Category Archives: Spiritual Formation

The Practice of Prayer Riding: How activities requiring longer duration in focus might retrain our prayer life.

I took up road cycling a few years ago and truly enjoy this form of exercise.  I try to work in two to three rides a week as my schedule permits.  Cycling gets me moving, and away from what can at times be a sedentary work life.  I find it physically challenging and mentally rewarding.  In addition to the cardio and muscular-skeletal benefits of cycling, it’s amazing what a 20 to 30-mile ride can do for one’s mental and spiritual health.  Which brings me to the topic of this blog post.  Prayer has become a companion practice to my routine of cycling.

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Filed under Christian Faith, Cycling, Ministry, Spiritual Formation

Forgive Us . . . As We Forgive

Most of us are all for forgiveness as it concerns our need to be forgiven by God, through Christ, for our sins. But, if we are honest, we’d likely prefer that the forgiveness be “unconditional” in nature. That is, we understand and appreciate that nothing we can do will earn or purchase the forgiveness of God’s grace as it is so generously poured out on us by Jesus.

So, why is it that when it comes to praying for forgiveness, in the prayer taught his disciples, Jesus makes it a “conditional” request? Do you remember this phrase of the Lord’s Prayer?: Forgive us our sins (trespasses) as we forgive those who sin (trespass) against us.

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Give Us This Day . . . .

Do you know the word “quotidian”? It means “occurring” or “belonging to every day.” Something is quotidian when it is commonplace, ordinary, daily. Think cooking, eating, bathing or grooming, laundry! These are daily tasks or chores that we engage in. Getting up and going to work is quotidian for many of us (or used to be if we are retired). We are creatures who live a daily rhythm.

Is it any wonder, then, that Jesus put something about “daily” into his model prayer? Give us this day our daily bread. This is ever bit as important a phrase in this prayer as those that precede and follow it. There is something important, about faith and discipleship that happens in the daily.

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Your Kingdom Come . . .

An invitation: During the Season of Lent I will be blogging through The Lord’s Prayer as part of a prayer challenge I shared with our congregation. I pray these words of reflection will be an encouragement to those who read them. May we make our hearts ready for the days of Jesus’ passion.

According to author/pastor John Ortberg, we all have a kingdom. Our kingdom is simply “the range of our effective will.” This is to say, our kingdom is what we have influence over and what we control. It includes our body but extends well beyond it. Children are exercising the claims of their kingdom with early words like “no” and “mine”. And we really never move past this kind of behavior. Which is why this phrase of Jesus’ prayer – your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven – is such an important one.

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Holy Is Your Name

An invitation: As I continue to blog through The Lord’s Prayer during this Season of Lent, I pray these words of reflection will be an encouragement to those who read them. May we make our hearts ready for the days of Jesus’ passion.

“Holy is your name” is the second powerful phrase of Jesus’ prayer after “our Father”. Maybe you know it better as “hallowed be your name.” In either rendering the thought is the same: God is other, set apart from us. To name as “holy” is to “call out” that One or that act that we seek to set apart. Whether the adjective “holy” is used of God or to describe an act of worship, such as “holy” communion, the intent is the same – to recognize in the ordinariness of our day and life that this One is not ordinary – this One is other.

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Filed under Christian Faith, Holy Days, Ministry, Spiritual Formation