Good Good Father

The Martha Malady

Father, thank you for revealing to me the danger of busyness in my life. I don’t want to be faithless, foolish, or feckless. Please show me the extent of my own tendencies to bow to the idol of busyness. Convince and convict me of all ungodliness. I repent; help me to bear fruit in keeping with repentance (Luke 3:8).

Help me to truly and wholeheartedly believe in you, and not in myself, my abilities, or my activity. Help me to find significance in you and in my obedience to you, not in the false importance of busyness. Help me to overcome the laziness of letting other people set my schedule for me, and not lazily abdicate the essential work of deciding and directing, establishing values and setting goals.

Finally, Lord, teach me the bane of busyness in my life, and the hurt that hurry does to me, and reward my earliest efforts at overcoming this idol with early rewards, that I might sit at your feet and learn to enjoy the “better things” that come only—and generously—from you, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(the prayer that closes chapter fifteen, "The Martha Malady," in my book, American Idols)

Keeping Distance, Keeping Company

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.

(excerpted from Mary Oliver's poem, "Mysteries, Yes," found in her book Evidence)

A Heart Like Thine

Give me a heart like Thine;
By Thy wonderful power,
By Thy grace every hour,
Give me a heart like Thine.

For Great Strides

Gracious Lord, you have been so good to bless me and the lovely Robin with the children and grandchildren we have. My cup runneth over.

And though Calleigh and Ryder face the daily challenge presented by Cystic Fibrosis, I pray that it will not be a lifelong challenge, but that our efforts and the efforts of many others, including the CF Foundation, will result in eradication of this disease very soon.

To that end, Lord, I beg you for your help in my family's GREAT STRIDES efforts this year.

Please guide me in my efforts to get the word out. I pray for donations of $3,500 or more. I pray for you to move in the hearts of more than fifty people to bring that about. I pray also, please inspire more people to become "McCane's Miracles" team members to set their own goals and raise funds toward a cure. Please send matching gifts from generous, community-minded businesses and organizations. Please move area churches, clubs, and groups to help. Please send at least 150 people to walk the streets of Oxford in May to show their support. Please make this year's GREAT STRIDES efforts a success from YOUR perspective, and use our efforts--and every donation--to bring about a cure, in Jesus' name, amen.

(Visit my GREAT STRIDES homepage here to learn more)

I Must Have You With Me

I must have you, Savior, with me,
For I dare not go alone;
I must feel your presence near me,
And your arm around me thrown.

Then my soul shall fear no ill,
Go on, lead me where you will,
I will go without a murmur,
And your footsteps follow still.


I must have you, Savior, with me,
For my faith, at best, is weak;
You can whisper words of comfort,
That no other voice can speak.

I must have you, Savior, with me,
In the onward march of life,
Thro’ the tempest and the sunshine,
Thro’ the battle and the strife.

I must have you, Savior, with me,
And your eye the way must guide,
Till I reach the vale of Jordan,
Till I cross the rolling tide.

(a prayer by Fanny Crosby, revised)

For Responsibility

My prayer today for my kids and my grandkids, from the "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids" app for iPhone and iPad (available exclusively on iTunes):

Simplest Blessings

Lord, thank you for waking me up this morning.
Lord, thank you that I can still turn over in bed.
Lord, thank you that I can still get out of bed.
Lord, thank you that I can walk to the bathroom.
Lord, thank you that I can still go to the bathroom by myself.
Lord, thank you that I can still brush my teeth.
Lord, thank you that I can still take a shower.
Lord, thank you that I can still use a towel to dry myself off.
Lord, thank you that I can still eat breakfast.
Lord, thank you that I can still dress myself.
Lord, thank you that I can still drive my car.
Lord, thank you that I can still walk.
Lord, thank you that I can still talk.

(a prayer of Ed Dobson, who described his life with ALS in the moving book, Seeing Through the Fog. Ed lived with ALS, or "Lou Gehrig's Disease," for fifteen years before dying on December 26, 2015)

From Not Remembering You

Lord, so many of my problems stem from not remembering you.
I forget your wisdom and so I worry.
I forget your grace and so I get complacent.
I forget your mercy and so I get resentful of others.
Help me remember who you are every moment of the day. Amen.

(a prayer of Timothy Keller in The Songs of Jesus; photo via everystockphoto.com)

Shed a Little Light, O Lord

A Prayer of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our loving Father, from Thy hand have come all the days of the past. To Thee we look for whatever good the future holds. We are not satisfied with the world as we have found it. It is too little the kingdom of God as yet. Grant us the privilege of a part in its regeneration. We are looking for a new earth in which dwells righteousness. It is our prayer that we may be children of light, the kind of people whose coming and ministry the world is waiting. Amen.

(from the Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project, "Prayers" section)

Gullywasher Prayer

Lord God,
let there be rivers of blessing,
gullywashers of holiness,
flash floods of your kindness and beauty
flowing through my life.

Let the wells spring up!
Wash me clean,
and free me from all unbelief,
from anything that would hinder you
from bringing your kingdom to my family,
my church,
my community.

Let the river flow,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Aflame

God, you say I am light,
the light of the world,
with all who believe in Jesus
and follow him.

Set my head aflame, then,
and let me burn bright.

Blow on my tiny faith
and consume me,
Consuming Fire.
Amen.

For a Clean Heart


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

Jonah's Song

I cried out to you in my distress,
and you heard me, Lord;
feeling like I was in hell,
I called, and you answered.

You hurled me down,
into the very depths,
and the deep waters swallowed me,
the waves and currents dragged me under.

I felt abandoned,
far from your watchful eye.
But I turned to you nonetheless.

I was engulfed.
Surrounded.
Helpless to escape.
Entangled.

When I thought I was at the bottom,
I went deeper still.
Yet you found me there,
and began drawing me up.

When I stopped struggling
and trying to help myself,
I cast myself on you
and depended wholly on your strength,
and I felt your hand.

I don't know how the godless can manage
without the hope and help that is found in you.

I will sing a grateful song
and sacrifice to you.
Let my generosity express my praise,
for you alone are my salvation.

(based on Jonah 2:2-9; image from everystockphoto.com)

May I Keep Asking

Abba, may I never again do like Abraham
pleading for Sodom,
who quit asking before you quit granting
what he asked!

Make me bolder,
more persevering,
in prayer,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Adoramus te Christe



Adoramus te, Christe,
et benedicimus tibi,
quia per sanctam crucem tuam
redemisti mundum.
Qui passus es pro nobis,
Domine, Domine, miserere nobis.

English translation:
We adore Thee, O Christ,
and we bless Thee,
who by Thy Holy Cross
hast redeemed the world.
He who suffered death for us,
O Lord, O Lord,
have mercy on us.

For Peace

Lord Jesus Christ,
who are called the Prince of Peace,
who are yourself our peace and reconciliation,
who so often said, "Peace to you,"
grant us peace.
Make all men and women witnesses of truth,
justice, and brotherly love.
Banish from their hearts whatever might endanger peace.
Enlighten our rulers that they may guarantee
and defend the great gift of peace.
May all peoples of the earth becomes as brothers and sisters.
May longed-for peace blossom forth
and reign always over us all.

(a prayer of Pope John XXIII; photo via everystockphoto.com)

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.

On This Epiphany

Almighty and everlasting God, who has made known the incarnation of your Son by the bright shining of a star, which, when the wise men beheld, they presented costly gifts and adored your majesty; grant that the star of your righteousness may always shine into our hearts; and that, as our treasure, we may give ourselves and all we possess to your service, through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.

(from the Gelasian Sacramentary)

To Be Aware of You

Lord God, Holy and Almighty One,
Draw me aside to be aware of you.
Let the flame of your presence burn within my heart
And set me on fire with love for you,
On fire with love for your world,
On fire with love for all people.
May my life radiate the warmth of your love,
Lord God, Holy and Almighty One.

(a prayer of David Adam, from The Awesome Journey, found on Leonard Sweet's Facebook page).

From Sour-Faced Saints

God, deliver us from sour-faced saints.

(a prayer of St. Teresa of Avila)

On the Unknown Waters of This New Year

O Lord,

Length of days does not profit me except the days are passed in thy presence, in thy service, to thy glory.

Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides, sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from thee,
but may rely on thy Spirit,
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth thy praise,
testify thy love,
advance thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with thee, O Father, as my harbour,
thee, O Son, at my helm,
thee O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.

Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.

Give me grace to sanctify me,
thy comforts to cheer,
thy wisdom to watch,
thy right hand to guide,
thy counsel to instruct,
thy law to judge,
thy presence to stabilize.

May thy fear be my awe,
thy triumphs my joy.

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