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Monday, October 24, 2011

Praying is better than worrying

On Sunday I included a quick clip of "Don't Worry, Be Happy" in the sermon. The song I really wanted to include, the one that inspired me all week as I was praying and thinking about the sermon, is "Why Worry". It was written by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits. His band has performed and recorded it, and Mark has gone on to perform it as a duet with artists like Emmy Lou Harris- they do a wonderful job with it. The Youtube link I am including here is for a video of Knopfler performing the song with his guitar mentor Chet Atkins, and with his musical heroes, the Everly Brothers. Apparently Knopfler originally wrote the song with Phil and Don Everly in mind.

Like many pop songs, we can listen to it as a romantic love song, or we can open our imagination a bit, and hear God's spirit speaking to us. Hearing God ask. "Why Worry?" inspired me all this week!

In my sermon I said a little bit about Sunday morning worship as a time and place with God in which we get re-charged, and re-connected, so that we can go back out and love and serve in the world.

I love Sunday worship. I also no longer think it is enough to sustain us spiritually

As a runner, I know that if I only find time to run once a week, it's still be good for me, and better than nothing, but not really enough. I need to exercise, and challenge my cardio-vascular system at least every second day, and preferably, every day.

To run the spiritual race, to live the life that I believe God is calling me to live, I need to attend to my spiritual fitness on a daily basis. I need to enter into a discipline that helps me set aside time to be aware of God's presence.

There are a variety of ways to do that- but one that I am very interested in promoting these days involves taking time each day to read and pray with scripture. An excellent resource, that provides a devotional for every day of the year is:

Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals

It was compiled by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and Enuma Okoro, and draws from Christian traditions from many times, and many places around the globe.

At a conference for church leaders I attended in Nashville this month, there was a lot of talk about "Common Prayer" as a tool for individual spiritual formation, and for building community.

I like how the book draws upon the history and tradition of the church, and also introduces a fresh spirit to a way of praying that is at least 1600 years old.

It is available in book stores for about $20.00.

You can also access the daily morning prayer at:

It is also available from KOBO as an e-book, for about $14.00.