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.

Prayer of an Unsettled Soul

Jesus, Shepherd of the sheep,
Pity my unsettled soul;
Guide and nourish me and keep,
Till Thy love shall make me whole.
Give me perfect soundness, give;
Make me steadfastly believe.

I am never at one stay,
Changing every hour I am;
But Thou art, as yesterday,
Now and evermore the same.
Constancy to me impart,
Stablish with Thy grace my heart.

Give me faith to hold me up,
Walking over life's rough sea;
Holy, purifying hope,
Still my soul's sure anchor be.
That I may be always Thine,
Perfect me in love divine.

(by Charles Wesley; photo by Daniel West, via everystockphoto.com)

To Overflow With Hope

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

Empty Me

Vacation!

Gracious God,
thank you that our vacation is finally here!
Thank you for these days to spend with my lovely wife
of forty years, my love of forty-three,
and the chance to see our son, daughter-in-law, and grandkids.
Give us safe and timely travel today.
Steer us away from dangers, delays, and disruptions.
Protect us from sickness and storms.
Help us to enjoy each other,
our lovely surroundings,
our reading and resting,
eating and digesting.
Go with us.
Keep us aware of you,
and of your kindness and generosity,
in Jesus' name, amen. 
(photo via everystockphoto.com)

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)

Tax Relief

On this day of internal revenue
some of us are paid up,
some of us owe,
some of us await a refund,
some of us have no income to tax.

But all of us are taxed,
by war,
by violence,
by anxiety,
by deathliness.

And Caesar never gives any deep tax relief.

We render to Caesar . . .
to some it feels like a grab,
to some it is clearly a war tax,
to some – some few –
it is a way to contribute to the common good.

In any case we are haunted
by what we render to Caesar,
by what we might render to you,
by the way we invest our wealth and our lives,
when what you ask is an “easy yoke”:
to do justice
to love mercy
to walk humbly with you.

Give us courage for your easy burden, so to live untaxed lives. Amen.

(a prayer by Walter Brueggemann, from his book, Prayers for a Privileged People, Abingdon, 2008; photo via everystockphoto.com)

Risen Lord

You are risen, Lord Jesus!
You are risen from the dead!
You are risen indeed!

Hallelujah!
You died.
You have risen.
You will come again.

Hallelujah!
I praise you, Risen One!
I praise you, Conqueror of Death!
I praise you, Banisher of Darkness!

Hallelujah!
I bow before you.
I kneel at your feet.
I prostrate myself,
Rabboni!
My Lord and my God!
The First and the Last!
The Alpha and Omega!
The One who is, who was, and is to come!

Hallelujah!

Silent Saturday Prayer


Rest you well, beloved Jesus, 
Caesar’s Lord and Israel’s King, 
In the brooding of the Spirit, 
In the darkness of the spring.

The Marks of Thy Cross

Where are the marks, the marks of Thy anointing?
Savior reveal, how am I joined with Thee?
Have I embraced the cross of Thy appointing,
Thy Cross constrained a true response in me?
Spare not the truth, I spurn all shallow seeming;
Where are the proofs of Thy dying in me?
As I am Thine by my pure love to Thee.
Henceforth, for Thee inured to gain or loss,
Let me be known by the marks of Thy Cross.

Thy brow was torn, but mine has known no bleeding;
Thy hands were nailed, but mine are whole and free.
Thy cheek has burned beneath the traitor's greeting;
Have I endured the lonely way for Thee?
Thy tears fell down upon a world's transgression;
When have I wept for the souls that love not Thee?
It was Thy heart that filled Thee with compassion;
Oh, may that heart renew Thy life in me!
Henceforth, for Thee inured to gain or loss,
Let me be known by the marks of Thy Cross.

(a prayer of Albert Orsborn)

Wash

Lord,
wash,
not my feet only,
but also
my hands
and
my head.
And
my heart.
And
my mind.
And
my life.
Amen.

(based on John 13:9).

A Prayer on Holy Wednesday

Lord Jesus, gracious Savior, I come to you in this sacred week to ponder your great and wondrous love; love that led you to the cross that my sin might be blotted out and that I might be reconciled to my heavenly Father. O Christ, give me strength and grace to crucify my sinful desires and dedicate myself anew to you, who has loved me with an everlasting love and brought to me eternal salvation.

I confess to You my sins. They are many, and You know them all. For each and every one of them you suffered the agony of the cross and shed your precious blood that I may be cleansed and made acceptable in your sight. Thank you for the forgiveness and cleansing that is mine. Thank you that none of the sins of yesterday cling to me. Humbly I come, grateful for your mercy. Daily let me fulfill the tasks and duties to which You have called me with joy, confessing you as my Lord and Savior, and being of service to my neighbor.

Grant that your suffering and death, proclaimed for the salvation of mankind, may by the power of the Holy Spirit awaken in many a deeper love to You. O Lord, have mercy upon me and all sinful mankind, and create in me and all that seek you a clean heart, holy desires, and an undying love. Hear my prayer, gracious Redeemer. Amen.

(borrowed and revised from http://scotkinnaman.com)

A Prayer on Holy Tuesday

By Thy long-drawn anguish to atone,
Jesus Christ, show mercy on Thine own:
Jesus Christ, show mercy and atone
Not for other sake except Thine own.

Thou Who thirsting on the Cross didst see
All mankind and all I love and me,
Still from Heaven look down in love and see
All mankind and all I love and me.

(by Christina Rossetti)

A Prayer on Holy Monday

God of love,
My prayer is simple:
Your son, Jesus, suffered and died for me.

I know only
that I cannot have real strength
unless I rely on you.

I cannot feel protected
from my many weaknesses
until I turn to you
for forgiveness and your unalterable love.

Help me to share this
strength, protection and love with others.

(from One Prayer a Day for Lent)

Hosanna

On this day of great rejoicing,
Lord Jesus Christ,
when we welcome You as our King and Savior,
we also walk in the shadow
of Your cross.
Hosanna! we cry.
Blessed are You
who come in God’s name to save us.
Hosanna!
Strengthen our faith
on this Palm Sunday
so that when the time comes
to carry the cross
we might still call out to You
with heartfelt praise.
Give us the grace and the courage
to follow You this Holy Week
from death to resurrection,
from darkness to the fullness of light.
We need You, Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Hosanna!
Amen.

Saturday Psalm #15

Lord, I want to live where you dwell.
I want to stay forever on your holy hill.
I ask you for the blameless walk
and the right actions
and the honesty of heart that will make that happen.
I ask you to keep slander out of my mouth
and evil from my heart
and betrayal far, far from me.
I plead for wisdom to shun the vile,
hobnob with the holy,
and walk uprightly whichever way the wind blows.
Make me a giver instead of a taker
and a defender--not offender--of the innocent,
knowing that the one who does these things shall never be moved.

That They May Love Your Word


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

For Me

Jesus, thank you that in you
there is grace my every debt to pay,
blood to wash my every sin away,
and power to keep me spotless day by day,
for me, for me.

(from a hymn by Herbert H. Booth)

On My Birthday

Long have I loved you,
But not nearly as much
As your great love deserves.
Each day I have left
Let me love and serve you
With more passion and zeal
Than the 21,000-plus
that have gone before.
Amen.

For Baseball

Thank you, God, for baseball:
for outfields of green
and the crack of the ball on a wooden bat.
For pitchers with eccentric windups,
for stolen bases
and diving catches.
For double plays
and double steals,
bunts and brushbacks,
squeeze plays and home runs.
For "cold beer here!" and ballpark franks.
For the seventh inning stretch.
For day games and night games.
For OBPs and ERAs,
pickoff plays and headfirst slides,
for opening days and hope springing eternal.
Amen.

For Their Growth in Grace

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

A Fool's Psalm

A fool though I am, Lord,
let me not be like the fool
whose thoughts are wicked,
who flirts with temptation,
who "goes along to get along."
Make me instead a man
who loves your Word
and dwells in your presence.
Make me like a tree,
planted by a flowing stream,
bearing fruit season after season,
never withering,
always prospering, in Jesus' name, amen.

(based on Psalm 1:1-3)

A Prayer of Thomas à Kempis

Grant me, O Lord,
to know what I ought to know,
To love what I ought to love,
To praise what delights thee most,
To value what is precious in thy sight,
To hate what is offensive to thee.

Do not suffer me to judge
according to the sight of my eyes,
Nor to pass sentence according to the hearing
of the ears of ignorant men;
But to discern with a true judgment
between things visible and spiritual,
And above all,
always to inquire what is the good pleasure of thy will. Amen.

(a prayer by Thomas à Kempis; photo via everystockphoto.com)

This Amazing Day

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

(by e. e. cummings)

Small Package Prayer

God, of grace and glory, thank You for the rest of the night and the fresh energy to begin a new day. As the brightness breaks through the clouds of the morning sky, illuminate my heart with Your own darkness-dispelling presence. Drive away the clouds of doubt that question Your faithfulness in trying circumstances and the clouds of fear that make me cautious when I need to be courageous.

I know I can make a pretty small package when I get all wrapped up in myself. Set me free from self-concern so that I may focus on others. Renew my assurance that I am loved and forgiven by You so that I may be a communicator cator of Your grace to the people around me. Remind me that grace is kept only if it is given away. All You have taught me on the mountaintops of victory or the valleys of trials has been to help me say to others, "I know what you're going through-I've been there!" Help me see life as a school of grace equipping me for a ministry of sharing.

Thank You, Lord, for what I will learn today that will enable me to help someone who will need just what I've discovered.

(from Quiet Moments with God by Lloyd John Ogilvie; photo via everystockphoto.com)

Saturday Psalm #14

I am not the smartest person there is—
I’m not even the smartest person I know—
But I am smart enough to see the foolishness
of those who deny you, Lord,
of those who are corrupt and vile
and dismissive of you. 
You see it all.
You look from sunrise to sunset
for a speck of righteousness,
for a hint of holiness on this great wide earth.
You look to me, too, I know,
and see that I am as ruined by sin as the next guy.
We all are.
I have no claim on grace.
I have no place to stand.
Only to kneel.
And as I do, I find you there.
You separate yourself from evildoers
but show up in the company of the humble and broken.
You call them righteous.
You are my refuge.
My only hope.
My only good.
Send your salvation to me again, still.
Restore.
Refresh.
Amen.

O Most Sublime

O most sublime,
O most gracious,
O first thinker,
O first speaker,
O from everlasting to everlasting,
O mighty defender,
O strength giver,
O lover of souls,
O captain of hosts,
O kinsman redeemer,
O hearer of prayers,
O gentle shepherd,
O twister of oaks,
O lifter of my head,
O lily of the valley,
O rose of sharon,
O king of angels,
O great and awesome,
O suffering servant,
O willing sacrifice,
O name above all names,
the humblest you created
sings your praise,
Amen.

(suggested by a prayer of Mechtid of Magdeburg)

O Creator of All

O creator of all,
O ancient of days,
O garden walker,
O night wrestler,
O consuming fire,
O sea splitter,
O mountain thunderer,
O gentle whisperer,
O song giver,
O holiest in the height,
O water walker,
O heart healer,
O dead raiser,
O sin forgiver,
O beauty beyond description,
O glory of the humble,
O strength of the weak,
O hope of the hopeless and Father of the fatherless,
O coming King,
the humblest you created
sings your praise,
Amen.

(suggested by a prayer of Mechtid of Magdeburg)

Spring Canticle

Sun and cloud, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Flower and weed, bless the Lord.
Breeze and bird, bless the Lord.
Mist and meadow, bless the Lord.
Sunrise and sunset, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.

Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

(by Robert Frost, from A Boy's Will)

Apple of Your Eye

Keep her
as the apple
of your eye
and hide her
under the shadow
of your wing,
in Jesus' name,
amen.

(based on Psalm 17:8)

On My Son's Birthday

Oh, Lord, my God,
gone are the days 
when my little boy 
could climb into my lap 
and melt my heart with a smile. 
Gone are the nights 
when I could read him a book 
and smile with joy 
at his plea for more. 

But oh, what a son he still is today.
Oh, how you've blessed me,
not only with a boy,
but with such a son,
and such a husband,
and such a father,
and such a friend as he is.

And though I know it is selfish
to ask more when you have given so much already,
I ask.
Lord, I ask.

Please make his every dream
come true.
Please.

Make him like Enoch, who walked with you.
Make him like Noah, who found grace in your sight.
Make him like Abraham, who walked by faith.
Make him like Joseph, a dreamer and doer.
Make him like Moses, who walked on holy ground.
Make him like his namesake Aaron, who led your people into your presence.

Make him like Caleb and Joshua, who saw with eyes of faith.
Make him like Elijah, who received food from your hand.
Make him like Elisha, who was given a double portion.
Make him like David, who danced before you, a man after your own heart.
Make him like Jehoshaphat, who trusted in you.
Make him like Hosea, who forgave largely.

Make him like John, a beloved disciple.
Make him like Barnabas, a mentor and encourager.
Make him more than anything, like Jesus, lover of souls.

Bless him, Lord, on his birthday,
and every day to come,
as you have so blessed me with him,
in Jesus' name, amen.


The Lorica

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, here is the famous prayer attributed to St. Patrick, called The Lorica, or Breastplate of St. Patrick: 

Today I put on
a terrible strength
invoking the Trinity
confessing the Three
with faith in the One
as I face my Maker. 
Today I put on the power
of Christ's birth and baptism,
of his hanging and burial,
His resurrection, ascension,
and descent at the Judgement. 
Today I put on the power
of the order of the Cherubim,
angels' obedience,
archangels' attendance,
in hope of ascending
to my reward;
patriarchs' prayers,
prophets' predictions,
apostles precepts,
confessors' testimony,
holy virgins' innocence
and the deeds of true men. 
Today I put on
the power of Heaven,
the light of the Sun,
the radiance of the Moon,
the splendour of fire,
the fierceness of lightning,
the swiftness of wind,
the depth of the sea,
the firmness of earth
and the hardness of rock. 
Today I put on
God's strenghth to steer me,
God's power to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye for my vision,
God's ear for my hearing,
God's word for my speech,
God's hand to protect me,
God's pathway before me,
God's shield for my shelter,
God's angels to guard me
from ambush of devils,
from vice's allurements,
from traps of the flesh,
from all who wish ill,
whether distant or close,
alone or in hosts. 
I summon these powers today
to take my part against every implacable power
that attacks my body and soul,
the chants of false prophets,
dark laws of the pagans,
false heretics' laws,
entrapments of idols,
enchantments of women
or smiths or druids,
and all knowledge that poisons
man's body or soul. 
Christ guard me today
from poison, from burning,
from drowning, from hurt,
that I have my reward.

Christ beside me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ within me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me.
Christ on my right hand,
Christ on my left,
Christ where I lie,
Christ where I sit,
Christ where I rise.
Christ in the hearts of all who think of me,
Christ in the mouths of all who speak to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me. 
Today I put on
a terrible strength,
invoking the Trinity,
confessing the Three,
with faith in the One
as I face my Maker.
(photo via everystockphoto.com)

Ragamuffin Prayer

Grazie, Signore...
for judging me
not by my shabby good deeds
but by Your love
that is Your gift to me,
for Your unbearable forgiveness
and infinite patience with me,
for other people
who have greater gifts than mine,
and for the honesty
to acknowledge
that I am
a ragamuffin.

(Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, p. 121; photo by BenedictFrancis via everystockphoto.com).

Plant Me Deep

Holy spirit, I surrender,
Take me where you want to go;
Plant me by your living water,
Plant me deep so I can grow.

(a prayer by Keith Green; photo via everystockphoto.com)

For Their Purity of Heart


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 #13

O Lord, sometimes it feels as though you've forgotten me.
I know you haven't. Have you?
I know you never let me out of your sight. Right?

I just have these times.
Moments of anguish in my heart and mind.
Times when I let myself dwell on those who've wronged me.
Sometimes I even go there willingly,
as if it will do me any good to argue my case again,
though it is only inside my own head,
and mainly a futile attempt to answer my Accuser.

Turn to me, O Lord my God!
Help me!
Remove the weight from my mind
and the film from my eyes.

Evict those unhealthy and unwelcome voices from my mind.
Teach me not to give place to them.
Focus my mind, heart, and attention on your unfailing love for me,
on the joy that is mine because you are mine.

Give me a song,
and let me sing of your goodness all day long.
Amen.

Good Beyond All That Is Good

O God the Father, Origin of divinity,
good beyond all that is good,
fair beyond all that is fair,
in whom is calmness, peace, and concord;
make up the dissensions
which divide us from each other,
and bring us back into a unity of love,
which may bear some likeness to your divine nature.

And as you are above all things,
make us one by the unanimity of a good mind,
that through the embrace of charity
and the bonds of affection,
we may be spiritually one,
as well in ourselves as in each other;
through that peace of yours
that makes all things peaceful,
and through the grace, mercy, and tenderness
of your Son, Jesus Christ, amen.

(A prayer of Dionysius the Great, A.D. 190-265)

Rise

I rise this day,
in the love of the Father.
I rise this day,
with the mind of Christ.
I rise this day,
in the Spirit's power.
I rise this day,
in the blessings of God.

(from the DesertPastor blog)

Earth-Maker

Earth-maker,
Star-spinner,
Life-breather,
Dream-speaker,
Bush-burner,
Sea-splitter,
Wound-healer,
Grace-giver,
make me please
a little
more like you.
Amen.

(photo by Noah Bulgaria via everystockphoto.com)

A Penitent's Prayer

Kneeling in penitence I make my prayer,
Owning my weaknesses and my despair;
Failure I cannot hide,
Broken my selfish pride,
Pardon thou dost provide,
Pardon declare.

Nothing can I achieve, nothing attain;
He that without thee builds, labors in vain;
Shatter my own design,
Shaping a plan divine,
Come to this heart of mine,
Saviour, again.

Though few the gifts I have that thou canst use,
Make thy demands on me; I'll not refuse;
Take all there is of me,
Take what I hope to be;
Thy way at last I see,
Thy way I choose.

(a lyric by The Salvation Army's General John Gowans)