Throw Open the Windows of My Soul

Father, my soul gets so cluttered: old hopes, broken dreams, dusty determinations, stored-up hurts and resentments, good intentions waiting to be pulled out at just the right time, undone tasks, unkempt thoughts, unrepented sins.

Come to my heart, Lord.

Throw open the windows of my soul,
sweep through its dusty confines,
clean out its musty places,
go through, blow through, flow through,
clear it,
clean it,
rearrange it,
and make it your own,
like a bride moving into a bachelor pad,
in Jesus' name, amen.

My Portion and My Strength


Abba, Father, Lord God Almighty,
make me a spring of living water,
rising up and rushing forth.
Let my ministry,
my life,
my marriage,
my family,
my friendships,
and my service
be an outflow of your gracious work in me,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of Guigo the Carthusian

Lord how much juice you can squeeze from a single grape!
How much water you can draw from a single well!
How great a fire you can kindle from a tiny spark!
How great a tree you can grow from a tiny seed!

My soul is so dry that by itself it cannot pray;
Yet you can squeeze from it the juice of a thousand prayers.
My soul is so parched that by itself it cannot love;
Yet you can draw from it boundless love for you and for my neighbour.
My soul is so cold that by itself it has no joy;
Yet you can light the fire of heavenly joy within me.
My soul is so feeble that by itself it has no faith;
Yet by your power my faith grows to a great height.

Thank you for prayer, for love, for joy, for faith;
Let me always be prayerful, loving, joyful, faithful.

A Prayer of One Who Will Soon Be Old

Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.

Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples' affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.

Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.

Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains -- they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.

I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn't agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint -- it is so hard to live with some of them -- but a harsh old person is one of the devil's masterpieces.

Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.


(a prayer of an anonymous abbess)


When all Thy mercies, O my God,
My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view, I’m lost
In wonder, love and praise.

(from a hymn by Joseph Addison)

Monsoon Us

Lord God,
you are
an eternal, unfailing fountain;
the more
you pour forth and overflow,
the more
you continue to give.

You desire
nothing more seriously
from us
than that we ask you for much
and great things.

So I ask, God my Fountain.
Monsoon us with your love and power,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(based on words of Martin Luther, by way of Ray Ortlund's blog; photo via


For the iPhone that woke us,
the car that conveyed us to the airport,
the roads on which we drove,
the parking lot and shuttle driver,
the FSA workers who security-checked us,
the gate agents, pilots, mechanics, flight attendants,
the aircraft designers and manufacturers,
the air controllers,
and airport workers,
the fair weather,
and everything else that made possible our reunion with loved ones more than half a continent away,
I give thanks.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

For Our Travel

Father, grant me and the lovely Robin
safe and successful travel today.
Make smooth paths
(and flight schedules) for our feet.
Let us make our connection in Dallas.
Protect us from coach cabin infections.
See us to our destination
in a timely, safe, and healthy manner,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via

For Chile and the Pacific

Lord God Adonai, lover of all humanity,
hear my prayer for the people of Chile
in the wake of last night's earthquake,
and all those in the Pacific
who face danger from resulting tsunamis:

Have mercy, Lord,
on any who are displaced,
or injured,
or bereaved.

Have mercy, Lord,
on all who lose property
or who face evacuation.

Have mercy, Lord,
on all who join in relief, rescue, and cleanup efforts,
who risk their lives to save others,
who sacrifice for the sake of your children.

Have mercy, Lord,
on leaders and decision-makers
and grant them clarity
and decisiveness,
wisdom and effectiveness
in responding to loss and fear.

Have mercy, Lord,
on the souls of any who are swept up and away,
and grant remission of sins and your merciful pardon,
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Have mercy, Lord,
and move your church,
the Body of Christ,
to compassion
and service
for the victims of this tragedy,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via

Fountain and Fire

All bitterness is from ourselves,
All sweetness is from Thee;
Sweet God, forevermore be Thou
Fountain and fire in me. 

(a prayer of Frederick William Faber)

I Choose Again

I choose again today
to believe in you,
your goodness and faithfulness,
your strength when I am weak,
and your good, perfect, and pleasing plans for me.

I choose to walk in faith,
without hurry or panic,
without fear and stress,
in fellowship with you
and love toward all,
as you help me,
in Jesus' name,

(photo via


Eternal Friend,
grant me an ease
to breathe deeply of this moment,
this light,
this miracle of now.

Beneath the din and fury
of great movements
and harsh news
and urgent crises,
make me attentive still
to good news,
to small occasions,
and the grace of what is possible
for me to be,
to do,
to give,
to receive,
that I may miss neither my neighbor's gift
nor my enemy's need.

(a prayer from Ted Loder's Guerrillas of Grace)

A Prayer of Hans Kung

Veni, sancte Spiritus...[Come, Holy Spirit]...

Lava quod est sordidum--Wash what is stained! Expose the self-satisfaction of the churches and cleanse us of our guilt;

Sana quod est saucium--Heal what is wounded! Help those who have been hurt by an unjust Church law and those who have not been treated fairly in the Church--especially women;

Riga quod est aridum--Water what is barren! Enliven those who have become resigned in the Church and those who have been marginalized and especially let young people live in renewed hope;

Flecte quod est rigidum--Bend what has become rigid! Humiliate the obstinacy of theologians and heirarchies and shake all false security, so that everything will not always remain as it was;

Fove quod est frigidum--Warm what has become cold! Drive out all our fears and anxieties, our prejudices and restrictions, and open our hearts with your love that knows no bounds;

Rege quod est devium--Direct what is going astray! Enable us to call what is error and injustice by its name and to work in the Church and in society for truth, justice, and peace.

(a prayer of Hans Kung, from Why I Am Still a Christian, pp. 104-105)

Even the Sourest Spoonfuls

I climb into your lap today
and in my childish prattle
ask for your favor.
In your infinite wisdom,
feed me what I need,
and help me to recognize
even the sourest spoonfuls
as your good gifts to me,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Gentle Rain

Almighty King,
let me feel
the warmth of your smile
on all I do today;
let your favor refresh my heart
like a gentle rain.

(based on Proverbs 16:15)

That They May Learn Respect

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

Thou Knowest, Lord, the Secrets of Our Hearts

Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts;
shut not thy merciful ears unto our pray'rs;
but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty.
O holy and most merciful Saviour,
thou most worthy Judge eternal,
suffer us not, at our last hour,
for any pains of death, to fall from thee.

Troparia of Thanksgiving

Now that the day has come to a close, I thank thee, O Lord, and I ask that the evening with the night may be sinless; grant this to me, O Saviour, and save me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Now that the day hath passed, I glorify thee, O Master, and I ask that the evening, with the night may be without offence; grant this to me, O Saviour, and save me.

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Now that the day hath run its course, I praise thee, O Holy One, and I ask that the evening with the night may be undisturbed; grant this to me, O Saviour, and save me.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Psalm Fragment

I do nothing, I give you
nothing. Yet you hold me

minute by minute
from falling.
Lord, You provide.

(excerpt from "Psalm Fragments (Schnittke String Trio)," by Denise Levertov, The Stream and the Sapphire, p. 23).

Prayer From a Wild Heart

O Lord,
I have a wild heart
And cannot stand before thee;
I am like a bird before a man.
How little I love thy truth and ways!
I neglect prayer,
By thinking I have prayed enough and earnestly,
By knowing thou hast saved my soul.
Of all hypocrites,
grant that I may not be an evangelical hypocrite,
Who sins more safely because grace abounds,
Who tells his lusts that Christ’s blood cleanseth them,
Who reasons that God cannot cast him into hell, for his is saved,
Who loves evangelical preaching, churches, Christians, but lives unholily.
My mind is a bucket without a bottom,
With no spiritual understanding,
No desire for the Lord’s Day,
Ever learning but never reaching the truth,
Always at the gospel well but never holding water.
My conscience is without conviction or contrition,
With nothing to repent of.
My will is without power of decision or resolution.
My heart is without affection, and full of leaks.
My memory has no retention,
So I forget so easily the lessons learned,
And thy truths seep away.
Give me a broken heart that yet carries home the water of grace.

(from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers, edited by Arthur Bennett)

For Their Spiritual Growth

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

No Fear Prayer

Lord, you are my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
What can this world and those who live in it possibly do to me?
They cannot take away my life,
for my life is hid in Christ with God,
and to be absent from the body is to be present with you.
They cannot steal my joy,
for in your presence is fulness of joy,
and you will never leave me or forsake me.
They cannot threaten my security,
for my trust is in you;
all other hope is sinking sand.
They cannot thwart my purpose,
for to live is Christ, to die is gain.
They cannot assault my dignity,
for I am a child of the King, the living God.
They cannot make me homeless,
for I have a building from God,
a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
They cannot take what is most precious to me on earth,
for they are also hid with Christ in God,
and though we may be separated, we will be together in eternity.
Lord, you are my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?