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: Prayer for workers

Lynne Baab • Tuesday November 8 2022

Draw near: Prayer for workers

An evening prayer: Loving God, tonight I thank you for all who have faithfully done their job today, and now rest. Thank you for the men and women who today cut hair, set bones, and taught math to middle schoolers. Thank you for those who today fought corruption, buried the dead, encouraged the weak. Some today manufactured useful goods, or delivered them, or stocked and sold them. Thank you for them all. Some laid tile, installed a sink, fixed a leaky roof. Some evangelized the lost. Others were neighborly to people on their street. I commend them all to you, O...

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Draw near: Fragrance

Lynne Baab • Tuesday November 1 2022

Draw near: Fragrance

Way back in my 20s, when I was joining the staff of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, an older staff person prayed for my commissioning. She opened her prayer with 2 Corinthians 2:14: “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him.” Then she asked that God would help me spread the fragrance of Christ. At the time, I had little idea what she meant or what that looked like, and I frankly thought her prayer was slightly weird.

I mostly forgot about that prayer...

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Draw near: Praying to the gracious, tender, truthful Spirit

Lynne Baab • Tuesday October 25 2022

Draw near: Praying to the gracious, tender, truthful Spirit

Imagine that you feel called to be a minister. You train for it and take a position in a church. You struggle with ill health for a lot of your life, serving a church for a while and then withdrawing to cope with illness. What might you ask for from the Holy Spirit?

Rev. Thomas Lynch (1818-1871), a minister in England whose health impeded his ministry, wrote two dozen hymns that were published in various hymnbooks in the 1800s. I am not familiar with any of them except one specifically addressed to the Holy Spirit. I have loved this hymn for several...

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Draw near: Praying to the Holy Spirit

Lynne Baab • Tuesday October 18 2022

Draw near: Praying to the Holy Spirit

I wonder how many of you remember this praise song:

Spirit of the Living God, Fall fresh on me, Break me, melt me, mold me, fill me.

In the 1980s we sang it often at church, so I assumed it came from that era. I just learned that it was written in 1926 after the author, Daniel Iverson, heard a sermon on the Holy Spirit at a revival meeting. Rev. Iverson was a Presbyterian minister who served congregations North and South Carolina and Georgia, then planted seven congregations in Miami. (You can listen to a contemporary version of his song here, with a fascinating change...

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By Lynne M. Baab. Originally published in Christianity Today, July 8, 2021