Today's Prayer for My Kids and Grandkids

My prayer today for my kids and my grandkids, from the "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids" app for iPhone and iPad.

On the Journey of the Cross

O Lord Jesus . . . I have received the cross from your hands,
I have carried it, even as you have laid it upon me,
and I will continue to carry it until I die.
Truly the life of a devoted servant is the cross, but it leads to paradise.
I have begun the journey of the cross.
May I not turn back nor leave it.

(a prayer from The Imitation of Christ: Classic Devotions in Today's Language by Thomas à Kempis, compiled and edited by James N. Watkins)

On Thanksgiving

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.


(a prayer from the Senate of the United States, November 26, 1947, by Rev. Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain)

A Pre-Thanksgiving Day Prayer

For you, who fed the hungry,
May we so break our bread
In constant, costly giving
That others may be fed. Amen.

(by Lillian Cox)

I Bless Your Gracious Hand

Lord of my life, whose tender care
Has led me on till now,
Here lowly at the hour of prayer
Before your throne I bow;
I bless your gracious hand, and pray
Forgiveness for another day.

Oh, may I daily, hourly, strive
In heavenly grace to grow;
To you and to your glory live,
Dead to all else below;
Tread in the path my Savior trod,
Though thorny, yet the path to God.

With prayer my humble praise I bring
For mercies day by day;
Lord! teach my heart your love to sing,
Lord! teach me how to pray;
And all I am, and all I own,
Entrust to you alone.

(a prayer by an anonymous hymnwriter, slightly updated and revised; photo via

Broken Bread

Make my life Your broken bread,
My love your outpoured wine,
A cup o'erfilled, a table spread
Beneath Your name and sign,
That other souls, refreshed and fed,
May share Your life through mine.

(a prayer of General Albert Orsborn, slightly revised; image via

Disgusted Prayer

Father, I don't know if you are as disgusted as I am by the pontificating and arguing that is happening in the wake of recent terrorist attacks. I suspect you have a much calmer, wiser view of it all. Please share it with me...and with those around me.

Please help us all to be ruled by facts rather than fear or sentimentalism.
Grant us both wisdom and mercy.
Save us from simplistic answers to complex problems; make us wise enough and patient enough not to reach for the viscerally satisfying "position" but to actually seek and find and work for solutions.
Deliver us from presumption and presuppositions,
from seeing things only from our default political positions,
from the stupidity of parroting what we read and hear online and on TV.
Help us to fight terrorism by refusing to be terrified
and to counter violence by respecting and reasoning with each other
rather than spouting slogans and dismissing or vilifying those with different perspectives.
Teach us to think things through.
Show us a better way.
Help us to put our trust in you and act accordingly.
Make us wise as serpents, harmless as doves.
Grant that this world's leaders may find ways to unite us and lead us,
but when they do not, inspire and energize us to do it anyway,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(image via

Blessing in a Time of Violence

Which is to say
this blessing
is always.

Which is to say
there is no place
this blessing
does not long
to cry out
in lament,
to weep its words
in sorrow,
to scream its lines
in sacred rage.

Which is to say
there is no day
this blessing ceases
to whisper
into the ear
of the dying,
the despairing,
the terrified.

Which is to say
there is no moment
this blessing refuses
to sing itself
into the heart
of the hated
and the hateful,
the victim
and the victimizer,
with every last
ounce of hope
it has.

Which is to say
there is none
that can stop it,
none that can
halt its course,
none that will
still its cadence,
none that will
delay its rising,
none that can keep it
from springing forth
from the mouths of us
who hope,
from the hands of us
who act,
from the hearts of us
who love,
from the feet of us
who will not cease
our stubborn, aching
marching, marching

until this blessing
has spoken
its final word,
until this blessing
has breathed
its benediction
in every place,
in every tongue:

(prayer © Jan Richardson via; image, "Holy Even in Pain,” is available as an art print at After clicking over to the image’s page on the Jan Richardson Images site, just scroll down to the “Purchase as an Art Print” section).


(from the New Living Translation, via @youversion)


My prayer today for my kids and my grandkids, from the "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids" app for iPhone and iPad:

Another Psalm 20

You answer me when I am in distress;
Your name, God of Jacob, is my protection.
You send me help from your throne room
and support from your holy mountain.
You remember all my prayers
and accept even my faultiest worship.
You give me the desires of my heart
and grant me so much more success than I deserve.
I rejoice loudly when you triumph
and lift up my hands in your name.
Please keep it up, Lord;
grant my requests.

I know:
You give victory.
You send answers.
You grant strength.

I confess my tendency to trust in other things,
but in my best moments I know better;
I trust in the name of the Lord my God.
Only in your strength can I stand up and stand firm.

Please grant victory.
Please answer my prayers.
Please give me strength.

My Magnificat

My Father in heaven,
My soul glorifies you,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
my Father in heaven,
for you see me in my humble state,
you are attentive to me right where I am.
You are able to bless me abundantly,
so that in all things at all times,
having all that I need, I will abound in every good work.
You are the Mighty One
who has already done great things for me—
the Holy One, whose mercy extends to all who fear you,
from generation to generation.
You have performed mighty deeds with your arm;
you have scattered the proud
and deposed rulers from their thrones
but you have lifted up the humble.
You have filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.
You have helped me,
always present, always close, all-powerful, and all-willing.
Father in heaven, increase my faith,
and embolden my prayers,
in Jesus’ name, amen.

(a prayer from The Red Letter Prayer Life)

Keeping Faith

Help us,
O Keeper of the Faith,
to keep the faith entrusted to us,
faith in a world worth saving,
faith in a dream worth sharing,
faith in a heritage worth keeping
even as we invigorate it
to have meaning for us now.
Help us keep faith in you,
and help us not lose faith in ourselves,
for faith is the substance of our hope,
and hope, the assurance of love.
Praise to you, O Faithful One,
now and forever.

(a prayer of Miriam Therese Winter, from The Complete Book of Christian Prayer; photo via

Stay With Me

God, stay with me; let no word cross my lips that is not your word, no thoughts enter my mind that are not your thoughts, no deed ever be done or entertained by me that is not your deed.

(a prayer by Malcolm Muggeridge)


Merciful God,
How amazing that you can redeem my mistakes. I never want to take that for granted or use it as an excuse to sin. Still, the wonder of grace is that you can use my worst failures to strengthen my faith and enable me to better comfort and help others. Thank you, Lord.

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

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Im Hashem Lo Yivneh Bayis

Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain (Psalm 127:1).

שִׁ֥יר הַֽמַּֽעֲל֗וֹת לִשְׁלֹ֫מֹ֥ה אִם־יְהוָ֤ה׀ לֹא־יִבְנֶ֬ה בַ֗יִת שָׁ֤וְא׀ עָמְל֣וּ בוֹנָ֣יו בּ֑וֹ אִם־יְהוָ֥ה לֹֽא־יִשְׁמָר־עִ֝֗יר שָׁ֤וְא׀ שָׁק שׁוֹמֵֽר׃

Songs of Joy


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, photo via

I Come

Just as I am, without one plea
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bidd'st me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come.
I come.


Abba, you are watchful and mindful when a sparrow falls;
catch and cushion your children...
let your everlasting arms shield
and strengthen
and support us all,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via

Shepherd of the Stars

You are mind-boggling, God.
You are Shepherd of the Stars.
Whole galaxies form your royal train.
The countless host of heaven,
blazing suns,
mighty planets,
dappled moons,
comets, asteroids, vapors, black holes,
all follow after you like so many ducks behind their mother.
And yet, Lord,
you condescend to me,
to sit with me,
whisper to me,
commune with me.
Such thoughts are too marvelous for me,
I cannot attain unto them!
But I praise you and thank you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via