Helpless Without You

copyright Bob Hostetler

Lord, I am helpless without you. I am powerless without you. I am wholly, thoroughly inadequate without you. I am empty, weak, ineffectual without you.

But in you, abiding in you, I am more than a conqueror. In you, I can move mountains. In you, I can scale a wall, overthrow kingdoms, shut the mouths of lions, rout you, abiding in you and walking in your Spirit, I can do all things through Christ, who is my strength. Amen.

Creator Praise

Bob Hostetler

Praise to you, Most Holy, Most High; praise and glory to your name.

I praise you for bestowing life on your Creation; for granting reason to humankind, for making us a little lower than you, higher than the animals, for bestowing on us your likeness.

Thank you and praise to you for creating us as volitional creatures, though by that volition we fell.

Thank you for creating us as sensate beings, though in our sinfulness we serve our senses and sensation more than you.

I praise you for making us rational creatures, though our thoughts and imaginings are clouded by sin.

I praise you that you made us feeling, emotional beings, though we do not love you as we ought.

In all your works you are good and great, most excellent and most worthy of praise, which I offer you imperfectly, incompletely, but sincerely, in Jesus' name, amen.

Thanks for Prevenient Grace

Bob Hostetler

Thank you, Lord, for your prevenient grace. You are always previous, always before, always ahead. "Christ is risen, and he has gone before" me. Thank you for drawing me, not once, but ever. Thank you for suffering me again to come to you. Thank you for the grace to thank you, in Jesus' name, amen.

St. Patrick's Breastplate for My Children

Bob Hostetler

I bind to my children today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
Invoking the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

I plead for my children forever
The power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spiced tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I plead all for them today.

I invoke for my children the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.

I ask for them today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun’s lifegiving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.

I beseech for them today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to their need.
The wisdom of their God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give them speech,
His heavenly host to be their guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar their course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I ask, in Jesus’ name, these powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect them, Christ, till your returning.

Christ be with them, Christ within them,
Christ behind them, Christ before them,
Christ beside them, Christ to win them,
Christ to comfort and restore them.
Christ beneath them, Christ above them,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love them,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I ask all this in the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord. Amen.

Resigned, Annihilated, and Detached

Bob Hostetler

St. John of the Cross said, "Who shall prevent God from doing that which he wills in the soul that is resigned, annihilated, and detached?" Make that true of me, Lord. Remove all impediments to your will in my heart, mind, and soul...though it slay me. Amen.

A Prayer of Thomas Aquinas for My Children

Bob Hostetler

Grant to my children your grace, most merciful Jesus, that it may be with them and in them now and to the end of their lives. Grant that they may always desire and will those things that are most acceptable and most dear to you. Let your will be theirs, and let their will ever follow yours and agree perfectly with it. Let their willing and not-willing be in complete unison with your will, and let them not be able to will anything but what you will, nor will not what you will not, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(Based on a prayer by Thomas Aquinas)

My Psalm 1

Bob Hostetler

Oh, Lord God, grant me the joys of those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with scoffers.

Let me delight in doing everything you want;
help me think about your law day and night.

Help me become like a tree planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season without fail.
Let my leaf—my spiritual vitality—never wither,
and in all I do, let me know the prosperity that comes from you.

Deliver me, Lord, from the fate of the wicked.
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.

For I know that you, O LORD, watch over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

Let me walk the path of the godly, Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for Sunday

Bob Hostetler

Lord, let your people worship you truly today.

Quicken our conscience with your holiness.
Purge our imaginations with your beauty.
Open our hearts to your love.
And help us fully devote our wills to your purpose, in Jesus' name, amen.

(Based on a stanza by Dr. William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury).