Forward Today: Joy will soon dawn upon us

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Dear friends in Christ,

Starting Sunday, we begin our journey through Holy Week. That means Easter Day is almost upon us. As it does every year, our Lenten journey through the wilderness ends with the dawning light of ultimate joy in the promised land of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I suspect that many readers of this email will have had some kind of Lenten discipline, whether that means special prayers, or Bible studies, or practices of self-denial, or something else. For many years, I wondered about adopting Easter disciplines too.

As we approach Holy Week and Easter, I wonder if you might consider entering fully into the observances of Holy Week and then celebrating with abandon the Great Fifty Days of Easter.

The church makes Holy Week observance pretty straightforward. Some churches after daily services each day of Holy Week, but most churches at least offer Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Eve or Easter Day. Simply taking part in these liturgical offerings helps us to encounter the Paschal Mystery afresh.

But what about Eastertide? I encourage you to find some way to celebrate the full 50 days of Easter. At Forward Movement, we offer a blog with meditations each day of the season, You might join a book group or a prayer group for the season. And if you want other daily devotions to read, you could make your way through my latest book, Easter Triumph, Easter Joy: Meditations for the Fifty Days of Eastertide.

Easter is too amazing to celebrate just one day. How will you bask in the glow of Christ’s Resurrection?

Yours faithfully,

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Scott Gunn
Executive Director

More from our ministry:

Read along with the Easter lectionary: A Journey through Acts

Prepare to welcome the newly baptized with the gift of common prayer

Even if your bracket is busted, you can still vote in Lent Madness!

Forward Today: Nothing will be impossible with God

Dear friends in Christ,

Annunciation from the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Image by Lawrence OP (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This Saturday, the church celebrates the feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary. For a moment, the solemnity of Lent is set aside for the radiant joy of the Incarnation.

It wouldn’t be hard to write a whole book on this liturgical feast day and its assigned scriptures. For today, let’s just observe two things. First, Mary’s courage and strength are a witness for us all. She had the faith to say yes to the angel’s invitation in circumstances that must surely have been puzzling or, more likely, terrifying. We should all follow’s Mary’s example when God calls us to new and uncomfortable places. Her “yes” is a one-word testimony to faithfulness: God’s faithfulness to us, and our faithfulness to God.

Second, God can do the seemingly impossible. Too often, I see us give up on situations that seem impossible. We think those two nations will never live in peace. We imagine an estranged relationship cannot be repaired. We think the church will shrink into irrelevance. We accept the idea that there must be very rich and very poor. But the Annunciation is our annual reminder that with God, all things are possible.

As we approach this numinous feast, I wish you every blessing. May we all have the faith to join Mary in saying, ““Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

Yours faithfully,

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Scott Gunn
Executive Director

More from our ministry:

Which woman speaks more than Mary in the Bible? Find out in Bible Women

Prepare for joy at the end of Lent: Easter Triumph, Easter Joy

From the Grow Christians archives on this feast: Surprising and disrupting news

Look for – and nurture – Signs of Life and spiritual growth in your church

Forward Today: Surely God’s goodness and mercy shall follow us

Photo by Jaka Škrlep on Unsplash

Dear friends in Christ,

This coming Sunday, the lectionary offers us the gift of Psalm 23. Each liturgical year, we enjoy Psalm 23 at least two times, and it never gets old.

There’s a reason this psalm is the most popular one of all 150. Psalm 23 offers lovely, poetic images to assure us that God abides with us always. We can all use this reminder. God doesn’t promise that we won’t have problems, but God does promise that when we struggle, God will be with us. As the psalm says, “for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

We might be so used to the imagery that we miss its significance. When we say the Lord is our shepherd, we are making important claims about God and our relationship with him. Shepherding is risky business. Shepherds stay with their sheep in fair and stormy weather. Shepherds have to fight off attackers. Shepherds have to chase down wayward sheep. Shepherds have to drive the sheep to the places where there is ample food and water. We’re saying quite a lot about God when we think of ourselves as sheep and God as our shepherd.

Read and meditate on Psalm 23. How has God sustained you? Does it encourage you to know that God will abide with you in good times and in difficult times?

Yours faithfully,

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Scott Gunn
Executive Director

More from our ministry:

From the Grow Christians archives: Children’s books about the Good Shepherd

Give the gift of psalms and prayers: Book of Common Prayer, Gift Edition

Listen for God’s invitations in scripture: A Generous Beckoning

Pray the psalms with us every day at

Forward Today: The blessing of scripture

Dear friends in Christ,

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

The invitation to the observance of a holy Lent from the Ash Wednesday service encourages us to read and meditate on God’s holy word. This is an excellent Lenten practice and, even better, a good way to sustain ourselves throughout our lives.

I wrote a bit about reading scriptures last week. My suggestions still stand: consider reading one of the Gospels this Lent, or perhaps read your way through some psalms. This week, I wanted to add a bit more about steeping ourselves in scripture. Here are some suggestions:

  • Get a Bible you love to read. If you have a dusty old Bible that you love, great! But if you don’t love the one you have, try something else. There are modern translations, ancient translations, and easily accessible paraphrases. Check out the NRSV, the RSV, the Authorized (King James Version, the Message, the NIV, or others. You can find all these on Bible Gateway. You can get Bibles with leather covers or paperback or hardback or whatever you like. And, of course, you might just prefer to use a Bible app on your phone.
  • Try reading a whole book if you haven’t done that before. Jonah is a quick (and funny!) and inspiring read. 1 Samuel is a gripping page-turner, and so is Acts. The Gospels will remind you of the great narrative of Jesus’ life, passion, death, and resurrection. Isaiah or the psalms offer lovely poetry. And on and on.
  • Read the Bible with others. You can read parts of it with those who share your household or with friends. Join your church’s Bible study. Or mark your calendar for next January when the Good Book Club starts, and you can join a church-wide reading campaign.
  • Read a book as a companion to your journey. Forward Movement’s Bible Challenge series is perfect for this.
  • Watch videos and learn. The Bible Project offers excellent videos for free.
  • Say the Daily Office or just read the daily lessons of the Episcopal Church. You’ll make your way through a lot of the Bible over a year.


Reading scripture, especially with others, will offer spiritual gifts beyond measure. We are reminded of God’s great love for us, and as we read God’s deeds of old, we also know that God will bless us now and forever.

Blessings on your journey.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn's signature

Scott Gunn
Executive Director

P.S. To get a head start on next January’s Good Book Club reading of Genesis, you can order the newest Bible Challenge book, A Journey with Genesis, at a special pre-publication discount. Learn more here!

More from our ministry:

Pray with the women of the Bible in the expanded second edition of Bible Women

Listen to today’s Daily Office readings on our newest podcast, Scripture Day by Day

Follow the Bible’s narrative journey with The Path

Learn more about a biblical saint in this recent post from Grow Christians

Q&A: Jay Sidebotham, author of Signs of Life

Jay Sidebotham has served as a priest in the Episcopal Church for more than 30 years. He also enjoys creating artwork, including cartoons, reflecting life in the church. Before ordination, he worked in an animation studio that produced Schoolhouse Rock cartoons and then as an art director in several advertising agencies. Some say he is still in advertising.

Jay is also the founder of RenewalWorks, a ministry seeking to make spiritual growth the priority in Episcopal congregations and to build cultures of discipleship in those congregations. His new book, Signs of Life, draws on what Jay has learned in a decade of doing this work. Learn more about Jay and his work in this author Q&A.

How did the idea for this book develop?

After 10 years of work with RenewalWorks, I wanted to share what I had learned in the process. Part of my interest in writing was admittedly to help me clarify key learnings from this work, for my own understanding. I also wanted to share what I had seen churches doing to deepen the spiritual lives of the members of their congregations, in the hopes that those insights could be helpful to folks in a time of anxiety about congregational vitality and church decline.

What is your hope for this book?

My love for the church is deep. My respect for those who lead churches (clergy and lay) has only grown over the last ten years. With that hopeful perspective, I hope that by sharing some of what we’ve learned, we can expand the reach of those learnings. While I would love for every church in Christendom to take on the RenewalWorks process, I know that won’t happen. But I believe many of the insights from this work can be helpful to congregations. In this book, I’ve gathered some core principles in one accessible place, so that congregations (and their leaders, lay and clergy) can consider these principles, and perhaps apply them. All of it has as its goal the deepening of a sense of discipleship, as we seek to follow Jesus and be part of his movement in the world.

You’re well known in the Episcopal world for your prolific cartoons, found on the “Slow down. Quiet.” calendars and elsewhere. How is your creative process different for writing and visual art?

The novelist Walker Percy described modern people as waiting for news. For me, the creative process, written or visual, is about communicating some useful and even transformative news. At the heart of all creative processes, there’s an idea, a message worth getting across. In my own case, I go with the medium that can best get that message across. I can say some things in a cartoon that I couldn’t say otherwise. At other times, a written reflection is a better way to make a point. I enjoy being able to do both.

Where do you typically write?

Anywhere. No place in particular. That’s why God made laptops.

Do you have a favorite prayer?

That’s a bit like asking if I have a favorite child. One of the prayers that has guided me over the years is a prayer that appears in services for Ordination, the Liturgy for Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. It speaks of the church, and God’s commitment to the church:

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were being cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?

Just one more hope for this book, which is that everyone who reads it will see it as a prompt to think about their own spiritual growth. I’m convinced that our congregations will be as spiritually strong and vital as the members of those congregations. My hope then for the church is that every member will explore their own spiritual growth, which we’ve come to understand as growth in love of God and love of neighbor. When that happens, I believe the church will be stronger, living more fully into what God intends, what God is calling us to do and be.

Signs of Life is available on the Forward Movement website. Read a sample or order your copy today.

Forward Today: It’s never too late

Dear friends in Christ,

Photo by Lili Popper on Unsplash

We’re just a week into our annual Lenten journey. I hope yours is a blessing to you.

Perhaps in the chaos of our times, you didn’t quite get started on Lent yet. I’m here to say, “It’s never too late.” The whole Gospel testifies to the fact that with God, it’s never too late. We can always turn to God and be warmly embraced.

So if you are thoroughly enjoying a carefully-thought-out Lenten practice, I am delighted. And if you never quite figured out how you want to observe this Lent, today is a great day to do that.

You might decide to spend some time with the scriptures. Committing to reading one of the Gospels, or maybe some psalms, is a goal you can achieve. Knowing and remembering the stories of God’s great love for us is always a blessing.

Prayer is also a fruitful practice if you don’t already have a daily habit of prayer. It can be as easy as saying a table grace before you eat. Or you could just talk to God and share what’s on your heart in the morning or evening. And, of course, you can also say morning and evening prayer with the Forward Movement prayer website or our free app (for Apple or Android). You don’t get bonus points for longer prayers. What matters most is that we are sincere when we pray.

If these suggestions don’t seem quite right, you could talk with a priest or with a wise friend. I encourage you to use the gift of this Lenten season to prepare with joy for the Paschal feast. We need Lent and Easter more than ever these days.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn's signature

Scott Gunn
Executive Director

More from our ministry:

Listen for God’s invitation with new devotional, A Generous Beckoning

Pray on the go with our portable book of prayers, Hour by Hour

Starting today: Live ChurchNext course on Money and Faith with Miguel Escobar

How’s your bracket looking so far? Play Lent Madness with us

Forward Today: New and contrite hearts

Dear friends in Christ,

Photo by Annika Gordon on Unsplash

A couple of years ago, I was in a group of people who were asked to list their favorite days in the church calendar. I’ll never forget this passionate answer from one of my friends: “My favorite day of the year is Ash Wednesday. It’s the one day a year we are completely honest.”

After getting over my shock that my friend’s favorite day was a solemn fast day, I pondered her answer more. And I realized she’s exactly right. Ash Wednesday is that day every year when we remember that we are utterly dependent on God, that we are broken and need repairing, and that there is joy in repentance. The prayer for today says it perfectly:

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

God hates nothing. Nothing is beyond redemption, and that certainly includes us. All we need to do to clean the slate is start over, trying our best to make amends—to God and to our neighbors.

The center of this prayer is a petition to God to help us get the process of repentance started, “Create and make in us new and contrite hearts…”

It’s a prayer we all need. I know I do. It’s go healthy to remember that it’s not all about ourselves. It’s all about God. And if it’s all about God, then we really want God to work through our lives, in our hearts.

Today, I hope you’ll find your way to a church to hear the Good News that God loves you, that God desires your repentance. You’ll hear that we can’t do it on our own, but God stands ready to help us along the way. You’ll hear all the ways we have messed up, and all the ways we can return to the Lord’s way. You’ll be reminded that this earthly life is short, and God invites us to use this time well.

Blessings to you as we begin anew our journey through the season of Lent, with its solemnity and its joy.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn's signature

Scott Gunn
Executive Director

More from our ministry:

Pray with us through Lent at

Listen for God’s invitations in the new book, A Generous Beckoning

From the Grow Christians archives: Kids and Ash Wednesday

There’s still time to join the ChurchNext Lenten course on Faith and Money

Q&A: Peter Wallace, author of A Generous Beckoning

Peter M. Wallace, an Episcopal priest serving in the Diocese of Atlanta, is the executive producer and host of the Day1 radio/podcast and internet ministry ( Peter is the author of eleven books, including his newest meditative exploration, A Generous Beckoning. Learn more about Peter and his work in this author Q&A.

Where did the idea for this book come from?

I’ve written devotional books on the gospel of John and the Psalms, among others, but the basis for this set of meditations came when I was contemplating God’s invitations. Years ago, one of my mentors, the Rev. Gray Temple Jr., used the phrase “a generous beckoning” in a sermon, referring to God’s welcoming invitation for all. That concept prompted a series of meditations springing from Bible verses in which God—as Father in the Old Testament, as Son in the gospels, and as Holy Spirit in the epistles—used the imperative case, speaking directly with a command, an invitation, a nudge, or an admonition. What I discovered was that the scriptures are full of such invitations, and when I opened myself to them they became immediately relevant, calling for a prayerful and active response.

What is your hope for this book?

I hope readers will spend some time first thinking through the verse I’ve selected for each meditation, listening for what God is saying to them in that moment. And I hope my meditation on the verse will help bring it home for them so that they will wrestle personally with what God is inviting them to be or to do. When I can hear God speaking directly to me through scriptures, will I respond more authentically? Will I hear God inviting me to answer in a way that is meaningful and authentic? I also encourage readers—individually or in their prayer, study, or formation groups—to use the Study Guide for A Generous Beckoning (available at no charge from Forward Movement) and consider prayerfully the questions posed in each section. My prayer is that folks will find this book to be a springboard to robust moments of meditation that will equip them to love and serve the Lord in the world.

Can you share a moment where you experienced God in your daily life?

I try to be open to the Spirit’s nudges throughout the day, and to prepare myself for them so I will be in a place to readily say “yes.” But one encounter with God stands out for me, when I decided to go on a personal retreat for the first time. I share this experience in the book (“A Peaceful Burden,” pp. 252ff, edited here):

I wanted to meet with God to get a fresh sense of direction for my life, so I arranged to stay in a cabin next to a rocky, rolling creek at Camp Mikell, the Episcopal conference center in North Georgia. On the covered porch overlooking a rambunctious creek, sitting in a rocking chair, I cataloged my feelings. I felt frazzled after a long, hard day at work. I was also scared, unsettled—I had gotten lost on the way up in the dark. But now I was starting to feel safe. And a little hopeful. Even though I had no idea what I would do or what would happen, I was just going to play it by ear.

Saturday morning, after a restful night’s sleep, I started with Morning Prayer. In the confession, the phrase “and what we have left undone” struck me. I was feeling as though my life was full of “left undones.” A series of verses came to me as I read the prayer book. As verse tumbled upon verse, I found myself weeping. I remember almost viscerally sensing the embrace of Jesus. My simple notes, hardly able to capture the depth of renewal I felt, read: “Overcome by the love and presence of Jesus! Weeping tears of love and joy—not sadness. Feel accepted and loved and cherished like a friend and lover.”

This experience carried on through the rest of my retreat weekend and helped me begin the hard process of opening my heart and my eyes to God’s wider will for my life—and a painful but ultimately life-giving journey to where I am today.

Where do you typically write?

Anywhere I can! I usually write in my little home office on an iMac, but I also take my laptop to write wherever I can. My spouse and I love to travel, and I always bring my laptop in case the muse strikes. Whether it’s in Brazil or Vietnam or on a cruise ship somewhere in the Caribbean, I enjoy finding a quiet place to write. Pleasant scenery always helps!

What was the most enjoyable part of writing?

Sometimes I’m amazed at what comes out of my head! Even when I feel I have nothing to say about a particular verse or topic, I’m often amazed at what ends up on the laptop screen after some quiet contemplation and careful study of the text. I love the discovery along the way of new thoughts, unexpected insights, surprising ideas. I enjoy capturing all that in early drafts, but I also enjoy wordsmithing and polishing—including the pain of cutting things out that I first thought were so interesting, but in hindsight turned out not to be all that helpful. I hope readers are also caught up in the same spiritual current so they can discover their own captivating insights into God’s Word as they read and meditate.

Do you have a favorite prayer?

When I first wake up, I recite in my head a series of prayers and Bible verses—I’ve found it’s a wonderful way to start the day before getting out of bed…
– “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
– Psalm 23
– “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
– The Hail Mary
– The Lord’s Prayer
– The hymn, “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”
And some others from time to time. But perhaps my favorite and most-used prayer, always at the ready at any moment of the day or night, is The Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” I repeat that often throughout the day and night and am grateful for the healing and strength it can offer. (I write about this in “Request Line” on pp. 325ff.)

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?

I am grateful and honored that Forward Movement is publishing this book. I’ve been enriched spiritually over the years by so many resources FM has published, especially Forward Day by Day, which I started reading when I first became an Episcopalian in 1990, and still read daily (well, there were times I drifted away, but I’m glad I always came back home!). Through my work with the “Day 1” radio and podcast program over the years, I have worked with several church leaders connected with Forward Movement, including the Rev. Scott Gunn, who serves on the Day 1 Advisory Council. On this book it’s been a deep joy to work with Scott and his amazing staff, particularly Richelle Thompson, Jason Merritt, Chris Yaw, and others. I have been blessed in so many ways through the Forward Movement ministry, and I hope readers will also experience that blessing themselves through this new book.

A Generous Beckoning is available on the Forward Movement website. Read a sample or order your copy today.

Q&A: Lindsay Hardin Freeman, author of Bible Women

Women of the Bible have been trapped in dry and dusty literary caskets for centuries—but no more. In a groundbreaking book, author Lindsay Hardin Freeman identifies every woman who speaks in the Bible, providing their words, context, and historical background. This beloved book has recently been expanded to feature new ways to use and study the words and wisdom, updated content for today’s context, and 93 prayers—one for each woman who speaks in the Bible. Learn more about Bible Women’s expanded edition in this author Q&A.

What inspired you to make a 2nd edition of Bible Women?

I’ve had the good fortune to meet with women’s groups across the country since the original book came out: ECW (Episcopal Church Women) meetings, book clubs, students, Zoom meetings, and various Bible study groups. They, and Richelle Thompson, Forward Movement’s executive editor, have inspired me to write this second edition.

I’m amazed at how deeply women will share joys and sorrows in small groups with people they might not have ever met before. We all have mountains to climb and deserts to cross, and it makes such a difference when we don’t do that alone.

Seeing women use the book to get at deep faith issues is huge for me. Being at the intersection of contemporary women and Bible women — seeing the continuing commonalities —is a really inspiring place to be — and the renewed interest in the book shows that Bible women are never outdated.

How does the 2nd edition content differ from the first?

Much has happened on the world scene since the original book came out: the war in Ukraine, more desperation at the Southern border, an increased number of mass shootings, the murder of George Floyd, and political instability at the national and international level.

We’ve added 120 pages, with deeper questions for discussion, revised chapter content to will help readers consider what Bible women might have to offer in light of such events, provided additional suggestions for use, and added a more intentional meditative focus with a prayer for each of the 93 women who speak in the Bible selected from scholars, saints and theologians across the ages. Ninety-three women, so ninety-three prayers.

How has writing the 2nd edition been different from the first?

To add those prayers for each woman’s chapter — a prayer that would make her contributions ring even louder — took another kind of work. My dining room table was covered for months with books and scraps of paper as more ancient voices seemed to ring out. Voices from long ago from people searching for the truth and for God’s presence right alongside Bible women is an amazing experience. It wasn’t easy — there were long, hard and crazy hours, but I’m proud of the way the whole project turned out.

What is your hope for this book?

The Holy Spirit is the one doing the heavy lifting, of course, but my hope is that my words will help deepen the faith of contemporary readers. Writing is my vocation — it’s what I do — and I hope this book will be a bridge between God’s people of the past and God’s people of the present and future.

The first edition of Bible Women has been out in the world for a while now, and I know it has been a hit with readers. Do you have a favorite reader story you’d like to share?

I was leading a retreat on Bible Women in New England, and I there was a woman there who seemed angry with me. I wondered what I had said that caused such a reaction. It turned out that her daughter had died four years earlier, and she had lost her faith. But she was there — sharing her deep sorrow with other women. And she told me that weekend was the first time she’d taken Communion since her daughter died. There was healing, a drawing closer to God because of  sharing with other women at her table, sparked by Bible Women — and I’ll always treasure that.

Do you have a favorite Bible Woman? Or one who is particularly inspiring you right now?

My favorite woman in the Bible has always been Rahab — the prostitute who took Hebrew spies into her home, lied about their presence to the King’s guards, and then helped the emerging nation of Israel cross over into the Promised Land. She was a survivor, and so many of us are. She had to make a decision on a moment’s notice and she did. She looked out for others, and God blessed her.

During this Epiphany season, though, I’m always inspired by Elizabeth, who prayed at the temple in Jerusalem for some eight decades, waiting to see the Messiah. Her wish and prayer were fulfilled and she is a stunning example of how prayer works.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

I am not alone when I do this work. The Spirit is right beside me, cajoling me, guiding me, leading me. Our research team has worked together for twelve years now; we have a chaplain that prays for us and for readers continually. Forward Movement has been incredibly helpful — and most of all, my poet-priest husband Len Freeman is with me each step of the way to make all this possible.

The expanded second edition of Bible Women is available on the Forward Movement website. Read a sample or order your copy today.

Forward Today: Opening up our prayers

Dear friends in Christ,

Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Some time ago, I was convicted by the teaching of Jesus we read in Matthew 5:43-45:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.”

I’ve never really been persecuted in a serious way, and I don’t think of myself as having enemies. But Jesus’ teaching made me reflect on who I was praying for. So I decided to open up my prayer list.

Every day, I say morning and evening prayer. Near the end of the daily office, there is a place to add our own intercessions to the prayers offered in the liturgy. I now pray and give thanks in four categories:

  • Friends
  • Enemies
  • Strangers
  • Thanksgiving


Most of the time, I had found myself praying for friends, for people I know or particularly care about. There’s nothing wrong with that! But I decided to add “enemies” to my prayer list. As I said, I don’t really have declared enemies, but I pray for people I don’t like, people I’m afraid of, and people who might wish me harm. My list includes regular people, politicians, and others.

A few weeks ago, I added “strangers” to my list. These are people I might have met on the street or in a shop, people whose names and stories I don’t really know, but who might need prayers. On cold nights, I pray for people who must sleep outside.

Lastly, over the last few months, I also realized I didn’t have a formal practice of offering thanks to God for the many blessings of this life. So I added this to my prayers. It’s already strengthened my life to remember twice each day all the ways that God has blessed me or blessed others in my sight.

No doubt my prayer list will continue to evolve over time. But I wanted to pass my current practice along, in case it’s helpful in your life of prayer. If you don’t have a daily prayer practice, it’s never too late to start. You can just think of one or more of the categories on my list and pray in the shower, on a walk, on your commute to work, or in a quiet moment of your day.

Let us pray.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn's signature

Scott Gunn
Executive Director

More from our ministry:

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Pray with us every day at

Now with updated prayer material: Expanded edition of Bible Women