A Prayer of Saint Basil

O God and Lord of the Powers,
and Maker of all creation,
Who, because of Thy clemency
and incomparable mercy,
didst send Thine Only-Begotten Son
and our Lord Jesus Christ
for the salvation of mankind,
and with His venerable Cross
didst tear asunder the record of our sins,
and thereby didst conquer the rulers and powers of darkness;
receive from us sinful people, O merciful Master,
these prayers of gratitude and supplication,
and deliver us from every destructive and gloomy transgression,
and from all visible and invisible enemies who seek to injure us.
Nail down our flesh with fear of Thee,
and let not our hearts be inclined to words or thoughts of evil,
but pierce our souls with Thy love,
that ever contemplating Thee,
being enlightened by Thee,
and discerning Thee,
the unapproachable and everlasting Light,
we may unceasingly render confession and gratitude to Thee:
The eternal Father, with Thine Only-Begotten Son,
and with Thine All-Holy, Gracious,
and Life-Giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

My Psalm 125

I trust in you, LORD;
make me like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken
and endures forever.

Like the mountains
around Jerusalem,
encircle me,
both now and forevermore.

Break the influence of the wicked
over me and mine, Lord,
including my family,
my church,
and our leaders.

Do good to us, LORD,
to all who are upright in heart.

But those who thrive on gossip
and conflict
and hatred
and bitterness
and selfishness
and condemnation--
keep them far away from me!

Bless your people with peace.

Come Summer With Me, Lord

I offer you these months, Lord,
my heart's July and August days...

Come summer with me, Lord;
summer deep down in my soul;
restore my faith in summer’s time,
in rest, in joy, in play, in you...

Summer in my heart, Lord,
and dwell there
as if time would never end,
as if all time were children's time, eternal time
when school is always out and joy is ever in…

And let others summer in my shade, Lord,
and share whatever summer’s peace is mine to give,
whatever summer’s light is mine to shed,
whatever summer's warmth is mine to share...

Good God of every season and every day this week,
come summer with me, Lord, and let the child in my heart
spend this summer in your love...


(excerpted from a prayer on the Concord Pastor Comments blog)

A Prayer Before Corporate Worship

Great God, in public and private, in sanctuary and home,
may my life be steeped in prayer,
filled with the spirit of grace and supplication,
each prayer perfumed with the incense of atoning blood.
Help me, defend me,
until from praying ground I pass to the realm of unceasing praise.
Urged by my need,
invited by Thy promises,
called by Thy Spirit,
I enter Thy presence,
worshipping Thee with godly fear,
awed by Thy majesty, greatness, glory,
but encouraged by Thy love.

I am all poverty as well as all guilt,
having nothing of my own with which to repay Thee,
but I bring Jesus to Thee in the arms of faith,
pleading His righteousness to offset my iniquities,
rejoicing that He will weigh down the scales for me,
and satisfy thy justice.

I bless Thee that great sin draws out great grace,
that, although the least sin deserves infinite punishment because done against an infinite God,
yet there is mercy for me,
for where guilt is most terrible,
there Thy mercy in Christ is most free and deep.
Bless me by revealing to me more of His saving merits,
by causing Thy goodness to pass before me,
by speaking peace to my contrite heart;
strengthen me to give Thee no rest untiI Christ shall reign supreme within me in every thought, word, and deed,
in a faith that purifies the heart, overcomes the world,
works by love, fastens me to Thee, and ever clings to the cross.

(from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers)


Abba, thank you
that I can walk.
Thank you that I can walk
without pain,
without difficulty,
without even thinking about it.
Thank you for strong legs,
working joints,
and moving limbs.

Hör Mein Bitten

Hear my prayer, O God, incline Thine ear!
Thyself from my petition do not hide.
Take heed to me! Hear how in prayer I mourn to Thee,
Without Thee all is dark, I have no guide.

The enemy shouteth, The godless come fast!
Iniquity, hatred, up on me they cast!
The wicked oppress me, Ah where shall I fly?
Perplexed and bewildered, O God, hear my cry!

My heart is sorely pained, within my breast,
my soul with deathly terror is oppressed,
trembling and fearfulness up on me fall,
with horror overwhelmed, Lord, hear me call.

O for the wings, for the wings of a dove!
Far away, far away would I rove!
In the wilderness build me a nest,
and remain there forever at rest."

(Anthem for soprano solo, chorus and organ or orchestra written by Felix Mendelssohn in Germany in 1844. The text, originally in English, written by William Bartholomew, is derived from Psalm 55)

More and More Like You

Make me more and more like you, Lord.
Make me a servant, like you.
Make me a lover of souls, like you.
Make me a shepherd, like you.
Make me a rod in your hand,
a cedar of Lebanon,
a man of integrity.
Make me a mighty man of valor.
Make me a healer of hurts,
a dispenser of grace,
a fount of compassion,
like you.

A Prayer of Andrew Murray

Blessed Son of God! Here I am. By Thy grace, I give my life to the carrying out of Thy last great command. Let my heart be as Thy heart. Let my weakness be as Thy strength. In Thy name I take the vow of entire and everlasting obedience. Amen.

(From The School of Obedience, end of chapter 8)

Stupid Thing

Lord God Adonai,
help me,
when temptation comes,
when I feel attacked
or accused,
to more fervently--
and quickly--
devote myself to prayer,
and so make such attacks
a stupid thing
for the devil to try,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer for Quiet Confidence

You have taught us
that in returning and rest
we shall be saved,
in quietness and confidence
we shall be strengthened.
By your Spirit
lift us to your presence
where we may be still
and know that you are God.

(from the Book of Common Prayer)

My Psalm 124

Oh, Lord God Adonai,
if you had not been on our side
these last couple years;
if you had not been on our side
when people attacked us,
when their anger flared against us,
we certainly would have been
swallowed alive;
depression would have won the day,
dissension would have brought down another church,
and the devil would have been victorious.

But praise be to God!
You did not let us be destroyed!
You delivered us from the snare,
and the traps that were laid for us.

And you proved once more:
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

Save Us From These Comforts

Save us from these comforts.
Break us of our need for the familiar.
Spare us any joy that’s not of you,
And we will worship you.

(Thanks to Carlos Whittaker's blog, where I discovered this Puritan prayer)

My Eating Dysfunctions

Lord, please heal me
of my eating dysfunctions--
eating for comfort,
eating as entitlement,
eating as if I'll never eat again, etc.
Please shine your light on my idols
and on my dis-ease in this area
and help me to not only lose weight
but also to be healthy,
and to glorify you in my body,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Ocean Lament

We hold in prayer and lament this day
the terrible suffering of all life-forms
in the Gulf of Mexico.
We grieve the profound marring of your creation,
and the threat to coastal ways of life.
Have mercy o God, have mercy.
Grant wisdom and perseverance
to all who struggle to contain this disaster.
Let those who lost their lives rest in peace.
And send out your Holy Spirit,
to create anew the face of this earth.

(by Teresa Berger, on the PrayTell blog)

My Psalm 123

I lift up my eyes to you,
King of heaven.
As a slave looks to his master for cues,
as a maid looks to her mistress for clues,
to respond instantly to the slightest opportunity for service,
so my eyes look to you, LORD God,
until you favor me with your smile.

Show me your favor, Lord,
for I've been kicked around,
talked about,
betrayed and abandoned

(painting by Aaron Collier, professor of painting at Tulane University in New Orleans, one of a series on the Psalms of Ascent (Psalm 120-134) he completed in 2007).

On the Anniversary of My Ordination

Most loving Jesus, today is the anniversary of the day on which, despite my unworthiness and through your goodness, you graciously ordained me to the ministry, thirty years ago.

You have taken me through many twists and turns since that day, and yet your hand is still on me and your presence still with me, granting the privilege of ministering to others the message of reconciliation, the voice of your sublime wisdom, and the divine mysteries. My soul is filled with joy, love, and gratitude for this wholly undeserved privilege I have received. At the same time, I am sad and troubled for having so often, and without reason, failed to respond as I ought to your great generosity.

I beg the continual assistance of your infinite goodness which will enable me to accomplish the sublime work for which you have commissioned me. Grant your light in my mind and your strength in my heart that I may daily dispense in greater abundance the fruits of your redemption to all people. Amen.

Speak to Me, Reprised

I know I just posted the lyrics of this prayer, this song, day before yesterday, but O MY....God has so used this prayer in my heart since Johnny Cole sang it last Friday at Oxford House of Prayer. Thanks, Johnny. And thanks, Tommy Walker. Just listen, and pray:

My Psalm 122

Abba, what joy I feel
when it is time to worship in your house,
among your people!

What a blessing it is to stand,
hands lifted high,
in your presence,
where you love to bless sincere worshipers.

Thank you, God, for such a place as The Loft,
spacious and comfortable,
where we can gather,
where we can praise your name
and learn your ways;
where we can listen like Samuel
and pray like Moses
and dance like David.

Thank you for the peace that surrounds us there,
even as we remember your Word
and pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
"May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels."

Let peace triumph in the Land of Israel,
and let it be found within all your churches.

And for the church in Oxford, especially, Lord,
prosper your people,
in Jesus' name,

Speak to Me

I am your servant
And I am listening;
Speak to me Lord, speak to me.
I need your wisdom
And truth and comfort;
Speak to me Lord, speak to me.

Speak to me,
Speak to me,
Through your word,
Through your Spirit,
Speak your words of life.
Speak to me,
Speak to me,
I am listening,
I am waiting,
Speak to me.

I am your servant
And I am listening;
Speak to me Lord, speak to me.
My heart is silent,
My soul is longing,
Speak to me Lord, speak to me.

A Prayer of Chuck Swindoll

Protect me from the evil one.
Should I stumble,
deal harshly with me if You must.
Stop me, O God, before I fall!
Never let it be said of me,
‘How have the mighty fallen’ in battle.
Not only for my sake,
but for the sake of Your name.

(Taken from a blog post)

A Prayer for Miles's Birthday

(From the Book of Common Prayer, 1928; the artwork pictured above can be ordered here)

Ancient Celtic Prayer

You are the peace of all things calm.
You are the place to hide from harm.
You are the light that shines in dark.
You are the heart's eternal spark.
You are the door that's open wide.
You are the guest who waits inside.
You are the stranger at the door.
You are the calling of the poor.
You are my Lord and with me still.
You are my love, keep me from ill.
You are the light, the truth, the way.
You are my Saviour this very day.

Ave Verum

Translation of the Latin lyrics:
Hail, true body
born of the Virgin Mary,
Who truly suffered,
sacrificed on the Cross for man,
Whose pierced side
overflowed with blood,
Be for us a foretaste
in the trial of death.

A Prayer of George Washington

O eternal and everlasting God, I presume to present myself this morning before thy Divine majesty, beseeching thee to accept of my humble and hearty thanks, that it hath pleased thy great goodness to keep and preserve me the night past from all the dangers poor mortals are subject to, and has given me sweet and pleasant sleep, whereby I find my body refreshed and comforted for performing the duties of this day, in which I beseech thee to defend me from all perils of body and soul.

Direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit, from the dross of my natural corruption, that I may with more freedom of mind and liberty of will serve thee, the ever lasting God, in righteousness and holiness this day, and all the days of my life.

Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the Gospel. Give me repentance from dead works. Pardon my wanderings, and direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation. Teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments. Make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber. But daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life. Bless my family, friends and kindred unite us all in praising and glorifying thee in all our works begun, continued, and ended, when we shall come to make our last account before thee blessed Saviour, who hath taught us thus to pray, our Father.

Haiku Prayer

Raindrops striking leaves,
Making them tremble and wave.
Such beauty. Thank you!

Prayer on Our Thirty-Third Wedding Anniversary

Lord God, thank you so much
for the gift
of thirty-three years
of marriage,
and thirty-six years

Thank you for the love which grows more precious and for the bonds which grow closer each day. Thank you for all the happiness we've known together; for the sorrows we have faced together; for all the experiences of sunshine and of shadow through which we have come, up to today.

Thank you for the gift of children--and such children--and grandchildren--and such grandchildren! Thank you that our wedding was only the beginning of our joys, and that our devotion to each other and to you has grown with each passing year.

Graciously spare us to each other to go on walking through this life together, and grant that for us it may be true that the best is yet to be: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


O blessed glorious Trinity,
Bones to philosophy, but milk to faith,
Which, as wise serpents, diversely
Most slipperiness, yet most entanglings hath,
As you distinguish'd, undistinct,
By power, love, knowledge be,
Give me a such self different instinct,
Of these let all me elemented be,
Of power, to love, to know you unnumbered three.

(Stanza IV of John Donne's Litany)


O Holy Ghost, whose temple I
Am, but of mud walls , and condensèd dust,
And being sacrilegiously
Half wasted with youth's fires of pride and lust,
Must with new storms be weather-beat,
Double in my heart Thy flame,
Which let devout sad tears intend, and let—
Though this glass lanthorn, flesh, do suffer maim—
Fire, sacrifice, priest, altar be the same.

(Stanza III of John Donne's Litany)


O Son of God, who, seeing two things,
Sin and Death, crept in, which were never made,
By bearing one, tried'st with what stings
The other could Thine heritage invade ;
O be Thou nail'd unto my heart,
And crucified again ;
Part not from it, though it from Thee would part,
But let it be by applying so Thy pain,
Drown'd in Thy blood, and in Thy passion slain.

(Stanza II of John Donne's Litany)


Father of Heaven, and Him, by whom
It, and us for it, and all else for us,
Thou madest, and govern'st ever, come
And re-create me, now grown ruinous:
My heart is by dejection, clay,
And by self-murder, red.
From this red earth, O Father, purge away
All vicious tinctures, that new-fashioned
I may rise up from death, before I'm dead.

(Stanza I of John Donne's Litany)