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)

Heart Prayer


Saturday Psalm #47

Lord, I clap my hands to you.
I shout my praise of you.
Lord, Most High, you inspire awe in me.
You are the Great King of the whole world.
You subdue whole nations
and humble the mighty.
You give thought to me
and save a place for me at your table.

I cheer your every victory,
I extol your inspiring attributes.
I offer you my full-throated praise,
my King and my God.

You reign over the nations;
You are seated on your holy throne.
The highest-ranking and most powerful
people of the earth
will bow before you, 
Holy and Exalted One.

(photo via everystockphoto.com)

The Chaste Path

Holy Father, may we shine as a light in the world so that when others see the chaste path we follow in Christ, they may be won over and edified through our example, even without instruction. May this serve to praise and honor your holy name, and to bring comfort and salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

O Lord, almighty God and heavenly Father! For the love and faithfulness that you demonstrate to us at all hours of every day, we faithfully praise and thank you. May you be praised forever and ever, O Lord, now and always. Amen.

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

For the Families of My Neighborhood

I pray to you, God, for the families of my neighborhood. Visit them. Throw their troubles out of them and bring hope. Make the daily cares that devour the heart disappear. Present solutions to life's problems. Settle the disturbed relationships among members of different families whom I know or don't know.

O Lord, remind the people of our area that you exist, that you are a strong and loving Protector. Keep away, Lord, anything that causes the disturbance of peace from souls, and the escape of sleep from our eyes. Stay a little while more tonight in our neighborhood. Spread peace along with the night. Let the harshness of the day and its struggles not spread over the night too, God.

(a prayer by Demetrios, Archbishop of America, Greek Orthodox)

When Jesus Looked O'er Galilee (Fewster)



When Jesus looked o'er Galilee,
So blue and calm and fair,
Upon her bosom, could he see
A cross reflected there?

When sunrise dyed the lovely deeps,
And sparkled in his hair,
O did the light rays seem to say:
A crown of thorns he'll wear?

When in the hush of eventide,
Cool waters touched his feet,
Was it a hymn of Calvary's road
He heard the waves repeat?

But when the winds triumphantly
Swept from the open plain,
The Master surely heard the song:
The Lord shall live again!

(words by Catherine Baird)

Saturday Psalm #46

God, you are my refuge and strength;
you are always present to help when I am in trouble.
So why do I so often fear, as though the earth might give way
and the mountains might crumble into the heart of the sea?
Why do I react to troubles as though the sea is going to roar and foam
and the earth might run away and cower in fear?

At such times, remind me of the spring that waters the city of God,
the holy place where you, Most High, have repeatedly shown yourself.
Remind me that just as you are within those walls,
so you will surround me and not let me fall;
You will come to help as surely as the sun rises in the morning.
When people around me get all "up in arms,"
When the wheels seem to be coming off the car,
remind me: you need only to lift your voice,
and the whole earth would melt.
LORD Almighty, you are with us;
God of Jacob, you are our fortress.
Let others see the works of the LORD,
let them notice the things you are doing on the earth.
Break down barriers and heal divisions, Lord;
defeat those who are weapons in the Enemy's arsenal.
Stop us in our tracks, and remind us of your sovereign power and love;
Be exalted among those who don't know you;
Be exalted in us and all around us.
LORD Almighty, you are with us;
God of Jacob, you are our fortress. Amen.

(photo via everystockphoto.com)

Plant Fresh Flowers in My Garden

Come, O Lord my God;
my soul invites thee earnestly,
and waits for thee eagerly.

Come to me, O Jesus, my well beloved,
and plant fresh flowers in my garden,
such as I see blooming
in such perfection
in thy matchless character!

Come, O my Father,
who art the Husbandman,
and deal with me in thy tenderness and prudence!

Come, O Holy Spirit,
and bedew my whole nature,
as the herbs are now moistened with the evening dews.

Oh, that you would speak to me!
Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.
Oh, that you would walk with me;
I am ready to give up my whole heart and mind to you.

I am only asking what you delight to give.

(a prayer of Charles H. Spurgeon, slightly revised)

Corkscrew Slide

Lord,
please
make me
like a child
who launches out
fearlessly
from atop
a corkscrew slide,
trusting
his unseen father
to be there
when needed
to safely catch him
and pick him up,
in Jesus' name,
amen.

Long (A Birthday Prayer)

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 21,900-plus
that have gone before.
Amen.

Grace and Knowledge


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

Your Resurrection

It is only right,
with all the powers of our heart and mind,
to praise You Father 
and Your Only-begotten Son, 
Our Lord Jesus Christ:
Dear Father, by Your wondrous
condescension of loving-kindness toward us,
Your servants, You gave up Your Son.
Dear Jesus You paid the debt of Adam
for us to the Eternal Father by
Your Blood poured
fourth in loving-kindness.
You cleared away the darkness of sin
By Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection.
You broke the bonds of death
and rose from the grave as a Conqueror.
You reconciled heaven and earth.
Our life had no hope of eternal happiness
before You redeemed us.
Your Resurrection has washed away our sins,
restored our innocence and brought us joy.
How inestimable is the tenderness
of Your love!

(Saint Gregory the Great's Easter Prayer)

On Silent Saturday


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

Beneath Thy Cross


Am I a stone, and not a sheep,
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,
To number drop by drop Thy blood's slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon--
I, only I.

Yet give not o'er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

(by Christina Rosetti)

Not My Feet Only

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).

On Opening Day

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.

Root and Grow

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

Holy Tuesday Prayer

Lord Jesus,
it was on a Tuesday that you
spoke out against
abuse of power, collaboration with oppressors,
misuse of authority.
So today we pray,
comforter of the abused,
strengthen those burdened by corrupted rule
or injustice;
rescue the overwhelmed;
be present to those who call on your name,
to those we name on our lips,
and in the silence of our hearts,
those whose concerns are known only to you;
in Jesus’ name,
amen.
(Illustration: Woe to you hypocrites by James Tissot).

My Prayer is Simple

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 #45

Lord God, my heart is stirred by a noble theme.
I recite these verses for you, my King;
make my tongue like the pen of a skillful writer.

You are the most excellent of kings,
and your lips are anointed with grace;
you are blessed forever, O Lord, O King of the Universe. 
Gird your sword upon your side, O Mighty One;
clothe yourself with splendor and majesty.
In your majesty ride forth victoriously
in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness;
let your right hand display your awesome deeds.
Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of your enemies;
let all peoples and races fall beneath your feet. 
I praise you because
your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice is the scepter of your kingdom.
I praise you because
you love righteousness and hate wickedness;
you are exalted above all kingdoms and powers,
you are the anointed King of Kings.
I will reach out in prayer and worship to touch your robe,
all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
I will look to your glorious throne
and sing music to make you glad. 
You bestow honor on your bride, the Church;
may you bedeck your royal bride as with gold of Ophir.
Let your people consider and give ear:
Let us forget where we came from;
give us eyes only for you.
I will bring you my gift, Lord;
with my whole heart I will seek your favor.
Let your church glorify you as our king;
and let all who see,
be brought closer to you.
Let us perpetuate your memory through all generations;
that the nations may praise you for ever and ever.

For the Bifocals of Faith


Father, give me the bifocals of faith that see the despair and the need of the hour but also see, further on, the patience of my God working out his plan in the world he has made, in Jesus' name, amen.

(a prayer of Peter Marshall, slightly revised. Photo via everystockphoto.com)

In the Springing of the Year

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)

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.


Breastplate

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)

To Lift Others

Lord, please make me and mine the kind of people who lift others up.

For the Grace of Contentment

Lord God,
please teach me contentment.
Teach me
to be satisfied
in the now,
and grant me the grace
to anticipate the not-yet
without pining or worrying,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via everystockphoto.com)

From Weariness

O Lord,
who art as the shadow
of a great rock in a weary land,
who beholdest thy weak creatures,
weary of labor,
weary of pleasure,
weary of hope deferred,
weary of self:
In thine abundant compassion
and unutterable tenderness,
bring us, we pray thee, unto thy rest. Amen.

(a prayer of Christina Rosetti)

In Sensitive Agreement

Thank you, Lord God Almighty,
for today's reminder
that I never pray alone:
Thank you for the Spirit's intercession
and for my Lord Jesus,
who "ever liveth" to intercede for me
and with me.
Please let me pray in concert with you
and in sensitive agreement
with your will.
Amen.

(photo via everystockphoto.com)

Saturday Psalm #44

Oh, I have heard with my ears, O God;
my parents told me from my earliest years
what you did in their days,
in long ago days.
I have heard: with your hand you kept my family alive
through dust storms and snow storms;
you provided jobs in times of want
and gave us work to do and food to eat.
It was not by their power or ingenuity that they made it through,
nor did they raise three boys alone;
it was your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your face, for you loved us all.

You are my King and my God,
who decrees victories for me as you once did for Jacob.
Through you and you alone can I hope to push back my Enemy;
through your name I will trample my Foe.
I do not trust in my brain,
my creativity does not bring me victory;
I do not trust in my church,
pastors,
friends,
beliefs,
dreams,
efforts;
they do not bring victory;
but you give victory over my enemies,
you put my adversaries to shame.
In You I will make my boast all day long,
and I will praise your name forever.
You have brought me through many a time of testing,
stretches where you allowed confusion
and bickering
and misunderstanding
and division to beset me.
You could have made me a byword to many,
a laughingstock.
Even still, I am just a foolish decision
or sinful step from shame.
But I have not forgotten you
or been false to your calling.
I will not be turned back;
I recommit to you and your path.
to my calling and your purpose for me and mine.
Even if I face death all day long;
if I am led like a sheep to be slaughtered,
I will cry out to you
until you spring into action once again.

Rise up and help me;
redeem me because of your unfailing love,
in Jesus’ name, amen.

Esto Mihi Jesu

Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesu! 
(translation: "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, be Jesus to me," the prayer of Catholic martyr Ralph Sherwin as he was being executed in 1581).

Saturday Psalm #43

Stick up for me, O God,
and be my hero, my defender,
from deceitful, 
or unjust,
or ignorant people.

You are my safe place,
the One I run to for protection;
though sometimes you seem oblivious 
to my needs,
I know (on my best days)
that I don’t need to be afraid of my enemy.

Send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me into your presence,
and into the mountain of your holiness.

Let me bow before you
as a priest at your altar,
God my exceeding joy.
Let me praise you with beautiful music,
O God, my God.

Moods will come and go, Lord,
but let me never be cast down in my heart
like those who have no hope.
I hope in you, Lord God;
I find renewal in praising you,
my salvation and my God.

Bow

The twenty-eighth of twenty-eight "Give us this day" prayers on this blog:


Give us this day our daily bow, in Jesus' name, 
amen.