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: Praying for power

Lynne Baab • Tuesday June 28 2022

Draw near: Praying for power

One way to grow in prayer is to use prayers others have written. Because I was raised Episcopalian, many of the prayers in The Book of Common Prayer have a familiarity to me that goes back to my childhood. Here’s my favorite:

“Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.”

The Book of Common Prayer was written...

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Draw near: Be the Gardener of my soul

Lynne Baab • Tuesday June 21 2022

Draw near: Be the Gardener of my soul

“Spirit of the Living God, be the Gardener of my soul. For so long I have been waiting, silent and still—experiencing a winter of the soul. But now in the strong name of Jesus Christ, I dare to ask:

     Clear away the dead growth of the past,      Break up the hard clods of custom and routine,      Stir in the rich compost of vision and challenge,      Bury deep in my soul the implanted Word,      Cultivate and water and tend my heart,      Until new life buds and opens and flowers. Amen.”           —Richard Foster, Prayers from the Heart

Richard Foster’s prayer draws on so many...

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First post in a new series: Draw near

Lynne Baab • Tuesday June 14 2022

First post in a new series: Draw near

About 18 months ago, a friend asked me how I find the motivation to write a blog post every week. I had never thought about that question. I have simply felt compelled to write each week. Her question made me realize that the drive or push must come from the Holy Spirit and is fueled by my love of prayer. I write blog posts because I feel called to do everything I can to help people pray more easily, creatively, and joyfully. If I write a post that helps one person turn toward God more comfortably in pain or joy or...

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Receptivity and offering: Our hearts

Lynne Baab • Tuesday June 7 2022

Receptivity and offering: Our hearts

As a child, I had a love-hate relationship with the Christmas carol “In the Bleak Midwinter.” We sang it often in the Episcopal churches of my childhood. Even as a ten- or twelve-year-old, the first verse seemed ridiculous to me. Bethlehem is in the Middle East! The winter isn’t cold enough that the earth would be frozen as hard as iron!

In the bleak midwinter Frosty wind made moan Earth stood hard as iron Water like a stone Snow had fallen Snow on snow on snow In the bleak midwinter Long, long ago

I would start getting less angry in the second verse, because I always liked to think about...

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