Stealing a Blessing

I come to you
like Jacob in the garments of Esau--
that is, in the merits
and precious blood of Jesus Christ.

(a prayer by Thomas Merton, from his book, Dialogues With Silence, p. 113)

Shalom, Shalvah

Abba, please make of my life
shalom (peace)
and shalvah (prosperity),
in Jesus' name, amen.
(drawn from Psalm 122:6-9; photo via

Saturday Psalm 12

Lord, is no one faithful anymore?
Is none loyal? Dependable? Faithful?

Or is it--as it seems--that all are liars
and flatterers
and deceitful, conniving people.

I would pray for you to silence all the above,
if I weren't often guilty, too.

My tongue gets me into trouble.
My lips are far from pure.
I tell myself I'm better than many,
but since when is that the right measurement?
When have I ever profited from defending myself
instead of relying on you to be my righteousness?

Your words, Lord, are flawless,
like silver poured from a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.

You alone can keep me safe
and make me right.
You alone can save me
from the deceit of my own heart.

Father Zosima’s Prayer

Lord, save those whom there is no one to pray for,
save also those who do not want to pray to You.
It is not in my pride that I pray for this, Lord,
for I myself am the greatest of sinners.

(from The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky; photo by tedkerwin via

Prayer on the Trail

The trail always looks different going back
than it did coming on,
and I am on the homeward trail.
No matter how long my trek may take,
let me walk it well,
without losing my way,
without going astray,
and let others who cross my path
be better in some way,
however small,
for having done so, in Jesus' name, amen.

Praise and Hope