A Prayer of Richard Slater

I have not much to give Thee, Lord,
For that great love which made Thee mine;
I have not much to give Thee, Lord,
But all I have is Thine.

A Spring of Living Water

Abba, Father, Lord God Almighty,
make me a spring of living water,
rising up and rushing forth.
Let my ministry, my life,
be an outflow of your gracious work in me,
in Jesus' name, amen.


My Enemy plays games with me; I know that. And my mind and moods, on a natural level, play games with me, too. Maybe it's also in the nature of things, working with people, to periodically be overwhelmed, panicked, attacked, misunderstood, whatever. So, Lord, when will I be "grown up" enough to greet such times with "My help is in the name of the Lord," or "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?" and truly KNOW it? Let it be soon, please, even now--from now on. Amen.

Exceedingly Blessed

Lord, thank you that my son is a much better, healthier, brighter, more talented man than I am, and thank you that my daughter is better, healthier, brighter, and more talented than me...and so very much like her lovely mother! I am abundantly blessed, beyond all that I could ever have asked or even imagined! Oh, my, if their children exceed them as much as they have exceeded me, oh, what will be?

My Psalm 83

O God, do not keep silent;
O Lord, don't choose now to hold your tongue.

Your enemies are not holding back;
they are yet plotting and scheming.
Evil takes no holiday;
their cunning has not ceased.

Though they may hide,
they still act against your people.
Though they may lie under cover,
they continue to oppose you,
to hinder your work,
to divide your people,
to prevent your kingdom from expanding.

Do to them as you did to Midian,
as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon;
defeat all evil
and rout all workers of evil
and drive them from our midst.

Blow them away,
like tumbleweed, O my God,
like chaff before the wind.

As fire consumes the forest
and sets whole mountainsides ablaze,
so pursue them with your fury
and dispel them with your rage.

Humiliate our Enemy,
break his teeth before our eyes,
so that men will seek your name, O LORD,
so that all will know that you, LORD, King of my heart,
that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

God of New Things

Abba, Father, God of new things,
how I praise you and thank you
that I wake this morning with a new granddaughter,
born yesterday.
How great are your works,
and this tiny girl among them,
Mia Marie,
who has been growing
under your all-seeing eye
for almost nine months now,
whom I just met
but you have known from eternity past,
in your omniscience.
Grant her grace and health and growth,
as you have granted her life and beauty and love,
and wonderful parents as well.
And grant too that today,
in and through the worship of your church,
you will reveal yourself as God of new things
as you did in introducing this world
to Mia Marie,
in Jesus' name, amen.

I Love You As

Oh, Lord, you have been good.
I love you, Lord, with all my heart.
I love you as a child loves a perfect father.
I love you as a slave loves his redeemer.
I love you as a near-victim loves the rescuer,
as an orphan the adopter,
as a wanderer the guide,
as a student the teacher,
as a lover the beloved.
Grant that today I may love you even more,
in Jesus' name, amen.

First Learner

Lord God Adonai, as I study your Word today
in preparation for the privilege of preaching,
please come to me
and teach me
that I may be merely the first learner
and the first life changed
of all those you will reward
for having given attention
to your Word,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Another Prayer of Christina Rossetti

O God the Holy Ghost
Who art light unto thine elect
Evermore enlighten us.
Thou who art fire of love
Evermore enkindle us.
Thou who art Lord and Giver of Life,
Evermore live in us.
Thou who bestowest sevenfold grace,
Evermore replenish us.
As the wind is thy symbol,
So forward our goings.
As the dove, so launch us heavenwards.
As water, so purify our spirits.
As a cloud, so abate our temptations.
As dew, so revive our languor.
As fire, so purge our dross

A Prayer of Gerard Manley Hopkins

Thee, God, I come from, to thee go,
All day long I like fountain flow
From thy hand out, swayed about
Mote-like in thy mighty glow.

What I know of thee I bless,
As acknowledging thy stress
On my being and as seeing
Something of thy holiness.

Once I turned from thee and hid,
Bound on what thou hadst forbid;
Sow the wind I would; I sinned:
I repent of what I did.

Praise Belongs to You

Praise belongs to you, Lord.
I praise you for your faithfulness,
your kind and merciful willingness
to hold onto me in spite of all my sin and stubbornness.

I praise you for your constancy
and at the same time your creativity;
you are always merciful,
yet your mercies are new every morning.

I praise you for your power,
your purity,
your sweetness,
your majesty,
your holiness,
your goodness,
your patience,
your truth,
your love, your great love,
and your grace, in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of Christina Rossetti for the Lord's Day

Open wide the window of our spirits, O Lord,
and fill us full of light;
open wide the door of our hearts,
that we may receive and entertain you
with all our powers of adoration and praise.


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 you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:25, 26).

God, Renew Me by Your Spirit

God, renew me by your Spirit!
Come and touch my weary soul.
Grant me joy so I can share it;
Oh, restore me; make me whole!

God, revitalize our mission!
Bless your church from pole to pole!
May we overcome division!
Oh, restore us; make us whole!

God, revive my congregation!
Be our center and our goal!
Help us join in adoration!
Oh, restore us; make us whole!

God, refresh your whole creation!
Timeless is salvation’s role!
Grant us boundless celebration!
Oh, restore us; make us whole!

(Revised from GOD, RENEW US BY YOUR SPIRIT! © 1992 John Dalles)

Your New Word Amid Our Anxiety

On reading 1 Kings 2:1-9

The promises roll of your lips
and into our ears:
I will be with you;
I will love you faithfully;
I will be your God;
My covenant is forever.

We count on your words that flow from our ears
to our hearts, and we are glad.

But even while we listen,
we live much of our lives underneath the table.
We read these old stories, and
we know about intrigue and fear and
anxiety and near violence
and deception.
We mostly do not act out our violence
but we imagine and ponder and scheme;
and then we, too, must cover up
and the cover-up ferments;
our lives become complex and burdened.

We keep inventing ourselves and our underneath selves turn out
to be less than adequate
and we wish we were other than we are.
We juggle your good purposes and
our hidden yearnings and
try to serve two masters,
try to live two narratives,
try to live two dreams,
and we are weary.

Because we know our hearts of anxiety so well,
we seem fated to disease.
But because we know your heart of fidelity so well,
we know you will defeat our demons
and make us new.

We know about your abiding fidelity in
Jesus of Nazareth.
Give us patience and steadfastness as we
process the ragged edges of our lives.


(a prayer by Walter Brueggemann, from his book, Prayers for a Privileged People)

Let Your Spirit Rest on Me

Abba, let your Spirit rest on me,
fill me with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
baptize me with the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Favor in Abundance

Show up for us today, Lord.
Please grant us your presence
and your favor in abundance,
in Jesus' name, amen.


I give myself to you, Lord.
I give you this day.
Take my offering,
sanctify it,
burn it up on the altar,
and make it acceptable,
pleasing to you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Drive Us to the Cross

"Our Lord and our God, you are indeed the source of our life in Christ Jesus. Of what then could we boast? And yet, we seek constantly to lord it over each other. Even in the darkest questions, those in which the information available to us is scant, we assume that we know enough to dismiss those who disagree with us with a curt 'He doesn't get it.' We laugh, we criticize, and we talk about each other in ways that demean, in ways that give evidence of the pathetic attempt to elevate ourselves above all others. Forgive us our sin. And drive us to the cross. For beneath the cross, the ground is completely level. There is no room for boasting unless it be that boasting in the Lord whose power was made complete in weakness. For he alone is worthy of our praise, our veneration, our adoration, and the complete devotion of our hearts and our minds.
It is in his name that we pray. Amen."

(Prayer offered before a lecture by Bruce McCormack, professor of systematic theology at Princeton)

Isaiah 60:1 Thanks

Abba, thank you so much
that the glory of the Lord
has risen on me and mine.

Your Will

Abba, today I pray:
may your will be done.
I submit to your will.
I agree with your will.
I commit to doing your will,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer from Steven Curtis Chapman

(Today is my friend Jim Rose's funeral, which makes apropos this lyric, from "Last Day on Earth" by Steven Curtis Chapman)

I pull over to the side of the road and I
Watch the cars pass me by;
The headlights and the black limousine tell me
Someone is saying goodbye.
I bow my head and I whisper a prayer,
“Father, comfort their broken hearts,”
And as I drive away there's a thought that I
I cannot escape, no I, cannot escape this thought
I can't get away:

Oh, if this should be my last day here on earth,
How then shall I live.
Oh, if this should be the last day that I have
Before I breathe the air of heaven
Let me live it with abandon to
The only thing that remains
After my last day here on earth....


A Prayer for Super Bowl Sunday

The world of fast money,
and loud talk,
and much hype is upon us.
We praise huge men whose names will linger only briefly.

We will eat and drink,
and gamble and laugh,
and cheer and hiss,
and marvel and then yawn.

We show up, most of us, for such a circus,
and such an indulgence.
Loud clashing bodies,
violence within rules,
and money and merchandise and music.

And you--today like every day--
you govern and watch and summon;
you glad when there is joy in the earth,
But you notice our liturgies of disregard and
our litanies of selves made too big,
our fascination with machismo power,
and lust for bodies and for big bucks.

And around you gather, as every day,
elsewhere uninvited, but noticed acutely by you,
those disabled and gone feebles,
those alone and failed,
those uninvited and shamed.
And you whose gift is more than "super,"
overflowing, abundant, adequate, all sufficient.

The day of preoccupation with creature comforts writ large,
We pause to be mindful of our creatureliness,
our commonality with all that is small and vulnerable exposed,
your creatures called to obedience and praise.

Give us some distance from the noise,
some reserve about the loud success of the day,
that we may remember that our life consists
not in things we consume
but in neighbors we embrace.

Be our good neighbor that we may practice
your neighborly generosity all through our needy neighborhood.

(a prayer by Walter Brueggemann, from his book, Prayers for a Privileged People)