Fill Them With Joy

Today's prayer (which I pray for my kids and my grandkids) in the "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids" app, available for iPads and iPhones.

In You Do I Trust

In you, O Lord, do I put my trust.
Not in myself,
not in my own righteousness (which is filthy rags),
not in my own obedience (for I am a sinner, and when I do obey you, it is all of you),
not in my service,
not in my gifts,
not in my sense of my own spirituality,
but in you alone. I trust you.

Into your hands I commend my spirit, O Lord, O God of truth;
please keep me as the apple of your eye and hide me under the shadow of your wing, in Jesus' name, amen.


God, you are my defender,
my armor,
my coat of Kevlar,
my tower,
my help,
my rescuer,
my Marines,
my cavalry,
my Dread Warrior,
Captain, my Captain,
my mountain of strength,
my miracle at the eleventh hour. Amen.

For Kindness In Them

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 #22

My God, my God,
how can you let me feel forsaken?
You seem so distant,
so far from the words of my groaning.
My God, I call to you by day,
but hear nothing back from you.
I call at night;
I am not silent…why are you?

Holy One, high and lifted up,
you sit enthroned on the praises of your people.
My ancestors trusted you;
they leaned on you, and you saved them.
They cried out for your help
and you bent down
and scooped them up in your arms.
They threw themselves on your care,
and were not disappointed.

But I am brought low, like a worm crawling in the dust.
People say untrue things behind my back.
They even lie to my face.
They attribute their ‘stuff’ to me.
They’re probably thinking, “I can’t wait
to see you get your comeuppance.
When you fall on your face,
we’ll all know that God wasn’t with you in the first place.”

But you have been with me from birth, Lord.
You’ve graced me with your presence
since my diaper days.
And I have leaned on you since before I can remember;
you have been my God from birth.
So don't abandon me now,
when trouble surrounds me
and I feel all alone.
You see them, Father, those around me who wish me evil,
who snap and snipe at me like rabid dogs,
and like predators
wait for an opportunity to attack.
I don’t have the strength to fight back;
my blood feels water-thin,
and my old bones are weary.
My heart just isn’t in it,
it feels like all the fight has gone out of me.
I have no desire to defend myself anymore,
and no words to turn back their hatred.
I lie down: let them bury me.
All those who hate me surround me,
like dogs, they are relentless,
nipping at my ankles,
they’ll never be satisfied or turned away.

So, Lord, come.
You are my strength, you’re all I’ve got; hurry to help me.
Save me from their long knives;
save me from their growling and grumbling.
Rescue me from their lion's teeth;
save me from their longhorns.

All I want to do is tell others about you;
I just want to speak your good news.
I want to praise you, Lord, with those who revere you,
and actually honor you by taking you at your word
and doing what you say.
You will not ignore my troubles.
You will not hide from me
but will hear me when I whine and cry and sob to you.
Lord, I praise you in the company of your people;
your true worshipers will see me do what I have promised.
Let the poor eat their fill;
let your true worshipers praise you.
May their hearts forever beat your praises!
Let people everywhere remember
and turn to you, Lord.
Let all the families of the world
worship you
because you are King,
and you rule the nations.

Let weak and strong all feast and worship you together.
Let everyone bow down to you,
every mortal soul.
Preserve your praise among future generations,
and let my children’s children hear of you.
Let them proclaim your righteousness
to their children, not yet born,
for everything you do is worth telling.

For Calleigh

Heavenly Father it was through your power that we were created. Every breath we take, every morning we wake, every moment of every day we live under your power. Father, we ask you now to touch Calleigh with that same power. Cast out anything that shouldn't be in her. Let the warmth of your healing love pass thorough her body to make new any unhealthy areas so that they function the way you created them to function. Restore her to full health so she may serve you all the days of her life. In the precious name of Jesus we pray, amen.

(a prayer of my friend, Charles Kerr, posted on Facebook yesterday)

The Beauties of Nature

Lord, grant that by the blessed Spirit we may always be sensitive of the presence of God wherever we are. Yours are the beauties of nature, Yours the sunshine which is bringing on the harvest, Yours the perfume which loads the air from multitudes of flowers, Yours the insects which glitter around us like living gems.

(a prayer of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, slightly revised; photo via

A Prayer from Ravensbruck

O Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted on us; remember the fruits we have bought, thanks to this suffering--our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this, and when they come to judgment, let all the fruits which we have borne be their forgiveness.

(a prayer found by a Russian soldier on May 17, 1945, pinned to a child's body in Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, in northern Germany; photo by copelaes via

Saturday Psalm #21

I will rejoice in your strength, O Lord;
and oh, how greatly do I rejoice in your salvation!
You have given me my heart's desire,
and have not withheld anything good from me.
You have blessed me with all sorts of good things;
you treat me like a prince—which is what I am in your eyes!

I asked you to save my life, and you did;
even giving me long life.
I exult when you win the victory,
and you robe me and garland me like a champion.
You have given me eternal and temporal blessings,
and I am happiest when I feel your presence and sense your smile.
because I trust in you, Lord,
and because of that I will not be swayed or tripped up or turned aside.

You will triumph over all your enemies;
your strong right hand will crush all who oppose you.
You will destroy them in flaming fire when you appear,
they will be engulfed in your wrath, and consumed by your judgment fires.
You will castrate evil
and stop it from reproducing on earth.
Those who plot against you will be foiled,
and their malicious schemes will finally be frustrated.
They will run for shelter and find none
when you aim your arrows at them and call them to account.

I praise you, Lord, for all your glorious power;
I celebrate your mighty works with words and music.


Thank you, Lord, for water--clean, cold, plentiful. Amen.

You Rejoice Over Me

God, it's no wonder to me that you rejoice in yourself, in your perfection, because you are perfect, and utterly praiseworthy.

But to believe that you rejoice in me--not in the abstract "me," the "work of your hands," the vessel of clay, the "very good" humanity that I share with all humankind; but the "me" me, the proud, lazy, gluttonous, greedy, lustful, jealous, faithless me, the all-too-fallen me (though redeemed by your Son)--that's almost too much to believe.

But you do rejoice in me. You rejoice over me with singing. You dance over me. Because of your Son, yes, but nonetheless, this is me we're talking about. It's too wonderful for me. You are too wonderful for me. But I thank you, in Jesus' name, amen.

The Mountains Will Sing

So shall my word be
that goes out from my mouth:
it will not return to me empty,
but it will accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field
shall clap their hands (Isa. 55:11-12).

Gracious Father, you know how much I love mountains of all shapes and sizes. There's just something about mountains that causes my heart to feel the greatness of your glory and grace--the weightiness of your majesty and the endlessness of your mercy. What a Creator! What a creation!

I guess it started with Boy Scout trips to the hills of western North Carolina, then on to exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains around Boone and Banner Elk, North Carolina. And I'll never forget my first sighting of the Rocky Mountains in Estes Park, Colorado--the shimmering aspen leaves against the rich blue of a humidity- and haze-free fall skyline!

But then there was the day I stepped off the train in the village of Interlaken, Switzerland, and got hammered with the holy wonder of three Alps: the Eiger, the Mönch, and the Jungfrau. I can still see, smell, feel, and taste the sensual overload of that day. Indeed, Father, the works of your hands declare your glory, loud and clear. How can I keep from singing your praise?

But, Father, these words of Isaiah envision a day when the mountains themselves will burst into song--the new song of the new creation. Though your glory is clearly revealed in the beauty of your creation, it is revealed ten thousand times more in the redemption that you freely give us in Jesus. Jesus is the Alps of your mercy, grace, and love for us!

Because of Jesus, we, your redeemed people, will go out in joy and be led forth into peace, into shalom--the perfect order, society, environment, and world of the new heaven and new earth. You have spoken, you have promised, and so shall it be! Your Word will accomplish everything you decree and all your delights. With great hope we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

(a prayer of Scotty Smith, from his book, Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith;' photo by Tamlyn Rhodes via ).