Forgive My Prayers

Abba, Father,
forgive my prayers.
Forgive all the misguided prayers I have prayed.
All the selfish prayers.
All the self-righteous prayers.
All the stupid prayers.
All the small-faith prayers.

Forgive the prayers I have "preached"
instead of truly prayed.

Forgive the times I have only or mostly
mouthed the words.

Forgive the countless times
I have prayed only what was on my heart,
not even bothering to seek what was on your heart.

Forgive the weak prayers.
The manipulative prayers.
The faithless prayers.
The feckless prayers.
The fraudulent prayers.

Forgive, Lord,
and thank you more than I can say
that you still listen...
after all that.
Amen.

My Psalm 130

Here I am, Lord, right here.
Can you hear me?
Are you listening?

Thank you, LORD, for not keeping
a record of my sins.
If you were keeping count,
I would be fried.

But you grant forgiveness,
full and free,
grace upon grace,
to me.

That is a work of wonder.
It's a miracle in itself.

So I wait for you, LORD;
my soul waits on you,
to act,
to work,
to speak,
to bless,
to move.
Rather than trying to do your work for you,
I put my hope in your promise to bless me,
and work in me what pleases you.

So I wait for you, LORD;
more than the night shift waits for quitting time.

Lord, let everyone I know and love
put their hope in you,
       for you never fail,
you never let us down,
you never renege on your commitments.

You WILL do all that you promise.
You will save.
Amen.

New Doors

Every day I see again
that only you can teach me to pray,
only you can set my heart at rest.
Only you can let me dwell in your presence.

No book, no concept or theory
will ever bring me close to you
unless you yourself are the one
who lets them become the doors to you.

But Lord, let me at least remain open
to your initiative.
Let me wait patiently and attentively
for the hour when you will come
and break through the walls I have erected.

Create new doors.
Teach me, O Lord, to pray.

Amen.

(A prayer of Henri Nouwen)

A Living Prayer

The House of My Soul is Narrow

O Lord,
The house of my soul is narrow;
enlarge it that you may enter in.
It is ruinous, O repair it!
It displeases Your sight.
I confess it, I know.
But who shall cleanse it,
to whom shall I cry but to you?
Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord,
and spare Your servant from strange sins.
Amen.

(A prayer of St. Augustine)

My Psalm 129

Lord, you know who is against me,
you know who has mistreated me,
and I am content
to leave it all in your hands.
They will not gain the victory.

I don't need
anything you don't supply,
and I can withstand
anything you allow.

And you have been so righteous and faithful;
you have freed me from the cords of the wicked,
you have saved me from depression,
you have liberated me from the fear of man!

May all who hate and hurt your people
be turned back from further damage.
Show them their sin, and grant them repentance,
but if they refuse, let them be like new grass in a heat wave,
which withers before it can grow.

But may those who love your church
and defend her
be abundantly blessed,
in Jesus' name, amen.

For Those Being Baptized Today

Blessed are you,
sovereign God of all,
to you be glory and praise for ever.
You are our light and our salvation.
From the deep waters of death
you have raised your Son to life
in triumph.
Grant that all
who have been born anew
by water and the Spirit,
may daily be renewed
in your image,
walk by the light of faith,
and serve you in newness of life;
through your anointed Son,
Jesus Christ, to whom
with you and the Holy Spirit
we lift our voices of praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
All blessed be God for ever.
Amen.

Driving Prayer

Abba, thank you
that of all the cars
and trucks
and motorcycles
that passed me
or were passed by me
on the road today,
not one ran into me. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Richard of Chichester

Thanks be to you,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits
which you have given us,
for all the pains and insults
which you have borne for us.

Most merciful Redeemer,
Friend,
and Brother,
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day.
Amen.

Mother Teresa Prayer

God, here I am,
at your disposal,
your child.
Use me to continue your loving the world,
by giving Jesus to me
and through me,
to each other
and to the world.
Let us pray for each other
that we allow Jesus to love in us
and through us
with the love with which
his Father loves us.
Amen.

My Psalm 128

Lord, I am so blessed
because I revere you,
because I have walked in your ways.

You have blessed my labors,
you have granted prosperity
by your kindness and grace.

You have blessed me with a wife
who is so lovely,
smart,
capable,
compassionate,
companionable,
and loving.

You have given me children
who are like olive shoots,
always producing good things.

Thus have I been blessed
by my relationship with you.

Keep it up, Lord.
Bless me with your holy presence
all the days of my life.

May I see the prosperity of Jerusalem,
and the prosperity of Cobblestone,
and the prosperity of the church in Oxford;
may I live to see you pour out blessing
on my children's children;
and let your peace rest
on all your people,
amen.

A Prayer of Catherine Baird

I come to thee with quiet mind,
Thyself to know, thy will to find;
In Jesus' steps my steps must be,
I follow him to follow thee.

Not Shaken

I’m not shaken,
I’m not letting go...

And everything comes alive
In my life as we lift You higher;
Let Your freedom arise
In our lives as we lift You up!

(Excerpted from Hillsong's Freedom Is Here)

A Sunday Morning Prayer

Good morning, Abba!

Thank you for another day,
another Sunday,
another resurrection morning,
another day of worship,
another opportunity to assemble
with your people in worship.

Please, make this a sacred day,
a day in which your Name is magnified,
your praise multiplied,
your glory manifested,
your heart made glad.

Meet your gathering servants.
Condescend to every waiting heart.
Make our hearts beat with devotion
that we may worship You in spirit and in truth.

Unite your people in heart and soul.
Be with us so we may receive the blessing
promised to all who sincerely pray to You and faithfully hear Your Word,
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.

Fickle

Abba,
please turn fickle Christians
into faithful servants,
in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 127

LORD, unless you build the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless you keep us safe,
locks and alarms are worthless.

It is useless to worry,
to stress
and obsess
for you grant sleep to those you love.

Thank you for the goodly heritage
you have given me,
the son and daughter who make me so proud,
the grandchildren who bring me such joy.

Aubrey and Aaron are like arrows
in the hands of a warrior,
they are a testimony to your kindness
and to the truth of your precepts and principles.

I am a blessed man,
blessed by home,
blessed in where I live,
blessed with a family to love
and be loved by.
I will not be put to shame,
no matter what my Enemy may say or do,
for you have been my teacher and guide,
my leader and defender.
Amen.

For the Grace Another Day Will Require

O God the author of all good, I come to Thee for the grace another day will require for its duties and events. I step out into a wicked world; I carry about with me an evil heart. I know that without Thee I can do nothing, that everything with which I shall be concerned, however harmless in itself, may prove an occasion of sin or folly, unless I am kept by Thy power. Hold Thou me up and I shall be safe.

Preserve my understanding from subtilty of error, my affections from love of idols, my character from stain of vice, my profession from every form of evil. May I engage in nothing in which I cannot implore Thy blessing, and in which I cannot invite Thy inspection. Prosper me in all lawful undertakings, or prepare me for disappointments. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with food convenient for me, lest I be full and deny Thee and say, Who is the Lord? or be poor, and steal, and take Thy name in vain.

May every creature be made good to me by prayer and Thy will. Teach me how to use the world and not abuse it, to improve my talents, to redeem my time, to walk in wisdom toward those without, and in kindness to those within, to do good to all men, and especially to my fellow Christians. And to Thee be the glory.

Amen.

(from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers, edited by Arthur Bennett)

On My Wife's Birthday

Abba, you have granted me
the loveliest bride,
the perfect woman for me,
and I am grateful.
Thank you
for hearing my heart's cry 36 years ago
and thank you
for giving her in marriage to me 33 years ago.
And thank you
for every day with her since then,
days that could not have been
so wonderful,
so beautiful,
so warm and loving,
without her,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Seal

You won't relent until You have it all;
My heart is Yours....


I'll set You as a seal upon my heart,
As a seal upon my arm,
For there is love that is as strong as death,
Jealousy, demanding as the grave;
Many waters cannot quench this love!

You won't relent until You have it all;
My heart is Yours....


Come be the fire inside of me,
Come be the flame upon my heart,
Come be the fire inside of me,
Until You and I are one.

(a prayer by Misty Edwards)

Unclutter

Father, my soul gets so cluttered:
old hopes,
broken dreams,
dusty determinations,
stored-up hurts and resentments,
good intentions waiting to be pulled out
at just the right time,
undone tasks,
unkempt thoughts,
unrepented sins.

Come to my heart, Lord God,
throw open the windows of my soul,
sweep through its dusty confines,
clean out its musty places,
go through, blow through, flow through,
clear it,
clean it,
rearrange it,
and make it your own,
like a bride moving into a bachelor pad,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Traveling Prayer
















Lord, be with me and the lovely Robin
as we spend this day traveling.
Go before us, please.
Come behind us.
Ride with us.
Keep me alert
for any dangerous situations
and make me responsive
to your whispers and shouts
so that we might arrive home
unharmed and secure
in the knowledge that,
on this trip and when our trip is over,
You are still there
and will always be there to guide us safely.
Amen.

God of My Days

You awaken my heart from slumbering,
Meet me in mourning, and You speak to my grief.
You're the light in my darkness, the delight of my eyes,
The hope of the daybreak when the sun's slow to rise;
I trust that every moment's in Your hands.

You're the God of my days, the King of my nights,
Lord of my laughter, sovereign in sorrow,
You're the Prince of my praise, the love of my life,
You never leave me, You are faithful, God of my days.

You unveil my eyes, help me to see
The arms of my Father encircling me;
You're a constant companion, I am never alone.
Your love is the banner that's leading me home.
I trust that every moment's in Your hands

You're the God of my days, the King of my nights,
Lord of my laughter, sovereign in sorrow,
You're the Prince of my praise, the love of my life,
You never leave me, You are faithful, God of my days.

My eyes are on You, my hope is in You,
My faith is in You.
My eyes are on You, my hope is in You,
My faith is in You.

God of my days, the King of my nights,
Lord of my laughter, sovereign in sorrow,
You're the Prince of my praise, the love of my life,
You never leave me, You are faithful, God of my days.

A Prayer by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Still, still with Thee, when purple morning breaketh,
When the bird waketh, and the shadows flee;
Fairer than morning, lovelier than daylight,
Dawns the sweet consciousness, I am with Thee.

Alone with Thee, amid the mystic shadows,
The solemn hush of nature newly born;
Alone with Thee in breathless adoration,
In the calm dew and freshness of the morn.

As in the dawning o’er the waveless ocean
The image of the morning star doth rest,
So in the stillness Thou beholdest only
Thine image in the waters of my breast.

Still, still with Thee, as to each newborn morning,
A fresh and solemn splendor still is given,
So does this bless├Ęd consciousness, awaking,
Breathe each day nearness unto Thee and Heaven.

When sinks the soul, subdued by toil, to slumber,
Its closing eye looks up to Thee in prayer;
Sweet the repose beneath the wings o’ershading,
But sweeter still to wake and find Thee there.

So shall it be at last, in that bright morning,
When the soul waketh and life’s shadows flee;
O in that hour, fairer than daylight dawning,
Shall rise the glorious thought, I am with Thee.

Weakness Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ,
you have power over life and death.

You know what is uncertain and obscure,
and our thoughts and feelings
are no secret from you.

Cleanse me from my hidden faults,
for I have done evil and you have seen it.

Day by day my life draws nearer to its end.
You know how frail I am, in soul and in body.

Give me strength, Lord, in my weakness
and uphold me in my sufferings.

Amen.

(a prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian)

Morning Prayer

We give you hearty thanks, O God,
for the rest of the past night and
for the gift of a new day with
its opportunities of pleasing you.
Grant that we so pass its hours
in the perfect freedom
of your service,
that at eventide we may again
give thanks to you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


(from the Daybreak Office of the Eastern Church;
relayed from the Daily Prayer blog)

My Psalm 126

LORD, when you brought me out of captivity,
out of darkness,
out of discouragement and depression,
it seemed unreal at first.

But you have filled my mouth with laughter,
you have made me sing for joy!
Truly it can be said of me,
"The LORD has done great things for him."

You have, you have.
You have done great things for me,
and I am unspeakably grateful!

Continue, O LORD, to restore my joy and energy
like streams in the Negev.

The tears I sowed in prayer
will bring a harvest of joy.

Send the harvest, Lord,
send an abundant harvest to me
and to your people,
in Jesus' name, amen.

When I Love You, My God

What is that love when I love you, my God?
It is a certain light that I love
and melody and fragrance and embrace
that I love when I love you--
a light, melody, fragrance, food,
embrace of the God-within,
where, for my soul,
that shines which space does not contain;
that sounds which time does not sweep away;
that is fragrant which the breeze does not dispel;
and that tastes sweet which, fed upon, is not diminished;
and that clings close which no satiety disparts--
that is what I love when I love you, my God.

(from The Confessions of St. Augustine, slightly reworded)

Fourth of July Prayer

Lord my God,
I worship you today,
on this 234th birthday of this nation,
these wonderful United States of America
in which I live.

I thank you for the freedom
to worship you publicly...
even as I ask you to show kindness and mercy
to those who lack that freedom
because they live elsewhere.

Thank you for all those
who have sacrificed for my freedom,
for those who risked
(and some who gave) their lives
to make this a free and independent nation,
for those in my nation's armed services, past and present,
and for all who have served the cause of liberty in other ways...
even as I pray for those who even now
are in harm's way,
far from home,
in this nation's service.
Please meet their needs,
watch over them and their loved ones,
and grant them your favor in every way.

And, Father, on this Independence Day 2010,
I pray for the people in this land
and every land
who have not yet discovered the freedom
that is offered to them in your Son, Jesus Christ.
Draw them to you,
set them free
from sin and sadness and strife,
and grant them the eternal freedom
that is found only in trusting you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Deluge

Lord, thank you for
winds of refreshing,
showers of blessing,
streams of mercy,
and peace like an ocean.

Now, Lord, please unleash
a monsoon of your glory;
deluge me and mine,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of Brother Roger of Taize

Jesus, light of our hearts,
since your resurrection,
you always come to us.
Whatever point we may be at,
you are always waiting for us.
And you tell us:
Come to me, you who are overburdened, and you will find relief.
Amen.

A Prayer Before Study

Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding.

Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance.

Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally.

Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm.

Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion. I ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(by Thomas Aquinas)