A Prayer of Martin Luther

Behold, Lord, an empty vessel
that needs to be filled.
My Lord, fill it.
I am weak in the faith; strengthen me.
I am cold in love; warm me
and make me fervent,
that my love may go out to my neighbor.
I do not have a strong and firm faith;
at times I doubt and am unable to trust you altogether.
O Lord, help me.
Strengthen my faith and trust in you.
In you I have sealed the treasure of all I have.
I am poor; you are rich
and came to be merciful to the poor.
I am a sinner; you are upright.
With me, there is an abundance of sin;
in you is the fullness of righteousness.
Therefore I will will remain with you, of whom I can receive,
but to whom I may not give.

Preaching and Preachers

Living Word,
thank you for the preaching
and the preachers
that have fed and sustained my soul:
Peter Marshall,
Tom Skinner,
John R. W. Stott,
Festo Kivengere,
Billy Graham,
Elisabeth Eliot,
Leonard Ravenhill,
Tom Hermiz,
Charles Swindoll,
Rob Bell,
Erwin McManus,
T. D. Jakes,
Haddon Robinson,
Tommy Nelson,
Fred Craddock,
E. V. Hill,
Brennan Manning,
R. C. Sproul,
Ravi Zacharias,
Francis Chan,
Efrem Smith,
Mark Batterson,
and many, many others,
less famous,
such as Andy Miller
and Charles Killian
and Cliff Sipley
and Bill Francis
and Damon Rader
and Israel Gaither
and Gene Pigford
and my brother Don
and Liz Curtis Higgs
and Virelle Kidder
and Matt Kelty
and John Johnson
and many, many others too numerous to mention.
You have taught me so much
by the diligent work
of your faithful servants,
and I thank you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Pinafore Prayer

Lord Jesus,
we come to Thee now as little children.
Dress us again in clean pinafores;
make us tidy once more
with the tidiness of true remorse and confession.
O, wash our hearts, that they may be clean again.
Make us to know
the strengthening joys of the Spirit,
and the newness of life which only Thou can give.

(a prayer of Peter Marshall)


Lord, "I will run in the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart" (Psalm 119:32, KJV).

Oh, enlarge my heart, please.
Increase my capacity for you.
Flood every spiritual valve and ventricle,
every corner and cubbyhole of my heart and spirit
with your gracious presence and sovereign control.
I need you, I want you, I will not let you go
until you bless me with more, more, more of yourself.

Let me be satisfied in you today, as with the richest of foods, in Jesus' name, amen.

All Who Serve Us

Lord Jesus, bless all who serve us,
who have dedicated their lives to the ministry of others--
all the teachers of our schools who labor so patiently with so little appreciation;
all who wait upon the public,
the clerks in the stores who have to accept criticism, complaints, bad manners, selfishness at the hands of a thoughtless public.
Bless the mailmen,
the drivers of streetcars and buses who must listen to people who lose their tempers.

Bless every humble soul who,
in these days of stress and strain,
preaches sermons without words.

(a prayer of Peter Marshall)

Blessed Obscurity

Lord, thank you that my high school transcripts are not on the Internet,
that my first sermon is not on YouTube,
that my off-the-cuff comments don't make the news,
and that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me from all sin.

A Prayer by John Henry Cardinal Newman, Slightly Revised

Praise to you, Holiest, in the height,
And in the depth be praise;
In all your words most wonderful,
Most sure in all your ways.

O loving wisdom of my God!
When all was sin and shame,
A second Adam to the fight
And to my rescue came.

O wisest love! that flesh and blood,
Which did in Adam fail,
Should strive afresh against the foe,
Should strive and should prevail.

And that a higher gift than grace
Should flesh and blood refine,
Your Presence and your very Self,
And Essence all divine.

O generous love! that you, who smote,
In Man for man the foe,
The double agony in Man
For man should undergo.

And in the garden secretly,
And on the Cross on high,
Should teach His brethren, and inspire
To suffer and to die.

Praise to you, Holiest in the height,
And in the depths be praise;
In all your words most wonderful,
Most sure in all your ways.

Luke 17:5 Prayer

Lord, as your apostles asked, I ask: increase my faith.
Is it a mustard seed yet?

I haven't moved any mulberry trees,
let alone a mountain.
But my small faith has moved me.
It has driven me over and over again into your arms,
into utter, helpless dependence on you.
Is that a mustard seed yet?

My small faith is rooted firmly in the soil of your sufficiency.
I know my inadequacy.
I am thoroughly convinced of my helplessness.
I know apart from you I can do nothing,
but abiding in you, I can do all things.

So increase my faith, please.
I tremble even as I ask it, because I know
that you most often increase my faith through testing and trial.
But let it be.
Increase my faith, until by your grace I make mulberry trees quake, in Jesus' name, amen.

My Sunday Morning Prayer

I'm here to meet with you;
Come and meet with me.
I'm here to find you,
reveal yourself to me.

As I wait, you make me strong;
As I long, draw me to your arms;
As I stand and sing your praise,
You come, you come and you fill this place.
Won't you come, Won't you come and fill this place.

I'm here to meet with you;
Come and meet with me.

Visit Now This Soul of Mine

Holy Spirit of God,
visit now this soul of mine,
and tarry within it
until the eventide.
Inspire all my thoughts.
Pervade all my imaginations.
Suggest all my decisions.
Lodge in my soul's most inward citadel,
and order all my doings.
Be with me in silence and in my speech,
in my haste and in my leisure,
in company and in solitude,
in the freshness of the morning and the weariness of the evening.
Give me grace at all times to rejoice in Thy mysterious companionship.

(a prayer of John Baillie in A Diary of Private Prayer

Can I Have the Things I Pray For?

Can I have the things I pray for?
God, you know best;
You are wiser than your children,
Therefore, I can rest.


Great Creator, thank you for the seasons that unfold right outside my windows,
and display your beauty and creativity,
and remind me of your many blessings and provisions.

Thank you for the vibrancy of Spring,
the budding of trees and blooming of flowers,
the return of the birds and smell of the air.

Thank you for the pleasures of Summer,
the bright sunny days and perfect moonlit evenings,
the smells of mowed grass and air thick with rain.

Thank you for the colors of Fall,
the crisp air and crackling leaves,
the cooling days and Indian Summers.

Thank you for the glistening Winters,
the shimmer of sun on snow and the crack of branches under ice,
for biting winds and welcoming fireplaces.

Great Creator, thank you for the seasons of this earth,
and likewise for the seasons of my life,
that teach me one after the other
that you are good.

My Heart is Yours

My heart is yours, Lord; my heart is yours.
My life is yours.
My wife is yours.
My children.
My grandchildren.
All yours.
My worship.
My allegiance.
My devotion
and attention belong to you.
My work,
my writing,
my speaking. .
My mind and soul and strength,
my hurts and sorrows,
my hopes and dreams,
my past, present, and future--
all yours.
My talents,
my strengths,
my weaknesses,
my hands and eyes and ears and voice,
my moments and my days,
my joys and laughter,
pleasures and pains.
All I am and all I have are yours.
Do what you will.
You have my heart,
you have my trust,
you have my all,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer for My Readers

What a privilege is mine
to write
and to publish.
What an honor
that people around the world
and down through the years
may be able to read these words
I write today.

I pray for every one of my readers, Lord:
Those who will seek out my words,
those who will receive them from a friend,
those who will stumble upon them,
those who will read them only because
there's nothing else at hand.
Let each of them find you in what I write.
Let every one be drawn closer to you by these words.
Let the clarity and quality of my work today
pay eternal dividends
and glorify you
exceeding abundantly above I can imagine or dream,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Morning Prayer

O, good God, good morning!

You've given me another day to live, Lord:
a day to shape into something beautiful,
a day to serve others, a day to give you thanks,
a day in the life of you and me, Lord.

How would you have me spend this day?
With whom would you have me share it?
Along what path will your Spirit draw me?
Close to whose heart will your heart lead me?

What word would you have me speak today?
What quiet time together have you planned for us to share?
What tears might I cry today
And with what joy will you touch my soul?

When I'm tired today give me strength, Lord.
When I'm moving too fast, slow me down.
When I'm saying too much, let me know.
When I need to speak, give me words to say.

Give me patience with this day's routine, Lord,
and open my eyes to see what is fresh and new.
Because this day comes from your hand, it's blessed
and because I can offer it back to you, it's a gift.

O, good God, good morning!
Keep me safe until I say good night...

(from A Concord Pastor Comments)

On My Daughter's Thirtieth Birthday

Thank you for this, Lord:
for her,
my daughter,
my Blossom,
the apple of my eye,
my pride,
my joy,
who turns thirty today.

Oh my.
I can't believe it.
How fast the years have flown by.
How unimaginably wonderful you made her
and grew her
and refined her
all along the way.

In her, you have made my dreams
come true,
so I pray for her,
please make all her dreams come true--
and in her
fulfill all your dreams for her
in Jesus' name, amen.

Refrigerator Thanks

Lord, thank you for a refrigerator.
Thank you for ice when I want,
cold water when I want,
fresh fruit
and vegetables when I want,
cold juice
and sweet tea when I want.
Thank you for the ability to preserve
fresh milk,
and leftovers.
Thank you for a level
of comfort and convenience
that could only have been imagined
just a few generations ago.


Almighty God, thank you
that you not only loved me,
but you love me right now.
Thank you that you saved me
and are saving me.
Thank you that you spoke,
and that you speak.
Thank you that you gave yourself for me
and that you give yourself to me.
Thank you that you thought of me eons ago
and think of me still,
that you made a way for me
and make a way for me still,
that you answered my prayers
and answer them still.
Thank you, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
that you are the God of the living THEN
and of my life NOW,
in Jesus' name, amen.

For the Gift that Unlocks Treasures

G-d, we give thanks
for the gift of scholarship,
For wisdom,
insight and understanding,
For the gift that unlocks treasures hidden in Your Holy Word.
You gave us Torah at Sinai
And righteous men and women
to be Your messengers,
Revealing divine secrets
Hear this prayer for those who study Talmud and Torah,
Mishna and Gemara,
Zohar, Musar and Tanya,
The words by G-d to Israel,
The lessons of scholars of every generation.
Make their thoughts Your vessel.
Let heaven pour Your voice into them
So that they overflow with sacred fire
Drawing others to Your word.
So that when we hear Your mysteries,
Our souls turn back to You in joyous reunion.
Together, we offer the light back to heaven,
And rejoice.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.


Dear Jesus, help us to spread your fragrance everywhere we go.

Flood our souls with your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly that our lives may only be a radiance of yours. Shine through us, and be so in us, that every soul we come in contact with may feel your presence in our soul. Let them look up and see no longer us but only Jesus! Stay with us, and then we shall begin to shine as you shine; so to shine as to be a light to others; the light, O Jesus, will be all from you, none of it will be ours; it will be you, shining on others through us. Let us thus praise you in the way you love best by shining on those around us. Let us preach you without preaching, not by words but by our example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what we do. The evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to you. Amen.

(from CommonPrayer.net)

Abel Prayer

God, let me always offer a better sacrifice than Cain.
May I give you reason to speak well of my offerings.
And may I, by faith, like Abel, still speak, even beyond this life.

(based on Hebrews 11:4)

Airport Prayer

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

After a Week of Speaking

Thank you, Lord, for your kindness and presence this week as I've been traveling and speaking. Thank you for the fine fellowship I've enjoyed. For attentive listeners. For gracious hosts. For responsive hearts. Comfortable accommodations. Nourishing meals. New friendships. Renewed relationships. Thoughtful compliments. Restful nights. Productive days. Rich worship. Good reading. Fond reminiscences. Ample blessings. Plentiful laughs. And the prospect of a joyful, timely, and safe return home, in Jesus' name, amen.

I May Try to Be Clever

Lord Jesus, as Peter said,
you alone have the words that give life.
Your words are living and mighty,
and more precise than a scalpel,
slicing to the heart.

Let me speak your words this week, Lord,
not mine.
Flow through me,
speak through me.

I may try to be clever.
I will no doubt lapse into self and flesh.
You will see it coming,
and I ask you to please
save me from stupidity,
and everything that does not come
from you.

Please speak.
Speak to me.
Speak through me.
Speak so clearly and so forcefully,
and restoring all those who have ears to hear,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Bless My Enemies (A Prayer by St. Nikolai of Ochrid)

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Enemies have driven me into Thy embrace more than friends have.

Friends have bound me to earth, enemies have loosed me from earth and have demolished all my aspirations in the world.

Enemies have made me a stranger in worldly realms and an extraneous inhabitant of the world.

Just as a hunted animal finds safer shelter than an unhunted animal does, so have I, persecuted by enemies, found the safest sanctuary, having ensconced myself beneath Thy tabernacle, where neither friends nor enemies can slay my soul.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

They, rather than I, have confessed my sins before the world.

They have punished me, whenever I have hesitated to punish myself.

They have tormented me, whenever I have tried to flee torments.

They have scolded me, whenever I have flattered myself.

They have spat upon me, whenever I have filled myself with arrogance.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Whenever I have made myself wise, they have called me foolish.

Whenever I have made myself mighty, they have mocked me as though I were a dwarf.

Whenever I have wanted to lead people, they have shoved me into the background.

Whenever I have rushed to enrich myself, they have prevented me with an iron hand.

Whenever I thought that I would sleep peacefully, they have wakened me from sleep.

Whenever I have tried to build a home for a long and tranquil life, they have demolished it and driven me out.

Truly, enemies have cut me loose from the world and have stretched out my hands to the hem of Thy garment.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Bless them and multiply them; multiply them and make them even more bitterly against me:

so that my fleeing to Thee may have no return;

so that all hope in men may be scattered like cobwebs;

so that absolute serenity may begin to reign in my soul;

so that my heart may become the grave of my two evil twins: arrogance and anger;

so that I might amass all my treasure in heaven;

ah, so that I may for once be freed from self deception, which has entangled me in the dreadful web of illusory life.

Enemies have taught me to know what hardly anyone knows, that a person has no enemies in the world except himself.

One hates his enemies only when he fails to realize that they are not enemies, but cruel friends.

It is truly difficult for me to say who has done me more good and who has done me more evil in the world: friends or enemies.

Therefore bless, O Lord, both my friends and my enemies.

A slave curses enemies, for he does not understand.

But a son blesses them, for he understands. For a son knows that his enemies cannot touch his life. Therefore he freely steps among them and prays to God for them.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.


Bless Him Today, Lord

Bless him today, Lord.
Send your Spirit,
send the fire,
send every possible blessing
and empowerment
on him and on his worship leading this morning.

Give my son, the worship leader,
clarity and conviction,
boldness and sensitivity,
mercy and grace
in all he does.

Let him sing and play,
let him speak and lead,
let the whole band
flow in the fulness of your presence and power.

Let your people be lifted to new heights in worship,
let your house be filled with praise,
let your heart be blessed by the hearts of your children,
in Jesus' name, amen.