For Persevering Prayer

O Lord, when I compare my feeble attempts at prayer with the standards for effective prayer, I confess that I do not pray to you but simply play at prayer. Forgive me for taking the blessings that are wrought from prayer so lightly that I have not been willing to persevere as I should, but have so soon given up and have turned the matter too quickly to you. Fill me now with the Spirit and the desire for persevering prayer.

(from Principles of Prayer, by Charles G. Finney)

This Wondrous Life of Never-Ceasing Prayer

O my Father, with my whole heart do I praise Thee for this wondrous life of never-ceasing prayer, never-ceasing fellowship, never-ceasing answers, and never-ceasing experience of my oneness with Him who ever lives to pray.

O my God! Keep me ever so dwelling and walking in the presence of Thy glory, that prayer may be the spontaneous expression of my life with Thee.

(a prayer of Andrew Murray, from With Christ in the School of Prayerphoto by David Paul Ohmer via

A Short Prayer of T. S. Eliot

O Lord, deliver me from the man of excellent intention and impure heart: for the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.

It Goes So Fast

Oh, my Lord, it goes so fast. For them, for their parents, and for their grandparents, I pray: slow it down from time to time. Grant wisdom in the midst of busyness and exhaustion to mark the moments and enjoy it all, in Jesus' name, amen.

Make Him a Ballplayer

Make him a ballplayer, Lord.
Give him a great start
to a life of "Let's play some ball!"
Let him have a blast.
Give him early success
that increases the joy of the game.
Give him focus and concentration
beyond his years.
Give him laughter and fun.
Give him the thrill of catching the foul ball,
of throwing the runner out,
of hitting a frozen rope,
of running the bases,
flashing some leather,
sliding into home,
and being part of a team.

On the First Day of Fall

When I must go, dear God, please let it be
A golden autumn day; when red leaves fall,
When purple grapes in shining clusters hang
And bittersweet glows bright against the wall,

When o'er the barren fields and russet meads
Their last farewells the crickets cry.
Let me make my silent journey
When the homing birds fly south across the sky.

When I must go, dear God, please let me go
As silently as autumn rain,
As still as lacy shadows 'neath the willow trees,
As calm as is the moon above the hill.

So let me go--and may there be no grief
When life is done and I must say goodbye.
I'll take my leave with flowers and falling leaf
And lie in peaceful sleep beneath the sky.


For Seasons

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 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.

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.

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.

For the Kurds

Lord God, please have mercy on the tens of thousands of Kurds fleeing the brutality of ISIS. Please rescue these broken towns, broken families, broken people, from further brokenness. Please give them safe passage and safe haven. Please scatter their enemies and prompt the leaders and peoples of the world to do something--to do more--to help, in Jesus' name, amen.

Laudate Pueri Dominum

I praise you, LORD.
I have been so blessed
by men and women who fear you
and find great delight in your commands.

I am blessed to be among them now,
to be one of those who fears you
and loves your Word.

Oh, Lord, please
make my children mighty in the land;
let the next generation be blessed
beyond my wildest dreams.

Grant them true wealth
and enduring riches;
let the walls of their homes be adorned
with righteousness.

Let your light dawn in their lives,
and dispel all darkness for them.
Make them gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Make them generous and anxious to give.
Make them just in all their affairs.

Let them never be shaken;
give them a sterling reputation.
Save them from rumor and gossip.
Make their hearts steadfast, always trusting in you.
Make them confident and fearless.
Give them victory over every enemy, every obstacle.
Bless their efforts on behalf of the poor
and needy
and sick.
And give them influence and honor,
for your name's sake.

Let the wicked look at them and be vexed,
wondering at the blessings of the righteous,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(based on Psalm 112)


Fill my cup, Lord,
I lift it up, Lord,
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of Heaven,
Feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup,
Fill it up
And make me whole.

(from the hymn by Richard Eugene Blanchard Sr.)

The Welfare of Your Servant

Lord God, please let
my life,
my temperament,
my marriage,
my health,
my home,
my writing,
my earning,
my spending,
my giving,
my saving,
my growing,
my smiling,
my singing,
my coming,
and going
cause people to say,
"Great is the Lord,
who delights in the welfare
of his servants" (Psalm 35:27),
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Short Prayer for Freelance Writers

Just for today, let me be compassionate with myself.

I forgive myself for not writing enough, or well enough, or fast enough.

I am thankful today for my unique creative gifts. Instead of dwelling on regrets about what I haven’t accomplished yet, I will focus on what I can do now to develop my craft.

Let me take at least one, small step today to put my writing out there.

When my query letters go unanswered, I will remain serene and remember that it’s often not about me or my writing.

I will listen and learn from people whose feedback I value, but trust that my most important guiding voice and source of confidence as a writer lies within.

When opportunities arise, let me evaluate them with clear eyes and have the wisdom to pass if the gig isn’t right for me. I will not let feelings of panic or desperation lead me to make bad choices, but trust that if I do my marketing, the right gigs will come to me.

Because the people who matter to me are important, I will strive to set aside device-free time today in which I am fully present for them.

I will make time to move my body, stay healthy, and take in the beauty that surrounds me. I know it will fuel more creativity.

Grant that I lie down in peace tonight, grateful for the chance I’ve had today to write, to grow, and to send my message out into the world.

(by Carol Tice, on the "Making a Living Writing" blog)

What I See You Do

make me like Jesus in this:
help me to do only what I see
you doing.

(based on John 5:19)

For Avery

For her safe arrival, gracious God,
I give you thanks.

For all seven pounds and eleven ounces,
I give you thanks.

For ten fingers and ten toes,
clear eyes and strong lungs,
and freedom from cystic fibrosis,
I give you thanks.

For her mother's wisdom, courage, and faith,
and her safety through pregnancy and labor,
and in delivery,
I give you thanks.

For her father's faithfulness, support, and encouragement,
his watchful care and constant presence,
his tender heart and strong hands,
I give you thanks.

For her big sister's interest and motherly tenderness,
and her big brother's wary watchfulness,
I give you thanks.

For the love and visits of Avery's extended family
and the encouragement of so many friends,
I give you thanks.

For her red hair,
regular heartbeat,
and beautiful features,
I give you thanks.

For her,
and all the blessing
and joy
and promise
and purpose
that await her,
I give you thanks.

A Prayer on September 11

Lord God Almighty, please protect the people of this nation today--and everyday, but certainly today.

Give wisdom and vigilance to those men and women who are on the front lines of our nation's defense, at home and abroad. Make them alert. Keep them safe. And help them to do their jobs well.

Deliver us from dangers known and unknown, seen and unseen, in city and town. Protect those who travel, those who assemble, those who provide services, those who may be most exposed, whether they know it or not.

Let this day--and those to come--end in peace and safety for young and old, high and low, rich and poor, religious and irreligious, and please give this world's leaders greater wisdom, vision, and courage to do what is right and what is best for the safety of those they lead, in Jesus' name, amen.

All in All

Abba, I am nothing without you.
I can do nothing without you.
I am lost and helpless without you.

Be thou my vision.
Be thou my wisdom
and my righteousness.
Be thou my peace, my wholeness, my Shalom.
Be thou my kindness and grace,
my health and rest,
my light and salvation.
Be my joy,
my everything,
my all-in-all,
in Jesus' name, amen.

From Yesterday's Writing

Lord Jesus, you say so much in just a few words.
You teach me to forgive, even as you show me how much I have to learn.
You remind me how much I’ve been forgiven, and how much mercy and grace have been showered on me, and then you invite me to be like that.
I can be like that? I can forgive as I have been forgiven?
As willingly?
As fully?
As constantly?
Seems crazy, but you must mean it, because you command it.
If you command it, you can do it, in me and through me.
So I pray, forgive me as I forgive others.
I want my mercy to be expanded until it is like yours.
I want my forgiving to echo yours.
I want your grace and kindness to flow through me…even to those who have hurt me, who have sinned against me.
Forgive me as I forgive.

(photo via

Without Thee I Cannot Live, And I Dare Not Die

I do need thee, Lord. I need thee now. I know that I can do without many of the things that once I thought were necessities, but without thee I cannot live, and I dare not die.

I needed thee when sorrow came, when shadows were thrown across the threshold of my life, and thou didst not fail me then. I needed thee when sickness laid a clammy hand upon my family, and I cried to thee, and thou didst hear. I needed thee when perplexity brought me to a parting of the ways, and I knew not how to turn. Thou didst not fail me then, but in many ways, big and little, didst indicate the better way. And though the sun is shining around me today, I know that I need thee even in the sunshine, and shall still need thee tomorrow.

I give thee my gratitude for that constant sense of need that keeps me close to thy side. Help me to keep my hand in thine and my ears open to the wisdom of thy voice.

Speak to me, that I may hear thee giving me courage for hard times and strength for difficult places; giving me determination for challenging tasks. I ask of thee no easy way, but just thy grace that is sufficient for every need, so that no matter how hard the way, how challenging the hour, how dark the sky, I may be enabled to overcome.

In thy strength, who hast overcome the world, I make this prayer. Amen.

(from The Prayers of Peter Marshall)


Lord God, Adonai, my Father,
as I retreat into silence,
into solitude,
into you,
to my heart,
to my emptiness,
to fill me once more,
my Abba, my Father, my all.

For Little Things

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.

(a prayer by Robert William Service; photo courtesy of

Prayer for a Prayer App

Lord, I want to thank you for the amazing, global ministry you've given my "31 Ways to Pray for Kids" prayer aid. I could never have guessed that it would be used by tens of thousands of parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, teachers, pastors, children's workers, and others around the world to pray purposefully for the young ones they love. At the time, I only knew that it helped me to pray simple, focused, powerful, biblical prayers for my own kids. Thank you for all those who have found it helpful, and for the many ways you've honored and answered those prayers.

Now, as you know, it's available as an iPhone and iPad app. So I ask you to bless it, Lord. Multiply its use and effectiveness. Let it energize the prayers of your people in new ways and with even greater regularity. Make it appear in people's searches. Let it be found by all who would find it helpful. And spread these prayers--and thus your good, perfect, and pleasing will--around the world, in Jesus' name, amen.

(the "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids" app can be purchased here)

Labor Day Prayer

O God, creator of the world,
of sun and moon and stars,
you chose to fashion us, your own,
your handiwork of love.

Indeed, we are your hands’ own work
and yet into our hands
you give the care
of every living thing.

In more ways than we can count
our work builds up
or tears apart what came
as gift from you.

Keep us faithful in preserving
all you’ve given
lest we harm the smallest part
of all you’ve made.

Give us good and honest work to do
and rest at each day’s end.
Let a fair and good day’s wage be paid
for a good day’s work well done.

Give us work that nurtures and sustains
the ones who serve and those they serve.
Let those who labor work in peace,
in freedom, without fear.

Give those in need a job to do
and to the tired well earned rest.
Let all our work and toil, Lord,
give glory to your name.


(from A Concord Pastor Comments)