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Archives: Spiritual Practices

‘Lord, Teach Us to Pray’ series: Using set-aside space helps focus on prayer

Hear more about sacred spaces and how our senses can be an aid to prayer, drawing us near to God. Read More

...and the disciples asked, ‘Teach us to Pray’

The Rev. Tom Albin, dean of The Upper Room Ministries and ecumenical relations, and the Rev. Kathy Noble, editor of Interpreter, exchanged some basic questions and answers as we ask... Read More

Moving Prayers: Teach Us To Pray

After living in Malawi for two years, Kara Oliver returned home to Nashville, Tenn., and began to incorporate some of the passion and movement she saw in the prayers of... Read More

Practices of the ancients aid modern prayers

A resurgence of ancient prayer practices has United Methodists and others across the United States experiencing traditional spiritual exercises in new ways. Read More

The elements of Holy Communion are laid out against the Mexico side of the border fence between Tijuana and San Diego during a cross-border service at El Faro park in Tijuana, Mexico.

Means of Grace: Fasting and Holy Communion

The means of grace identified by John Wesley continue to play an important role in the daily life of United Methodists seeking to grow nearer to God and neighbor. Read More

Means of Grace: Offering mercy, receiving grace

John Wesley preached works of mercy as one of the means of grace — ways in which people served and those serving experience the grace of God. Read More

Means of Grace: Christian conferencing

As people of God, United Methodists are called to participate in Christian conference — one of John Wesley's means of grace. Read More

Author and speaker Brian McLaren is a 2017 guest on Get Your Spirit in Shape podcast. Photo courtesy Brian McLaren.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Way of Life

In this podcast episode, author Brian McLaren chats about the Christian way of life, the method of United Methodism, and ways to live and love as Jesus teaches. Listen

Youth of Centenary United Methodist Church in Los Angeles serve a meal during their annual

Easy ways to share gratitude this Thanksgiving

Find creative ideas to make this season of thanks more about giving than receiving. Read More

Superintendent Wilfried Nausner (right) with Mr. Rigels Kasmollari, Executive Director of the Foundation Diakonie Metodiste in Albania. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Wilfriend Nausner.

Better Together: Why church membership matters

Joining a congregation is not about what we receive. It is a commitment to a local community and a global body of believers. Read More

Trail chaplain: “We are all hiking the same path”

United Methodist chaplain Matt Hall meets many along the Appalachian Trail, all connected by their common journeys to deepen their own faith. Read More

Ye Win (Nelson Lee, left) instructs Rev. Michael Spurlock (John Corbett) where to plant each of the crops to be grown in the fields at All Saints church, in the new movie ALL SAINTS. Photo courtesy of AFFIRM Films and Provident Films.

Faith, respect for refugees at heart of “ALL SAINTS”

A film about a struggling congregation shows the many ways welcoming and helping refugees can change a church. Read More

When we listen to a sermon, there are things we can do to hear God speaking to us. Photo by Ben White, courtesy ChristianPics.co.

Listen up, members: How to hear a sermon for all it’s worth

What is God speaking to us from the pulpit? A United Methodist pastor tells us how to be active listeners and get the most impact from a sermon. Read More

Remember your baptism and be thankful. File photo by John C. Goodwin, United Methodist News Service.

5 ways to remember your baptism

In baptism, United Methodists vow to live as followers of Jesus. Find some easy ways to remind yourself of that commitment each day. Read More

Living together well

Living together well is hard, but possible

"No one... has all of the answers. We discover truth in community, in the dynamic exchange that is authentic relationships." Read More

Since 1949, the West Des Moines United Methodist Church food stand continues to serve a full food menu to state fair attendees. Photo courtesy of the West Des Moines United Methodist Church.

Iowa church still serves State Fair food

Since 1949, the West Des Moines United Methodist Church food stand continues to serve a full food menu to state fair attendees. Read More

Privilegium Gospel from Finnsnes Metodistkirke in Finnsnes, Norway, inspires their audience with a rendition of Todd Dulaney’s “Greater” during a recent concert tour. Photo by Arne Ivar Hanssen, used with permission.

Traveling United Methodist youth choirs sing the Good News

Tours of church music groups offer more than new scenery. They create both teaching moments for the chaperones and lifelong memories for the choir members. Read More

When we become better stewards of God's gift of water, we help assure that everyone has access to this precious natural resource.

A Christian calling: Save water, save lives

United Methodist advocates share eight easy ways you can become a better steward of water and care for Creation. Read More

World Communion Sunday is celebrated by United Methodists and others all across the globe. Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist Communications.

World Communion Sunday: A celebration of unity and service

This weekend United Methodists in churches around the world will take part in a special Sunday. Here's what you need to know to be ready. More

Holding resentment stops us from moving toward healing. Photo illustration by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

The secret to forgiveness: Focus within

Letting go of resentment can be difficult. A United Methodist counselor offers tips to help us move away from holding a grudge and into forgiveness. Read More

The Rev. Adam Weber is lead pastor of Embrace United Methodist Church. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Adam Weber.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Talking with God through Prayer

Do you struggle with prayer? Ever wonder if you’re doing it ‘right’? A United Methodist pastor and author offers tips and thoughts to improve your prayer life. Listen

We can pray anywhere, but some spots are special. Photo illustration by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

We can pray anywhere. Where’s your favorite place?

United Methodists share favorite places to talk with God—at home, in nature, while driving, and more—inspiring us to find our own special spot. Read More

Get your spirit in shape with UMC.org podcasts! Artwork courtesy of United Methodist Communications.

Get Your Spirit in Shape podcast

United Methodist podcast offers tools, tips and thoughts to help us live our faith more fully. Listen to individual episodes or subscribe. More

The choirs of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis sing during a Sunday service. Photo courtesy of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church.

Choir members enjoy health, spiritual benefits

Singing in church creates better worship, a greater sense of community, and improves health, say United Methodist music ministers. Read More

United Methodist Publishing House recommends some great books to read this summer. Photo via Pixabay.com, CC0, public domain.

10 books to feed your faith: Great reads for United Methodists

Summer often offers us more time to relax and read. These enjoyable titles—fiction, inspiration, Bible study, devotion and more—also feed your spirit. Read More

John Wesley, a founder of The United Methodist Church, had a special Holy Spirit moment. Photo by Joe Iovino, United Methodist Communications.

Holy Spirit moments: Learning from Wesley at Aldersgate

On Pentecost, Charles Wesley felt a ‘strange palpitation’ of heart. John’s was ‘strangely warmed’ three days later. We too can prepare to hear God speak. Read More

Celebrating Pentecost with your family can be a spiritually fulfilling and great learning experience. Photo from pixabay.com, CC0.

Ideas for celebrating Pentecost at home

From red candles on a cake, to a shared prayer, there are many ways United Methodists can mark the church's birthday with family devotionals. Read More

Sign up for United Methodist Now!

Get a free e-newsletter with examples of Christian living, inspirational messages, and a focus on what it means to be part of our connection. Sign Up Now

Candles are lit at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Oxford, England.

A prayer in memory of John Wesley

On the anniversary of his death on March 2, John Wesley is remembered by United Methodists with a special prayer. Read More

Artist's drawing shows sinners seeking repentance at an early Methodist camp meeting. Image in the public domain.

Methodist History: The Mourner’s Bench

Historians say a piece of plain, rustic furniture in early Methodist churches was actually a sacred place of transformation. View

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky gives ashes to a visitor to the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site as part of an act of repentance. File photo by Ginny Underwood.

10 ideas for a more meaningful Ash Wednesday

With a little creativity, you can find ways to observe this holy day that begins Lent in the midst of your ordinary weekday routines. Read More

The Holy Women at the Sepulchre by Peter Paul Rubens currently hangs in the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, Calif. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Women’s edition of Bible offers new light

An eighty-member, all-female team, including United Methodists, provided editing, commentary on new edition that emphasizes women and social issues in Scripture. Read More

A Christmas song teaches that peace comes when we live for Jesus. Image by Kathryn Price, United Methodist Communications.

“Peace upon earth be restored!” A Christmas hymn devotion

A lesser-known Charles Wesley song teaches us the peace we desire in a world of division is experienced only when we allow Christmas to happen within us. Read More

Mike McHargue is the author of ‘Finding God in the Waves,’ and host of podcasts, ‘Ask Science Mike’ and ‘The Liturgists Podcast.’ Photos courtesy of Mike McHargue.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: How Science Led from Atheism to Faith

“There’s always more to learn about God.” Author and podcaster Mike McHargue shares his journey from belief to atheism, then back to a question-welcoming faith. Listen

Author and professor Paul Chilcote has written a devotional using the Advent and Christmas hymns of Charles Wesley. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Singing our Faith at Christmas

We celebrate Christmas with singing. In this podcast episode, we look at Wesley’s hymns for the season with United Methodist scholar Paul Chilcote. Listen

The Rev. Ken Sloane invites us to see generosity as an opportunity for joy. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Generosity is Good for the Soul

In this podcast episode, we talk about generosity as a way to experience joy through blessing another and connecting with God. Listen

Many wear a sticker to indicate they have voted. Voting is a way Christians can give a voice to their beliefs in government. Photo illustration by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Prayer for After Election Day

Now that the ballots in the U.S. presidential election have been counted, here's a prayer from the United Methodist Book of Worship to reflect upon and pray. Read More

The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs by Fra Angelico (15th Century), National Gallery, London. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

All Saints Day: A holy day John Wesley loved

The day after Halloween was a time encouraged by Wesley for Methodists to remember and give thanks for saints gone to glory and those still living. Read More

“The World is My Parish” is inscribed at the base of a statue of John Wesley located in the courtyard outside Wesley's Chapel and John Wesley's house at 49 City Road in London. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

The method of United Methodism: Disciple making yesterday and today

This 3-part series explores The United Methodist Church’s historic process for making disciples of Jesus Christ, which continues today. Read More

Shirley Bachelder, 95, shares in an episode of our podcast how she stays in constant communication with God. Photo by Fran Walsh, United Methodist Communications.

Get Your Spirit in Shape: Life lessons from a 95-year-old United Methodist

Shirley Bachelder shares thoughts about faith, friendship, prayer, gratitude, and love. Her wisdom will encourage and inspire you. Listen