Tag Archives: prayer

A Prayer

Lord God,
Creator of earth and matter,
You both dazzle and hide,
You call both light and shadow to be,
You dwell on mountaintops,
And in the nooks and crevices of the mountainside
You speak in both fire and whispers.

Your very material creation –
With all of its dirt and blood
All of its smells and tastes,
Is a playground for thought.

And so we – graced, privileged, and called – play
At what must seem to you, sometimes, just games
Is God to be found in the world? we ask, almost serious.
Is the world the folding and unfolding of God’s immanence?
we inquire.
As we try our questions, surely you chuckle, Lord –
But I think that you chuckle because you like to play along –
That you are glorified in our play, even our serious academic play.

Only you, Lord, God of a richly folded creation,
Could be found in a place like Deleuze or Badiou,
Could surprise us in the pleats of French philosophers,
Could whisper in the creases of continental ontology.

Lord Jesus, you ‘snuck yourself in matter’ for our sakes,
That we might be pulled out of our flat absorption in immanence –
To be the ‘charged’ material image bearers of divine excess.
Help us, then, Lord, to be your disciples above all –
To discern what these texts mean for our discipleship,
For our being-in-the-world
Our being-for-others,
And our being-for-you.


– James K.A. Smith Opening Prayer, Continental Philosophy Seminar, April 2003


Today marks the beginning of the Lenten season, a time of surrender and self-reflection. A time to purposefully create space to allow for the Lord to speak to us and to deepen our relationship with him.


Over the past few years I’ve taken the approach of instead of giving something up directly (like coffee, or TV, or sinning), I’ve added something to my schedule, usually in the form of spending more time in the word and reading religious writings. It’s truly been an incredible process and I look forward to it every year. It’s amazing what God can do when we work every day to spend time reflecting on him and on his truths.


In the past some of the books I’ve read have included such masterpieces as:


All of those come highly recommended and have been absolutely foundational in my faith and life. This year, I’ll be focusing on a single book, and I probably still won’t finish it:




You’ve probably noticed this pop up from time to time in the ‘Currently Reading’ tab as I’ve been working through it (extremely slowly) for the past few years (Thanks Bob Harvey for burdening me with this!). It’s a monumental book and the summation of 40 years of Dr. Kass’ class on Genesis. Each chapter is mind blowing and challenging, continually refining my perspective of purpose, knowledge, sin, etc. Though Dr. Kass himself isn’t a Christian, more of a theist, there’s still a ton to be gathered from not only his reflections, but those of his sources, and the insights of his many students.


My current process is reading for 40 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of journaling and praying; journaling is a really new thing for me, and something I’m quite terrible at, but hopefully getting better. A number of years ago while I was in undergrad, my Pastor’s mother-in-law (Grandma Hickman) talked about leaving a legacy for her children and grandchildren in the form of 60 some years worth of journal entries and crafted prayers; that really struck me, leaving a written account of dialogues with God, maybe that’s something worth doing.


I know I probably won’t do a great job with keeping my Lenten commitment but that’s what grace is for! I’m praying that the Lord will assist me in keeping my routine and being faithful to what he’s teaching me, I’m praying for answers, and new questions. For guidance, and peace.


My the Lord bless you also in this coming holy season with new insights, new revelations, new mercies, and new joy.