What is Prayer?

What is Prayer?

Do you know exactly what a prayer is?

My daughter, who is four and a half (the “and a half” is crucial!), has a simple answer: prayer is talking to God. Duh, mom.

But how? When? With whom? Using words? Or silence? Or stillness?

Do you pray by walking or sitting or standing? Kneeling or dancing?

When you need something? Are grateful? Angry? Sad? Overwhelmed? Filled with joy?

Do you know exactly what a prayer is?


When Scarcity Creeps In...

When Scarcity Creeps In...

These days, scarcity creeps in like an infestation. It starts with one thought: you don’t have enough time for your kids and work. And then invades my whole being: You don’t have enough hope. Enough faith. Enough closet space. Enough love. Enough exercise. Enough discipline….and before I know it, the voices of scarcity drown out the shouts of God’s expansive, radical, all-encompassing love.

Practice, Practice, Practice--Part II

Practice, Practice, Practice--Part II

There are many ways to read the Bible: for edification, encouragement, academic study, inspiration, form analysis….you name it. These are important and useful in their own right.


Lectio Divina is a way of reading scripture, not for information, but to to listen to what God has to say through the reading. The practice is about reading, reflecting, responding, and resting in what God has to say. Saint Benedict of Nursia, whose communities solidified this practice in the 6th century, called it “listening with the ear of the heart”.

Spiritual Fitness

Spiritual Fitness

I’d rather find what feels good--seek God on a mountaintop, by myself, alone with my thoughts, feeling loved and creating God in the image I need--than be challenged in my faith to the point of sweating it out. And while time alone with God, seeking what I know I need and feels good, is a part of the faith journey, it can’t be all I do.


Religion, Politics, and Bears--Oh My!

Religion, Politics, and Bears--Oh My!

As a minister in D.C., I get asked, a lot: How can we keep religion from being political? It’s a genuine, fair, insightful question. And I think underneath it is: how can we make sure Republicans, Democrats, and Independents all have a place at the table? How can we keep ourselves from aligning with one political party, as if our hope and meaning lies in an American institution rather than a radically loving God?

Be. Still.

Be. Still.

I wish I had tips and tricks to share to make silence possible for you and for me—wisdom gleaned from my theology degree and years in ministry. Right now I simply have an admission (a confession?)—it’s hard as hell. I’m disciplined in all kinds of ways but making the time and space for silence eludes me.