The news from Nigeria that makes world headlines is most often about violence being done in the name of Islam, but Ebenezer Obadare’s research brings to light a more positive development in the Muslim/Christian relationship.
Christine Wicker is the author of five nonfiction books and a former columnist and religion reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She was a founding writer for The Dallas Morning News' award-winning religion section, which changed American religion coverage by inspiring newspapers all over the country to increase their coverage of religion. Among her many journalism awards is the national Wilbur Award from the Association of Religion Communicators for a series on international peace efforts by non-governmental organizations. Her books include an expose of evangelical power claims, a spiritual memoir, and a New York Times bestseller about a 130-year-old New York community of spiritualists. She has written extensively for Parade magazine, Huffington Post, and AOL's Politics Daily. She is currently ghost writing a book called No Greatness without Goodness about a father whose autistic son inspired him to revolutionize American management ideas and open thousands of new jobs to people with disabilities. Tyndale Press will publish the book next year.
Posts by Christine Wicker
I became interested in national prayer days after seeing that President Lincoln had called for national fasting, humiliation, and prayer at the beginning of the Civil War.
According to Christian belief, Pentecost is a remembrance of the disciples of Jesus being comforted after his death by a visitation from the Holy Ghost. Professor Birgit Meyer captured my imagination when she characterized the infilling of the Holy Ghost that occurred at that time as “a portable power source.”
People often talk and write about praying in their houses or in the house of God, or at hospitals beds or over meals. But one of the places people pray most and talk about the least is the car.
Associate professor of psychology at Indiana University and NDSP member Kevin Ladd is renowned for his thinking and research on prayer.
The latest addition to Pray for Me, our Psychology Today blog on prayer, references NDSP grantee Elizabeth Drescher’s research on why people who claim no religious affiliation pray. From her research, Drescher gives us the nones’ reason for continuing to pray; I also give three guesses for why prayer might persist even when religious beliefs fall away.
Atheists’ prayers could be cries for help from people who can’t help crying out even though they don’t think anyone hears.
For me the most telling point in the exchange about interdisciplinary dialogue is Charles Hirschkind’s reference to Thomas Kuhn, who by forever smashing our innocent faith in the impartiality of scientific findings, restored other kinds of inquiry to a somewhat more equal footing. Journalistically speaking (which is the only platform I have): Hip hip hooray for Kuhn, he’s a jolly good fellow! He gave us back a thousand colors.
In the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the killing of Trayvon Martin, there has been anger, protests, marches — and everywhere, an outpouring of prayers.
Are those prayers being wielded as an alternative, non-violent weapon? Are they meant to pacify? Just what is it, I wondered, that those responding prayerfully are asking of God?
The New Directions in the Study of Prayer project has broadened my thinking about the forms that prayer can take.
Stephen Colbert’s mother died last week at 92. His tribute to her includes a glimpse of how profoundly meaningful the simplest, most private acts of prayer can be.
The Sunday after tornadoes ravaged Texas, killing six, The Dallas Morning News’ front page, five-column, lead headline read “Faith seeing them through.” Newspapers don’t traditionally banner such affirmations of religion; seeing this newspaper do so caused a tumble of contradictory feelings in me.
For much of my career as a reporter, we journalists simply set our pencils aside whenever a source started talking about religion. Nobody ever said so, but we knew that this kind of talk didn’t belong in the mainstream media. We would cover religion, sure, but only as an event. If the Pope came to town, we’d make a big, reverential fuss. If a tent revival came to town, we’d treat it like a freak show. But if a mother whose child had died told us that Jesus came to comfort her, we did her the favor of not letting the rest of the world know that she was so unhinged as to be talking like that.
My interest in prayer has to do with what prayer can or cannot do. Mine is the quest of the doubter who would believe.
Substituting “good thoughts” for intercessory prayer has become a common practice among friends looking for a way to comfort the sick and bereaved. I recently published a short meditation on the how and why of this new practice, and some thoughts on whether it measures up to the more old-fashioned ways of consolation […]