May We So Break Our Bread

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; photo via freeimages.com)

Disturb Us

Disturb us, Lord,
when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
when our dreams have come true
because we have dreamed too little,
when we arrived safely
because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord,
when with the abundance of things we possess
we have lost our thirst for the waters of life;
having fallen in love with life,
we have ceased to dream of eternity,
and in our efforts to build a new earth,
we have allowed our vision
of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord,
to dare more boldly,
to venture on wider seas
where storms will show your mastery;
where losing sight of land,
we shall find the stars.

We ask You to push back
the horizons of our hopes;
and to push into the future
in strength, courage, hope, and love.

(attributed to Sir Francis Drake)

For the Beauty of the Earth

Saturday Psalm #35

Lord, battle those who oppose me.
Fight those who fight me.
Pick up your shield and armor.
Rise up and help me.
Lift up your spears, your holy arsenal,
against those who would hurt me.
Say to me, "I’ve got this.”

Whatever forces array against me,
disgrace them.
Whatever powers seek my harm,
turn them to retreat.
With your mighty breath,
blow them away.
Scatter them so completely
that they will never threaten me again.
Discover and destroy ever booby trap
they set for me.
Ruin them utterly,
cut off their retreat,
let them not survive to fight another day.
And I will rejoice in you, Lord;
I will dance with joy because of your salvation.
My heart and soul will cry out,
"Lord, who is like you?
You save the weak from the strong,
the small from the powerful."

I know there are still those who say unkind things about me.
I know there are those who think they know what I am like.
They believe what others say without giving me a chance at defending myself.
I know, and it makes me sad.
I can’t control them, Lord, but by your grace, I can be who you call me to be;
when they are in trouble, I will help however I can;
when they call, I will answer.
I will pray for them to be blessed,
and will seek their good as if they were my own flesh.
Sure, I would like it if they would stop talking about me,
judging me,
insulting me.
I would like it if they stopped avoiding me
and treating me like a leper.

But, Lord, I long ago abandoned my cause to you.
I still trust you to save me,
and leave my reputation in your sovereign hand.
Whatever others may do,
I will praise you in public,
I will speak your praise among crowds of people.
If others laugh at me,
or hate me for no reason,
or judge me unfairly
or repeat gossip about me,
and assume they know me,
and think, "We know all about what you did!"
I know you are watching,
and you will not leave me defenseless.

Arise, Lord, and be my champion.
My Lord and my God, do all my fighting for me!
Defend me with your justice.
Protect me with your righteousness.
Don’t let your blessings on me
or your victory on my behalf
ever be defamed or diminished.
Let them be ashamed and embarrassed,
who would be happy to see me hurt.
Show them the shame and disgrace
of their own imaginations.
But let my faithful friends sing and shout for joy.
Let them praise your greatness,
you who love to see your servants do well.
By your grace, in your strength,
I will tell of your goodness
and will praise you every day, in Jesus’ name, amen.

That They May Learn Perseverance

My prayer today for my kids and my grandkids, from the "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids" app for iPhone and iPad.

In Your Awesome Serenity

Lord, I praise you for your immutability.
You never lose anything of who you are.
You never suffer a diminution of yourself,
your abilities,
or your plans.
You are never caught off guard,
you never have to reassess
or revise
or retreat from
your good plans. 
Help me, Lord, to rest in your awesome serenity,
in your ability to bring good--even best--out of evil,
and in your ability to keep that which I have committed to you
against that day when Jesus returns, in Jesus' name, amen.

Careful to Watch

You, O Lord, have called us to watch and pray.
Therefore, whatever may be the sin against which we pray,
make us careful to watch against it,
and so have reason to expect that our prayers will be answered.
In order to perform this duty aright,
grant us grace to preserve a sober, equal temper,
and sincerity to pray for your assistance. Amen.

(a prayer of Susanna Wesley)