Debt

And deliver us from debt, that we may owe no one anything but love, in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via pixabay.com)

For a Sense of Your Timing

Oh God, grant us a sense of your timing.
In this season of short days and long nights,
of grey and white and cold,
teach us the lessons of beginnings;
that such waitings and endings may be the starting place,
a planting of seeds which bring to birth
what is ready to be born--
something right and just and different,
a new song,
a deeper relationship,
a fuller love--in the fullness of your time.

O God, grant us the sense of your timing.

(by Ted Loder, from his book Guerrillas of Grace. Used with permission)

Into the Light

God, thank you
for calling me out of darkness
and into the light.
Again.
Today.

(based on 1 Peter 2:9; photo via pixabay.com)

How Great


O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep (Psalm 92:5, KJV).

On Robin's Birthday

Abba, you have granted me the loveliest bride,
the perfect woman for me,
and I am grateful.
Thank you for hearing my heart's cry 44 years ago
and thank you for giving her in marriage to me 41 years ago.
And thank you for every day with her since then,
days that could not have been
so wonderful,
so beautiful,
so warm and loving,
without her,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Empty Cup

I come to this day, Lord,
and lift my empty cup
to the overflowing fountain
of your strength
and sufficiency.

You are more than enough
for all I need this day.

Instead

Lord God, please make me
grateful instead of grabbing,
giving instead of greedy,
and gracious instead of so awfully critical,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via pixabay.com)

Hold Us In Quiet


Hold us in quiet through the age-long minute,
while Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill;
can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, are in it?
Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?

(a prayer by Amy Carmichael)

Saturday Psalm #59

Deliver me from my Enemy, O God;
protect me from his stratagems.
Deliver me from his pawns.
Save me from betrayal and spitefulness.
I’ve been set up, Lord;
I’ve been railroaded and rolled.
People have strategized against me,
and lied to my face.

I confess my sin, O LORD.
I am a sinner, that’s for sure,
and you know that’s just scratching the surface.
But arise, LORD, to help me; look on my plight!

O LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel,
rouse yourself to purge me of sin,
and replace my confusion with clarity.
I don’t know who to trust anymore.
I can’t sleep,
the hurt keeps rolling in like the tide.

O my Strength, I watch for you;
you, O God, are my fortress,
my loving God,
my hope,
my help,
my everything,
my Strong Captain,
my Dread Warrior,
my Faithful Defender.

Go before me
and protect me from new attacks.
You are my shield;
you can deflect every attack
and vindicate me
without me having to say a word
or hatch a plan
or map out a response.
Let sin be found out,
let deceit be uncovered,
in me no less than in others.
Let it be known to the ends of the earth
that God rules over me and mine.

But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my castle,
my stronghold,
my refuge in times of trouble.
O my Strength, I sing praise to you;
you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.

(paraphrased from Psalm 59; photo via pixabay.com)

Tell My Soul

Lord, my God, you gave me life and restored it when I lost it. Tell my soul that so longs for you what else you are besides what it has already understood, so that it may see you clearly. It stands on tiptoe to see more, but apart from what it has seen already, it sees nothing but darkness. Of course it does not really see darkness, because there is no darkness in you, but it sees that it can see no further because of the darkness in itself.

Surely, Lord, inaccessible light is your dwelling place, for no one apart from yourself can enter into it and fully comprehend you. If I fail to see this light, it is simply because it is too bright for me. Still, it by this light that I do see all that I can, even as weak ees, unable to look straight at the sun, see all they can by the sun’s light.

The light in which you dwell, Lord, is beyond my understanding. It is so brilliant that I cannot bear it, I cannot turn my mind’s eye toward it for any length of time. I am dazzled by its brightness, amazed by its grandeur, overwhelmed by its immensity, bewildered by its abundance.

(a prayer of Anselm)

Shepherd, Hear My Prayer

Unto thee will I cry,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
Poor and needy am I,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
Deep is calling unto deep,
Rugged are the heights, and steep:
Guide my steps and keep;
Hear, O hear my prayer!
Hear, O hear my prayer!

Where the tempest is loud,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
'Mid the darkness and cloud,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
Let me hear thy voice afar,
Coming with the morning star,
Hear, O hear my prayer!
Hear, O hear my prayer!

Let the foe not prevail,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
My resources would fail,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
Order all my steps aright,
Carry me from height to height;
Yonder shines the light!
Shepherd, lead me there!
Lead me safely there!

(a prayer by General Albert Orsborn of The Salvation Army)

On Independence Day

Lord my God,
I worship you today,
on this 242nd birthday of this nation,
these wonderful United States of America
in which I live.

I thank you for the freedom
to worship you publicly...
even as I ask you
to show kindness and mercy
to those who lack that freedom
because they live elsewhere.

Thank you for all those
who have sacrificed for my freedom,
for those who risked
(and some who gave) their lives
to make this a free and independent nation,
for those in my nation's armed services, past and present,
and for all who have served the cause of liberty in other ways...
even as I pray for those who even now
are in harm's way,
far from home,
in this nation's service.
Please meet their needs,
watch over them and their loved ones,
and grant them your favor in every way.

And, Father, on this Independence Day 2018,
I pray for the people in this land
and every land
who have not yet discovered the freedom
that is offered to them in your Son, Jesus Christ.
Draw them to you,
set them free
from sin and sadness and strife,
and grant them the eternal freedom
that is found only in trusting you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo art by Beverly Pack, courtesy of everystockphoto.com)

Consolation

Grant to all who mourn a sure confidence in your fatherly care, that, casting all their grief on you, they may fully know the consolation of your love.
Amen.

(revised slightly from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer)