Pure Joy

    A friend and I have been memorizing the first chapter of James recently, so these verses have been on my mind. I also know quite a few people who have been going through very challenging situations recently including loss, difficult surgeries, Covid-19, injuries, shingles, and other trials. And of course, we are aware of the terrible challenges facing Christians in Afghanistan and in other parts of the world, so these words of James’ seem particularly applicable. We also recently remembered the attacks of 9/11, which showed us, among other things, that even when we appear to be strong, we are still vulnerable and not in control of nearly as many…

  • Praying Scripture

    Rest for Your Soul

    Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 I went away by myself for a personal retreat this past week, and one thing I realized was how weary I have been. It seems that sometimes I can go from one activity to the next and I just keep going without realizing how tired I’m becoming. When we take time apart, as I did, we can…

  • Praying Scripture

    Riches, Roots, and Love

    I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3: 16-19 Monday: Praise God for his glorious riches that he so generously offers us– his grace, his love, his mercy, his Spirit.…

  • Praying Scripture

    Roots

    “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,    whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water    that sends out its roots by the stream.It does not fear when heat comes;    its leaves are always green.It has no worries in a year of drought    and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8) Yesterday I led a “Sketching as Prayer” retreat, and I centered our meditations around a theme of trees. Trees are one of my favorite things to sketch; they each have their own character, and are always interesting to sketch. And since they are rooted in one place, they are easier to sketch than animals! I’ve been thinking a…

  • Praying Scripture

    Birds, Lilies, and Faith

    “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that…

  • Praying Scripture

    Hope

    This I call to mind   and therefore I have hope:Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,   for his compassions never fail.They are new every morning;   great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;   therefore I will wait for him.”  The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,   to the one who seeks him;it is good to wait quietly   for the salvation of the LORD.  Lamentations 3: 21-26 In a time of increasing uncertainty on many fronts, we can find hope and stability in God’s faithfulness and compassion. Monday: The words in this passage are ones people have focused on for centuries in order to find hope.…

  • Praying Scripture

    Meteors Declaring God’s Glory!

    This week the Perseid meteor shower is filling the night sky with a display of one of God’s wonders—shooting stars, sometimes up to 60 an hour! With so much uncertainty and change in the world at this time, let’s step aside from it by stepping outside to gaze in awe at the heavens. Although individual meteors streak across the sky and then are gone, the Perseid metor shower comes around reliably every August. And the stars we see all across the sky are constants that were there before the time of Abraham, were there when Jesus walked the earth, and will continue beyond these unsettled times, reminding us that Jesus…