The Rev. Benjamin Pratt

Denomination: United Methodist Church (UMC)

Dr. Pratt is a retired United Methodist pastor and pastoral counselor.  He was the founding pastor of a congregation that remains, after 48 years, one of the most racially integrated of the Virginia Annual Conference.  Then, for thirty years he was a pastoral counselor on Capitol Hill and in the City of Fairfax. 

For six of the nine years of his retirement, Benjamin has been a caregiver for his wife Judith.  Among the many positives of that relationship, Benjamin has written a book of spiritual practices and disciplines in A GUIDE FOR CAREGIVERS, Keeping Your Spirit Healthy When Your Caregiver Duties and Responsibilities Are Dragging you Down. This is his second book published by ReadTheSpirit.com in three years. His first book is a moral inventory and Bible study with James Bond, Ian Fleming's Seven Deadlier Sins & oo7's Moral Compass.

Benjamin and Judith reside in Fairfax, Virginia. Benjamin says, "Personally, I am a Christian, an avid reader, a bicyclist, a suburban gardener, and a fine woodworker. My drinks: shaken not stirred.  I have good friends, and we nurture each other well.  I am a dedicated family man who takes great delight in his children and grandchildren.  Judith and I are in our forty-ninth year of marriage."

 

Articles by The Rev. Benjamin Pratt

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AIGLATSON

Friday March 23, 2012
Day1.org's newest Key Voice blogger, author and minister Dr. Benjamin Pratt, offers an inspiring post on being pulled into God's future.

Baseball and Grace

Friday March 23, 2012
On our yearning to be special and equal, and what Jesus might say about it.

Letters of Faith

Friday March 23, 2012
The value of personal letters for ourselves and our tradition.

Bread and Hunger Games

Friday March 23, 2012
Posing moral questions for our searching souls.

The Brass Communion Rail

Friday March 23, 2012
A prayer for pastoral presence in unexpected places.

James Bond: Shake up your Church's Bible Studies

Friday March 23, 2012
James a bondservant (James 1:1) and Ian Fleming's Seven Deadlier Sins

Open Outcry

Friday March 23, 2012
A call to Compassion by hearing the Open Outcry of the poor.

Adam, God's Beloved

Friday March 23, 2012
A review of Henri Nouwen's last book, recently republished in paperback by Oris.

Welcoming Spirits of A Christmas Carol: And the Grace that Flows around Them

Friday March 23, 2012
Finding Grace with Ghosts of Dickens' Christmas Carol

Prayer for Light in Dark Times of Accidie

Friday March 23, 2012
A prayer to restore spiritual energy to our depleted souls.

Facing Our Biggest Fear: Come Rewrite the Calendar with Me!

Friday March 23, 2012
An invitation to rewrite our calendar to sustain a healthy spirit and prevail while conducting our duties and responsibilities as caregivers.

Peacemakers' Prayer: Angel in the Dump

Friday March 23, 2012
God confronts us in the most unexpected places--even the City Dump.

A LOVE STORY

Friday March 23, 2012
Deep calls unto deep in the love between grandfather and grandson.

Rituals and Practices

Friday March 23, 2012
Rituals and practices provide rhythm, familiarity and balance in our chaotic and ritual-starved lives.

Surprised and Blessed

Friday March 23, 2012
This is the third weekly Lenten meditation. The focus is the surprise and blessing of presence.

Intimate Legacy

Friday March 23, 2012
You can sense it in the wood--imperfection and grace.

Open Outcry by Jesus and Amos on Sequestration

Friday March 23, 2012
A paraphrase of the angry outcry of Jesus and Amos for our sequestration deadlocked times.

In Death...Is Life

Friday March 23, 2012
Even the natural world reveals that something dies for us to live.

Intimate Departures: 'Look into it.' And 'Wonder'

Friday March 23, 2012
Sixth Lenten Meditation is about walking a little farther with our loved ones on the road to eternity.

Intimate Lenten Journey 7: Sacred Doors into Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays

Friday March 23, 2012
Prayer Images for the three most significant days of our Christian Year.

Post Easter, Jesus Waits...with breakfast

Friday March 23, 2012
A breakfast cooked over charcoal by Jesus in Cuba

No Suggestions Please; Just Read

Friday March 23, 2012
Standing with faithful presence along side our beloved who is in pain.

Hello. Goodbye.

Friday March 23, 2012
Sharing compassion in each hello and goodbye.

A Quiet Heart

Friday March 23, 2012
In the exceptional busyness of life, an amazing interruption pushed me toward a quieter heart.

Open Outcry: How sharing ideas inspires people nationwide

Friday March 23, 2012
How an idea from a column last year turned into an inspiring sermon by the Rev. Henry Brinton and is moving virally across the Internet. You can help share these ideas.

Calling for help in a panic?

Friday March 23, 2012
Caregiving expert the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Pratt writes about the tempting feeling when people regard us as super heroes ... and how life often intervenes.

Love Is What You Go Through With Someone

Friday March 23, 2012
Fifty-four years ago, I met Judith. As a very shy teenager who had dated very little, I remember our first encounter. An electric jolt went through my body and stunned me to silence. I translated the jolt as a confirmation that I had met the girl of my dreams.

Interactive Humor: The Broom

Friday March 23, 2012
_ **P** opular author and columnist Benjamin Pratt wants you to have some  **fun**! His recent [column about 50 years of marriage](http://www.readthespirit.com/explore/benjamin-pratt-a-blessing-for-your-marriage-and-how-we-made-it-50-years/) has been read by countless men and women around the world. Once again, Benjamin took your wisdom back to his keyboard-and now he invites you to share a new column far and wide. **And, this time, there's a prize! ** _

Interactive Humor: The Broom, Part 2

Friday March 23, 2012
In an earlier column, we challenged readers to-well, _ **to laugh** _! Out loud. Tell jokes. Seriously, as a pastoral counselor, I have recommended laughter many times.

Humbly holding kernels of Gratitude & Awe

Friday March 23, 2012
This is a Day1 Key Voice article by The Rev. Benjamin Pratt.

A Death Observed

Friday March 23, 2012
When my father died, I gave myself the straight-forward advice that I had shared with others who had lost someone close throughout my long career in pastoral counseling: 'Every emotion, idea and action in your life over the next six months pivots on your father's dying. Don't make any major decisions, plans or changes for the next year. Pay careful and cautious attention. Be tender and gentle with yourself.' It was not long until I forgot my own advice.

Foot Washing: As a wedding ritual?

Friday March 23, 2012
After a long career in ministry, I was astounded when I first heard the idea. A friend said, I attended a wedding recently and for the first time witnessed a mutual foot washing by the bride and groom. Have you ever seen that?  

Holocaust Remembrance: A pilgrimage to Dachau

Friday March 23, 2012
Rev. Benjamin Pratt writes a poem about his visit to the Nazi Concentration camp Dachau, entitled 'What Color is Dachau?'

'Nebraska'...Where Wishes (Could) Come True

Friday March 23, 2012
Dr. Benjamin Pratt writes about the movie 'Nebraska', and reflects on the many lessons parents and caregivers can take from this movie.

Clearing Boulders: In Our Culture, Forgiveness is a Surprising Ending

Friday March 23, 2012
Rev. Benjamin Pratt shares a (literally) moving story

Simple Gratitude for Simple Gifts

Friday March 23, 2012
Dr. Benjamin Pratt shares a free-verse poem, capturing the happiness we find in helping others.

Did I Say Anything About Anger?

Friday March 23, 2012
Benjamin Pratt shares one caregiver's story and explores the idea and importance of forgiveness.

Your Body Wont Lie. Your Mind Will.

Friday March 23, 2012
Dr. Ben Pratt writes about the importance of listening to your body and its necessity to rest.

Celebrating the Courage of Simeon Booker

Friday March 23, 2012
Ben Pratt writes about the work of peacemaker Simeon Booker.

The Cry of the Disabled Caregiver: "I'm Not A Good Patient!"

Friday March 23, 2012
Author Benjamin Pratt writes about his difficulties adjusting from caregiver to patient in this week's column.

Changing the Tune at the 'Organ Recital'

Friday March 23, 2012
Author Benjamin Pratt writes about how to change the tune when an 'organ recital' becomes to melancholy.

Why Caregiving is Fuel for 'Church Growth'

Friday March 23, 2012
Author Benjamin Pratt is joined by Read the Spirit Editor David Crumm and contributor Martin Davis to explain how an active caregiving program is fuel for 'church growth'.

Lou Gehrig: The Stricken Hero was 'The Luckiest Man...'

Friday March 23, 2012
Author Benjamin Pratt writes about Lou Gehrig, the luckiest man alive.

What Do Strong, Balanced Relationships Look Like?

Friday March 23, 2012
Author Benjamin Pratt reflects on a recent interview with Naomi Schaefer Riley published at Read the Spirit magazine, then shares a photograph and poem, which he encourages readers to pass along.

A Mother's Plea

Friday March 23, 2012
Ben Pratt returns with an honest tale of a mother's plea.

I Will Light a Candle For You

Friday March 23, 2012
Ben Pratt shares a new story about a special kind of gift.

Wake up! ”˜How far the unknown transcends’

Friday March 23, 2012
Author Benjamin Pratt is back with a simple story of surgery, happiness and...an angel?

Touch Has a Memory

Friday March 23, 2012
Author Ben Pratt shares three short passages that make us think about the many ways "touch has a memory."

Establish the Work of Our Hands

Friday March 23, 2012
Benjamin Pratt shares a beautiful, touching poem about seeing his father in his own two hands. Be sure to look out for Ben's new book, Short Stuff from a Tall Guy, coming out Feb. 23, 2015!

What stories make a difference?'The Two of Us'

Friday March 23, 2012
Ben Pratt shares a prose poem he wrote recently and encourages readers to take a stab at what classic novel it is based on. If you get it right, you might win a signed copy of his latest book "Short Stuff From a Tall Guy."

What stories make a difference? 'Bambi, a Life in the Forest'

Friday March 23, 2012
Ben Pratt reveals the piece of literature that inspired his recent prose poem, then issues a new challenge.

Frederick Buechner and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Friday March 23, 2012
Ben Pratt shares a story of Buechner and Oz

Do you speak Motherese? Could we learn Parentese?

Friday March 23, 2012
Author Ben Pratt writes about the sacred (new) language between parent and newborn.

Do you see the world bathed in purple?

Friday March 23, 2012
This spring, Ben Pratt walks out into the purple to find hope and joy, to rejuvenate his soul after a long, grey winter.

Have You Established a Memorial? A Sacred Place in your Heart?

Friday March 23, 2012
Ben Pratt remembers the losses we have experiences this Memorial Day.

Ben Pratt: Marriage Stories for a New Day

Friday March 23, 2012
Dr. Benjamin Pratt is a retired pastoral counselor and author of the new book Short Stuff from a Tall Guy. He writes often about the complex values surrounding marriage””and now, as he shares several of his own stories, he is inviting our readers to share as well.

Benjamin Pratt: Depth of a Salesman

Friday March 23, 2012
Benjamin Pratt is a veteran counselor, scholar, teacher and author, but first and foremost he is a storyteller who recognizes the power of story to convey deeper truths about the values that matter most to us.

Benjamin Pratt: Why do we gather together?

Friday March 23, 2012
Why do we gather together? One basic reason: We need to be fed. And while that is a spiritual metaphor for millions of us, Ben Pratt reminds us at the start of Lent that our quest for sustenance this year should move us to remember the countless families for whom that is a literal need.

Benjamin Pratt: Generation to Generation--Pitching Baseballs and Values

Friday March 23, 2012
“PLAY BALL!” The clarion call proclaims spring in sand lots, city streets, country roads, mega-stadiums and, of course, back yards.

Benjamin Pratt: Honoring My Father… Just as He Was

Friday March 23, 2012
I am exactly the same age my father was when he died in 1985. There is something quite poignant and sobering about facing this life marker. I suspect it is reason enough to explain my recent pondering of life with my father””the sweet and bitter, the tough and tender, the proud and shameful.

Benjamin Pratt shares: The Holy Fool, A Parable

Friday March 23, 2012
'An Anxious America.' That was the front-page headline the New York Times, reporting on the relentless stream of violent tragedies this summer. Readers who are older may recall the agonizing summers of the late 1960s. Even as we mourn and worry, millions of us turn to the deep resources of faith. Author and pastoral counselor Benjamin Pratt offers a parable about a timeless religious image.

Benjamin Pratt: Review: Adam Henig’s ”˜Under One Roof’ will inspire you, too

Friday March 23, 2012
Integration came slowly to America’s favorite sport, even though it went well among players on the field. Ben Pratt reviews Adam Henig’s ”˜Under One Roof’.

Benjamin Pratt: World Series spiritual recap: Did you watch the faces?

Friday March 23, 2012
Did you watch the faces? One minute somber; the next radiating joy and excitement. Hands cupped, spired upward over mouth and nose, eyes fixed in reverent gaze, lips mouthing hope. Faith is reflected in eyes and faces that light up with joy””and then contrast with a somber, disgruntled doubtful stare.

Benjamin Pratt: Martin Luther 2017: 500 Years of Reformation

Friday March 23, 2012
To kick off this historic year, we invite author and columnist Benjamin Pratt to stir our reflections on the Reformation by describing his own recent visit to Luther’s home...

Benjamin Pratt: The Workbench

Friday March 23, 2012
At this remarkable milestone in world history””500 years from the start of the Reformation and 200 years from Thoreau’s birth””we invited popular author and columnist Benjamin Pratt to reflect on the challenges of his own life’s work as a pastor, counselor, writer, father, grandfather and talented woodworker.

Benjamin Pratt: Enough! Remembering that Greed Is a Deadly Sin

Friday March 23, 2012
The parable was the main teaching tool of Jesus. A parable is a mirror into which each person is able to see a representation and measure of our soul’s journey in God’s world. The parable was also the main tool used by best-selling novelist Ian Fleming, the creator of the super-agent James Bond 007.

Ben Pratt: How come we can’t talk to each other anymore?

Friday March 23, 2012
Is your heart still broken over the evil that came to Charlottesville, Virginia, one month ago? As I ponder that horrific eruption of hate, the question that troubles my heart is as old as a folk song from the ’60s: Why can’t we talk to each other anymore?

Ben Pratt: In this time of turbulence: How can we learn to talk to each other again?

Friday March 23, 2012
Civility requires courage. In fact, that kind of courage may be the missing ingredient in our anger-drenched era of daily conflict. I was reminded of this truth by an old friend as we compared the conflicts we faced in the 1960s with the conflicts we face today. My friend is 61 now. I’m a good deal older.

Benjamin Pratt on the James Bond Bible Study: ”˜Do you have the courage to open your eyes?’

Friday March 23, 2012
“Do you have the courage to open your eyes to the many guises of evil in our times?” That’s a line from a reviewer’s recommendation of my book, Ian Fleming’s Seven Deadlier Sins and 007’s Moral Compass, which was published 10 years ago this autumn.