Grazie, Signore

Grazie, Signore.

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
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,
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.

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
in Jesus' name, amen.