Two Hands: Grief and Gratitude in the Christian LifeA Renewed SpiritualityNurturing Hope: Christian Pastoral Care in the Twenty-First CenturyThe Power of ListeningJoy Together: Spiritual Practices for Your CongregationSabbath Keeping FastingPrayers of the Old TestamentPrayers of the New TestamentSabbathFriendingA Garden of Living Water: Stories of Self-Discovery and Spiritual GrowthDeath in Dunedin: A NovelDead Sea: A NovelDeadly Murmurs: A NovelPersonality Type in CongregationsBeating Burnout in CongregationsReaching Out in a Networked WorldEmbracing MidlifeAdvent DevotionalDraw Near: Lenten Devotional by Lynne Baab, illustrated by Dave Baab

Draw near: To whom do we pray?

Lynne Baab • Tuesday September 27 2022

Draw near: To whom do we pray?

Recently I’ve been paying attention to the words of praise songs and hymns to notice to whom they are addressed. Some follow the pattern of the hymn “Praise my Soul the King of Heaven” or the praise song “10,000 Reasons” (“Bless the Lord, O my soul, worship his holy name”). This pattern, common in the psalms, calls my soul to engage in prayer. Some hymns and praise songs are descriptive, like “Amazing Grace” or “Mighty to Save” (“Savior, he can move the mountains”). Perhaps we could say they are also addressing my inner being, reminding me of who God is and...

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Draw near: Praising God with Desmond Tutu

Lynne Baab • Tuesday September 20 2022

Draw near: Praising God with Desmond Tutu

All you big things, bless the Lord. Mount Kilimanjaro and Lake Victoria, The Rift Valley and the Serengeti Plain, Fat baobabs and shady mango trees, All eucalyptus and tamarind trees, bless the Lord. Praise and extol Him for ever and ever.

All you tiny things, bless the Lord. Busy black Ants and hopping fleas, Wriggling tadpoles and mosquito larvae, Flying locusts and water drops, Pollen dust and tsetse flies, Millet seeds and dried dagga, Bless the Lord. Praise and extol him forever.

Former archbishop and anti-apartheid and human rights activist Desmond Tutu includes this prayer in his book An African Prayer Book. I love the specificity of the things in the prayer, and it motivates me...

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Draw near: Yearning, beseeching and beholding with Desmond Tutu

Lynne Baab • Tuesday September 13 2022

Draw near: Yearning, beseeching and beholding with Desmond Tutu

“Saint Julian of Norwich says prayer ‘is yearning, beseeching and beholding.’ We are made for God, we yearn to be filled with the fullness of God, and so we come asking the one who is always eager to give. We place ourselves in his hands as suppliants, in the attitude of those who know they have nothing that they have not received, before the One who is ever the gracious one, ready to give beyond our asking and our deserving. We are like parched land thirsty for the gift of rain – yearning, beseeching, waiting and asking and assured that we...

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Draw near: Worshipping God with Desmond Tutu

Lynne Baab • Tuesday September 6 2022

Draw near: Worshipping God with Desmond Tutu

In this short series of four blog posts (within a larger series on prayer), I am honoring Desmond Tutu – South African archbishop, human rights activist, and Nobel Peace prize laureate, who died in December at the age of 90. In the mid-1990s he compiled a collection of prayers from all over Africa called An African Prayer Book. Here’s his introduction to the section of the book on adoration.

“All of us are by nature worshipful. We may worship God to whom we ascribe his due, his worth. This is true worship. Or, we may give a false worship to money, to status,...

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