On a Day of Driving

G-d who watches over us,
Watch over this journey.
Keep us free from affliction and strife,
Safe from danger and wrong doing,
Protected in Your loving sight.
May we know strength and good fortune on the way,
Rest and peace upon our return.
May this travel be blessed with the shelter of Your gentle arms,
The guidance of Your mighty hand,
The gift of Your countless blessings.

Bless our moments apart,
Bless our moments together.
Grace upon departure,
Joy upon return.
Remembering to praise and bless
Your Holy Name
Wherever You lead us.

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

A Prayer from the Fourth Century

Who then, my Lord, compares to you?

The Watcher slept,
the Great was small,
the Pure baptized,
the Life who died,
the King abased to honor all:
praised be your glory.

(a prayer of Ephrem (or Ephraim) of Edessa, translated by John Howard Rhys. It is the final verse of a hymn as it appears in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982)

Let Me Hide Myself in Thee

Little Things, Big Differences

Thank you, God,
for the little things
that make such a big
difference in my life:
a few temperatures cooler,
the microscopic enzymes that help me digest food,
the salt that seasons a meal,
a morning kiss from my bride,
a smile from a grandchild,
the respect of my kids,
a well-turned phrase in a book,
a non-stuffy nose,
a few drops of rain,
found money in a pants pocket,
a light that turns green just in time,
an extra ten minutes of sleep,
a "thank you,"
a thoughtful note or text message,
the ability to inhale fully,
walking barefoot in the grass.

A Prayer of Hezekiah, Revised

Sovereign Lord,
I thank you
for the troubles I have had in my soul,
for by them you continue to teach me humility.

You give life, Lord,
and you have given new life to my spirit.
All my suffering
has been for your purposes,
for good and not evil.
You have saved me from destruction,
and cast my sins behind you.
You have lifted me from the pit,
that I might praise you
with my words and with my life.

Well, then, I will praise you,
like a father telling his children
a thrilling bedtime story.

I will praise you
like a gifted Gospel singer
belting out "How Great Thou Art."

I will praise you
all the days of my life. Amen.

(based on Isaiah 38:15-20; the illustration above is by Stacy Lee, available for purchase here)

For Eight Years of Prayer Blogging

Lord God Adonai,
thank you for the first eight years
of this prayer blog.

Thank you for all 2,528 prayers
I have prayed on this blog
to date.

Thank you for the blessings
and growth
and grace
that have come to me
through these prayers,
and for the many thousands of other people
who have read them
and prayed them,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(to see the first prayer posted on this blog, go here)

I Light My Candle

I light my candle
at your flame, Holy Spirit.
Let me burn brightly,
and let my light so shine
that others may see
and glorify the Father.
Let my light not fade or fail
until my course is run
and the victory won,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God

Holy Spirit, living Breath of God,
Breathe new life into my willing soul.
Bring the presence of the risen Lord
To renew my heart and make me whole.
Cause Your Word to come alive in me;
Give me faith for what I cannot see;
Give me passion for Your purity.
Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me.

Holy Spirit, come abide within;
May Your joy be seen in all I do—
Love enough to cover ev'ry sin
In each thought and deed and attitude,
Kindness to the greatest and the least,
Gentleness that sows the path of peace.
Turn my striving into works of grace.
Breath of God, show Christ in all I do.

Holy Spirit, from creation's birth,
Giving life to all that God has made,
Show Your power once again on earth;
Cause Your church to hunger for Your ways.
Let the fragrance of our prayers arise.
Lead us on the road of sacrifice
That in unity the face of Christ
Will be clear for all the world to see.

Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
© 2006 Thankyou Music

Make Me a Psalm 1 Man

Make me that man, Lord.
The one who doesn't think like the wicked
or flirt with temptation
or go along with the crowd.

Make me that man
who loves your Word
and dwells in your presence.

Make me that man who is like a tree,
planted by a flowing stream,
bearing fruit season after season.
Make me that man whose leaf never withers,
whose prosperity only grows,
in Jesus' name,

(based on Psalm 1:1-3)

A Hymn of Love

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the pleasures of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love with this heart you have purchased from sin,
I love with a mind you've renewed from within,
With whatever strength you may give from now on,
My Jesus, I'll love you, my strength and my song.

(a hymn by William Featherston with a new verse (the last) by Bob Hostetler)

A Prayer of Jayber Crow

Let my life,
when poured out at the end, say,
like a gallon jug
of the prime local spirit.

(a prayer based on words
by the title character
of the Wendell Berry book,
Jayber Crow)

Bless My Bruises, Drop by Drop

Bruised and blemished,
a fallen leaf forgotten by most,
remembered by you, Lord
blessed with pearls of grace...

You'll kiss a windblown leaf
so touch my heart with peace:
with drops of mercy quench my thirst
for life, for you...

Morning dew or evening rain
- makes no difference: night and day
your Spirit soothes a dry and weary soul
with sweet anointing from above...

Cleanse my blemished heart
and bless my bruises, drop by drop,
'til your moist mercy seeps within
to heal my deeper wounds...

(a prayer from A Concord Pastor Comments; photo by Mark Penta)

Tired of My Own Voice

Dear God,
I would love to be like your servant Nehemiah, who lived with a constant sense of your presence. Your Word shows that his life was a moment-by-moment conversation with you, even as he pursued his ambitious agenda to rebuild the protective walls of Jerusalem. How can I grow more aware of you speaking in my life? Perhaps I could put a Post-it note on my computer to remind me to breathe a quick prayer whenever I sit down to work. Or I could set my cell phone alarm to sound every sixty minutes, and then take thirty seconds to review how you have been with me the last hour and ask you to help me in the hour ahead. The point is, I need to take time to listen to you so our relationship can grow. Or really, so that I will grow closer to you as I settle myself and listen for your voice. My spiritual maturity is often hindered by inattention. I show up, but I come with an agenda and a list of demands. I'm sorry, God. I'm tired of my own voice, and I want to hear yours. Please talk to me. I'm ready to listen. Show me how my life can become a moment-by-moment conversation with you.

(from the book, 365 Pocket Prayers, by Ron Beers)

The Prayer Preceding All Prayers

May it be the real I who speak;
May it be the real Thou I speak to.

(a prayer of C.S. Lewis)

It's Her 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,
in Jesus' name, amen.

I Would Be Thy Holy Temple

I would be thy holy temple,
Sacred and indwelt by thee;
Naught then could stain my commission,
‘Tis thy divine charge to me.

Take thou my life, Lord,
In deep submission I pray,
My all to thee dedicating,
Accept my offering today.

Seeking to mirror thy glory,
Living to answer thy call,
Each faithful vow now renewing,
Gladly I yield thee my all.

Time, health and talents presenting,
All that I have shall be thine;
Heart mind and will consecrating,
No longer shall they be mine.

O for a heart of compassion,
Moved at the impulse of love,
Lost ones to bring to thy footstool,
Thy gracious riches to prove!

(by Brindley Boon, from The Salvation Army Songbook, #786)

Delight in Simple Things

Lord, make me more like him,
who can find delight
in the simplest things,
like balls
and crawling under tables
and finding a long-neglected toy
in an out-of-the-way place.

Orlando's Prayer

Let gentleness my strong enforcement be.

(from William Shakespeare's As You Like It, Act 2, Scene VII, line 119)

At Your Feet

Lord Jesus, here I am.
Here you are.
I sit at your feet.
I gaze on your beauty.
I feel your closeness.
I am happy to linger in your presence.
It is enough.
You are enough.

A Petition from the Talmud

May it be Your will, O Lord my God,
to grant me a good heart,
a good portion,
a good inclination,
a good friend,
a good name,
a good eye,
a good soul,
a lowly disposition,
and a humble spirit. Amen.

(from the Talmud, Tractate Berakhot)

Until Respondent Voices Rend the Air

Omnipotent God, whom through the worship of my heart alone I know, to the wicked unknown, yet known to every devout soul, you are without beginning and without end, more ancient than time past and time to come; your fashion and extent no mind can ever grasp, no tongue express....

Son of the All-highest, bringer of salvation to the human race, you to whom your Begetter has committed all the powers of his Fatherhood, keeping none back in envy, but giving freely, open a way for my prayers and safely convey them to your Father's ears.

Grant me a heart, O Father, to hold out against all deeds of wrong, and deliver me from the serpent's deadly venom, sin....

Prepare a road that I, being freed from the fetters of this frail body, may be led up on high, where in the clear heaven the Milky Way stretches above the wandering clouds of the wind-vexed moon--that road by which the holy men of old departed from the earth; by which Elias, being caught up in the chariot, once made his ways alive above our lower air; and Enoch, too, who went before his end without change of body.

Grant me, O Father, the effluence of everlasting light for which I yearn, and bring to your altar the offering of a stainless life.

Grant me your pardon, Father, and relieve my anguished breast...and when the hour of my last day shall come, grant that the conscience of a life well spent cause me not to fear death, nor yet long for it. When, through your mercy, I appear cleansed from my secret faults, let me despise all else, and let my one delight be to await in hope your judgment. And if that day delays, keep me far from that fierce tempter, the serpent, with his false allurements.

Claim these prayers as your own before the eternal Father, Son of God to whom I pray, Savior, God and Lord, Mind, Glory, Word and Son, very God of very God, Light of Light, who remains with the eternal Father, reigning throughout all ages, whose praise the harmonious songs of tuneful David echo forth, until respondent voices rend the air with "Amen."

(a prayer by Ausonius, shortened and updated slightly)


Lord, I would share,
But first possess,
That inner gift, serenity.
Then, comforted, blessed, free from unrest,
Serve you nonetheless,
But with tranquility.

(from Abundant Living, by E. Stanley Jones, p. 155; slightly revised)

Before Vacation Ends

Gracious God, my time away is nearly over. Nourish in me excitement for going back to my daily life with renewed anticipation, ready to dig into the work and relationships that make my life meaningful and productive. Let me feel the creative impulse moving through me again. Help me take with me the tenderness that has nourished and refreshed me. May these times of quiet and rest, adventure and play give me new ways to think about my work and the demands of my life. May I always know that life is a balance between giving and receiving, working and resting, doing and being. May I do each with a heart filled with joy and gratitude. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.

(from http://www.explorefaith.org/prayer/essays/vacationpray.html)

While I Am Away

Gracious God, in the midst of the busy-ness of my life, I often forget that you are near me, waiting patiently for my attention. I come to you when I am troubled, but I am so easily consumed with the round of activity that I don’t sit in stillness and feel your presence in the beat of my heart. Help me now, while I am away from work, to enter the space of quiet awe within my own soul, and find you there. Give me the silence and solitude I need to hear my heart beat again. Let me be astonished by the movement of your breath in me and startled by the closeness of your Spirit, so that when I return to the demands of my life, I will know again the importance of staying in your presence. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.

(from http://www.explorefaith.org/prayer/essays/vacationpray.html)

On July Fourth

Lord my God,
I worship you today,
on this 237th 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 2013,
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.

Another Rhythm of Life

Gracious God,
help me appreciate
another rhythm of life
that comes when work ends for a time.

In my movement from activity to quiet,
from thinking to being,
from producing to relaxation,
give me the softness of your Spirit
that will slow my heart and change its beat.

I ask this for the sake of your love.

(from http://www.explorefaith.org/prayer/essays/vacationpray.html)

While I Am Away from the Regular Responsibilities of Life

Gracious God, give me a heart of playfulness while I am away from the regular responsibilities of my life. Give me a spirit of adventure – a spirit that is ready to try new things, taste new food, experience new people. Give me courage to do the unexpected and untried. Give me a desire to delight in what is new and different, knowing that I will return fuller for having been bold enough to stretch myself out. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.

(from http://www.explorefaith.org/prayer/essays/vacationpray.html)

A New Prayer on Vacation

Gracious God, it is a time to see and do new things now. The work that claims my heart is done now, and my soul is ready for a time of Sabbath rest. Help me be attentive and curious, open and aware, so that the images, experiences and encounters of this time may be bouquets of refreshment when work again is my soul’s delight. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.

(from http://www.explorefaith.org/prayer/essays/vacationpray.html)