Daylily Prayer

Father in heaven,
make me anew today
in the image of your Son,
as the daylily is made new ever day.
Make me forgiving.
Give me sacrificial love.
Grant me a self-denying spirit,
a persevering will,
a heart of passion and compassion like his.
More love,
more joy,
more peace,
more faith, I pray.
Make me more worshipful,
Make me a man of integrity,
Make me a better husband
and father
and father-in-law,
and grandfather,
and friend,
and preacher,
and pastor,
and writer,
and pray-er.
And then tomorrow,
do it again, please,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer for My Life

Lord God, deliver me please
from the evil of the unexamined life...
the unworshipful life...
the self-centered life...
the self-absorbed life...
the self-satisfied life...
the frantic life...
the marginal life...
the care-filled life...
the accidental life...
the self-reliant life...
the arrogant life...
the inconsequential life...
the shallow life...
the appetite-driven life...
the reactive life...
the fruitless life...
the material life...
the thoughtless life...
the prayerless life...
the small life...
in Jesus' name, amen.

We Cry Out


Lord God, as I worship you today,
please let me approach your throne
boldly, but with due reverence and awe.
Let my worship be worship indeed,
in spirit and truth,
acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.

Prayer for a New Season of Advent

Father in heaven,
our hearts desire the warmth of your love
and our minds are searching
for the light of your Word.

Increase our longing for Christ our Savior
and give us the strength to grow in love,
that the dawn of his coming
may find us rejoicing in his presence
and welcoming the light of his truth.


God, I praise you for your holiness.
I praise you for your holiness displayed in the Garden of Eden.
I praise you for your holiness displayed on Mt. Sinai,
for your holiness displayed to Isaiah,
for your holiness shown through your Son,
for your holiness revealed in your Word
and in the changed lives of your martyrs,
saints, and servants,
in Jesus' name, amen.

For a Penitential Spirit

Oh, Lord,
please cultivate in me
a penitential spirit.

Make me unsatisfied--mournful--
with the dingy gray of my finest robes
against the unapproachable shining whiteness
that is your holiness.


A Thanksgiving Prayer by George Herbert

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more–-a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.

Thank You, Lord, For All Your Goodness

Thank you, Lord, for all your goodness:
Through the years of yesterday:
Thank you too, for present mercies
And your blessings on my way.
Thank you for each revelation,
And for what you choose to hide;
Thank you Lord, for grace sustaining
As I in your love abide.

Thank you Lord, for sunlit pathways,
Thank you too, for byways rough:
Thank you for the fruitful summers,
Also for the winters tough.
Thank you, Lord, for fragrant flowers
Growing right amid the weeds;
Thank you for the peace you give me
Even when my spirit bleeds.

Thank you, Lord, for wayside roses,
Even for the thorns beside;
Thank you for the prayers you granted
And for those that you denied;
Thank you, Lord, for precious comfort
In my hours of grief and pain:
Thank you for your precious promise
Life eternal I shall gain.

(by August Ludvig Storm (1862-1914), translated by Flora Larsson)

A Prayer for Calleigh's Birthday

A Prayer by G. K. Chesterton

Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands,
And the great world around me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?

A Thanksgiving Prayer of Peter Marshall

Our Father in Heaven,

If ever we had a cause to offer unto Thee our fervent thanks, surely it is now, on the Eve of our Thanksgiving Day, when we, the people of this Nation, are comfortable, well fed, well clad, and blessed with good things beyond our deserving. May gratitude, the rarest of all virtues, be the spirit of our observance.

Let not feasting, football, and festivity end in forgetfulness of God. May the desperate need of the rest of the world, and our own glorious heritage, remind us of the God who led our Fathers every step of the way by which they advanced to the character of an independent nation.

May the faith and conviction of George Washington be renewed in us as we remember his words:
...there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exits in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained...
For if we do not have the grace to thank Thee for all that we have and enjoy, how can we have the effrontery to seek Thy further blessings? God, give us grateful hearts.

For Jesus' sake.


From the Senate of the United States - November 26, 1947
Rev. Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain

A Little Prayer

(A prayer by Robert William Service)

Let us be thankful, Lord, for little things -
The song of birds, the rapture of the rose;
Cloud-dappled skies, the laugh of limpid springs,
Drowned sunbeams and the perfume April blows;
Bronze wheat a-shimmer, purple shade of trees -
Let us be thankful, Lord of Life, for these!

Let us be praiseful, Sire, for simple sights; -
The blue smoke curling from a fire of peat;
Keen stars a-frolicking on frosty nights,
Prismatic pigeons strutting in a street;
Daisies dew-diamonded in smiling sward -
For simple sights let us be praiseful, Lord!

Let us be grateful, God, for health serene,
The hope to do a kindly deed each day;
The faith of fellowship, a conscience clean,
The will to worship and the gift to pray;
For all of worth in us, of You a part,
Let us be grateful, God, with humble heart.

The Bibliomaniac's Prayer

(A prayer by Eugene Field)

Keep me, I pray, in wisdom's way
That I may truths eternal seek;
I need protecting care to-day,--
My purse is light, my flesh is weak.
So banish from my erring heart
All baleful appetites and hints
Of Satan's fascinating art,
Of first editions, and of prints.
Direct me in some godly walk
Which leads away from bookish strife,
That I with pious deed and talk
May extra-illustrate my life.
But if, O Lord, it pleaseth Thee
To keep me in temptation's way,
I humbly ask that I may be
Most notably beset to-day;
Let my temptation be a book,
Which I shall purchase, hold, and keep,
Whereon when other men shall look,
They 'll wail to know I got it cheap.
Oh, let it such a volume be
As in rare copperplates abounds,
Large paper, clean, and fair to see,
Uncut, unique, unknown to Lowndes.

A Prayer to Start the Day

Lord Jesus, I thank you for this day. I pray you will help me to live this day with my eyes fixed on you. Open my ears to hear your slightest whisper. Open my eyes to see each opportunity to serve you. Let my feet take me where you want me to go and my hands do what you would have me do. And keep watch over my mouth, Lord. Let nothing go into it or out from it that is inconsistent with your will. I pray that all my thoughts, words, and actions will be a consolation to you. I give you praise and thanks for the many gifts you will send me today, including the gift of my small sharing in your Cross. I especially thank you for your mercy, and pray that you will enable me to be an agent of your mercy to each person I meet today.


(from the Daily Prayer blog)

Prayer of a Pastor

Teach us to care, teach us to use all these occasions of need that are the agenda of our work as access to God, as access to neighbor. Teach us to care by teaching us to pray, to pray so that human need becomes the occasion for entering into and embracing the presence and action of God in this life. Teach us to care by teaching us to pray so that those with whom we work are not less human through our caring but become more human. Teach us to care so that we do not become collaborators in self-centeredness, but rather companions in God-exploration. Teach us to use each act of caring as an act of praying so that this person in the act of being cared for experiences dignity instead of condescension, realizes the glory of being in on the salvation, and blessing and healing of God, and not driven further into neurosis and the wasteland of self.

And, not to care. Teach us to be reverential in all these occasions of need that are the agenda of our work, aware that you were long beforehand with these people, creating and loving, saving and wooing them. Teach us the humility of not caring, so that we do not use anyone's need as a workshop to cobble together makeshift, messianic work that inflates our importance and indispensability. Teach us to be in wonder and adoration before the beauties of creation and the glories of salvation, especially as they come to us in these humans who have come to think of themselves as violated and degraded and rejected. Teach us the reticence and restraint of not caring, so that in our eagerness to do good, we not ignorantly interfere in your caring. Teach us not to care so that we have time and energy and space to realize that all our work is done on holy ground and in your holy name, that people and communities in need are not a wasteland where we feverishly and faithlessly set up shop, but a garden, a rose garden in which we work contemplatively.

Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood.

Teach us to care and not to care.


(from Subversive Spirituality, by Eugene Peterson, pp. 167-168).

A Prayer of St. Francis de Sales

Holy Father, remove from my soul, I pray, my own will and graft on it yours so that your will and not mine is always done.

Just as when one cuts a branch from a tree and grafts on a better one, its fruit is also much better, remove from this tree, Oh Father, the little branch of my will and graft on it your holy will; then I will be certain that it will bear beautiful fruit.

One Day's Thanks

Thank you, Lord.
Just today--in one single day!--
you have given me grace to pray,
food to eat,
clothes to wear.

You provided time with friends,
time with family,
the chance to minister to others.
You saved me from a parking ticket!
You helped me fix something.
You enabled me to laugh.
You sent me encouraging mail.

By your grace, I accomplished much.
By your grace, I suffered no pain.
By your grace, I held my tongue.
By your grace, I saved a little money.
By your grace, I think I made a little progress.
By your grace, I offended no man.

For this and more,
just one day's worth,
I give you hearty thanks!


I Turn From Absenteeism

Most glorious God, God of compassion, God of forgiveness,
I need your presence.
Great Physician, I need healing.
I am spiritually lukewarm
and unbelief mars my confidence in trusting you--
brokenness and repeated failures occupy my attention.
It astounds me that I continually try to battle life's issues on my own.
Sin makes me forget you.
Too long I have neglected the closet of prayer...
Too long I have forsaken the refreshment of your Word...
The cobwebs of indifference and the dust of life's cares choke my soul.
Broken relationships and shattered trust have prevented the health and healing of your Word.

But now--this moment,
I turn from absenteeism to the mercy seat.
I praise you for permission to approach the throne of grace.
Here, I pour out my confession of sin:
foolishly questioning your providence.
Divinely sweep away my soul's clutter.
Pour down upon me streams of needful grace.
Engage my heart to live more faithfully for you.
Your presence alone can make me holy,
I praise you for forgiveness--
Accomplish in me your eternal purposes, through Jesus Christ, my only hope, my only Savior.

("Prayer Number Thirty-Seven" from A Pastor Prays for His People (A Collection of Wise and Loving Prayers to Help You through Life's Journey) by pastor Dr. Wendell C. Hawley)

Resting in the Will of God

(A prayer by Pastor Scotty Smith)
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Sovereign Father, this promise brings me immeasurable peace, humility, and joy. You’re vitally engaged in determining and directing every one of our steps. You’re working all things together after the counsel of your will. You’re working in all things for your glory and for our good. You open doors no man can shut and you shut doors no man can open. Indeed, you’re no mere life coach, you’re the Lord of all things… including me.

Many years I labored under the arrogance and anxiety of assuming that if I prayed hard enough and long enough… that if I was really filled with and “tuned” into the Holy Spirit, I could know the specifics of your will for my life… well in advance of any decision that needed to be made. Of course, my assumption was that if I was in your will, life would be enjoyable, pleasant and hassle-free.

If I bought the right car, it would never break down…If I bought the right house, the roof would never leak… If I married the right person, we would never disagree… If I went to the right college I’d get the right job and life would be all-right... If I sent my kids to the right school, they would never act out and would end up on the mission field. If all of this was true, I wouldn’t really need you.

Father, you’re certainly honored when we work hard to make good plans, in keeping with our understanding of the Scriptures. It’s important for us to seek and heed, wise prayerful counsel of good and godly friends. But help us to live with more confidence that Jesus is the Good Shepherd, not a consulting partner… a very present Lord, not an absentee landlord… the reigning King, not an impotent bystander. Because of Jesus, I’m confident your will is being done… on earth as it is in heaven.

Free us to accept that many times your will leads to great suffering and pain. It’s called the cross. But the cross and resurrection go together. Hallelujah! What a most glorious and gracious Father you are. So very Amen, we pray, in Jesus’ exalted and very present name.

(by way of

For Grace

Lord, I thank you for the grace to pray,
and for the grace to fast.

Thank you for the grace to subdue my appetites
and choose prayer over hunger,
your desires over mine,
and godly values over bodily needs.

Such grace comes from you,
and glory returns to you.

We Rejoice That You Have Given Us Sunday

Father, we rejoice that you have given us Sunday,
the day when we remember that you created the world
and all that is within it,
the day when Jesus was raised from the dead
and death and hell laid waste,
the day in which all things were made and remade.

Father, may we approach Sunday
with longing and expectation;
as the hungry seek for bread,
so may we yearn for word and sacrament;
save our worship from all that is trivial;
rooted in the reality of the world in which we live,
may it yet glimspe the glory of your presence,
and stand in awe at the light of your holiness;
may we sense the presence of all who have gone before us,
hearing in our own songs the echo of unseen heaven's praise,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(From More Everyday Prayers)


Lord, please grant me the desires
of YOUR heart.

A Prayer for Veteran's Day

God of peace,
we pray for those
who have served our nation
and who laid down their lives
to protect and defend our freedom.

We pray for those who have fought,
whose spirits and bodies
are scarred by war,
whose nights are haunted by memories
too painful for the light of day.

We pray for those who serve us now,
especially for those in harm's way:
shield them from danger
and bring them home.

Turn the hearts and minds
of our leaders and our enemies
to the work of justice and a harvest of peace.

Spare the poor, Lord, spare the poor!

May the peace you left us,
the peace you gave us,
be the peace that sustains,
the peace that saves us.

Christ Jesus, hear us!
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer!


(from A Concord Pastor Comments blog)

A Prayer of Reinhold Niebuhr

O God, give us grace to walk humbly
and save us from pretension
and every arrogant folly.

You have made us, and not we ourselves.

Help us to remember the limits
of our power and our wisdom,
but help us, also,
to do our duty within the limits
of our power and our wisdom. Amen.

A Prayer to God My Fountain

Lord God,
you are
an eternal, unfailing fountain;
the more
you pour forth and overflow,
the more
you continue to give.
You desire
nothing more seriously
from us
than that we ask you for much
and great things.

So I ask, God my Fountain.
Monsoon us with your love and power,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(based on words of Martin Luther, by way of Ray Ortlund's blog)

Post-travel Prayer

Thank you
for the blessing of travel,
and for the pleasure
of returning home.

With You There Is Forgiveness

By Sons of Korah, who will appear in concert--free!--at The Loft tomorrow evening at 7 pm!

My Psalm 150

Hallelujah, Lord!

I praise you
for the capacity to praise you!
I praise you
that I can praise you in song,
and for the privilege
of praising you in your house,
among your saints!

I praise you
under your great blue blanket of sky;
I praise you for your mighty acts
and your magnificent greatness;
I praise you with joyful laughter,
and I praise you with quiet weeping;
I praise you with dance,
and I praise you by kneeling.

I praise you loud
and I praise you soft.
I will praise on my face
and I will praise you with a fist pump!

I will praise you with all I have,
and all I am;
let every living thing join in!


A Prayer of Clement XI

Lord, I believe in you:
increase my faith.
I trust in you:
strengthen my trust.

I love you:
let me love Thee more and more.
I am sorry for my sins:
deepen my sorrow.

I worship you
as my first beginning,
I long for you as my last end,
I praise you as my constant helper,
and call on you as my loving protector.

Guide me by your wisdom,
correct me with your justice,
comfort me with your mercy,
protect me with your power.

I offer you, Lord,
my thoughts: to be fixed on you;
my words: to have you for their theme;
my actions: to reflect my love for you;
my sufferings: to be endured for your greater glory.

(from the Daily Prayer blog)

My Psalm 149

I praise you, LORD.
I will sing to you,
a new song,
an old song,
a slow song,
a fast song,
my own song,
anyone's song.

I will rejoice in you, my Maker;
I will be giddy in your presence, my King.

I will praise your name with dancing
(try not to laugh);
I will turn anything into an instrument of praise to you.

For you delight in your people;
you crown your lowly subjects with salvation!

I rejoice in honor from you,
I sing for joy that you listen to my prayers!

Your praise will be in my mouth,
your Word a double-edged sword on my lips,
to wield spiritual warfare
and send petty demons fleeing,
to bind them with fetters, with shackles of iron,
for it is my glory to be your lowliest soldier
in the struggle of the ages.

A Prayer for All Saints Day

Living God, in whom there is no shadow or change, we thank you for the gift of life eternal, and for all those who having served you well, now rest from their labours.

We thank you for all the saints remembered and forgotten, for those dear souls most precious to us. Today we give thanks for those who during the last twelve months have died and entered into glory.

We bless you for their life and love, and rejoice for them “all is well, and all manner of things will be well.”

God of Jesus and our God, mindful of all those choice souls who have gone on ahead of us, teach us, and each twenty-first century disciple of every race and place,
to follow their example to the best of our ability:
to feed the poor in body or spirit,
to support and comfort the mourners and the repentant,
to encourage the meek and stand with them in crises,
to affirm those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
to cherish and learn from the merciful,
to be humbled by, and stand with, the peacemakers.
Let us clearly recognize what it means to be called the children of God, and to know we are to be your saints neither by our own inclination nor in our own strength but simply by the call and the healing holiness of Christ Jesus our Saviour.


(a prayer by By Bruce Prewer)