Sharp About Your Prayers

the challenges, absurdities, and joys of an urban faith

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Entries Tagged as 'lent'

Temperance — Virtue #4

March 24th, 2017 · Comments Off on Temperance — Virtue #4 · Faith and the City

A few years ago, the acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns turned his attention to a fascinating thread in the tapestry of American history: Prohibition. With an eye for quirky characters and an ear for the idiom of the age, Burns’ series unpacks the events leading to the adoption of the 18th amendment to the Constitution […]

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On the Move

March 12th, 2015 · Comments Off on On the Move · Faith and the City

Aslan is on the move. The Witch’s magic is weakening… All around them, though out of sight, there were streams chattering, bubbling, splashing and even (in the distance) roaring. And his heart gave a great leap (though he hardly knew why) when he realized that the frost was over.             –C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the […]

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Fast with Us?

February 11th, 2015 · 2 Comments · Faith and the City

Fasting begets prophets and strengthens the strong.  Fasting makes lawgivers wise; it is the soul’s safeguard,  the body’s trusted comrade, the armor of the champion,  the training of the athlete. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea (AD 330-379)   Dear Friends in Christ, Lent is nearly here, and we have an invitation for you. This Lent at […]

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A Prayer for Help and Healing

March 30th, 2014 · 1 Comment · Sharp Prayers

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.  Holy God, Blessed Comforter, we bow our heads before you. We yearn to push worries aside to focus on you, to talk with you, but it is difficult. So difficult.   We are distracted, skeptical and afraid. Anxious thoughts lurk in our heads like prowlers. As soon as […]

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Give Lent a Try

March 4th, 2014 · Comments Off on Give Lent a Try · Faith and the City

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So Amazing, So Divine (Reprise)

March 27th, 2013 · 2 Comments · Faith and the City

Maundy Thursday, 2013 My favorite hymn writer is Isaac Watts.  Watts, a teacher, poet and pastor of meager estate, wrote over 750 hymns while serving a small London parish in the early 1700’s.  His hymnody is historically significant because rather than writing musical tunes for the psalms—which he also did, and which was primary function […]

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How Was Your Day?

February 22nd, 2013 · 12 Comments · Sharp Prayers

I recently saw a rerun of the film “Bruce Almighty.” I enjoyed it. The premise of this Jim Carrey comedy is theologically interesting: What would you do if you had God’s powers? One of the first things that the main character, Bruce, does — after God gives him dominion over a small part of western […]

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In the Desert

February 22nd, 2012 · 1 Comment · Faith and the City

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; […]

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What Language Shall I Borrow?

April 20th, 2011 · 3 Comments · Faith and the City

Every Christmas, people approach me to request that their favorite carol or Advent hymn be sung in worship.  They banter with me about the merits of “O Little Town in Bethlehem” versus “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”  It is a fun debate. I have never had a similar conversation regarding the hymns of Lent.  I […]

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Prayer in a Time of Turmoil

April 4th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Sharp Prayers

Prayers of the People Second Sunday in Lent March 20, 2011   God of Holy Mystery, God of Love, God of the Hidden Heart, we pray to you. We bow our heads before you, humbled by the news of the past week, troubled by the scenes of devastation in Japan, shuddering at the violence in […]

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