Everywhere and Always Is In You

Abba, my language
isn't sufficient for you.
I can't express your beauty,
your majesty,
not even your presence.
I know that no matter where I go,
you are there.
You do not arrive after me,
you do not even arrive before me.
You are not even, to be accurate, already "there,"
for the "there" itself is not
a place you occupy,
any more than a moment is a moment to you...
the "there" itself--like the "now" or the "then"--
is found in you, not you in it, for everywhere and always is in you.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
but I praise you in my ignorance and littleness.


Smile on me today, Lord,
and speak to me.

(a very free paraphrase of Psalm 119:135)

The Better to Know

you stab me
with the beauties
of your world.

Yesterday it happened again.
I listened to birdcalls
in treetops, bushes, and bending grass,
walked barefoot in the morning dew,
eavesdropped on concerts and conversations
of the summer woodland.

Lord, prick me
with rose petal, sunset, and dawn;
assail me with sight and smell and sound;
torment me with shape and texture and taste.
Lord, make me bleed,
the better to know,
the greater to be,
the more to find myself in You.

(a prayer of Gerhard E. Frost, from his book, Blessed is the Ordinary, p. 65)

On Memorial Day

In the quiet sanctuaries of our own hearts,
let each of us name and call on
the One whose power over us
is great and gentle,
firm and forgiving,
holy and healing…

You who created us,
who sustain us,
who call us to live in peace,
hear our prayer this day.

Hear our prayer for all who have died,
whose hearts and hopes are known to you alone…

Hear our prayer for those who put the welfare of others
ahead of their own
and give us hearts as generous as theirs…

Hear our prayer for those who gave their lives
in the service of others,
and accept the gift of their sacrifice…

Help us to shape and make a world
where we will lay down the arms of war
and turn our swords into ploughshares
for a harvest of justice and peace…

Comfort those who grieve the loss of their loved ones
and let your healing be the hope in our hearts...

Hear our prayer this day
and in your mercy answer us
in the name of all that is holy.


(from the Concord Pastor blog)

A Prayer About Creativity

Heavenly Father, Maker of heaven and earth, nature displays beauty that surpasses the finest music, poetry, or creative genius of all human artists put together. You are the Creator. You are a God of design, color, plan, organization, beauty, magnificence, and order. The great art of the world only copies your splendid creation. The finest model of craftsmanship and artistic skill is found in the creation of the universe. Any creativity I possess is the overflow of a mind filled with the good things you have made, O God. When I'm looking for inspiration, I will fill my heart with your creative wonders. Let my creative expression be glorifying to you, my God and my Maker.

(an excerpt from the book, 365 Pocket Prayers, by Ron Beers; the photo is of a Chrysolina cerealis beetle)

Of Making Many Books

Lord God, I have no desire to add to the endless supply of books (Ecclesiastes 12:12). There are so many great books that I--and others--have yet to read. I don't want to write anything that would be a mere distraction from such gems.

But if there is something you want to say, in a new way, maybe, I would love to be a part of that. If you would reveal to me what (if anything) you want me to contribute by way of the written word, then I am listening, Lord. I am all ears. I am alert and, by your grace, I am ready. Amen.


Lord, help me to schedule my writing well
and so defend against chaos and whim.*

Help me to plan my writing well
that I might have ample time for reflection,
research, and

Help me to keep to a healthy writing routine
so that my senses and skills
will be sharpened and honed.

Make my writing calendar
"a net for catching days,"*
and inspiration
and revelation,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(*these phrases borrowed from Annie Dillard, The Writing Life, p. 32)


Lord, have mercy on the people of Oklahoma City and Moore, Oklahoma.

Please send help to those in danger.
Send comfort and strength to those who've suffered loss.
Send wisdom and stamina to first responders and rescue workers.
Send protection and deliverance to those who are still in harm's way.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Long Have I Loved You

Long have I loved you,
O Beauty so ancient,
and so new.

Long have I loved you!
You have been with me when I little knew
how sweetly you sought me!

Time after time, you called, you shouted, you shattered my deafness.
Time after time, you flashed, you shone, you dispelled my blindness.
Time after time, you have breathed your fragrance on me;
I have breathed you in and breathed you out.
I have tasted you and hungered for you.
I have felt your touch and craved your caress.

(based on "Late Have I Loved You," a prayer of St. Augustine of Hippo)

Deliver Me Please

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.

Plant Fresh Flowers in My Garden

Come, O Lord my God;
my soul invites thee earnestly,
and waits for thee eagerly.

Come to me, O Jesus, my well beloved,
and plant fresh flowers in my garden,
such as I see blooming
in such perfection
in thy matchless character!

Come, O my Father,
who art the Husbandman,
and deal with me in thy tenderness and prudence!

Come, O Holy Spirit,
and bedew my whole nature,
as the herbs are now moistened with the evening dews.

Oh, that you would speak to me!
Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.
Oh, that you would walk with me;
I am ready to give up my whole heart and mind to you.

I am only asking what you delight to give.

(a prayer of Charles H. Spurgeon, slightly revised)

To The Lord God of Movement

"Let me bash out praises
to the Lord God of movement":*

Praise for muscular winds,
whipping tree branches,
and flapping birds' wings.

Praise for pitchers' windups
and batters' swings.

Praise for running grandchild feet
and wagging dog's tail.

Praise for spinning car tires
and straining dinghy's sail.

Praise for creaky old legs
and tumbling dryer tubs,
for blinking airplane lights
and the month of May's "darling buds."

Praise for blood in my veins
and still-flowing drains.
Praise for lawn mower blades
and Canada goose parades.


(*from "The Way We Live" by Kathleen Jamie)

Daily Bread

Day by day the manna fell;
O to learn this lesson well!
Still by constant mercy fed,
Give me, Lord, my daily bread.

Lord, my times are in your hand;
All my sanguine hopes have planned
To your wisdom I resign,
And would make your purpose mine.

Let me live exempt from care
By the energy of prayer;
Strong in faith, with mind subdued,
Yet elate with gratitude,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(a prayer of hymnwriter Josiah Conder)

Let It Sing

Lord, let my life sing.
Let it sing loud and long.
Let it sing "How Great Thou Art."
Let it sing "Great is Thy Faithfulness."
Let it sing "My Chains Are Gone."
Let it sing "On Christ, the Solid Rock, I Stand,
all other ground is sinking sand."
Let it sing "Oh How He Loves."
Let it sing "Your Love Never Fails,"
"I Will Hold On,"
"My Hope Is In You,"
and let it sing, and go on saying, to any and all,
"There is pleasure in his service, more than all,
more than all."

A Place Called Enough

Lord, let me live in a place called Enough.
At peace and unfettered.

Blessèd Lord, In You Is Refuge

Blessèd Lord, in you is refuge,
Safety for my trembling soul;
Pow’r to lift my head when drooping
’Midst the angry billows’ roll.
I will trust you;
All my life you shall control.

In the past too unbelieving
’Midst the tempest I have been,
And my heart has slowly trusted
What my eyes have never seen.
Blessèd Jesus,
Teach me on your arm to lean.

Give me trust that brings the triumph
When defeat seems strangely near;
Grant me faith that changes fighting
Into vict’ry’s ringing cheer!
Faith triumphant,
Knowing not defeat nor fear,

(a prayer of Herbert Booth, slightly revised)

Joyful Praise

I praise you, God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ! In your great mercy, you have given me new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. Through faith I am shielded, by your power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this, I greatly rejoice, though for now I suffer grief in all kinds of trials. But I rejoice in that, too, for I know that these have come so that the genuineness of my faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is finally and fully revealed—him whom I love, though I have not seen him, and him whom I believe in, and thus am filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for I am receiving the end result of my faith, the salvation of my soul. Amen! (based on 1 Peter 1:3-9).

(from the 30-Day Church Challenge Daily Guidebook, p. 62)

Open My Hands

Heavenly Father, every breath is a gift from your hand. Even so, I confess that sometimes my own hand remains tightly closed when I encounter the needs of others. Please open both my hand and my heart that I might learn to open my door to others. As you help me open my heart and hand, O Lord, I ask that you also prompt me to open my life to those who need a taste of your love and bounty. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

(from Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado, p. 61)

Finish What You Started

Sell Art OnlineG' Morning, God!

Like David I pray,
"Finish what you started in me, God.
Your love is eternal--
don't quit on me now"
(Psalm 138:8, The Message).

(a prayer of author and speaker Joan C. Webb)

Rule My Errant Will

O Thou to whom I owe the gift of this day's grace, give to me also, I beseech Thee, the spirit to use it as I ought. Forbid that I should stain the brightness of the morning with any evil thought or darken the noontide with any shameful deed. Let Thy Holy Spirit breathe into my heart to-day all pure and heavenly desires. Let Thy truth inform my mind. Let Thy justice and righteousness make a throne within me and rule my errant will. Let Christ be formed in me, and let me learn of Him all lowliness of heart, all gentleness of bearing, all modesty of speech, all helpfulness of action, and promptness in the doing of my Father's will.


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

Keeper of the Garden of My Heart

Jesus, tender Lover of my soul,
Pardoner of my sins and friend indeed,
Keeper of the garden of my heart,
Jesus, Thou art everything to me.

Jesus, Thou art everything to me.
Jesus, Thou art everything to me.
All my lasting joys are found in Thee,
Jesus, Thou art everything to me.

Dandelion Prayer

You made dandelions.
So make me
more like them.
Quick to bounce back.
Always abounding
in what you made me to be and to do.

31 Prayers of Thanks for My Children

Abba, Father, you have been good. You have been kind. You have answered so many of my prayers, and especially those I have prayed for my children.

I asked you to let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory, and you answered.

I prayed that they may ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,' and you answered.

I prayed that my children may learn to ‘live a life of love,’ through the Spirit who dwells in them, and you answered.

I asked for integrity and honesty to be their virtue and their protection, and you answered.

I asked you to help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be ‘alert and self-controlled’ in all they do, and you answered.

I asked you to let my children grow to find your Word ‘more precious than gold, than much pure gold; [and] sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb,' and you answered.

I asked you to help my children to love justice as you do and to ‘act justly’ in all they do," and you answered.

I asked that my children always ‘be merciful, as [their] Father is merciful,' and you answered.

I asked that my children may ‘show proper respect to everyone,’ as your Word commands, and you answered.

I asked you to help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are ‘God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus,' and you answered.

I asked you to 'let love and faithfulness never leave [my children],’ but to bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts, and you answered.

I asked that my children always ‘Be strong and courageous’ in their character and in their actions, and you answered.

I asked you to ‘Create in [them] a pure heart, O God,’ and let their purity of heart be shown in their actions, and you answered.

I asked that may my children ‘always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else,' and you answered.

I asked that my children may ‘be generous and willing to share [and so] lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age,' and you answered.

I said, "let my children ‘make every effort to do what leads to peace’” and you answered.

I asked for my children to be filled ‘with the joy given by the Holy Spirit,' and you answered.

I asked you to teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to ‘run with perseverance the race marked out for [them],' and you answered.

I asked you to cultivate in my children the ability to ‘show true humility toward all,' and you answered.

I asked you to clothe my children with the virtue of compassion, and you answered.

I asked that my children may learn responsibility, and you answered.

I asked you to teach my children ‘the secret of being content in any and every situation. . . . through him who gives [them] strength,' and you answered.

I prayed that faith would find root and grow in my children’s hearts, that by faith they may gain what has been promised to them, and you answered.

I asked you to help my children develop servant hearts, and you answered.

I asked that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit, and you answered.

I asked you to teach my children to value work and to work hard at everything they do, and you answered.

I asked you to instill in my children a soul that “followeth hard after thee,” a heart that clings passionately to you, and you answered.

I prayed that my children may develop self-discipline, and you answered.

I asked that my children’s lives may be marked by prayerfulness, and you answered.

I asked that my children would live lives that are always ‘overflowing with thankfulness, and you answered.

I asked you to give my children a heart for missions, and you answered.

I asked, and you answered. You honored my hopes and dreams for them, and have even excelled what I had faith enough to ask. Thank you, in Jesus' name, amen.

For the Beauty

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Father, unto Thee I raise,
This my hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light,
Father, unto Thee I raise,
This my hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight,
Father, unto Thee I raise,
This my hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild,
Father, unto Thee I raise,
This my hymn of grateful praise.

For Thy Church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love,
Father, unto Thee I raise,
This my hymn of grateful praise.

For the martyrs’ crown of light,
For Thy prophets’ eagle eye,
For Thy bold confessors’ might,
For the lips of infancy,
Father, unto Thee I raise,
This my hymn of grateful praise.

For each perfect gift of Thine,
To the human race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven,
Father, unto Thee I raise,
This my hymn of grateful praise.

(a prayer by Folliot S. Pierpoint)

A Prayer of Thomas Aquinas for My Children

Grant to my children your grace, most merciful Jesus, that it may be with them and in them now and to the end of their lives. Grant that they may always desire and will those things that are most acceptable and most dear to you. Let your will be theirs, and let their will ever follow yours and agree perfectly with it. Let their willing and not-willing be in complete unison with your will, and let them not be able to will anything but what you will, nor will not what you will not, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(Based on a prayer by Thomas Aquinas)