To Your Name


The Glory in the Grey


Almighty God...
Sun behind all suns...
Soul behind all souls...
show to us in everything we touch
and in everyone we meet
the continued assurance of thy presence round us,
lest ever we should think thee absent.
In all created things thou art there.
In every friend we have
the sunshine of thy presence is shown forth.
In every enemy that seems to cross our path,
thou art there within the cloud to challenge us to love.
Show to us the glory in the grey.
Awake for us thy presence in the very storm
till all our joys are seen as thee
and all our trivial tasks emerge as priestly sacraments
in the universal temple of thy love.

(George MacLeod, The Whole Earth Shall Cry Glory, pp. 13-14)

Ukuthula (Peace)



Translation:

Ukuthula - Peace
Kulumhlaba we zono - In this (broken) world of trouble
Igazi like Jesu lin yenyez' - The blood of Jesus flowed (so that you could have:)

Ukuthula - Peace
Usindiso - Redemption
Ukubonga - Praise
Ukutholwa - Faith
Ukunqoba - Victory
Induduzo - Comfort

Saturday Psalm #28


I call out to you,
O Lord, my rock;
please don’t be silent.
If you stop speaking to me,
I would feel
like dropping dead.

Hear my words,
and my non-words,
when my soul cries out to you.
See my lifted hands
reaching out to you.

Save me from being enticed
by the way of the wicked;
I’m bad enough all by myself.
Make me unlike those who speak peace to their neighbors,
while all the while plotting “war” in their hearts.
Give such people what they deserve,
and turn their wickedness back on them.
Pay them their fair wages,
letting them reap the crop they have sown.
May those who ignore or defame your great works
be knocked down a peg
instead of climbing the ladder of success.

I bless you, Lord,
because you hear me when I call out to you.
You are my strength and my shield;
I trust you, and you help me;
my heart swells with joy in your presence,
and I sing your praises with my whole heart.

Lord, you are my strength;
you alone give me the victory I crave.
Save your people,
and bless those who belong to you:
Feed them and carry them for ever, amen.

Groanings

Father, we pray for those who have lost property or loved ones in the recent groanings of a broken creation. Please heal bodies and hearts and provide relief. Let your people show love and compassion to their neighbors and show the truth, goodness, and beauty of Jesus. Amen 
(from the Daily Prayer blog; photo via everystockphoto.com)

On the First Day of Autumn

When I must go, dear God, please let it be
A golden autumn day; when red leaves fall,
When purple grapes in shining clusters hang
And bittersweet glows bright against the wall,

When o'er the barren fields and russet meads
Their last farewells the crickets cry.
Let me make my silent journey
When the homing birds fly south across the sky.

When I must go, dear God, please let me go
As silently as autumn rain,
As still as lacy shadows 'neath the willow trees,
As calm as is the moon above the hill.

So let me go--and may there be no grief
When life is done and I must say goodbye.
I'll take my leave with flowers and falling leaf
And lie in peaceful sleep beneath the sky.

(unattributed)

On Rosh Hashanah

Let us now relate the power of this day's holiness, for it is awesome and frightening. On it Your Kingship will be exalted; Your throne will be firmed with kindness and You will sit upon it in truth. It is true that You alone are the One Who judges, proves, knows, and bears witness; Who writes and seats, (counts and calculates); Who remembers all that was forgotten. You will open the Book of Chronicles - it will read itself, and everyone's signature is in it. The great shofar will be sounded and a still, thin sound will be heard. Angels will hasten, a trembling and terror will seize them - and they will say, 'Behold, it is the Day of Judgment, to muster the heavenly host for judgment!'- for they cannot be vindicated in Your eyes in judgment.

All mankind will pass before You like members of the flock. Like a shepherd pasturing his flock, making sheep pass under his staff, so shall You cause to pass, count, calculate, and consider the soul of all the living; and You shall apportion the fixed needs of all Your creatures and inscribe their verdict.

On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquillity and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted.

But repentance, prayer, and charity avert the severity of the decree.

(photo via everystockphoto.com)

An Exact Faith

Give me grace, O Lord,
to be in all things strong, prudent and just
with a wise restraint at need.
Grant me an exact faith,
unshakeable trust in thee,
and perfect charity.
Fill me
with the spirit of intelligence and wisdom.
Let me
be always thoughtful for others
and courageous,
with loyalty and reverence.
O Light, perfect and eternal, enlighten me.

(a prayer of Alcuin of York; photo via everystockphoto.com)

Give Me Yourself

God, give me yourself--nothing less
than your salvation,
your holiness,
your mercy,
your kindness,
your magnanimity,
your love,
your goodness,
your purity,
your integrity,
your grace,
your glory will do for me.

I confess, Lord, that I sin,
and in so doing
I say that you are not enough for me,
that you can't be trusted,
that I must have something other than you...
but that's a lie,
and I beg your forgiveness for how often I tell it,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via everystockphoto.com)

Saturday Psalm #27

Lord, you are my light and my salvation;
why should I fear anyone?
Lord, you are the strength of my life;
of whom should I be afraid?

When wicked people try to mess me up,
when people who hate me try to trip me up,
they will trip themselves.
Even if an army takes positions against me,
why should I worry?
If someone declares “war” against me,
I still have you, Lord.

I ask one thing of you, Lord,
one thing most of all,
one thing I crave,
one thing I will seek:
to dwell in your presence all the days of my life,
to gaze on your beauty,
and to experience you in your holy place.

For I know when trouble comes,
you will hide me in your eyrie;
you will place me out of reach of my enemies
on a high crag.
You will place me where I can look down on those who would hurt me,
and they will look like tiny ants to me,
making me wonder how they could ever have bothered me at all.
Therefore I offer sacrifices of joy to you at every opportunity;
I will sing your praises,
I will whisper your praises,
I will shout your praises,
I will dance your praises.

Hear me, Lord, when I cry out to you.
Have mercy on me, and answer me.
When you say, “Seek ye my face,”
prompt a willing response: “I will seek you wholeheartedly, Lord.”
Please don’t obscure your face;
please don’t be angry with me;
though you know I deserve your wrath,
you have always been my helper regardless of how little I deserve your help.
Stay with me, Lord;
stay beside me, O God of my salvation.
You who are more faithful than father or mother,
hold me close.

Teach me how to become more and more like you, Lord,
and blaze a straight path ahead of me,
so I will not give my enemies reason to rejoice.
Frustrate those who hate me,
who accuse me wrongly,
who blame me for their problems.
If it weren’t for you, Lord, I would have lost hope long ago.
Help me just to wait on you,
to be brave and courageous,
and wait for you to accomplish your good will.

Mad Lover

O eternal, infinite God! O mad lover! And you have need of your creature? It seems so to me, for you act as if you could not live without [me], in spite of the fact that you are Life itself, and everything has life from you and nothing can have life without you. Why then are you so mad? Because you have fallen in love with what you have made?...You clothed yourself in our humanity, and nearer than that you could not have come (a prayer of Catherine of Siena).

Comfort

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who weep this day, and comfort those who grieve, 
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of St. Ambrose, Slightly Revised

Once more
the sun is beaming bright,
Once more
to you I pray,
That your eternal light
may guide
And cheer
my soul today. Amen.

Love and Faithfulness


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 #26

Judge me kindly, Lord.
By your grace, let me walk in integrity.
By your grace, let me trust in you without wavering.

Examine me, Lord, and diagnose everything that’s wrong with me.
Shine your light into my heart and mind.
I know your kindness tempers your correction,
and my desire to walk in your truth trumps my desire to avoid painful correction.

Save me from hanging around liars.
Keep me far from the company of cheaters.
Turn me away from the paths of those who do evil,
and free me from any desire to make wicked people like me.

I will wash my hands, Lord;
I will bow in repentance at your altar.
I will sing your thanks in a loud voice,
and boldly report to others what you have done.

I love your house, Lord.
I love your church.
I love being there when your people assemble.
I love giving you glory in the company of the saints.

Make me wise,
so that I may not be in the wrong place,
in the wrong company,
at the wrong time.

Lead me in paths of righteousness.
Rescue me, pity me, and lift me,
setting my feet on solid ground, higher ground,
the Rock that is higher than I.

I praise you, Lord, among the company of the committed.

(photo via everystockphoto.com)

For a Genuine Life

Father, you know how easy it is for me to substitute an exterior religious performance for an interior spiritual concern. How hollow and empty it must look to you! Help me to shape my words and acts today in the way you shaped yours toward me in Jesus, in whose name I pray, amen.

(From Eugene Peterson's Praying with the Psalms, April 14 reading; photo via everystockphoto.com).

Never Confounded

In you, O loving God, have I hoped:
let me never be confounded.
I know too well
that I am weak and changeable.
I know the power of temptation
against the strongest virtue.

I have seen stars fall
and foundations of my world crack;
these things do not alarm me.
While I hope in you,
I am sheltered from all misfortune,
and I am sure
that my trust shall endure,
for I rely upon you
to sustain this unfailing hope.

Finally, I know that my confidence cannot exceed your generosity,
and that I shall never receive less than I have hoped for from you.
Therefore I hope that you will sustain me against my evil inclinations,
that you will protect me against the deceitful attacks of the evil one,
and that you will cause my weakness to triumph over every hostile force.

I hope that you will never cease to love me and that I shall love you unceasingly. Amen.

(a prayer of Claude de la Colombière)

Gracious Hand

As it was on Nehemiah, please let "the gracious hand of God [be] on me" (‭‭Nehemiah‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬).

Saturday Psalm #25

O Lord, I lift up my soul to you.
O my God, I trust in you:
let me not be ashamed,
or defeated by my enemies.
In fact, let none who trusts you be ashamed,
but rather let schemers and swindlers be ashamed.

Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me to walk in your footsteps.
Light my way with your truth,
and teach me: for you are the God of my salvation.
Help me to wait on you throughout the day.
Persevere in your tender mercies and lovingkindnesses toward me, Lord.
They’ve lasted this long; let them endure through my days.
As you have forgotten the sins of my youth,
so wipe clean my latest transgressions.
Look on me through eyes of mercy,
and smile on me today, O Lord.

You are utterly good and upright, Lord.
You are the ultimate Teacher and Guide,
showing even the worst sinners like me the way they should go.
You lead the meek along right paths,
and make the most humble your disciples.
You blaze paths of mercy and truth
for all those who keep your covenant and obey your commands.

For the sake of your name and your reputation, Lord,
make me a man who walks in forgiveness, despite my many sins;
make me a student who listens reverently to you and follows your teachings;
make me an heir who dwells at ease,
whose children enjoy a rich legacy from you;
make me your friend and confidante, Lord,
show me (like Peter) things only you can impart.
I look to you for everything, Lord,
for you alone keep me safe from the snares that surround me.
Look to me, Lord, and have mercy upon me,
for apart from you I am desolate and afflicted.

When my heart swells with sorrows, please lift me out of my distress.
Look tenderly on me, heal my pain, and forgive all my sins.
And meanwhile, don’t forget my enemies,
for they are many, and I can’t stand against them unless you stand for me.

Divine Watcher, watch over my soul;
Dread Warrior, fight for me;
God my Defender, vindicate me, for I rely on you.

Let your integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I have none of my own;
I wait on you.

As with me, so with all your people:
Redeem them all, O God, out of all their troubles.

(photo by The Ancient Brit via everystockphoto.com)

For Eyes Incapable of Anything But Wonder

Lord, thank you for oysters and porpoises,
praise you for birdsong and sheet lightning,
see you reflected in pools of creekwater and the eyes of stray cats.
Let me talk to yard dogs as if they are my friends and fellow travelers
along the sun-tortured highways intoxicated with the love of God.
Let me see the whole world with eyes incapable of anything but wonder,
and a tongue fluent only in praise, amen.

(based on a passage from Pat Conroy's The Prince of Tides, pp. 277-278).