Tips on prayer and pursuing deeper connection to God.
Tips on prayer and pursuing deeper connection to God.
How do we know when God is speaking to us? Will we just know his voice when we hear it? Author Margaret Feinberg responds to these questions and more in an interview with Dan King of BibleDude.net.
Click the links below to watch excerpts from Margaret’s interview.
Should Christians expect God to show up in a burning bush? Should we be worried if we’ve never even heard him whisper? Watch Now
Margaret suggests why it’s so difficult for us to listen, and she shares one vital tip for listening to God. Watch Now
Extended interview clips on YouTube
Other tips on listening to God. Watch Now
This “listening to God” thing — how can we make sure we “get it right”? Margaret explains why we probably never will… and why that’s okay. Watch Now
And what do you think?
Do you agree with Margaret that God speaks more often than we think?
Tell us how you have heard from God.
About Margaret Feinberg
Margaret Feinberg (@mafeinberg) is a popular speaker at churches and events such as Catalyst and Creation Festival. Named one of the Thirty Emerging Voices of Christian leaders under age forty by Charisma magazine, she is author of The Organic God and The Sacred Echo. She lives in Colorado with her hubby, Leif, and superpup, Hershey. Learn more at her website www.margaretfeinberg.com.
Guest post by Tim Otto, member of the Church of the Soujourners in San Francisco, CA.
I’ve dragged my body, for the last ten years, to morning prayers with my housemates. In spite of that effort, my heart hasn’t always made it there along with the rest of me (I’m fond of the saying, “If God had intended us to see the sunrise God would have scheduled it later in the day.”).
We’ve tried traditional prayer liturgies, but by the time we trudge into the third Psalm, I find that I’ve usually lost the trail, and my mind is wandering elsewhere. We’ve tried “evangelical prayers,” but in those early, tired hours, there are so many awkward silences, and so many petty petitions. We’ve tried centering prayer, but the silence so often slips into sleep.
Perhaps I’m just a hopeless case—a modern, attention deficit disordered person, incapable of real prayer.
But I find myself re-inspired by the book Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals. Just like my beloved morning cup of coffee, Common Prayers feels stout and rousing. It awakens my sleepy brain and heart with its combination of songs, responsive readings, scripture, historical reflections—all pointing to a common theme. Somehow the diversity—all pointing to a unity—wakes me up and helps me remember what my life is about, and my desire for God. The content feels modern and timely, and yet it draws from the ancient. It provokes, and ponders, and prods, and preaches, and … it prays.
I still wish morning prayers were later in the day, but in the meantime, I’m glad that Common Prayer helps me pay attention and awakens me to God.
- Tim Otto, The Church of the Sojourners, San Francisco
More about Tim Otto
Guest post by Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.
A few years ago, a bunch of activist-types and a bunch of prayer-warriors got together to create a prayer book that would help us live with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. We were all convinced that prayer and action cannot be divorced from each other, and that Jesus and justice have to kiss. So we formed a team of liturgy experts, church leaders, grassroots organizers, and justice activists, and we began plotting goodness together. After a long and expectant labor, we just gave birth… to a little book and web resource called Common Prayer.
Common Prayer is a book for folks who love God and want to make the world a better place. Whether you are over-churched or under-churched, a proud evangelical, a recovering evangelical, or not evangelical at all; whether you are high-church, low-church, or no-church, a skeptic or a Pentecostal; whether you are a political activist, political agnostic, or a political misfit; whether you have found a community or have burnt out on community… we had you in mind as we created Common Prayer.
A heartfelt tale of inspiration, hope and redemption, Letters to God is the story of what happens when one boy’s walk of faith crosses paths with one man’s search for meaning—the resulting transformational journey touches the lives of everyone around them.
Inspired by a true story, Letters to God is an intimate, moving and often funny story about the galvanizing effect one child’s belief can have on his family, friends and community.
The movie hits theatres April, 9th 2010!
Zondervan is excited to participate by offering several products associated with the Film. Be sure to watch Twitter next week, we will be giving away copies of some of these!
Inspired by the major motion picture Letters to God, this novel is for readers eager to read more of this inspiring story. Tyler, a nine-year-old boy, is stricken with incurable brain cancer and begins to write letters to God. He turns his suffering into spiritual lessons for his widowed mother, his embittered adolescent brother, and a troubled postman. This story of hope will help readers from all walks work toward greater understanding of God’s presence and care.
With the major motion picture Letters to God as the backdrop, this unique Bible with two-color interior and in an Italian Duo-Tone binding is a Bible like no other. Part collector’s item and part one-of-a-kind devotional Bible, it features handwritten notes in the margins and underlined passages from the fictional late father whose Bible inspires the film’s central character, Tyler, to write letters to God as he battles brain cancer.
Inspired by the true story of Tyler, whose life is depicted in the major motion picture Letters to God, this endearing children’s picture book builds on the film’s popularity about Tyler’s uplifting and contagious faith.
Based on the major motion picture Letters to God, this book of letters and insightful Scripture lessons is the ideal gift for viewers of the film and anyone searching for hope in the midst of adversity.
Inspired by the major motion picture Letters to God and written by the real-life pastor of the young boy in the movie, this insight-filled guide offers Christians creative, practical advice on how to strengthen their relationship with God. Writing their own letters to God, readers of all ages will develop and strengthen their prayer lives.
In a time of tremendous economic and social unrest, people everywhere are looking for hope. Dr. Ken “Hutch” Hutcherson offers it to them, weaving his story of living well with terminal illness, while opening a window into the lives of other ordinary people.
This journal inspired by the major motion picture Letters to God is an appealing and innovative tool for helping people build stronger, more fulfilling prayer lives.
Editor's Note: Look for devotions from Ann Spangler's books every week for the next few weeks. Today's devotion is from Praying the Names of God.
God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD [YAHWEH], the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation" (Exodus 3:14–15).
To the Egyptians the name Yahweh would have been a terror—a name to forget because it conjured plagues, darkness, defeat, and death. But to Moses and the Israelites Yahweh would forever mean deliverance, freedom, promise, and power.
The amazing events of Exodus define who Yahweh was in extraordinary detail. Yahweh—Israel's faithful, wonder-working God, the One who out of pity and love reached into human history to untie the bonds of an enslaved people—that was the name by which this God wanted to be forever known. When you bow before Yahweh, thank him for the deliverance he has wrought in your own life through the work of Jesus.
“Don’t Listen For the Voice of God. Listen for His Echo.”
When God really wants to get your attention, he doesn’t just say something once.
He speaks through a Sunday sermon, a chance conversation with a friend the next day, even a random email. The same theme, idea, impression, or lesson will repeat itself in surprising and unexpected ways until you realize that maybe, just maybe, God is at work.
According to author Margaret Feinberg, the repetitive nature of a sacred echo gives us confidence that God really is prompting, guiding, or leading. The Sacred Echo reminds us to pay close attention – something important may be going on here. The sacred echo challenges us to prayerfully consider how God is at work in our life as well as in the lives of those around us. The sacred echo is an invitation to spiritual awakening.
Margaret writes, “I want a relationship with God where prayer is as natural as breathing. If God is the one in whom we are to live and move and have our being, then I want my every inhale infused with his presence, my every exhale an extension of his love.”
If that’s your desire too, let The Sacred Echo be your guide to a deeper, more rewarding relationship with the God of the universe.
Below is a video clip of Margaret speaking about The Sacred Echo:
January is always a relaxing time for me after the Christmas holidays, and this year is no exception. After two weeks of celebrating with family who came from Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta, and doing a little traveling of our own, I’m settling back into my writing schedule.
Isn’t Christmas a wonderful time of year? I always watch it with my writer’s fascination, as the work world seems to slow down, and everyone you see is focused on buying that special gift that will make someone’s face light up. Families come together to bless each other and feed each other—all in honor of Christ, whose birth changed everything. And then they move into the new year with hope and excitement, as if things are fresh and new, and anything can happen.
That’s how I’m approaching this new year. It didn’t hurt that last week I had the opportunity to go to Hershey, Pennsylvania for a booksellers’ conference, and I stayed at the Hershey Lodge on West Chocolate Avenue. (Doesn’t it just make you salivate?) I think I got hooked on chocolate—not a good thing when you’re trying to lose those extra pounds after Christmas. I filled the booksellers in on Dawn’s Light, the fourth and final book in my Restoration Series, which is undergoing its final touches before it releases in May.
As I worked on the first three books in this series, I took the Brannings, my Christian family, through panic and near starvation as they suffered through a global power outage. And as they experienced these things, their faith in God’s provision and goodness were strengthened, so that, even though the power had not yet been restored, there was a profound restoration of their sense of family and community, a restoration of their absolute faith in a God who never fails them, a restoration of the spirit.
Having taken them to that level, I wanted book four, Dawn’s Light, to continue that restoration. My question for the last book in the series has always been this: When technology is once again restored, will the Brannings go back to the way they were before? After three books, I felt that their growth was not yet complete. So in Dawn’s Light, I decided to explore something that I’ve struggled with myself as a Christian, and that’s the question of unanswered prayer.
I don’t know about you, but there have been times in my life when I begged God for something for a long period of time for something that I truly believed would be glorifying to Him, only to have him say no. Any of you who have prayed for a sick and dying loved one, believing that your prayer in faith for recovery would be answered—only to have that loved one die—know what I mean. Or you’ve prayed mighty, earnest, heartbreaking prayers for something NOT to happen … and then it does.
Because I needed to understand the nature of prayer and faith, so that I could better understand the nature of God, I chose to make this my theme for Dawn’s Light. In it, Beth, the Brannings’ 13-year-old daughter, witnesses a murder on the day that the banks re-open, and the terror that ensues takes the family on a journey deeper into this “stripping away” that God is doing in their lives…and results in their learning, once and for all, the holiness and righteousness of a God who sees the big picture, and has a symphony of purposes for each of his children.
I believe that anyone who has struggled with the issue of unanswered prayer will find healing in this book. And I hope that when readers come to the end of this series, they’ll have learned the lessons that the Brannings learn, and that they, too, will find their spirits restored.
As that book is in production, I’m hard at work now on my next book. It’s a hardback, stand-alone novel. It’s set in Nashville and features a young, Christian singer/songwriter who’s trying to make it big, even though she’s not particularly gifted vocally. As she rides the wave of a famous friend who offers her a big break, she’s caught up in a murderous plot that makes her second-guess her desire for fame and fortune. Through it all, Christ teaches her what her real purpose is, and the significance of her ultimate Audience of One.
May all of you have a wonderful 2008, full of possibilities and endless blessings, and may each of us learn special ways to bless our Father and Creator this year.