Lord, Protect My Child



Susan Tedeschi performs "Lord Protect My Child,” written by Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan.

Saturday Psalm #56

Please be merciful to me, O God,
for I get scared so easily.
I’m scared right now.

Save me from myself,
and from all who would attack me
to make themselves feel or look better.

Remind me when I am afraid
to trust in you—
you, whose word I hold dear.
I will try to trust you
rather than fear what others might do to me.

Don't let others--
those who would harm me or my testimony,
sneaky, spying souls
who want to trip me up
and gloat over me--
twist my words.

Defend me from them, Lord God;
trip them up.

I know I’m complaining, but hear me anyway;
take note of my tears
and wipe them away.

Turn my enemies,
come to my assistance when I call for help.
I know that you are for me—
you, whose word I hold dear.
I will try to trust you
rather than fear what men might do to me.

I am beholden to you, O God;
I owe you infinitely more
than my thanks can convey,
for you have delivered me time and again,
you have caught me when I stumbled,
that I may walk before you
in the light of life. Amen.

(image via pixabay.com)

Who Compares

Who then, my Lord, compares to you?
The Watcher slept,
the Great was small,
the Pure baptized,
the Life who died,
the King abased to honor all:
praised be your glory.

(a prayer of the fourth century's Ephrem (or Ephraim) of Edessa, translated by John Howard Rhys. It is the final verse of a hymn as it appears in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982)

Open


On a Day When I Will Speak

No speaker is saved by the quality of his material;
no preacher succeeds by the multitude of his gifts.
Relying on man's approval is a vain hope, a stupid goal;
despite all its allure it cannot save.
My hope is on your unfailing love, Lord;
I hope for your deliverance.

(based on Psalm 33:16-17)

A Pocket Prayer

O Lord,
In this fallen world, help me to have realistic expectations about my earthly home. Prepare me for troubles that are sure to come. Remind me that I can accept my circumstances without liking them. Help me to be heaven-minded so that I can grow through adversity, knowing that these difficulties will end with this earthly life. I accept whatever comes from your hand, and I trust your wisdom.

(an excerpt from the book, 365 Pocket Prayers, by Ron Beers)

Saturday Psalm #55

Hear my prayer, O God,
please listen.
Please answer me.
My thoughts run away with me again
and I am perturbed at the work of the enemy,
at the roadblocks thrown in my way,
for the silliness
and stupidity that swirls around me.
You know how often I get like this, Lord,
how easily I let circumstances get the better of me,
how much I let fear and worry beset me
and even overwhelm me.

It sure would be nice to have wings like a dove!
I could fly away and find a sheltered crag.
I could soar to a place of solitude
and hide there, alone with you.
I could go anytime to my place of shelter,
and retreat from the tempest and storm.
But even as I say that, Lord,
you remind me: I can do that anyway,
you are my shelter, whether I have wings or not.
You are my hiding place, not some physical retreat.
Confuse the wicked, O Lord,
and frustrate their plans
who try to oppose you and your work in our midst.
Oppose them!
Tear down their malicious efforts.
Protect me--protect all your people--
from all destructive forces at work in the city;
save us from all witchcraft, threats, and lies.

Save us from enemies
who masquerade as friends;
protect us from those who smile and nod
while they curse under their breath
and try to hurt us when no one sees.
Save us from lies,
and gossip,
and intrigue.
I call to you, God,
and you save me.

At all times of the day,
I cry out to you,
and you hear my voice.

You ransom me, unharmed,
from every battle waged against me,
no matter how many oppose me.

God, who is enthroned forever,
hears and saves me
from all those who have turned from you,
from all who think they are doing right
by hurting others,
whose words are more soothing than oil,
but sharper than swords when my back is turned.

I cast my cares on you, LORD;
I know you will sustain me;
you have never let me down yet,
though I deserve none of your favor.
I leave it to you to decide who is wicked
and who needs a comeuppance;
I just know, as for me, I trust in you. Amen. 
(photo via pixabay.com)

Grant

Lord,
for every person who prays today--
even begs--
for any of the many things
I take for granted,
please hear their prayers
and answer this prayer
by answering theirs,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via pixabay.com)

For My Kids and Grandkids Today

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

On 41

















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

Thank you for yet 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 together,
the challenges we have overcome,
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 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.

The Very Thought



"Jesus, The Very Thought of Thee," arr. Paul Satre, sung by the Trinity International University Choir from Deerfield, IL.

Saturday Psalm #54

Save me, O God, by your name;
vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God;
listen to these words of mine.
My Enemy is ruthless,
always attacking;
he works through this person one day,
and that circumstance the next.
But you are my help;
you alone are the one who sustains me.
Make my Enemy’s strategies backfire;
defend me, destroy him.
I will continue to bring you
my willing sacrifices.
I will praise your name, O LORD,
for it is good.
You have delivered me from all kinds of troubles.
My eyes have looked triumphantly on my foes.

June 1

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)

Haiku

Raindrops striking leaves,
Making them tremble and wave.
Such beauty. Thank you!

(photo courtesy of photoxpress.com)

Today's Prayer for My Children and Grandchildren

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

For Those Who Gave Their Lives

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)

Fill

Fill my cup, Lord;
I lift it up, Lord.
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.

(photo by anitapeppers via morguefile)

I Do Not But I Would

God, you are my God,
and I seek you this morning;
let my prayers rise before you
like the morning sacrifice.

Please grant that I may seek you wholeheartedly,
which I confess I do not now.

Grant that I may seek you only,
which I do not now.

Grant that I may seek you moment-by-moment,
consistently, and constantly,
which I do not now,
for I need you constantly and completely
and only, amen.

Light These Idle Sticks

God, I pray Thee,
light these idle sticks of my life
and may I burn for Thee.

Consume my life, my God,
for it is Thine.

I seek not a long life,
but a full one, like you, Lord Jesus.

(a prayer by Jim Elliot, martyred missionary to the indigenous people of Ecuador; photo via everystockphoto.com)

Striding Through the World as Though We Owned It

God forgive us
that we have imagined true humanness,
after the Enlightenment model,
to mean being successful,
having it all together,
knowing all the answers,
never making mistakes,
striding through the world
as though we owned it

(a prayer of N. T. Wright, from The Challenge of Jesus, p. 193).

Saturday Psalm #52

Lord God, Adonai,
please save me from the wickedness of pride,
and show me your chesed all day long.
Make my enemies few,
save me from deceitful people,
let me love righteousness
and speak what is right.

Grant me a truthful tongue,
and plant me firmly
among those who love you and live for you.

Oh, God, you are my refuge;
make it obvious to me and those around me.
Help me not to trust in riches,
and save me from evil desires.

Make me like a green olive tree in the house of God;
sink my roots deep into your lovingkindness.
Let me reach out to you with thanks
like a tree reaches its branches to the sky.
And help me to wait on you,
and trust in your wisdom, power, and love, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(photo via freeimages.com)

Soaked with Your Love

O my God,
let me, with thanksgiving,
remember, and confess unto you
your mercies on me.

Let my bones be soaked with your love,
and let them say unto you,
Who is like you, O Lord?

You have broken my chains in pieces.
I will offer unto you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
And how you have broken them, I will declare;
and all who worship you, when they hear this, will say:
Blessed is the Lord in heaven and in earth!
Great and wonderful is his name!


(a prayer of St. Augustine)

Speak to the Mountain

Jesus, you said if I have faith as small as a mustard seed, I could say to a mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it would move (Matthew 17:20).

So I do.
I speak to the mountain of tasks that await me this day; let it be accomplished.
I speak to the mountain of self-doubt that tells me I can’t write; let it be gone.
I speak to the mountain of weariness that tempts me to loaf; let it be removed.
I speak to the mountain of distractions that allure me away from my desk; let it be still.
I speak to the mountain of confusion that keeps me from seeing things clearly; be dispelled.
I speak to the mountain of panic that makes me despair of meeting my deadline; be gone.
I speak to the mountain of words I have yet to write; be written.
I speak to the mountain of things I have yet to learn; be done.
I speak to the mountain of weakness that tempts me to settle for less than the best I have to give; be vanquished,
in Jesus’ name, amen.

In the Faith and Love

Gracious God, my Father, thank you that my grandchildren are being raised "in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 1:13).

When I Forget

My dearest Friend,
when I forget to speak to you,
speak to me
until we speak together.

(a prayer of William Hodges, from The Doubleday Prayer Collection, p. 451; photo by sonictk via everystockphoto.com)

She Walks in Beauty

Abba, Father,
I know I don't have to tell you how blessed I am
by the wife you've given to me,
and the kind of mother she has been--
and is--
to our children,
and grandmother to our grandchildren.

To quote Byron,
she walks in beauty, like the night
of cloudless climes and starry skies.

She showers blessing, like August rain,
on every dry and needy place.

She denies herself, like the pelican of legend,
feeding her loved ones with her own lifeblood.

She fights with passion, like a badger,
to defend and protect her home and family.

What a gift she is to me and to this family.
Lift her up in our love,
encourage her with our gratitude,
and let her feel your favor
flowing through ours,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Saturday Psalm #51

Have mercy on me, O God,
not according to what I deserve,
not according to anything I have to offer,
but according to your unfailing love;
and your great compassion
wipe away all my sins.

Cleanse me from every stain
and root out the tiniest impurity.
For I know my sinfulness;
I can’t escape my fallenness.

I have sinned against you,
I have offended your holiness
and betrayed your grace toward me;
you are right in showing me my fault
and totally justified in your righteous judgment.

I’m a sinner by birth
and a sinner by habit.
But you’ve been with me from the beginning,
and you’ve taught me better all along.

Scrub me clean, Lord God;
scour me until I sparkle, by your grace.
I’m sick of myself;
lead me into joy and gladness once more.
I’m tired of being tired;
renew me, Lord.

Give me a pure heart once more, O God,
and rekindle the flame within me.
Don’t reject me;
don’t disappoint me.
Restore to me the joy of your great salvation
and send winds of refreshing into my soul again.

Ordain me again to teach fellow sinners your ways,
and show lost souls the way home.

You have delivered me, my God, my Salvation;
I will sing my praise to you.
Set my praises free, Lord;
loose my lips once again.

Save me from going through the motions;
deliver me from empty ministry.
I’ve been your slave from my youth,
when you laid me low with your love;
now I come to you, broken again,
and ask you to look on me with favor once more.

Make my heart, my life, my body, like Zion—
the place you delight in.
Repair my shattered spirit
the way you built up Jerusalem
and made her the joy of the whole earth.

Draw from my life the worship you deserve,
may my offerings
and my sacrifices
be pleasing to you in every way,
O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer. Amen.

For Proper Respect

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

Song of the Three

Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers;
You are worthy of praise; glory to You.
Glory to you for the radiance of Your holy Name;
We will praise You and highly exalt You forever.
Glory to You in the splendor of Your temple;
On the throne of Your majesty, glory to You.
Glory to You, seated between the Cherubim;
We will praise You and highly exalt You forever.
Glory to You, beholding the depths;
In the high vault of heaven, glory to You.
Glory to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
We will praise You and highly exalt You forever!

(“Song of the Three Young Men," an apocryphal addition to the ancient versions of the canonical text of the Book of Daniel)

Saturday Psalm #50

Lord, Mighty One, Adonai,
you have spoken,
and have published your Word to all humanity
from where the sun rises to the place where it sets.
From Mount Zion, the apex of beauty,
you shine forth in glory and light.
You come,
and you speak.
Your unfiltered presence is a consuming fire,
and your wrath like the fury of a storm.
Your voice penetrates the heavens above and the earth below,
and you pronounce justice, summoning your people,
judging those (like me) who claim to worship you.
So, Lord, let the heavens proclaim your justice,
for you are always righteous in your judgments.

Let your people listen to your voice.
Let us all be convicted by your Spirit,
for you are God, you are OUR God!
Are you pleased with our sacrifices?
Do the offerings we give please you?
You do not need our singing
or our money,
for all the animals of the forest are yours,
and you can prompt praise from the mooing of cows
and the singing of every bird on the mountains;
your resources are limitless.
Are you made richer by our gifts? No.
Do you need what we offer? Of course not.
But you do enjoy hearing my thanks,
and my obedience makes you smile.
So I will call on you when I am in trouble,
and you will deliver me,
and I will give you glory.

About the wicked, Lord,
regarding those who recite your decrees
and pretend to obey your covenant,
and yet refuse your discipline
and treat your words like trash,
and admire and imitate dishonesty
and envy adulterers,
whose mouths overflow with wickedness,
and whose tongues are full of lies,
who badger and slander their brothers,
I ask you to rouse yourself,
and show that you care.
Rebuke them transparently and unequivocally,
so that they may repent,
and so avoid further and worse punishment.
But whatever others may do,
I will just focus on giving thanks to you,
and keeping to your path.
I will put one foot in front of the other,
and pray that my life and ministry will reveal the salvation of God.

(photo of Jerusalem's Zion Gate via everystockphoto.com)

Integrity Prayer

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


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Author

Abba, teach me to pray.
Save me from "making" prayers.
Help me to know how to pray,
what to pray,
for whom to pray.
Prompt my praying.
Guide my praying.
Be the author of my prayers,
from beginning to end, amen.

(photo via everystockphoto.com)

For Safe, Successful, and Healthy Travel


Father God,
please grant me safe and successful travel today.
Make smooth paths
(and flight schedules) for my feet.
Grant safe and timely travel to the airport.
Help me to make my flights
and safely reach my destination.
Protect me from coach cabin infections.
Guide my steps,
guard my thoughts,
and give me sweet communion with you
and pleasant interactions with others,
and superintend my ride from the airport to the conference.
Make me alert to any opportunity to be a means of blessing
to my fellow travelers,
or those who serve them,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Travel

Thank you, Lord,
for the places I've been,
the sights I've seen,
the people I've known,
and the joy of coming home,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Saturday Psalm #49

Lord, let everyone hear,
let all who live in this world pay attention,
both low and high,
rich and poor alike,
when I speak your words of wisdom;
when from my heart I relay your message.
Turn my ears to your wisdom;
Turn my songs into true psalms from you.

Teach me (again) not to fear when evil days come,
when naysayers surround me,
when mistrust and arrogance—
mine or someone else’s—
seem to confuse everything.
You have redeemed me, O Lord,
the only One who could give a ransom for me—
and so costly, no gift of gratitude could ever be enough,
even if I should live forever
and try to repay you every day.

Everyone can see that the wisest men and women die;
the foolish and the senseless alike perish
and leave their wealth to others.
The rich leave their opulent houses,
and take up residence in eternity,
though they had buildings and institutions
named after themselves.

Likewise, my best and most passionate efforts today
will pass away, like so many moths in a flame.
So let me not trust in myself,
and get worked up over the approval or disapproval of men.
Those around me are destined for the grave just like me.
But though my efforts will perish,
your works—
through me, as well as others—
will endure,
and you will redeem my life and take me to yourself
whether I succeed or fail.

I belong to you
even if all my plans and hopes and dreams
come to naught.

Remind me that my times are in your hands:
the timing of my plenty or scarcity,
the timing of my success or failure,
the timing of who follows and who leaves,
the timing of my own coming or going,
in Jesus’ name, amen.

Our Path and Guide

Holy Father, always be our path and guide,
our protection and shield,
our consolation and strength.

Set our feet, minds, and hearts onto your path of divine peace. Make your holy and divine Word, which you allow us to hear, vibrant and active in our hearts so we might please and serve you until the end of our lives. Amen.

(from the book Amish Prayers, compiled by Beverly Lewis)

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.

On Shakespeare's Birthday

Release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands:
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails.

(lines from The Tempest, Act 5, Epilogue, by William Shakespeare)

Saturday Psalm #48


















You are great, Lord,
and you deserve the greatest possible praise
here where I live
as well as in that beautiful city of God,
on your holy mountain.

I see it in my mind’s eye, Lord:
Beautiful in elevation,
the joy of the whole earth,
Mount Zion, at the pinnacle
of the city of David, the city of the great King.
You have made yourself known there, Lord;
your presence is palpable on that hill.

Make me like that city, Lord.
Make me a walking Jerusalem,
that causes people—high and low—to sing your praise,
that multitudes passing by might be amazed,
that doers of wickedness might be dismayed,
and run away from your might displayed in my life.
As you have established the city of God,
establish your work in me: firm, fast, forever.

I remember your lovingkindness, O God,
I praise you among worshiping throngs.
Your name is great, O God;
so let your praise be great, to the ends of the earth.
Your hand sows blessings all around.

Let Mount Zion be glad.
Let peace enter that city again.
Let the residents of Judah rejoice,
and acknowledge your wisdom and justice.
I remember fondly walking about Zion,
walking on her mighty walls,
and marveling at her bustling beauty.
As you established Zion, Lord,
please establish the work of my hands,
my eternal God;
be my guide through my life,
all the way to my death,
in Jesus’ name, amen.

In the Day Ahead

Lord,
give me the wit, the wisdom and the will
to see what's most important in the day ahead
and, with your help, to accomplish it,
to the best of my ability...

And Lord,
give me the sense, the insight and the smarts
to see what's least important in the day ahead
lest it distract me
from doing what you ask of me...

And one more thing, Lord:
give me the grace, the guts and the game
to live this day with my heart open to you,
to my neighbor and to whatever and wherever
your Spirit may choose to lead me
today...

Amen.

(from A Concord Pastor Comments; photo via everystockphoto.com)