The Refreshment of Prayer

Lord, what a change within us one short hour
Spent in Thy presence will prevail to make;
What heavy burdens from our bosoms take,
What parched fields refresh as with a shower.

We kneel, and all around us seems to lower;
We rise, and all, the distant and the near,
Stands forth in sunny outline, brave and clear;
We kneel how weak; we rise how full of power!

Why should we ever weak or heartless be,
Why are we ever overborne with care,
Anxious or troubled, when with us is prayer,
And joy, and strength, and courage are with Thee?

(a prayer of Richard Trent, by way of Leonard Sweet's Facebook page; image via

For Family Feasts

On the Journey of the Cross

O Lord Jesus . . . I have received the cross from your hands,
I have carried it, even as you have laid it upon me,
and I will continue to carry it until I die.
Truly the life of a devoted servant is the cross, but it leads to paradise.
I have begun the journey of the cross.
May I not turn back nor leave it.

(a prayer from The Imitation of Christ: Classic Devotions in Today's Language by Thomas à Kempis, compiled and edited by James N. Watkins)

On Thanksgiving

Our Father in Heaven,

If ever we had a cause to offer unto Thee our fervent thanks, surely it is now, on the Eve of our Thanksgiving Day, when we, the people of this Nation, are comfortable, well fed, well clad, and blessed with good things beyond our deserving. May gratitude, the rarest of all virtues, be the spirit of our observance.

Let not feasting, football, and festivity end in forgetfulness of God. May the desperate need of the rest of the world, and our own glorious heritage, remind us of the God who led our Fathers every step of the way by which they advanced to the character of an independent nation.

May the faith and conviction of George Washington be renewed in us as we remember his words:
...there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exits in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained...
For if we do not have the grace to thank Thee for all that we have and enjoy, how can we have the effrontery to seek Thy further blessings? God, give us grateful hearts.

For Jesus' sake.


(a prayer from the Senate of the United States, November 26, 1947, by Rev. Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain)

A Pre-Thanksgiving Day Prayer

For you, who fed the hungry,
May we so break our bread
In constant, costly giving
That others may be fed. Amen.

(by Lillian Cox)