Surrounded


It's Summer

Good morning, good God!

It’s summer, Lord:
the days are warm and the nights, too...

It’s a time to be grateful for the AC
everywhere, cooling to comfort
the places where we live and work
and play and rest and pray…

But some days, some nights,
I run from the heat,
from how the sun soaks in
and seeps its way through my pores,
through muscle to bone,
through bone to the marrow of my soul,
warming me through and through
until, from the inside out,
I’m baked in a light from light years away…

Draw me out from the shade and shadows
and warm me with your love
as with your summer sun...

Blaze a path into my soul:
pass through all that shields me
from the brilliance of your light,
the heat of your presence,
the burn of your desire…

Bake me in your love
until I sweat from every pore
the moist anointing of your presence…

Bathe me in the warmth of your grace
‘til I am burnished within and without
by your light touch…

Warm my heart’s desire for you, Lord,
and let no cool shade keep me from the peace
your heart burns to give…

I offer you my praise for summer days
when all creation warms to know
the light no darkness can extinguish...

And in the heat of the noonday sun
keep me mindful, Lord, of others
whose thirst I might quench,
whose shade I might provide...

So comes my prayer this morning, Lord,
as the sun rises to its noon day height
until it sets at this day's end, until tomorrow
when your sun will rise again,
upon a brand new day...

Amen.

(from A Concord Pastor Comments)

Close Call

Lord, thank you for the accident that didn't happen yesterday, in Jesus' name, amen.

On Father's Day

Abba, Father,
thank you for being such a good, good father to me:
patient, wise, loving, constant, and strong.

Thank you for my father,
for the many years you gave him on this earth,
for the example he showed me
and the things he taught me.

Thank you for the kind of father
my son and son-in-law are
to my grandchildren:
patient, wise, loving, constant, and strong.

Let this Father's Day be a blessing to you
and to the fathers in my life and family,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Whether Friendly or Adverse

Purify my soul,
make my eyes keen and watchful,
in order that I may discern your purpose
at every turning of the way.

Help me to hallow all my circumstances
whether they appear friendly or adverse,
and may I subdue them all to my King's will.
Amen.

(from J. H. Jowett, The Whole Armour of God, p. 152; photo via everystockphoto.com).

Generosity

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


Chariots of Salvation











Lord, I praise you
because you struck the rivers
and parted the sea;
you sent your chariots of salvation for your people.

You commanded your weapons of power!
You split open the earth with flowing rivers!
The mighty deep cried out, lifting its hands to you.
You are mighty, and worthy of praise!

(from Habakkuk 3:8-10)

Part of "Always"

Lord Jesus, today is one of those days
you promised to be with me
when you said, "I will be with you always,
even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).

Do, Lord.
Be with me.
Let me feel you near,
and rely on your presence. Amen.

Respect

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

This Girl

Lord, you know. You see. You hear. You care.

So you know all about Calleigh's need. Please grant that the blood tests performed yesterday will show no sign of the infection that hospitalized her. Let the results show health and victory, in Jesus' name.

And, while you're at it, let her complete and miraculous healing--and her little brother's--from cystic fibrosis soon appear, to the praise of your glorious name, in which I pray, amen.

Heavenly Wisdom

O God of the ages, grant that I, who am the heir of all the ages, may not fail to profit by the heavenly wisdom which in time past Thou didst grant to Thy servants.

A wise man wrote,
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.

O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise man wrote,
Our wills are ours to make them Thine.
O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise king said,
Nothing for me is too early or too late which is in due time for Thee.
O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise man said,
Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.
O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise man said,
In His Will is our peace.
O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise woman said,
The divine moment is the present moment.
O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise woman said,
He asks too much to whom God is not sufficient.
O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise man prayed,
Give what Thou commandest, and command what Thou wilt.
O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise man wrote,
My past life hide; my future guide.
(Quod vixi tege, quod vivam rege.)

O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

Grant, O Father, that I may go about this day's business with an ever-present remembrance of the great traditions wherein I stand and the great cloud of witnesses which at all times surround me, that thereby I may be kept from evil ways and inspired to high endeavor. So keep me until evening in the might of Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

(a prayer of John Baillie, from the book A Diary of Private Prayer; photo via everystockphoto.com)

From This Misty Lowland

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune god, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

(a prayer of A. W. Tozer)

Bread

Lord Jesus, you are the Bread of Life. Live in me. Be my daily bread. Be my manna, my provision, my life and health. Help me, Lord, not to “snack” at your table, but to feast on you, to eat my fill of your presence and power. And let my life overflow and result in blessings on those around me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

(a prayer from The Bible 30-Day Experience Guidebook by Bob Hostetler)

40 and Counting

















O Lord my God,
how can I possibly thank you
for my bride,
my wife,
and these forty years of marriage,
and forty-three years of love
you have given me
with the lovely Robin?

Thank you for still another year of life together.
Thank you for her faithful,
giving,
loving,
kind,
passionate,
sweet,
constant heart.

Thank you for all
the happiness we have known;
the sorrows we have faced;
the children we have raised
and the grandchildren we have been given.

Thank you for our home,
our health,
our laughter,
our hopes and dreams,
our unfinished plans,
and our small accomplishments.

Thank you that she has stuck with me, never wavering in her support.
Thank you that she still laughs at (some of) my jokes.
Thank you that she grows more beautiful and lovely every day.
Thank you for all her perfections,
and all my improvements.

Spare us another year to walk together,
and grant that for us it may be true
that the best is yet to be,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Great Is the Lord Who Delights in the Welfare of His Servants

Abba, Father,
let my life,
my temperament,
my health,
my writing,
and my speaking,
cause people to say,
"Great is the Lord,
who delights in the welfare
of his servants" (Psalm 35:27),
in Jesus' name, amen.

June 1st Prayer

Thank you, God, that 
"There is no price set on the lavish summer, 
And June may be had by the poorest comer." 

(from "The Vision of Sir Launfal" by James Russell Lowell)

Aspiration

Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.
Amen.

(a prayer of Michelangelo)

No Mistake

I love you, O Lord, my strength; through you every hostile power yields to me, worm that I am, and the guile of the ancient serpent is laughed to scorn by the angels you send to minister to us, so that his desire to hurt is turned to our advantage instead.

I love you, Lord, my powerful defender, wise guide, gentle consoler, generous rewarder. Confident, I cast all my care on him whose strength cannot be overthrown, whose wisdom cannot be led astray, whose loving kindness cannot be exhausted in fulfilling my every need. How much better, how much safer it is to have him caring for me than to be looking after myself. How much better it is to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man. How justly cursed is the man who, trusting in man, makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the Lord. Indeed I am poor and needy but if the Lord takes thought for me I am rich and blessed; no mistake, everything works for good in me.

Therefore let those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not forsake those who put their trust in you.

Amen.

(a prayer of Guerric of Igny)

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.

Amen.

(from the Concord Pastor blog)

Chorus X

O Light Invisible, we praise You!
Too bright for mortal vision.

O Greater Light,
we praise You for the less;
The eastern light
our spires touch at morning,
The light that slants
upon our western doors at evening,
The twilight over
stagnant pools at batflight,
Moon light and star light,
owl and moth light,
Glow-worm glowlight on a grassblade.


O Light Invisible, we worship You!
We thank You for the lights that we have kindled,
The light of altar and of sanctuary;
Small lights of those who meditate at midnight
And lights directed through the colored panes of windows
And light reflected from the polished stone,
The gilded carven wood, the colored fresco.
Our gaze is submarine, our eyes look upward
And see the light that fractures through unquiet water.
We see the light but see not whence it comes.

O Light Invisible, we glorify You!
In our rhythm of earthly life, we tire of light.
We are glad when the day ends, when the play ends; and ecstasy is too much pain.
We are children quickly tired: children who are up in the night and fall asleep as the rocket is fired; and the day is long for work or play.
We tire of distraction or concentration, we sleep and are glad to sleep,
Controlled by the rhythm of blood and the day and the night and the seasons.
And we must extinguish the candle, put out the light and relight it;
Forever must quench, forever relight the flame.

Therefore we thank You for our little light, that is dappled with shadow.
We thank You who has moved us to building, to finding, to forming at the ends of our fingers and beams of our eyes.
And when we have built an altar to the Invisible Light, we may set thereon the little lights for which our bodily vision is made.
And we thank You that darkness reminds us of light.

O Light Invisible, we give You thanks for Your great glory!

(a prayer of T. S. Eliot; photo via everystockphoto.com)

Your Gifts

God, you give such good gifts.
The best.
Generous,
thoughtful,
fitting,
useful,
timely.
Please make me more like you.
Amen.

Only Speak

“Only speak the word,” the centurion said to you, Jesus.
It is my prayer, too.
Only speak the word and they will be healed.
I ask again.
I ask still.
I ask until.
Only speak the word.
Amen.

Prayer Before My Keynote

Lord, please speak through me. 
If you don't speak,
it won't matter what I say.
But if you do speak,
it won't matter what I say.

Jabez Redux

Dear Lord, bless me indeed! Increase your territory within me. Take up increasing space in my life. Spread out to the right and to the left and secure the land I've given up to fear and pain and mistrust! Turn the light on in the dark corners of my soul; chase out the fears and anxieties that threaten my freedom. Strengthen me in the deepest places, Lord. Help me to secure the borders of my mind that my life may flourish. And may Your mighty hand of power be at work in me and all around me! Keep me from evil, temptation, and pain, from both causing it and enduring it. And may I live out the number of my days in nobility, honor, and freedom. In Jesus' name. Amen.

(a prayer of Susie Larson, from her book Embracing Your Freedom)

To Be Clothed With Compassion

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

Prattle Prayer

Abba, 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.

Nepsis

Lord, teach me nepsis:
to be watchfull, alert, vigilant,
to control my thoughts
instead of being controlled,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Plunge

Lord, I would plunge into your healing waters;
Lifting my heart, I cry to Thee my prayer.
Spirit of peace, my Comforter and Healer,
In whom my springs are found,
let my soul meet Thee there.

From a hill I know,
Healing waters flow,
O rise, Immanuel's tide,
And my soul overflow.

Wash from my hands the dust of earthly striving;
Take from my mind the stress of secret fear;
Cleanse Thou the wounds from all but Thee far hidden,
And let the waters flow, and my healing appear.

All that I need is in that healing fountain,
All I require to cleanse me and restore;
Flow through my soul, redeem its desert places,
And make a garden there for the Lord I adore,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(a prayer of Albert Orsborn, revised to fit the cry of my heart)

Here Is My Heart

Here is my heart, O God,
here it is
with all its secrets;
look into my thoughts,
O my hope,
and take away
all my wrong feelings;
let my eyes ever be on you
and release my feet from the snare.
Amen.

(a prayer of Augustine)

Window and Door

Open wide the window of our spirits, O Lord,
and fill us full of light;
open wide the door of our hearts,
that we may receive and entertain you
with all our powers of adoration and praise.

(a prayer of Christina Rossetti)

Dread Warrior

Dread Warrior,
please defend us
and mend us
and superintend us,
in Jesus' name,
amen.

(based on Jeremiah 20:11, ESV;
photo by mamjodh via everystockphoto.com)

Saturday Psalm #17

Attend to me, Adonai,
be alert to my prayer,
come close as I pray,
even as you give me grace to pray rightly and honestly.

Let every syllable I pray come first from your mind and heart,
and let your eyes look on me with kindness and grace, because of your Son, my Savior.
You know my heart;
you see me more clearly than anyone,
I can hide nothing from you, who sees me just as I am.
Guard my lips, even now, as I cry out to you,
and let me pray truly, sincerely, honestly.
Guard my feet, let me walk uprightly,
and keep me from slipping into sin even as I pace before you.

I cry out to you, knowing you will hear me, O God:
Abba, read my heart, and bend your ear to my whispered pleadings.
Show me your love,
reveal your salvation, you who save all who trust in you.
Keep me as the apple of your eye,
and hide me under the shadow of your wings,
from those who attack me, from my deadly enemies, who surround me.
Save me from their hard, stubborn hearts,
their proud, wagging tongues.
They would love it to see me shamed,
they would thrill to thwart my best efforts.
They are destroyers, not builders,
anxious to tear me apart like a lion lurking in the bush.

Arise, O Lord, disappoint them. Frustrate them.
Deliver me from my Enemy’s attacks with your strong arm,
Save me from his messengers and tools with your mighty hand.
Keep me from all those who pursue worldly agendas
and selfish ends.
Turn them, Lord, according to your lovingkindness,
lest their children become like them.
As for me, I just want to see your face,
I just long to stand before you in righteousness:
Satisfy me, every morning, with your presence,
and that will be enough.

(photo via everystockphoto.com)

Forward. Outward. Upward.

Heavenly Father,
please
keep
me
looking
forward,
not backward;
outward,
not inward;
upward,
not downward;
to Jesus,
and
not
to
other
people,
in Jesus’ name,
amen.

Let Salvation Spring Up

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

Saturday Psalm #16

Protect me, God,
because I trust in you.

I say to you, Lord, "You are my Lord.
Every good thing I have comes from you."

Let me be counted among the godly people in the world,
the wonderful ones I enjoy.

Let me not be like those who turn to idols,
they will have much pain.
Let me not bow down to idols
nor even lean in their direction.

No, you, Lord, are all I need.
You take care of me.
You have given me a pleasant life;
should it end tomorrow, it has been beautiful.

I praise you, Lord, because you advise me.
Even at night, I feel your leading.
I want to keep you always before me.
As long as you are close by my side,
I will not be hurt.

So I rejoice and am glad.
Even my body has hope,
because I’m confident that you will not leave me in the grave.
You proved it by not letting your Holy One rot in the tomb,
but you will raise me as you raised him.
Please teach me how to live a holy life.
Give me your presence, and fill me with joy;
keep me at your right hand, where I will find pleasure forever,
in Jesus’ name, amen.

Self-Discipline

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