My friend Larry was both a minister and a
professor of sociology for 50 years. It was only
after he retired from both that he discovered that
he has the soul of an artist and that his inner
child likes very much to create stained glass art.
Weekly, we have dinner and then we each work on
stained glass art projects. We talk at length about
life, religion, the Bible, and God.
Larry, over the years, has written a number of what
he refers to as Simple Prayers. They are beautiful.
I think of them as prayers Garrison
Keillor would have written if he were an
Here is what Larry wrote as an introduction to his
I am not a person who is particularly
attracted to prayers uttered in public places. I am
often called upon to offer public prayers and I do
so when I am asked to. However, the temptation to
perform and pontificate in public places is very
great. It is not easy to be honest and vulnerable in
our public praying. One would think that it would be
much easier to be honest with God in our private
moments. But it isn’t. Our need to try to impress
the Almighty seems to know no boundaries… even in
The purpose of these simple prayers is to help us
talk to God in the way true friends try to speak to
one another. True friends speak to one another about
the full range of their human concerns and feelings
without trying to either impress the other or be
less than truthful in what they have to say. Praying
to God should be our highest form of truth-telling.
It is my hope that the prayers I have chosen to
share with you will encourage you to be open and
transparent before God and to speak the truth when
– Laurence C. Keene
is honored to have Larry’s writing grace these first
issues of 2007.