Eyesight

Lord God, as I prepare for surgery
to fix a retinal tear,
I thank you for
my eyesight these past 49 years,
and for all the beauty I've experienced with it.
Thank you, too, for Dr. Adam's willingness to see me,
for his expertise,
for the great trust I have in him,
and for his quickness at responding.
Be with me in the surgery today,
grant success,
and work healing in me
through and in addition to
the doctor's efforts,
in Jesus' name, amen.

My Eye

Lord God, whatever is up with my eye,
please help,
please heal,
please.
Amen.

My Psalm 60

You have humbled me, O God, and you have broken me;
you have let me suffer,
now please restore me!
I’ve felt the ground quake beneath me
and open up as if to swallow me;
now please close its fissures and end its shaking.
You have shown your people desperate times,
confusing times like a drunken jag.
But sober us, Lord;
raise a banner
of victory to be displayed for your glory.
Save us and help us with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.

You have spoken from your sanctuary:
you have granted a good land to your people,
and a gracious plenty.
You have marshaled a wonderful company,
and brought us together for your purposes.
Now bring us into your land,
lead us to possess the promise.
Refine us completely as you wish,
give us aid against the enemy,
for the help of man is worthless.
With you and you alone we will gain the victory,
and you will trample down our enemies.

Pride


Oh, Lord, there is so much pride.
So much pride.
It is poison.
It is evil.
It makes me sick.
Save, Lord,
save me from pride,
in me and in others,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Be Born Again

(A prayer by Frederick Buechner, in Listening to Your Life, p. 341)

Thou Son of the Most High, Prince of Peace, be born again into our world. Wherever there is war in this world, wherever there is pain, wherever there is loneliness, wherever there is hope, come, thou long-expected one, with healing in thy wings.

Holy Child, whom the shepherds and the kings and the dumb beasts adored, be born again. Wherever there is boredom, wherever there is fear of failure, wherever there is temptation too strong to resist, wherever there is bitterness of heart, come, thou blessed one, with healing in thy wings.

Saviour, be born in each of us who raises his face to thy face, not knowing fully who he is or who thou art, knowing only that thy love is beyond his knowing and that no other has the power to make him whole. Come, Lord Jesus, to each who longs for thee even though he has forgotten thy name. Come quickly. Amen.

Thou Wayfaring Jesus

A prayer by Henry Van Dyke

Thou wayfaring Jesus, a pilgrim and stranger,
Exiled from heaven by love at thy birth,
Exiled again from thy rest in the manger,
A fugitive child 'mid the perils of earth,—
Cheer with thy fellowship all who are weary,
Wandering far from the land that they love;
Guide every heart that is homeless and dreary,
Safe to its home in thy presence above.

A Christmas Prayer

(A prayer by Henri Nouwen, from The Road to Daybreak)

O Lord, how hard it is to accept your way. You come to me as a small, powerless child born away from home. You live for me as a stranger in your own land. You die for me as a criminal outside the walls of the city, rejected by your own people, misunderstood by your friends, and feeling abandoned by your God.

As I prepare to celebrate your birth, I am trying to feel loved, accepted, and at home in this world, and I am trying to overcome the feelings of alienation and separation which continue to assail me. But I wonder now if my deep sense of homelessness does not bring me closer to you than my occasional feelings of belonging. Where do I truly celebrate your birth: in a cozy home or in an unfamiliar house, among welcoming friends or among unknown strangers, with feelings of well-being or with feelings of loneliness?

I do not have to run away from those experiences that are closest to yours. Just as you do not belong to this world, so I do not belong to this world. Every time I feel this way I have an occasion to be grateful and to embrace you better and taste more fully your joy and peace.

Come, Lord Jesus, and be with me where I feel poorest. I trust that this is the place where you will find your manger and bring your light. Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Amen.

A Prayer for Christmas Eve

Night has fallen; the clear, bright stars are sparkling in the cold air; noisy, strident voices rise to my ear from the city, voices of the revelers of this world who celebrate with merrymaking the poverty of their Saviour. Around me in their rooms my companions are asleep, and I am still wakeful, thinking of the mystery of Bethlehem.

Come, come, Jesus, I await you. . . .

I am a poor shepherd; I have only a wretched stable, a small manger, some wisps of straw. I offer all these to you, be pleased to come into my poor hovel. I offer you my heart; my soul is poor and bare of virtues, the straws of so many imperfections will prick you and make you weep--but oh, my Lord, what can you expect? This little is all I have. . . . I have nothing better to offer you, Jesus, honour my soul with your presence, adorn it with your graces. Burn this straw and change it into a soft couch for your most holy body.

Jesus, I am here waiting for your coming. Wicked men have driven you out, and the wind is like ice. I am a poor man, but I will warm you as well as I can. At least be pleased that I wish to welcome you warmly, to love you and sacrifice myself for you.

Amen.

(A prayer written by a young Italian seminarian named Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli in 1902. He would later become Pope John XXIII).

Be Near

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray;
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there.
Amen.

O Holy Child of Bethlehem

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to me I pray,
Cast out my sin and enter in,
Be born in me today.
I hear the Christmas tidings
The great glad story tell,
O come to me, abide with me,
My Lord, Immanuel!

(slightly modified from O Little Town of Bethlehem, by Phillips Brooks)

Twenty-one Thanks

Lord God Adonai,
for my lovely wife,
for my daughter,
my son,
the apples of my eye,
for my beloved daughter-in-law,
for my future son-in-law,
for my beautiful grandson,
for my home,
for my church,
for my co-laborers in the Gospel,
for my many friends,
for my education,
for my experiences,
for my wife's new degree,
for my kids' new jobs,
for my office and my books,
for my pantry filled with food,
for the possession of all five senses,
for the relative lack of disorder, dysfunction, and disease,
for a vocation filled with purpose and challenge,
for the manifold freedoms I enjoy,
for the choice I can exercise,
for all these and so much more,
Lord God, I give you thanks,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Crush

Lord, please fulfill your Word
and crush Satan under my feet (Romans 16:20),
in Jesus' name, amen.

Plea for Healing

Lord, please heal my heart.
Do what I cannot do,
and make me willing to participate
in the healing.
I am willing to be made willing.
Amen.

Braveheart Prayer


Lord God Adonai,
please make me a spiritual braveheart.
Teach my hands (and heart) to fight (Ps. 144:1).
Show me who my true friends are.
Give me stamina and wisdom,
endurance and grit,
in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 59

Deliver me from my Enemy, O God;
protect me from his stratagems.
Deliver me from his pawns.
Save me from betrayal and spitefulness.
I’ve been set up, Lord;
I’ve been railroaded and rolled.
People have strategized against me,
and lied to my face.

I confess my sin, O LORD.
I am a sinner, that’s for sure,
and you know how that’s just scratching the surface.
But arise, LORD, to help me; look on my plight!

O LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel,
rouse yourself to purge me of sin,
and replace my confusion with clarity.
I don’t know who to trust anymore.
I can’t sleep,
the hurt keeps rolling in like the tide.

O my Strength, I watch for you;
you, O God, are my fortress,
my loving God,
my hope,
my help,
my everything,
my Strong Captain,
my Dread Warrior,
my Faithful Defender.
Go before me
and protect me from new attacks.
You are my shield;
you can deflect every attack
and vindicate me
without me having to say a word
or hatch a plan
or map out a response.
Let sin be found out,
let deceit be uncovered,
in me no less than in others.
Let it be known to the ends of the earth
that God rules over me and mine.

But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my castle,
my stronghold,
my refuge in times of trouble.
O my Strength, I sing praise to you;
you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.

My Kyrie Eleison

Lord, King and Father unbegotten, True Essence of the Godhead,
have mercy on me.
Lord, Fount of light and Creator of all things,
have mercy on me.
Lord, Thou who hast signed me with the seal of Thine image,
have mercy on me.
Christ, True God and True Man,
have mercy on me.
Christ, Rising Sun, through whom are all things,
have mercy on me.
Christ, Perfection of Wisdom,
have mercy on me.
Lord, vivifying Spirit and power of life,
have mercy on me.
Lord, Breath of the Father and the Son, in Whom are all things,
have mercy on me.
Lord, Purger of sin and Almoner of grace,
I beseech Thee abandon me not because of my sins,
O Consoler of the sorrowing soul,
have mercy on me.
Amen.

Holding On

Lord God, Adonai,
I will hold on to you.
I will hold on.
I will not give up.
I will seek you,
I will trust you,
I will wait for you to visit me
with deliverance,
encouragement,
joy,
and peace.

Until then, I will hold on.
Amen.

Dragging

Lord, do I have to keep doing this?
My burden weighs me down,
and the responsibility of my position
hems me in.
Where can I go?
What choice do I have?
Being a leader
a pastor
a friend
and a coworker
isn't feeling like a privilege
or a blessing right now.
It feels like a trap,
a weight too heavy for me.
How long can I keep doing this?
Nothing is too hard for you.
Can you deliver me?
Will you?

Tired

Lord, I'm tired.
I need sleep.
I need rest.
I need help.
Amen.

A Man with Grit

(Modeled on lines by Charles Spurgeon)

I, pray, God, make me a man,
a pastor,
a leader,
with "grit" in me;
a man who, when he knows a thing to be right,
will not turn away, or turn aside, or stop;
a man who will persevere all the more
because there are difficulties to meet or foes to encounter;
who will stand all the more true to my Master
because I am opposed;
who, the more I am thrust into the fire,
the hotter I become;
who, just like the bow, the further the string is drawn
the more powerfully it sends forth its arrows,
and so the more I am trodden upon,
the more mighty I will become
in the cause of truth against error,
in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 58

Lord, let me not be fooled by whisperers,
by workers of intrigue,
and people who smile to my face but talk behind my back,
by those who leave broken relationships in their wake,
and lie about me to others
and to me about others.

Let me not fall prey to their poison tongues,
let me not expect them to change their ways
if I find the right words and say the right things.

Break them yourself, O Lord.
Save me from taking your work
into my own hands.

Let them learn to avoid me
because they know they won’t get anywhere,
because they know their intrigues and gossip
will land on deaf ears if they speak them to me.

Let my conduct,
the righteousness of Christ in me,
be a discouragement to those who do and speak evil,
so that men will say,
“It’s worth it to act uprightly;
God is watching what happens on earth.”
Amen.

A Variation on St. Teresa's Bookmark


Lord, with your help,
I will let nothing disturb me,
nothing frighten me.
I will remember that this too shall pass,
while you never change;
I will patiently endure,
waiting on your timing and your reward.
Because I have you,
I shall not want.
You alone are enough for me.
Amen.

(A variation on the words of St. Teresa of Avila:
Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee
All things are passing;
God never changeth;
Patient endurance
Attaineth to all things;
Whom God possesseth
In nothing is wanting;
Alone God sufficeth).

An Advent Prayer

(A prayer by Henri Nouwen, from A Cry for Mercy)

Dear Lord, help me keep my eyes on you.
You are the incarnation of Divine Love,
you are the expression of God's infinite compassion,
you are the visible manifestation of the Father's holiness.
You are beauty, goodness, gentless,
forgiveness, and mercy.
In you all can be found.
Outside of you nothing can be found.
Why should I look elsewhere or go elsewhere?
You have the words of eternal life,
you are food and drink,
you are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
You are the light that shines in the darkness,
the lamp on the lamp stand,
the house on the hilltop.
You are the perfect Icon of God.
In and through you I can see the Heavenly Father,
and with you I can find my way to him.
O Holy One, Beautiful One, Glorious One,
be my Lord, my Savior, my Redeemer, my Guide,
my Consoler, my Comforter, my Hope, my Joy, and my Peace.
To you I want to give all that I am.
Let me be generous, not stingy or hesitant.
Let me give you all--
all I have, think, do and feel.
It is yours, O Lord.
Please accept it and make it fully your own.
Amen.

With Empty Hands

(A prayer by Henri Nouwen, from With Open Hands)

Dear God, I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.
And what you want to give me is love,
unconditional, everlasting love.
Amen.

My Psalm 57

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me;
David had his cave to hide in.
I need a cave.
You are my cave.
You are my refuge.
I will hide in the shadow of your wings
until this current wave of trouble has passed.

I cry out to you, God Most High:
I beg you to fulfill your purpose for me,
sooner rather than later.
Send your hosts from heaven and save me,
scattering those who march against me.
Send your love and faithfulness,
breaking through the ring of beasts that surround me:
though they are human,
they snarl and claw like ravenous beasts—
and they can’t even see their own faces,
the contorted expressions they wear.

Just do your thing, God;
show your strength and glory.

It’s so much harder
when my friends are used by my enemies.
It’s easier to fight back
when an attack comes from evil people,
rather than well-meaning friends.

But my heart is steadfast, O God;
I’m not going anywhere.
I will sing and make music,
I will praise you so loud
and serve you so passionately
that I will keep the day awake
and prevent the night from getting any sleep.

I will praise you, O Lord, no matter what;
I will serve you to my last breath.
For your love stretches all the way to the heavens;
your faithfulness extends from where I am
to the outermost reaches of the universe.

Just do your thing, God;
show your strength and glory.

A Thanksgiving Prayer

(A prayer by hymnwriter Anne Steele, slightly updated)

My Maker and my King,
To you my all I owe;
Your sovereign bounty
is the spring
Whence all my blessings flow.

The creature of your hand,
On you alone I live;
My God, your benefits demand
More praise than I can give.

Lord, what can I impart
When all is yours before?
Your love demands a thankful heart;
My gift, alas! how poor.

O! let your grace inspire,
My heartfelt thanks outpour;
Let every word and each desire
And all my days be yours.
Amen.

A Little Dying

(A prayer by Henri Nouwen, from A Cry for Mercy)

Dear Lord, in the midst of much inner turmoil and restlessness, there is a consoling thought: maybe you are working in me in a way I cannot yet feel, experience, or understand. My mind is not able to concentrate on you, my heart is not able to remain centered, and it seems as if you are absent and have left me alone. But in faith I cling to you. I believe that your Spirit reaches deeper and further than my mind or heart, and that profound movements are not the first to be noticed.

Therefore, Lord, I promise I will not run away, not give up, not stop praying, even when it all seems useless, pointless, and a waste of time and effort. I want to let you know that I love you even though I do not feel loved by you, and that I hope in you even though I often experience despair. Let this be a little dying I can do with you and for you as a way of experiencing some solidarity with the millions in this world who suffer far more than I do. Amen.

Quietness and Confidence

Lord God Adonai,
you said,

"In quietness and confidence
is your strength"
(Isaiah 30:15, NLT).

Make it so in me.
Help me to prove it to be true,
in Jesus' name,
amen.

Want to Control

(A prayer of Henri Nouwen, from With Open Hands)

Dear God,
I so much want to be in control.
I want to be the master of my own destiny.
Still I know that you are saying:
"Let me take you by the hand and lead you.
Accept my love
and trust that where I will bring you,
the deepest desires of your heart will be fulfilled."
Lord, open my hands to receive your gift of love.
Amen.

Compline Prayer

Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the world, we pray
That you, with steadfast love, would keep
Your watch around us while we sleep.

From evil dreams defend our sight,
From fears and terrors of the night;
Tread underfoot our deadly foe
That we no sinful thought may know.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ, your only Son;
And Holy Spirit, by whose breath
Our souls are raised to life from death.

My Times Are in Your Hands

My times are in your hands (Psalm 30:15).
My times are in your hands.
They are not in my hands.
My times are in your hands.

Needing Faith

Oh, Lord God, I am always in need of more faith,
but today I feel that need in a new way,
to a new depth,
with a new desperation.
I believe;
help my unbelief.
Enlarge my faith.
Deepen it.
Strengthen it.
Multiply it,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Actiones Nostras

Actiones nostras, quaesumus, Domine,
aspirando praeveni et adiuvando prosequere,
ut cuncta nostra operatio a te semper incipiat,
et per te coepta finiatur.

[We beg You, O Lord, to initiate and anticipate our actions,
and help us in them and follow up on them,
so that our every service always flows from You,
and all we begin is brought to conclusion through You.]

Amen.

(From the Gregorian Sacramentary)

Embarrass the Angels

Lord God Adonai,
let me not
embarrass the angels
in what I do today,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Wooden Thanks

Thank you, Lord, for wood fires
and wood smoke
and wood warmth. Amen.

Need

I need Thee,
O, I need Thee,
Every hour I need Thee,
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

Thanks for Grief, Rejection, Disappointments and Derailments

Abba, Father,
before this day was three hours old
you twice reminded me
of tragedy and disappointment in my life
for which I have cause to be deeply thankful.
Thank you for my mother's death
when I was fourteen,
because by it you taught me to depend on you
and live to please you;
without it, I have no trouble believing
I would have clung to her desperately
and foolishly
and to my harm.
Thank you, too, for rejection by the first four publishers
I submitted my Don't Check Your Brains proposal to,
for by those rejections you steered me to Word,
and Joey,
and Josh.
Thank you for all the griefs and rejections
and disappointments and derailments
I have suffered in my life
that have not yet been shown, as these have,
to be just as gracious and kind and merciful
as every ray of sun you've shined on my path.
Your mercies are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Amen.

A Pre-election Prayer

Father,
I believe the words you spoke through Paul in Romans 13:1, that "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established."

For seven years you've granted us favor with our local school board, making it possible for us to hold our worship celebrations each and every Sunday in public school spaces. Grant us favor again, Lord, by showing us -- your church called Cobblestone -- how to be good neighbors, good citizens, and good servants alongside the members of the Talawanda School Board, present and upcoming. Grant it, please God, in Jesus' name. Amen.

You Amaze Me

Lord, I'm amazed by you,
by the things you do,
the way you time things,
rhyme things,
one with another,
to whisper to me
that I can never be
so unmindful of you
to make you unmindful of me.
You amaze me.
Thank you.
Amen.

Greater Faith

Give me faith, O Lord, I pray
Faith for "greater things" (John 14:12).
Amen.

My Psalm 56

Be merciful to me, O God,
for I get scared so easily.
I’m scared right now.

Save me from myself,
and from all who would attack me
to make themselves feel or look better.

Remind me when I am afraid
to trust in you—
you, whose Word I hold dear,
I will try to trust you
rather than fear what men might do to me.

Let not others twist my words,
those who would harm me or my testimony,
sneaky, spying souls
who want to trip me up
and gloat over me.

Defend me from them, Lord God;
trip them up.

I know I’m complaining, but hear me anyway;
take note of my tears
and wipe them away.

Turn my enemies,
come to my assistance when I call for help.
I know that you are for me—
you, whose Word I hold dear,
I will try to trust you
rather than fear what men might do to me.

I am beholden to you, O God;
I owe you infinitely more
than my thanks can convey,
for you have delivered me time and again,
you have caught me when I stumbled,
that I may walk before you
in the light of life. Amen.

Save Me from Me

Lord God Adonai,
You have saved me from sin,
from guilt,
from condemnation,
from Hell,
from so much...
now please save me from me,
from becoming more of what I am
instead of becoming more of what You are,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Purify My Soul

(A prayer of J. H. Jowett, slightly revised)

Purify my soul,
make my eyes keen and watchful,
in order that I may discern your purpose
at every turning of the way.
Help me to hallow all my circumstances
whether they appear friendly or adverse,
and may I subdue them all to my King's will.
Amen.

(from J. H. Jowett, The Whole Armour of God, p. 152).

Ruin Me

Lord, as Hilary Watson sang this weekend,
ruin me.

Ruin me.

Ruin me for anything and everything
apart from you.
Make me useless for any purpose
other than pleasing you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Coventry Prayer

The pride which leads me
to trust in myself
and not in you,
O Lord, forgive. Amen.

(based on a plaque in Coventry Cathedral)

Morning Prayer

(A prayer of William Barclay)

O God, my Father, give me patience all through today.
Give me patience with my work,
so that I may work at a job until I finish it or get it right,
no matter how difficult or boring it may be.

Give me patience with people,
so that I will not become irritated or annoyed,
and so that I will never lose my temper with them.

Give me patience with life,
so that I may not give up hope
when hopes are long in coming true;
so that I may accept disappointment without bitterness
and delay without complaint.

Hear this my morning prayer for your love's sake. Amen.

My Psalm 55

Hear my prayer, O God,
please listen.
Please answer me.
My thoughts run away with me again
and I am perturbed at the work of the enemy,
at the roadblocks thrown in my way,
for the silliness
and stupidity that swirls around me.

You know how often I get like this, Lord,
how easily I let circumstances get the better of me,
how much I let fear and worry beset me
and even overwhelm me.

It sure would be nice to have wings like a dove!
I could fly away and find a sheltered crag.
I could soar to a place of solitude
and hide there, alone with you.

I could go anytime to my place of shelter,
and retreat from the tempest and storm.
But even as I say that, Lord,
you remind me: I can do that anyway,
you are my shelter, whether I have wings or not.
You are my hiding place, not some physical retreat.

Confuse the wicked, O Lord, and frustrate their plans
who try to oppose you and your work in our midst.

Oppose them!
Tear down their malicious efforts.

Protect me--protect all your people--
from all destructive forces that are at work in the city;
save us from all witchcraft, threats, and lies.

Save us from enemies
who masquerade as friends;
protect us from those who smile and nod
while they curse under their breath
and try to hurt us when no one sees.
Save us from lies,
and gossip,
and intrigue.

I call to you, God,
and you save me.

At all times of the day,
I cry out to you,
and you hear my voice.

You ransom me, unharmed,
from every battle waged against me,
no matter how many oppose me.

God, who is enthroned forever,
hears and saves me
from all those who have turned from you,
from all who think they are doing right
by hurting others,
whose words are more soothing than oil,
but sharper than swords when my back is turned.

I cast my cares on you, LORD;
I know you will sustain you;
you have never let me down yet,
though I deserve none of your favor.

I leave it to you to decide who is wicked
and who needs a comeuppance;
I just know, as for me, I trust in you. Amen.

Jesus, Lover of My Soul

(A prayer of Charles Wesley)

Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.

Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.

Wilt Thou not regard my call? Wilt Thou not accept my prayer?
Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall—Lo! on Thee I cast my care;
Reach me out Thy gracious hand! While I of Thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand, dying, and behold, I live.

Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name, I am all unrighteousness;
False and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace.

Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart; rise to all eternity.

A Hymn of Adoration

(A prayer of Henry Van Dyke, slightly revised)

Joyful, joyful, I adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt my clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill me with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain call me to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach me how to love all others, lift me to the joy divine.

Lord, I join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us, brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, I march onward, victor in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads me Sunward in the triumph song of life.

Another Prayer of Lancelot Andrewes

Let me find grace in Thy sight
to have grace
whereby I may serve Thee acceptably
with reverence and godly fear.
Let me find the grace also
not to receive that grace in vain,
not to come short of it,
yea, not to neglect it,
so as to fall from it;
but to stir it up, so as to grow in it,
yea, to continue in it
till the end of my life.

And O perfect for me
what is lacking of Thy gifts,
increase my little faith,
strengthen my trembling hope,
kindle the smoking flax of my love.
Shed abroad Thy love in my heart
so that I may love Thee,
my friend in Thee, my enemy for Thee.
O Thou who givest grace to the humble,
give me also grace to be humble.
O Thou who never failest them that fear Thee,
unite my heart to fear Thy name;
let my heart rejoice in Thy fear.
Let me fear one thing only,
the fearing aught more than Thee.
Amen.

A Prayer of Lancelot Andrewes

Lord,
let me learn to abound, let me learn to suffer need,
in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content;
for nothing earthly, temporal, corruptible,
let me ever long or wait.
Amen.

A Prayer for Healing

Abba Father, Almighty God,

In Jesus' name I come to you on behalf of Tony and his wife Chris.

In Jesus' name, I ask you,
giver of all good gifts,
Yahweh rohe, God our healer,
to have mercy on them.
Please, Lord God Adonai, miraculously invade Tony's body with your power,
touch him as you touched blind Bartimaeus,
heal him as you healed Peter's mother-in-law,
raise him up from sickness as you raised Lazarus from the grave.

Aid every doctor he sees,
every machine that plays a part,
every diagnostic tool,
every readout and signal,
to rid his body of every trace of cancer.
Give wisdom in every decision,
strength in every time of weakness,
and faith to move mountains,
faith to heal cancer,
faith to conquer fear,
in Jesus' name.

Visit Chris with your strength,
and hope,
and mercy.
Fill her to the measure of all the fulness of God
in her ministry of support and love to her husband.
Answer her prayers,
most of all,
as they are the prayers of your son, Jesus,
who intercedes for her,
and your Holy Spirit,
who cries out on her behalf
in groanings and utterings the human mind can't comprehend.

O God, come to their assistance;
O Lord, make haste to help them, in Jesus' name, amen.

A Totally Truthful Hymn of Prayer

I do not ask Thee, Lord,
That all my life may be
An easy, smooth and pleasant path;
'twould not be good for me.
(Easy, smooth and pleasant would be nice
ONCE in a while, though)
But O I ask today
That grace and strength be given
To keep me fighting all the way
That leads to God and Heaven!
(And an occasional break from the fighting
would be welcome from time to time, too)
I do not ask Thee, Lord,
That tears may never flow,
Or that the world may always smile
Upon me as I go.
(But "sometimes smile" would be okay,
if it's all the same to you)
From Thee fell drops of blood;
A thorn-crown pressed Thy brow;
Thy suffering brought Thee victory then,
And thou canst help me now.
(I'm willing to suffer for you,
it's suffering fools I don't like to do)
And what if strength should fail,
And heart more deeply bleed?
Or what if dark and lonely days
Draw forth the cry of need?
(I really hope I never find out,
to tell you the truth)
That cry will bring Thee down
My needy soul to fill,
And Thou wilt teach my yearning heart
To know and do Thy will
(But "easy, smooth and pleasant"
still suits me better, if you please).

My Psalm 54

Save me, O God, by your name;
vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God;
listen to these words of mine.
My Enemy is ruthless,
always attacking;
he works through this person one day,
and that circumstance the next.
But you are my help;
you alone are the one who sustains me.
Make my Enemy’s strategies backfire;
defend me, destroy him.
I will continue to bring you my willing sacrifices.
I will praise your name, O LORD,
for it is good.
You have delivered me from all kinds of troubles,
and my eyes have looked triumphantly on my foes.

A Prayer of Jeremiah

Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed;
save me, and I shall be saved,
for you are my praise (Jeremiah 17:14).

Pray for Myanmar

Have mercy, O Lord, on this sinful, violent world.
Pity your children in Myanmar.
Comfort the grieving.
Deliver the oppressed.
Break the prisoners' chains.
Quiet the soldiers' rifles.
Hear the cries of your children,
protect those who seek peace and freedom,
hear, O Lord, and help,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer from Isaiah 12

God, you are my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
You, Lord God Adonai, are my strength and my song;
you have become my salvation.
With joy I draw water
from the wells of salvation,
for you, God, are my salvation.
I drink from your fulness,
from your freshness,
from your replenishing depths.

Glory to God for Finished Things

(Variations on a theme by Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Glory to God for finished things—
For book manuscripts of ninety-thousand words;
Two children raised into fine young adults;
A wedding well-planned, on which the sun shone,
Funeral for one who's gone on before;
A day of health and love and work.

All things completed, concluded, and done;
Whatever is over or ended or fulfilled,
Like loans paid, seasons changed, books read, suns set.
He blesses the ending who blessed the beginning:
Praise God.

Prayer for Staff

Abba, Father, I pray for myself and my fellow pastors at Cobblestone,
that you would help us not only be preachers of your Word, but also devoted readers, prayers, and students of the Word of Life;

that you would grant us hearts that seek after you with heart, soul, mind, and strength;

that you would help us to focus on pleasing you, and not on pleasing man;

that you would keep our feet from slipping, and teach us to maintain healthy habits and boundaries, conducive to long-term effectiveness;

that you would strengthen our marriages and families, and protect us from neglecting them;

that you would surround us with people who are spirit-filled and wise in leadership, who can be Aaron and Hur to us, and to whom we can also be Aaron and Hur;

that you would grant us holy discontent, and constant gratitude, all at the same time;

that you would give us the wisdom and discernment to lead this great people of yours;

that you would help us say "No," and "Not yet," and to wisely prioritize and delegate;

that you would bring into our lives people who will seek to understand, encourage, and challenge us;

that you would keep strong and passsionate our desire to see lost souls saved;

that you would help us to stay positive even in the most demanding of times;

that you would help us to be patient with others, and present with everyone you bring to cross our paths;

that you would make us all more effective leaders, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the whole body of Christ may be built up, in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of John Baillie

Give me, O God, this day
a strong and vivid sense
that Thou art by my side.
In multitude and solitude,
in business and leisure,
in my downsitting and my uprising,
may I ever be aware of Thine accompanying presence.
By Thy grace, O God,
I will go nowhere this day
where Thou canst not come,
nor court any companionship
that would rob me of Thine.
By Thy grace
I will let no thought enter my heart
that might hinder my communion with Thee,
nor let any word come from my mouth
that is not meant for Thine ear.
So shall my courage be firm
and my heart be at peace.

I steadier step
When I recall
That though I slip
Thou dost not fall.


(a prayer of John Baillie in A Diary of Private Prayer, Day Sixteen, Morning)

My Psalm 53

Lord God,
the fool says in his heart,
"There is no God."
Those are ignorant words, and vile;
and yet I too often reflect them
in my behavior
and in my small believing.
You look down from heaven
on the six billion people of this earth,
and you must be astounded at our lack of faith,
the dearth of those who truly seek you.
I am so good at turning away.
I am skilled at corrupting myself;
and fooling myself,
time and time again.
Will I never learn?
I am like a hen pecking at seed,
keeping my eyes trained on the ground,
neglecting to lift my gaze to you.
I let myself become overwhelmed and stressed,
where there is nothing to fear.
You obliterate those who oppose you,
you are never at anyone’s mercy.

Oh, that salvation for me,
for mine,
for my church,
would come like David’s armies out of Zion!
Restore the fortunes of your people,
so dazzlingly that we will let sing and leap and dance!

A Glutton's Prayer

Lord God, I confess that I seek
comfort,
assurance,
pleasure,
and satisfaction
in food, rather than in you;
please forgive me.

Help me to turn to you instead of food,
to fill my spirit instead of my belly,
to find my heart's desire in you
instead of what I eat.

Fill me.
Feed me.
Insatiate me
with so much of your sufficiency
that I may see clearly the inadequacy
and foolishness
of gluttony,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Namely, Thanks

Thank you my Lord God Adonai
for the amazing
and wonderful company
of men and women
who comprise my church family,
who enrich me through community,
who make me better than I can be alone,
who teach me,
and challenge me,
and correct me,
and encourage me,
namely,
Thank you for Kay,
Thank you for Vic,
Thank you for Deb,
Thank you for Mark,
Thank you for Lynette,
Thank you for Bob,
for Robin,
for Lois,
for Rich,
for Cheryl,
for Mike;
Thank you for John,
Thank you for Kay,
Thank you for Jon,
Thank you for Karen,
for Bear,
for Henry,
for Daryl,
for Gretchen,
for Jim,
for Marge;
Thank you for Cody,
Thank you for Barb,
Thank you for Bill,
Thank you for Scott,
Thank you for Julie,
for Dawn,
for Bob,
for Alice,
for Leslye,,
for Bill,
for Deb,
for Shena;
Thank you for Bev,
for Phil,
for Amber,
for Patty,
for Helen,
for Gary,
for Denise,
for Pat Lanni,
for Lori,
for Chris;
Thank you for Phyllis,
thank you for Mike,
for Manette,
for Peggy,
for Shery,
for Susan,
for David,
for Rita,
for Derek;
Thank you for Barbara,
for Jason,
for Wendy;
Thank you for Philip,
for Diana,
for Edna,
for Lois,
for Bill,
for Paula,
for Tammy,
for Bob,
for Coralee;
Thank you for Bob,
for Melissa,
thank you for Alice,
for Nathan,
for Ken,
for Pat,
for Brad,
for Tiffany;
Thank you for Angie,
for Val,
for Holly,
for Jeremy,
for Caroline;
Thank you for Josh,
thank you for Kristin,
for Dale,
for Karen,
for Mike Buell,
for Laurel,
for John,
for Carla,
for Jamie,
for Jackie;
Thank you for Jo,
for Jeff,
for Kelley,
for Linda,
for Craig,
for Nancy,
for John,
for Bonnie,
for Richard,
for Gib,
for Patty,
for Shawn,
for Kelli;
Thank you for Mike,
and for Lisa,
for Andrew Holzworth,
and for Anna Holzworth;
Thank you for Sharla,
thank you for Bruce,
for Lacey,
for Jim,
for Matt,
for Debbie;
Thank you for Stephanie,
and for Melanie,
for Jeff,
for Cathy,
for Johnny,
for Shelley,
for Tony,
for Cindi,
for Todd,
for Samantha;
Thank you for for Linda,
for Kelly,
for Christy,
and for Doug,
and for Bethany;
Thank you for Liz,
for Robert,
for Aaron,
for Nina,
for Aubrey,
for Kevin,
for Ryan,
for Anna,
for John,
and for Guy;
Thank you for Beth,
for Jayme,
thank you for Mike,
for Tara,
for Wes,
and for Kristy.
Thank you for every one, Lord,
who comprises your gift to me
of my church family, in Jesus' name, amen.

I kneel

(A prayer of Gail McCoig Blanton, from the book Bedside Prayers by June Cotner)

I kneel before Your throne tonight, My Lord,
on a cushion of contentment
and fully expect a night of restful sleep.
If it please You, Majesty,
I ask a further favor:
That You sustain and solace
those who cannot sleep tonight. Your subjects who:
Are old and wakeful
Work the night shifts
Are worried for a missing child
Groan in pain
Are haunted by their conscience
Study for exams
Keep a sickbed vigil
Mourn a loved one lost
Are cold, hungry, imprisoned
Stumble in the wild woods
and so are unable to sleep like I.
Dispatch swift-flying couriers to help them through the night.
I humbly thank You, My Lord, Your Grace.

Sunday Praise

Praise to you, my God, this night,
for Sunday worship to lift my heart,
for showing up when your children pour out their praises,
for making your name glorious,
in our praise,
in our work,
in the whole earth.
There is no other name like yours,
no God like you,
in reality or imagination,
none can equal you,
and I give you humble praise
from an unworthy heart, in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer to Begin Every Day

Lord God, Abba, Father,
thank you for this day,
and for all the promise and challenge it holds.
Help me to fulfill its promise
and answer its challenge.
Make me mindful of your presence all day;
remind me constantly that you are constant;
save me from stress caused by small faith;
help me to greet every turn in the path today
in the awareness that nothing surprises you,
nothing overwhelms you,
and nothing is too hard for you.
Grant me the peace that comes
from single-mindedness:
I have nothing to do today
except follow you as closely and faithfully as I can,
and the rest--all the results and ramifications--
is in your hand.
Amen.

My Psalm 52

Lord God, Adonai,
please save me from the wickedness of pride,
and show me your chesed all day long.
Make my enemies few,
save me from deceitful people,
let me love righteousness
and speak what is right.

Grant me a truthful tongue,
and plant me firmly
among those who love you and live for you.

Oh, God, you are my refuge;
make it obvious to me and those around me.
Help me not to trust in riches,
and save me from evil desires.

Make me like a green olive tree in the house of God;
sink my roots deep into your lovingkindness.
Let me reach out to you with thanks
like a tree reaches its branches to the sky.
And help me to wait on you,
and trust in your wisdom, power, and love, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Daily Bread

(A prayer of hymnwriter Josiah Conder)

Day by day the manna fell;
O to learn this lesson well!
Still by constant mercy fed,
Give me, Lord, my daily bread.

Lord, my times are in your hand;
All my sanguine hopes have planned
To your wisdom I resign,
And would make your purpose mine.

Let me live exempt from care
By the energy of prayer;
Strong in faith, with mind subdued,
Yet elate with gratitude,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Showers and Streams

Lord God Adonai, please send to me
showers of blessing
and streams of refreshing
today,
in Jesus' name, amen.

The Proper of Great Matins

(slightly updated)

O GOD, the God of spirits and of all flesh,
you who are beyond compare
and who stands in need of nothing,
who has given the sun to rule over the day,
and the moon and the stars to rule over the night;
do now please also look down upon us with gracious eyes,
and receive our morning prayer, and have mercy upon us.

For you, the eternal God,
who are without end,
has given us our being and our well-being
through Jesus Christ, Thy Son.
Do please also through Him entrust to us eternal life.

And to you with your only begotten Son
and your living Holy Spirit, One God,
be glory, honor and worship in both worlds unto the aeon of aeons. Amen.

My Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God,
not according to what I deserve,
not according to anything I have to offer,
but according to your unfailing love;
and your great compassion
wipe away all my sins.

Cleanse me from every stain
and root out the tiniest impurity.
For I know my sinfulness;
I can’t escape my fallenness.

I have sinned against you,
I have offended your holiness
and betrayed your grace toward me;
you are right in showing me my fault
and totally justified in your righteous judgment.

I’m a sinner by birth
and a sinner by habit.
But you’ve been with me from the beginning,
and you’ve taught me better all along.

Scrub me clean, Lord God;
scour me until I sparkle, by your grace.
I’m sick of myself;
lead me into joy and gladness once more.
I’m tired of being tired;
renew me, Lord.

Give me a pure heart once more, O God,
and rekindle the flame within me.
Don’t reject me;
don’t disappoint me.
Restore to me the joy of your great salvation
and send winds of refreshing into my soul again.

Ordain me again to teach fellow sinners your ways,
and show lost souls the way home.

You have delivered me, my God, my Salvation;
I will sing my praise to you.
Set my praises free, Lord;
loose my lips once again.

Save me from going through the motions;
deliver me from empty ministry.
I’ve been your slave from my youth,
when you laid me low with your love;
now I come to you, broken again,
and ask you to look on me with favor once more.

Make my heart, my life, my body, like Zion—
the place you delight in.
Repair my shattered spirit
the way you built up Jerusalem
and made her the joy of the whole earth.

Draw from my life the worship you deserve,
may my offerings
and my sacrifices
be pleasing to you in every way,
O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer. Amen.

Into Your Lap

Abba, I climb into your lap today
and in my childish prattle
ask for your favor.
In your infinite wisdom,
feed me what I need,
and help me to recognize
even the sourest spoonfuls
as your good gifts to me,
in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 131


O Lord, my heart is not proud,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not pretend to understand great matters,
and do not aspire to great feats.

But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child wanting only its mother's presence,
that is how my soul reposes on you.

I put my hope in you, Lord,
both now and forevermore. Amen.

Jesus, Tender Lover of My Soul

Jesus, tender Lover of my soul,
Pardoner of my sins and friend indeed,
Keeper of the garden of my heart,
Jesus, Thou art everything to me.

Jesus, Thou art everything to me.
Jesus, Thou art everything to me.
All my lasting joys are found in Thee,
Jesus, Thou art everything to me.

Powerless

Abba, I confess that I do not have--
nor have I ever had--
power to help myself.
You alone are my help,
my strength,
my shield.
Amen.

The Speed of Sane

Help me to slow down to the speed of sane, Lord.
I want to live in that place my reading talked about today,
where I can listen to you,
and speak to you with a calm mind,
and spring into action from a position of rest and readiness,
like the harpoonist who is more effective
because he was at rest until the time came to act.

But I am always in action, it seems,
always racing,
never resting.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of David, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Save me from haste.
Lead me to peace.
Amen.

Deliver

Deliver me from arrogance, Lord.
Deliver me from spiritual blindness.
Deliver me from ungrace:

Mine, and that of others,
In Jesus' name, amen.

Thanks for Humble Offerings

God, I give you thanks for humble offerings.

I remember that Mary and Joseph brought doves,
a humble gift, to worship you in the Temple.
I thank you that you take my humble offerings.
I thank you for so many of my friends, my loved ones,
who bring their offerings week after week,
a song, a truck,
a hand passing out programs,
an ear for sound or eye for projection,
an hour, a few hours, a morning,
a swing by Starbucks,
a smile for a stranger,
and on and on.

I'm grateful, Lord,
especially as I'm reminded that ALL our offerings,
compared to your great love and grace and kindness,
are humble offerings.
Every one.

Pastor Praise

I praise you, Lord, for a church that loves you.
I praise you for a staff that loves each other and works well together.
I praise you for a leadership team that is intent on obeying you, bringing your kingdom, and caring for the flock.
I praise you for volunteers who sweat for your church.
I praise you for people who care for each other, instead of waiting for the pastor.
I praise you for thick-skinned servants, who don't need to protect or promote themselves.
I praise you for gracious people who cut their pastors some slack.
I praise you for wise leaders who use what they know and know what they don't know.
I praise you for a church that doesn't begrudge their pastors a working wage, or time off.
I praise you for people who are "tender with sinners, but not soft on sin" (Jude 23b, The Message).
I praise you for members that are learning to give sacrificially.
I praise you for teachers who are passionate about ministry to kids.
I praise you for a church that values creativity and innovation.
I praise you for a church with a sense of humor.
I praise you for a church that wants to reach out.
I praise you for a legacy of sacrificial leaders, already, in this young church.
I praise you for the hope you give me that greater things than these we will see and do, as we trust in you, in Jesus' name, amen.

O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go

(A prayer of George Matheson)

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

Rest

Lord, my God, my God, my gracious Friend,
as this long day comes to its end,
and as I sleep, I rest in you.
And in the morning, when I wake,
let me no less rest in you then, too.

Train My Hands for Warfare

Abba, I'm a pastor.
I was ordained as a pastor 27 years ago.
And yet I still haven't grown accustomed
to the Enemy's darts and daggers.
Please, Lord, either steel me against discouragement
or train my hands to fight.
Should I expect that every Sunday someone's going to tell me
that I disappointed them,
that I let them down,
that someone else is upset with me because I didn't do enough?
Should I anticipate, when I walk away from a celebration
thinking, "Wow, that was wonderful, Lord, thank you!"
that someone is gonna contact me
and say, "That was terrible, what're you gonna do about it?"
I know that sheep will bleat,
but will I never have a break from criticism
and fault-finding
and nit-picking
except when I am on vacation
or worshiping with someone else's flock?

Breastplate

Today I put on
a terrible strength
invoking the Trinity
confessing the Three
with faith in the One
as I face my Maker.

Today I put on the power
of Christ's birth and baptism,
of his hanging and burial,
His resurrection, ascension,
and descent at the Judgement.

Today I put on the power
of the order of the Cherubim,
angels' obedience,
archangels' attendance,
in hope of ascending
to my reward;
patriarchs' prayers,
prophets' predictions,
apostles precepts,
confessors' testimony,
holy virgins' innocence
and the deeds of true men.

Today I put on
the power of Heaven,
the light of the Sun,
the radiance of the Moon,
the splendour of fire,
the fierceness of lightning,
the swiftness of wind,
the depth of the sea,
the firmness of earth
and the hardness of rock.

Today I put on
God's strenghth to steer me,
God's power to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye for my vision,
God's ear for my hearing,
God's word for my speech,
God's hand to protect me,
God's pathway before me,
God's shield for my shelter,
God's angels to guard me
from ambush of devils,
from vice's allurements,
from traps of the flesh,
from all who wish ill,
whether distant or close,
alone or in hosts.

I summon these powers today
to take my part against every implacable power
that attacks my body and soul,
the chants of false prophets,
dark laws of the pagans,
false heretics' laws,
entrapments of idols,
enchantments of women
or smiths or druids,
and all knowledge that poisons
man's body or soul.

Christ guard me today
from poison, from burning,
from drowning, from hurt,
that I have my reward.


Christ beside me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,

Christ within me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me.

Christ on my right hand,
Christ on my left,

Christ where I lie,
Christ where I sit,
Christ where I rise.

Christ in the hearts of all who think of me,
Christ in the mouths of all who speak to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Today I put on
a terrible strength,
invoking the Trinity,
confessing the Three,
with faith in the One
as I face my Maker.

Hostage Prayer

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Have mercy, O Lord, on the family and friends
of the South Korean hostage
who was killed by the Taliban just recently.

Give wisdom, Lord, to those confronted with the choice
of inviting more kidnapping by paying ransom money to evil people
or inviting more killing by not paying ransom.

Give comfort, Lord, to those who mourn.
Mete justice to those who do such evil things.
Save the innocent.
Punish the guilty.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of David,
have mercy on me, a sinner.

Weary Prayer

Abba, Father, I am overcome with weariness and fatigue
both of body and of spirit.

My energy is gone.
My creativity has drained.
My passion is depleted.

Help me, Lord.
Send ravens to feed me
or angels to minister to me.

Help me find a retreat center
or some kind of option
for a writing retreat in August.

Keep me as the apple of your eye
and hide me in the shadow of your wing.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and grant me once again a willing spirit,
to sustain me,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Flow

Lord God,
let there be rivers of blessing,
gullywashers of holiness,
flash floods of your kindness and beauty
flowing through my life.

Let the wells spring up!
Wash me clean,
and free me from all unbelief,
from anything that would hinder you
from bringing your kingdom to my family,
my church,
my community.

Let the river flow,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Search Me, O God

(A prayer of J. Edwin Orr)

Search me, O God,
And know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior,
Know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be
Some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin
And set me free.

I praise Thee, Lord,
For cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy Word,
And make me pure within.
Fill me with fire
Where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire
To magnify Thy Name.

Lord, take my life,
And make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart
With Thy great love divine.
Take all my will,
My passion, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord
In me abide.

O Holy Ghost,
Revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival,
Start the work in me.
Thy Word declares
Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now,
O Lord, I humbly plead.

Yahweh Yireh

Yahweh yireh, you provided
a ram for Abraham.
Please provide for Aaron
a job or jobs that will
meet his and Nina's needs
and fulfill your good, perfect, and pleasing
plans for them, in Jesus' name, amen.

Pascal's Prayer

Lord, help me to do great things
as though they were little,
since I do them with your power,
and little things as though they were great,
since I do them in your name.
Amen.

(a prayer of Blaise Pascal)

Holiday Prayer

Father,
we who are rich and privileged,
thank you for the gift of leisure,
for time to unwind, reflect and plan,
to exercise or simply sit in quiet.
We thank you for the people who create our holiday
by working in the cockpit and control room,
in garage, signal box and harbor office;
for those in kitchens, dining rooms and bars,
those guiding tours and running sports and games;
may they too find time for rest and recreation...
May we be truly re-created in our recreation,
our lives enlarged with new enthusiasm
and a broader vision of your purpose.

(by Stephen Orchard, from The Doubleday Prayer Collection, p. 134)

Variation on a Prayer by William Booth

Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame,
Send the fire.
Send the fire.
Send the fire.
My right as child of God I claim,
Send the fire.
Send the fire.
Send the fire
To burn up every trace of sin,
To bring your light and glory in,
Another Pentecost begin,
Send the fire.
Send the fire.
Send the fire.
Amen.

Skin Off Your Nose?

Abba, forgive my impudence,
but would it be so much skin off your nose
to give my son a clearer answer to his prayers?
Amen.

My Psalm 50

Lord, Mighty One, Adonai,
you have spoken,
and have published your Word to all humanity
from where the sun rises to the place where it sets.
From Mount Zion, the apex of beauty,
you shine forth in glory and light.
You come,
and you speak.
Your unfiltered presence is a consuming fire,
and your wrath like the fury of a storm.
Your voice penetrates the heavens above and the earth below,
and you pronounce justice, summoning your people,
judging those (like me) who claim to worship you.
So, Lord, let the heavens proclaim your justice,
for you are always righteous in your judgments.

Let your people listen to your voice.
Let us all be convicted by your Spirit,
for you are God, you are OUR God!
Are you pleased with our sacrifices?
Do the offerings we give please you?
You do not need our singing
or our money,
for all the animals of the forest are yours,
and you can prompt praise from the mooing of cows
and the singing of every bird on the mountains;
your resources are limitless.
Are you made richer by our gifts? No.
Do you need what we offer? Of course not.
But you do enjoy hearing my thanks,
and my obedience makes you smile.
So I will call on you when I am in trouble,
and you will deliver me,
and I will give you glory.

About the wicked, Lord,
regarding those who recite your decrees
and pretend to obey your covenant,
and yet refuse your discipline
and treat your words like trash,
and admire and imitate dishonesty
and envy adulterers,
whose mouths overflow with wickedness,
and whose tongues are full of lies,
who badger and slander their brothers,
I ask you to rouse yourself,
and show that you care.
Rebuke them transparently and unequivocally,
so that they may repent,
and so avoid further and worse punishment.
But whatever others may do,
I will just focus on giving thanks to you,
and keeping to your path.
I will put one foot in front of the other,
and pray that my life and ministry will reveal the salvation of God.

Great Day

Thank you, Lord, for a great day.
This morning's celebration in the park
was a blessing:
blessed by fine weather,
smooth setup,
rich fellowship,
great coordination,
and excellent execution.
You were kind to us today,
and I hope you were blessed
by our worship and testimony,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Sixth Century Prayer

O boundless Wisdom, God most high,
O Maker of the earth and sky,
Who bid’st the parted waters flow
In heaven above, on earth below.

The streams on earth, the clouds in heaven,
By Thee their ordered bounds were given,
Lest ’neath the untempered fires of day
The parch├Ęd soil should waste away.

E’en so on us who seek thy face
Pour forth the waters of thy grace;
Renew the fount of life within,
And quench the wasting fires of sin.

Let faith discern the eternal Light
Beyond the darkness of the night,
And through the mists of falsehood see
The path of truth revealed by Thee.

O Father, that we ask be done,
Through Jesus Christ, Thine only Son;
Who, with the Holy Ghost and Thee,
Doth live and reign eternally. Amen.

I Turn to You for Protection

I turn to you for protection,
Lord God Adonai.
I call on you for protection
from attacks of the enemy,
from witchcraft and sorcery,
from weakness of faith,
from compromise of conviction,
from ungrace and unlove,
from unconfronted lies,
from unconfessed agendas,
from doubts and suspicions,
from confusion and stupidity,
from fear and worry,
from weariness and hopelessness,
from living too much in the past or in the future,
from demons,
and deceit,
and all the power of Hell,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Te Deum: Novus Infantia

Praise to you, Lord,
for Miles Jacob.
Praise to you, Lord,
for his safe arrival.
Praise to you
for your gracious timing.
Praise to you
for your protection,
while he was in the womb,
the cord wrapped around his neck,
the placenta detached,
six weeks before his due date.
Praise to you for acting,
for watching,
for caring.
Praise to you, Lord,
for Miles Jacob.
Praise for his mother's safety
and health.
Praise for his father's wisdom
and diligence.
Praise to you, Lord,
from a grateful heart, amen.

A Simple Prayer

It's just me, Lord,
I've little to say.
I just ask for you
to help me today.

My Psalm 49

Lord, let everyone hear,
let all who live in this world pay attention,
both low and high,
rich and poor alike,
when I speak your words of wisdom;
when from my heart I relay your message.
Turn my ears to your wisdom;
Turn my songs into true psalms from you.

Teach me (again) not to fear when evil days come,
when naysayers surround me,
when mistrust and arrogance—
mine or someone else’s—
seem to confuse everything.
You have redeemed me, O Lord,
the only One who could give a ransom for me—
and so costly, no gift of gratitude could ever be enough,
even if I should live forever
and try to repay you every day.
Everyone can see that the wisest men die;
the foolish and the senseless alike perish
and leave their wealth to others.
The rich leave their opulent houses,
and take up residence in eternity,
though they had buildings and institutions
named after themselves.

Likewise, my best and most passionate efforts today
will pass away, like so many moths in a flame.
So let me not trust in myself,
and get worked up over the approval or disapproval of men.
Those around me are destined for the grave just like me.
But though my efforts will perish,
your works—through me, as well as others—
will endure,
and you will redeem my life and take me to yourself
whether I succeed or fail.

I belong to you
even if all my plans and hopes and dreams
come to naught.

Remind me that my times are in your hands:
the timing of my plenty or scarcity,
the timing of my success or failure,
the timing of who follows and who leaves,
the timing of my own coming or going,
in Jesus’ name, amen.

Though Dark Be My Way

(A prayer of John Newton, excerpted and revised from the hymn, "Begone, Unbelief")

Though dark be my way,
Since you are my guide,
'Tis mine to obey,
And yours to provide;
Though cisterns be broken
And creatures all fail,
The word you have spoken
Will surely prevail.

Father Jesus Spirit

Father, you are my Sovereign; I bow to you.
Jesus, you are my King; I kiss your feet.
Spirit, you are my counselor; I listen for you.

A Prayer of Sir Francis Drake

Bob Hostetler

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)

Compline Hymn

Lord, save us,
Save us while we are awake;
Protect us while we are asleep,
That we may keep our watch with Christ,
And when we sleep, rest in his peace.

My Psalm 48

You are great, Lord,
and you deserve the greatest possible praise
here where I live
as well as in that beautiful city of God,
on your holy mountain.

I see it in my mind’s eye, Lord:
Beautiful in elevation,
the joy of the whole earth,
Mount Zion, at the pinnacle
of the city of David, the city of the great King.
You have made yourself known there, Lord;
your presence is palpable on that hill.

Make me like that city, Lord.
Make me a walking Jerusalem,
that causes people—high and low—to sing your praise,
that multitudes passing by might be amazed,
that doers of wickedness might be dismayed,
and run away from your might displayed in my life.
As you have established the city of God,
establish your work in me: firm, fast, forever.

I remember your lovingkindness, O God,
I praise you among worshiping throngs.
Your name is great, O God;
so let your praise be great, to the ends of the earth.
Your hand sows blessings all around.

Let Mount Zion be glad.
Let peace enter that city again.
Let the residents of Judah rejoice,
and acknowledge your wisdom and justice.
I remember fondly walking about Zion,
walking on her mighty walls,
and marveling at her bustling beauty.
As you established Zion, Lord,
please establish the work of my hands,
my eternal God;
be my guide through my life,
all the way to my death,
in Jesus’ name, amen.

Evening Prayer

(A prayer of Jacqueline Seewald, from Bedside Prayers, compiled by June Cotner)

Forgive me the mistakes I've made,
the wrong deeds done this day.
Love me most
when I love myself least.

O Man of Galilee

(A prayer of Robert Hoggard)

O Man of Galilee,
Stay with and strengthen me;
Walk Thou through life with me,
O Man of Galilee.

Accepted

Lord God, my King,
please open my eyes so I may know you accept me.
I renounce the lies of Satan that make me question
your unconditional love and gracious acceptance of me.
I choose to believe that I am accepted by you.
I choose to believe that I am a new creation.
I choose to believe that I am a child of God and an heir of your kingdom.
I choose to believe that I am your masterpiece.
I choose to believe that I am a citizen of heaven.
I choose to believe that I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved.
I choose to believe that I am a child of light and not darkness.
I choose to believe that I am part of a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a special family that belongs to God.
I choose to believe that I share the divine nature.
I choose to believe that I have the mind of Christ.
I choose to believe that I am complete in Christ,
in Jesus’ name, amen.

(Scripture references: Romans 15:7, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 8:14-17, Ephesians 2:10, Philippians 3:20, 1 Thessalonians 1:4, 1 Thessalonians 5:5, 1 Peter 2:9-10, 2 Peter 1:4, 1 Corinthians 2:16, Colossians 2:10).

Prayer Before an Appointment

O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you this day, and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man, in Jesus' name, amen (based on Nehemiah 1:5-6, 11).

My Psalm 47

I clap my hands, God of all nations;
I shout to you, Lord, with joyful phrases.

You are awesome, LORD Most High,
you are the great King over all the earth!

In Christ, whole nations are under my feet;
seated with him, I am more than conqueror.

You chose a great inheritance for me,
greater even than Jacob, whom you loved, knew in his day.

Ascend with shouts of joy, Lord God;
let your kingdom come in like the noisiest royal procession.

I sing praises to you, God, I sing praises;
I sing praises to my King, and will sing even more praises.

For you, O God, are the King of everything there is;
I sing to you my psalm of praise.

You reign over Hamilton and Oxford;
you look down on Ohio from your holy throne.

There is no nobility or significance
apart from you, Lord God,
apart from my position in the people of the God of Abraham,
for even kings and presidents and prime ministers belong to you;
you are exalted high above the highest of the high.

Wonder

Abba, when I compare your goodness
to my gratitude,
your faithfulness
to my mindfulness,
your blessings
to my praise,
I wonder that you
regard me at all.

New Psalm 86

Hear, O Lord, and quickly answer me,
Guard my life, for you are what I need.
Hear my prayer, hear my cry,
You, O Lord, you’re the Lord of my life.

Save my life, my God I trust in you,
Show me grace, I throw myself on you,
Hear my prayer, hear my cry,
You, O Lord, you’re the Lord of my life.

Every day, every night,
You, O Lord, you’re the Lord of my life.

When I cry, your mercy comes to me,
When I call, you always answer me,
You bring joy to my life,
You, O Lord, you’re the Love of my life.

Every day, every night,
You, O Lord, you’re the Love of my life.

Among the gods, O Lord, there’s none like you,
No one else can do the things you do,
Let me walk in your light,
You, O Lord, you’re the Light of my life.

Every day, every night,
You, O Lord, you’re the Light of my life.

Every day, every night,
You alone are the Lord of my life.

Timing

Your timing, O Lord,
touches my heart.
You break through
just when I need you to.

Thank you, amen.

My Symphony

by William Ellery Channing (from Bedside Prayers)

Dear God,
Help me
To live content with small means,
to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion,
to be worthy, not respectable,
and wealthy, not rich,
to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly,
to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart,
to bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely,
await occasions,
hurry never--
in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.
Amen.

A Prayer of John Bunyan

He that is down needs fear no fall,
He that is low, no pride.
He that is humble ever shall
Have God to be his guide.

I am content with what I have,
Little be it or much;
And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
Because thou savest such.

Amen.

(From John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress)

My Psalm 46

God, you are my refuge and strength;
you are always present to help when I am in trouble.
So why do I so often fear, as though the earth might give way
and the mountains might crumble into the heart of the sea?
Why do I react to troubles as though the sea is going to roar and foam
and the earth might run away and cower in fear?

At such times, remind me of the spring that waters the city of God,
the holy place where you, Most High, have repeatedly shown yourself.
Remind me that just as you are within those walls,
so you will surround me and not let me fall;
You will come to help as surely as the sun rises in the morning.

When people around me get all "up in arms,"
When the wheels seem to be coming off the car,
remind me: you need only to lift your voice, and the whole earth would melt.
LORD Almighty, you are with us;
God of Jacob, you are our fortress.

Let others see the works of the LORD,
let them notice the things you are doing on the earth.
Break down barriers and heal divisions, Lord;
defeat those who are weapons in the Enemy's arsenal.

Stop us in our tracks, and remind us of your sovereign power and love;
Be exalted among those who don't know you;
Be exalted in us and all around us.

LORD Almighty, you are with us;
God of Jacob, you are our fortress. Amen.

Dying and Living

Risen Christ,
your resurrection saves me from the fear of dying.
Make it also free me from the fear of living,
Amen.

God of Hope

God of Hope,
I don't know why I so often let circumstances and words and attitudes of others get me down. I let my enemy rob me of hope and optimism. But you, O Lord God, are a God of hope. In you I put my trust. Let me not be put to shame, in Jesus' name, amen.

A Killing Prayer

Lord God, Adonai,
kill in me
the need to control
and manage
and manipulate.

Kill my tendency
to think I am in control
(when I never am)
and that you are not in control
(when you always are).

Kill my unbelief,
my ignorance
and waywardness,
my prayerlessness
and haste,

in Jesus' name,
amen.

Thanks

Lord God, Adonai, thank you.
Thank you for such wonderful weather on Sunday,
for our groundbreaking,
and for the response of your people! Hallelujah!

Thank you for music,
for rhythm,
for melody and harmony.

Thank you for allergy medicine.
Thank you for clear lungs,
and full breaths.

Thank you for Spring, and baseball,
and grilled hot dogs and screen doors and windows.

Thank you for friends,
for giving me children I can't get enough of.
Thank you for the ability
to give you thanks,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Writer's Prayer

Bob Hostetler

Lord God, please help me to write better than I can write, in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 45

Lord God, my heart is stirred by a noble theme.
I recite these verses for you, my King;
make my tongue like the pen of a skillful writer.

You are the most excellent of kings,
and your lips are anointed with grace;
you are blessed forever, O Lord, O King of the Universe.
Gird your sword upon your side, O Mighty One;
clothe yourself with splendor and majesty.
In your majesty ride forth victoriously
in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness;
let your right hand display your awesome deeds.
Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of your enemies;
let all peoples and races fall beneath your feet.
I praise you because your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice is the scepter of your kingdom.
I praise you because you love righteousness and hate wickedness;
you are exalted above all kingdoms and powers,
you are the anointed King of Kings.
I will reach out in prayer and worship to touch your robe,
all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
I will look to your glorious throne
and sing music to make you glad.
You bestow honor on your bride, the Church;
may you bedeck your royal bride as with gold of Ophir.

Let your Church consider and give ear:
Let us forget where we came from;
give us eyes only for you.
I will bring you my gift, Lord;
with my whole heart I will seek your favor.

This weekend, Lord, we break ground for The Loft;
glorify yourself in your church as we do this;
let this structure be like a gown of woven gold adorning your church.
Let it glorify you as our king;
and let all your church’s companions,
all our friends in the community,
all who see,
be brought closer to you.
Lead us in with joy and gladness,
and make this place a palace for our king,
and one that pleases you because of the willing servants
to be added to your kingdom within its walls.

Let this weekend be memorable for this and future generations,
for sons who will take the place of their fathers;
Let us perpetuate your memory through all generations;
that the nations may praise you for ever and ever.

A Prayer of Wendell Berry

Teach me work that honors Thy work,
the true economies of goods and words,
to make my arts compatible
with the songs of the local birds.

Teach me the patience beyond work
and, beyond patience, the blest
Sabbath of Thy unresting love
which lights all things and gives rest.

(by Wendell Berry, from Given (New Poems), 2005).

Weak Thanks

Thank you, Lord,
that when I am weak,
you are strong.
Amen.

First Speaker

First Speaker,
you whispered your love to me
in my mother's womb.

First Knower,
you knew me
long before I knew you.

First Finder,
you found me
before I looked for you.

First Lover,
you loved me
before I had the first chance to love you back.

And you are still speaking,
knowing,
finding,
and loving me
first,
every day,
every moment;
you are always
speaking,
knowing,
finding,
and loving
me first.

Thank you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Mistakes

Lord, please sanctify even my mistakes,
for I make a lot of them. Amen.

A Prayer in Spring

(by Robert Frost, from A Boy's Will)

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

Steer Me

(A prayer of Basil of Caesarea)

Steer the ship of my life, O Lord,
to your quiet harbor,
where I can be safe from the storms
of sin and conflict.
Show me the course I should take.
Renew in me the gift of discernment,
so that I can always see the right direction
in which I should go.
And give me the strength and the courage
to choose the right course,
even when the sea is rough and the waves are high,
knowing that through enduring hardship and danger
in your name
we shall find comfort and peace. Amen.

Pastor's Prayer

Lord, why have you dealt ill with your servant?
And why have I not found favor in your sight,
that you lay the burden of all this people on me?
(Numbers 11:11, ESV).

My Psalm 44

Oh, I have heard with my ears, O God;
my parents told me from my earliest years
what you did in their days,
in long ago days.
I have heard: with your hand you kept my family alive
through dust storms and snow storms;
you provided jobs in times of want
and gave us work to do and food to eat.
It was not by their power or ingenuity that they made it through,
nor did they raise three boys alone;
it was your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your face, for you loved us all.

You are my King and my God,
who decrees victories for me as you once did for Jacob.
Through you and you alone can I hope to push back my Enemy;
through your name I will trample my Foe.
I do not trust in my brain,
my creativity does not bring me victory;
I do not trust in my church,
in my coworkers,
in my leadership team,
in my volunteers;
they do not bring victory;
but you give victory over our enemies,
you put our adversaries to shame.
In You I will make my boast all day long,
and I will praise your name forever.
You have brought us through a time of testing,
a stretch where you allowed confusion
and bickering
and misunderstanding
and division to beset us.
We were ripe for the picking, and exposed to the Enemy.
You could have made us a byword in our community,
a laughingstock.
Even still, we are just a foolish decision
or sinful step from shame.
But we have not forgotten you
or been false to your calling.
We will not be turned back;
I myself recommit to you and your path.
to my calling and your purpose for me and mine.
Even if I face death all day long;
if I am led like a sheep to be slaughtered,
I will cry out to you
until you spring into action once again.

Rise up and help us;
redeem us because of your unfailing love,
in Jesus’ name, amen.

The Praise of Maimonides

Praise be to him who is such
that when our minds try to visualize his essence,
their power of apprehending becomes imbecility;
when they study the connection between his works and his will
their knowledge becomes ignorance;
and when our tongues desire
to declare his greatness by descriptive terms,
all eloquence becomes impotence and imbecility.
Amen.

A Prayer of St. Augustine

Lord Jesus, don't let me lie when I say that I love you...
and protect me today, for I could betray you.

Storehouses of Snow














Lord, you have entered
the storehouses of the snow;
you send ice on the earth
and give birth to the frost from the heavens.
At your command the waters harden like stone,
and the surface of the deep is frozen.

Even as I long for Spring,
I wonder at your winter.

I praise you for your glory
displayed in snow and ice,
cold and frost, amen.

Valentine

Bob Hostetler

Like summer snow
floating from a sun-filled sky,
draping airy-white on flowered fields,
Your love astonished me.

No frilly show,
no assorted-chocolate pledge,
no candy hearts or silver kisses
disclosed your care for me;

But unsparing,
cross-bearing, thorn-wearing love
that opened hands and feet and side
to spill your heart for me,

To recreate,
inundate my longing soul
with giving, holding, accepting,
enfolding love for me.


Whom have I in heaven but you? And being with you, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:25, 26).

From Silly Devotions

(A prayer of Teresa of Avila)

From silly devotions and sour-faced saints, spare us, O Lord.

A Prayer of Brennan Manning

Grazie, Signore...
for judging me not by my shabby good deeds
but by Your love that is Your gift to me,
for Your unbearable forgiveness
and infinite patience with me,
for other people who have greater gifts than mine,
and for the honesty to acknowledge that I am a ragamuffin.

(Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, p. 121).

A Prayer of Austin Farrar

My God, I wish to give you the gift you so much desire;
I wish to commit myself to you once and for all,
so there shall be no taking back.
I cannot commit myself into your hands, O God,
I cannot do it;
but yet I can commit myself into your hands;
for though I cannot keep myselfthere,
your fingers can hold me there,
your strong, gentle fingers
always giving way and never letting go;
your wise subtle fingers,
wrestling so gently against my puny rebellions,
that I tire myself trying to climb out of your hands,
and come to rest at last in those wounded palms.

A Prayer of Charles Foucald

Bob Hostetler

Abba, I abandon myself into your hands.
Do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you.
I am ready for all:
I accept all.
Let your will be done in me and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and I give myself,
surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.
Amen.

A Prayer While Reading Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl

Bob Hostetler

Lord God, I thank you that I am richer
even than King Henry VIII.
I am married to the love of my life,
the wife of my youth,
and she has no competitor and no equal.
I have no throne, but I have heirs,
a happy and healthy
daughter and son.
I need fear no kings or popes.
I have friends I can trust,
who will tell me the truth
even when I don't like hearing it.
I am warm on the coldest winter nights.
I drink coffee every morning.
I can eat fresh fruits or vegetables any time,
I can take hot baths or showers every day,
I can travel faster and farther than he could dream.
And I can lay my head on my pillow each night
clean in conscience,
grateful for blessing,
and safe among my own.

New Canticle

Bob Hostetler

Cold and wind chill, bless the Lord.
Snowflake and icicle, bless the Lord.
Frost and freeze, bless the Lord.
Firewood and flame, bless the Lord.
Cloud and clear sky, bless the Lord.

Canticle

Bob Hostetler

Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.

A Prayer of Nikos Kazantzakis

I am a bow on your hands, Lord.
Draw me, lest I rot.
Do not overdraw me, Lord, I shall break.
Overdraw me, Lord, and who cares if I break?

Get Glory

Bob Hostetler

"I will get glory over Pharoah and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen" (Exodus 14:17, ESV).

Get glory, Lord,
over all the forces that pursue,
oppress,
and attack,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Prayer of My Heart

Jesus, thou art everything to me,
Jesus, thou art everything to me,
All my lasting joys are found in thee,
Jesus, thou art everything to me.

Little to Offer

Bob Hostetler

I have nothing to offer, Lord;
I have little left to give.
But I can get up again tomorrow morning.
I can put one foot in front of the other.
I can persevere.
I can do what I know to do.
I can lay myself down.
I can let you decide when to pick me up.

A Prayer of Thomas a Kempis

Bob Hostetler

Lord, make possible for me by grace what is impossible to me by nature. You know that I am not able to endure very much, and that I am downcast by the slightest difficulty. Grant that for your sake I may come to love and desire any hardship that puts me to the test, for salvation is brought to my soul when I undergo suffering and trouble for you.

Always Near

Bob Hostetler

As the dawn
mists
over the horizon

and the sun
closes
its evening shade,

it's with such
certainty
I know

You are always near.

(by June Cotner Graves, in the book Bedside Prayers, San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1997).

Prayer of W. H. Aitken

Bob Hostetler

Lord, take my lips and speak through them;
take my mind and think through it;
take my heart and set it on fire.
Amen.

Shine Your Light

Bob Hostetler

Lord, shine your light into my confusion.
Please show me what I need to see.
Save me from suspicion or misunderstanding,
and let me see with your eyes,
let me read whatever message you want me to read,
and make me discerning beyond my ability or insight,
in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 43

Bob Hostetler

Stick up for me, O God,
and be my hero, my defender,
from deceitful,
or unjust,
or ignorant people.
You are my safe place,
the One I run to for protection;
though sometimes you seem oblivious to my needs,
I know (on my best days)
that I don’t need to be afraid of my enemy.

Send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me into your presence,
and into the mountain of your holiness.
Let me bow before you
as a priest at your altar,
God my exceeding joy.
Let me praise you with beautiful music,
O God, my God.

Moods will come and go, Lord,
but let me never be cast down in my heart
like those who have no hope.
I hope in you, Lord God;
I find renewal in praising you,
my salvation and my God.