The woman who changed how I pray….


by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free
Photo, (used with permission), by the amazingly talented Courtney Perry 

Photo, (used with permission), by the amazingly talented Courtney Perry 

Today we celebrate the 80th birthday of a true woman of valor—Phyllis Tickle

So much could be said about the impact this woman has had on American Christianity. From her work as a religion editor at Publishers Weekly, to her expansive writing and lecturing career, to her The Divine Hours series, Phyllis has a remarkable ability to speak wisely and prophetically about the future of Christianity while remaining joyfully rooted in its past.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with Phyllis, and she is truly one of the most encouraging people I’ve ever met, always quick to offer a kind word or compliment, always eager to cheer fellow writers on. 

But when I think about the biggest impact Phyllis has had on my life, it must certainly be through her prayer books. 

The Divine Hours came to me at a time in life when I was wrestling with such unrelenting and severe doubts that I struggled to pray. The discipline of fixed-hour prayer gave me the words I just couldn’t conjure on my own, words that connected me to the ancient, worldwide church. Phyllis’ contemporary breviary was perfect for a newbie like me, and I continue to use The Divine Hours, especially during Lent. 

Phyllis Tickle changed how I pray, and I am so grateful for that. 

So here’s to Phyllis! – a true woman of valor. Happy 80th birthday! We wish  you many more. 

(Note: In honor of her 50 year career, a group of notable Christian figures put together a series of essays in honor of Phyllis, which you can check out here. Also, be sure to check out the rest of Phyllis’ work, especially The Divine Hours, The Great Emergence, and Age of the Spirit.)  

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So, how has the work of Phyllis Tickle impacted you? 

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