Broke Through

Late have I loved you,
O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
late have I loved you!
You were within me, but I was outside,
and it was there that I searched for you.
In my unloveliness
I plunged into the lovely things which you created.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
Created things kept me from you;
yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all.
You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness.
You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness.
You breathed your fragrance on me;
I drew in breath and now I pant for you.
I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more.
You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

(A prayer of St. Augustine of Hippo, from his Confessions)

Right Spirit

O Lord and Master of my life,
give me not the spirit of laziness,
despair,
lust of power,
and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of sobriety,
humility,
patience
and love
to Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King,
grant me to see my own transgressions
and not to judge my brother,
for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages. Amen.

(A prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian, 305-373)

To Be Your Failure

I choose to be Your failure
before anyone else's success.
Keep me from reneging
on my choice.

Amen.

(excerpted from "A Psalm Requesting Faith," in Psalms of My Life by Joseph Bayly)

On Robin's Birthday

Abba, you have granted me the loveliest bride,
the perfect woman for me, and I am grateful.
Bless her abundantly, extravagantly, today, on her birthday.
As your beauty and grace lives in her
and exudes from her,
let her feel your approval in every way
on this day and in all the days to come.
Smile on her. Rejoice over her. Thrill her and fill her
with the awareness of your pleasure
and the rich appreciation of her husband, family, and many friends,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Saturday Psalm #106

I praise you, Lord.
I give you thanks,
for your unending goodness,
your unceasing love.

Your works are beyond words, Lord.
No language on earth is adequate
to declare all the praise you deserve.

You give joy and satisfaction to those who do justice,
those who walk in righteousness.

Remember me, Abba, when you're in the mood
to show favor to your children;
help me when you're in a helping state of mind.
Prosper me and mine
when you're handing out your good gifts,
and send us joy unspeakable
any time you want.

I know I'm just a lowly sinner,
like my ancestors before me,
my spiritual and physical antecedents.
Like Israel in Egypt,
we have been blind to your wonderful works;
we easily forget the abundance of your steadfast love,
as they did at the Red Sea.
But you still saved them, didn't you?
You showed your power for the sake of your name.
You rebuked the Red Sea, and it rolled back, became dry;
you led them through the deep as through a desert.
You saved them from their foe,
and delivered them from their enemy,
and they responded with praise.
Do as much for me,
that I might do as much for you.
Let me not forget your works,
or fail to wait for your counsel.
Let me not put you to the test,
and invite disaster with selfish prayers.

Save me from jealousy,
like those who complained against Moses and Aaron.
Save me from factionism,
like that of Abiram.
Save me from idolatry,
like those who made a calf at Horeb
and worshipped a cast image.
They exchanged your glory
for the image of an ox that eats grass.
But I more readily forget you, my Savior,
when I put my faith in the approval of man,
the techniques of others,
in financial security,
and other such things.

Save me, Lord,
from despising your good land,
your faithfulness to fulfill your promise.

Save me from foolish idolatry like theirs,
and empty sacrifices.
Save me from going through the motions,
save me from grieving or quenching your Holy Spirit.

Teach me to stand up like Phinehas,
and root out all sin and temptation from my life
as you intended--and commanded--Israel to do.

Save me from the snares that surround me,
and from compromising with evil.

You are my deliverer,
as you were theirs.
You have never forgotten your promises to me,
and never wavered in your love.

Save me, O LORD my God;
bring me into my inheritance,
that I may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.

I praise you, LORD, God of Israel,
God of me,
from everlasting to everlasting.

Amen.
Praise the Lord.

Submerge

God, submerge me
in the darkness of your love,
that the consciousness
of my false, everyday self
falls away from [me]
like a soiled garment. . . .

May my 'deep self' fall into your presence . . . .
knowing you alone . . .
carried away into eternity
like a dead leaf in the November wind.

(Thomas Merton, The Ascent to Truth, p. 238)

Need

I need Thee,
O I need Thee.
Every hour, I need Thee.
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

(photo by milivanily via pixabay.com)

A Simple Prayer

Forgive, 0 Lord, what we have been,
Direct what we are,
And order what we shall be,
For your mercy's sake,
Amen.

Up From This Misty Lowland

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune god, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

(A prayer of A. W. Tozer)

Saturday Psalm #105

Thank you, LORD!
I am thrilled to call on your name,
and blessed to be called
to make known among the nations what you have done.

Hear my song,
extolling your wonderful deeds,
glorifying your name,
rejoicing in your presence!

I look to you, LORD,
and draw my strength from your strength.
Communion with you is my life blood.

I remember the wonders you have done,
the miracles I have seen,
the moments in my life when your wise judgment has been vindicated.

Thank you, God, for making me a descendant of Abraham your servant,
a son of Jacob, your chosen ones.
Thank you for grafting me in!

You are my LORD and God;
I see your work all around me.

As you did with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
you have done with me:
you have kept all your promises,
you have fulfilled your word.

When my mood is low,
I forget.
But thank you for reminding me,
and teaching me that your faithfulness
is never dependent on my moods!

I wander;
you draw me back.

I feel attacked or oppressed;
you defend me.

I wallow;
you lift me up.

I feel sold out like Joseph;
you use everything to bring about my good!

Everything you do--
allowing gossip,
sending persecution,
performing miraculous signs,
sending darkness,
turning water to blood
or turning water to wine,
sending swarms of frogs or flies,
plagues of hail and locusts,
even death--
is intended for the deliverance of your loved ones!
And I am included in that number.

As you delivered Israel,
you deliver me.
Part the seas in my life, Lord,
Send pillars of fire and cloud ahead of me.
Feed me with manna and quail,
and open rocks to bring forth water!
Do it ALL,
so that your people will rejoice,
your chosen ones will shout with joy.
Do for your church what you did for your people of old:
give us the lands of the nations,
and make us heir to what others have toiled for
that we might show how you treat those
who love you and follow you
and walk in your ways,
in Jesus' name,
Amen!

To Stand by the Noisome Temple

It was your custom,
to go to the temple,
to the noisome temple
sometime to the scandalised temple
listening to the mumbo jumbo,
but it was your custom to go.
...
Give us grace in our changing day
to stand by the temple that is the present church,
the noisome temple
the sometime scandalised temple that is the present church,
listening sometime to what again seems mumbo jumbo.
Make it our custom to go
till the new outline of your Body for our day
becomes visible in our midst.

(from George MacLeod, The Whole Earth Shall Cry Glory, p. 39)

On the Fourth of July

Lord my God,
I worship you today,
on this 243rd 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 2019,
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)

Not Enough Praise

Abba, I give you praise today;
for your constancy and perseverance in all things,
from the rotation of the earth
to your faithfulness to me;
for your justice,
from your laws and decrees
to your discipline of me;
for your mercy,
from your care for the birds of the air
to your kind mercy toward me,
shown even now in the mercy of a new day,
of my latest breath.

I give you praise, Abba;
if I could praise you enough,
it would take all my breath for all of eternity,
and still would not be enough.

Summer In My Heart

I offer you these months, Lord,
my heart's July and August days...

Come summer with me, Lord;
summer deep down in my soul;
restore my faith in summer’s time,
in rest, in joy, in play, in you...

Summer in my heart, Lord,
and dwell there
as if time would never end,
as if all time were children's time, eternal time
when school is always out and joy is ever in…

And let others summer in my shade, Lord,
and share whatever summer’s peace is mine to give,
whatever summer’s light is mine to shed,
whatever summer's warmth is mine to share...

Good God of every season and every day this week,
come summer with me, Lord, and let the child in my heart
spend this summer in your love...

Amen.

(excerpted from a prayer on the Concord Pastor Comments blog)

Saturday Psalm #104

I praise you, Lord, from my heart!
O Lord my God,
you are beyond description!
You are berobed with honor
and majesty--
you dress yourself in light,
you make the starry heavens
your accessories.

You make the stratosphere
your vaulted ceiling,
the clouds your chariot,
the winds your skateboard.

You make the wind currents do your bidding,
you turn flames of fire into your servants.

You poured the foundations of the earth,
firm and immovable.

You filled the oceans
until the water submerged mountains.

You told the mighty deep where to go
and the crashing waves obeyed your commands.

The mountains rose, the valleys sank
each one to the exact place You appointed.

You tell the waters where they must stop
and they turn back when you say.

You send forth springs into the valleys;
you send waters skipping down the mountainside;
they refresh every wild beast;
the wild donkeys drink their fill.
Birds of every kind nest by their banks;
they sing in the overhanging branches.

You water the mountains from celestial springs;
the earth is rejuvenated,
vegetation sprouts,
gardens grow,
pastures produce,
and vineyards bear their happy fruit,
and gladden the hearts of men.

You take care of the forest trees,
you cause them to bring forth sap,
you watch birds make their nests
and storks their homes in the fir trees.
You cause the wild goats to leap,
and the conies and badgers to burrow underground.

You measure the seasons with the moon,
the days by the setting sun.

You make darkness
to bless the nocturnal creatures.
You make the young lions roar for their supper,
and slumber when the sun shines.

You give man the light of day
to bless his work
and the night to sleep.

O Lord, what a varied world you have made!
In wisdom have you made it all;
the earth overflows with your incredible riches:
the sea, great and wide,
brimming with innumerable creatures,
both weird and wonderful,
both small and great.

Ships sail your waters like a highway,
and fearful giants use them like a playground.

All these rely on you,
as I need to do,
for their daily bread,
their very life.
They don't worry or stress.
They take what you provide,
and are filled with good things.
If not for you,
they would wither and die,
and sink to the ocean floor.
But you supply their needs
like flowers that flourish in the field.

Make me like them, Lord.
Accepting,
dependent,
uncomplaining,
happy to serve your purpose:
your glory.

Your glory is never-ending.
Your works bring you praise.
You are just to enjoy your creation.
You are worthy of my absolute devotion.

I will sing your praise, Lord, as long as I live;
I will exalt my God while I draw breath.
Let my meditation be sweet to your ears;
let my rejoicing in you bring you joy.

Let sinners disappear completely,
absorbed into the throngs of the redeemed,
by your great grace and mighty power,
and so increase the company
of those who praise you.

I praise you.
I praise you from my heart!
Amen.

For Prudent Behavior

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

Showers of Blessing

Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need.
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.

(from a hymn by D. W. Whittle; image via pixabay.com)

Growing Older

Lord, Thou knowest better than I myself
that I am growing older and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something
on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs.
Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy.
With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all;
but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details;
give me wings to get to the point.
Seal my lips on my aches and pains;
they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them
is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

I dare not ask for improved memory,
but for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness
when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson
that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet,
for a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.
Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places
and talents in unexpected people;
and give, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.

Amen.

(author unknown; photo via pixabay.com)

An RSVP

Lord God Adonai,
I'm sorry that I have so often
approached your Word
and combed your Word
and misused your Word
as a repository of rules and formulas
for me--and, especially, others--to obey,
rather than as a means of relationship,
a love note,
a sometimes whispered,
sometimes shouted,
always gracious
invitation to enter into communion with you.
Amen.

Summer Prayer

Good morning, good God!

It’s summer, Lord:
the days are warm and the nights, too...

It’s a time to be grateful for the AC
everywhere, cooling to comfort
the places where we live and work
and play and rest and pray…

But some days, some nights,
I run from the heat,
from how the sun soaks in
and seeps its way through my pores,
through muscle to bone,
through bone to the marrow of my soul,
warming me through and through
until, from the inside out,
I’m baked in a light from light years away…

Draw me out from the shade and shadows
and warm me with your love
as with your summer sun...

Blaze a path into my soul:
pass through all that shields me
from the brilliance of your light,
the heat of your presence,
the burn of your desire…

Bake me in your love
until I sweat from every pore
the moist anointing of your presence…

Bathe me in the warmth of your grace
‘til I am burnished within and without
by your light touch…

Warm my heart’s desire for you, Lord,
and let no cool shade keep me from the peace
your heart burns to give…

I offer you my praise for summer days
when all creation warms to know
the light no darkness can extinguish...

And in the heat of the noonday sun
keep me mindful, Lord, of others
whose thirst I might quench,
whose shade I might provide...

So comes my prayer this morning, Lord,
as the sun rises to its noon day height
until it sets at this day's end, until tomorrow
when your sun will rise again,
upon a brand new day...

Amen.

(from A Concord Pastor Comments)

Saturday Psalm #103
















I praise you, LORD, from the bottom of my heart;
I praise your holy name from deep inside.

I praise you, LORD, from the bottom of my heart,
for all the blessings you have showered on me,
Sin-forgiver,
Disease-healer,
Rescuer,
Spirit-Lifter,
Satisfier,
Renewer.

You work righteousness
and justice for all who are lowly and oppressed.
You revealed your ways to Moses
and performed mighty deeds for your people, Israel.
You will do no differently for me and mine.
You are compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, overflowing with love.
You are utterly holy
and yet you never fly off the handle.
You show me infinite mercy, in spite of my sin,
and treat me far better than I could ever deserve.

Your love is as great as the heavens are high above the earth;
the twenty-four trillion miles between here and Proxima Centauri,
the closest star,
is too small a distance to compare to your great love,
and to the space you've put between me and my sins!

I praise you for your Father's heart,
filled with compassion for your children,
though we are dust,
our days are like grass,
our lifetimes are each a flash in the pan.

But your love reaches from everlasting to everlasting,
your love reaches through the vastness of the universe,
and your blessings find me,
and my children,
and even my children's children.

I praise you because you are more than faithful
to those who keep your covenant,
place their trust in you,
and learn to walk in your ways.

I praise you because you, LORD,
have established your throne in heaven,
and your kingdom rules over all.

I praise you, LORD,
in unison with your angels,
in harmony with your mighty ones who do your bidding,
who obey your word.

I praise you, LORD, with the heavenly hosts,
I praise you from earth
and join with all who praise you in heaven.
Amen.

For My Needs

Abba, Father, your Word promises the supply of all my needs according to my riches in Christ Jesus. So I pray, first, teach me what my needs are and help me be wise enough not to confuse my needs with my wants, my desires, my compulsions, and my lusts. Then, I pray, teach me to ask you boldly, faith-fully, for my needs, and to experience your provision, in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo by mac8oppo via pixabay.com)

To God My Help


O God, my help in ages past,
My hope for years to come,
My shelter from the stormy blast,
And my eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And my defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

O God, my help in ages past,
My hope for years to come,
My shelter from the stormy blast,
And my eternal home.

Travelers


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

Saturday Psalm #102

Lord, are you listening?
Can you hear me?

Please bend your ear
and come to me
in my great need.
Tune to my wavelength,
and answer me asap.

For my days pass far too fast
and I'm feeling mighty old these days.
I've lost a step--or twenty!
But worse than my age these days
are my unreliable moods.
I stress too easily.
I get discouraged much too often.
I deprive myself of sleep
and my Enemy steals my peace.
And my joy.

I care far too much what people think.
And I've almost forgotten what joy feels like.
What's the deal?
What's wrong with me?
I tell myself it's part of the aging process.
But I know there's more to it than that.

Help me figure it out, Lord.
Speak to me through your Word,
through wise counselors,
and through my loving wife and kids and friends.

Until then, I know this:
You are still in control.
You are still worthy of praise.
You will arise and have mercy on me and mine.
You will send help in time of need.
You will never abandon your people.
You will be glorified among the nations.
Your radiance will awe the kings of the earth.
You will rebuild all the Enemy tears down,
you will restore all he steals.
You hear the prayers of the most needy.
You will not reject their pleas.

When I am tempted to be discouraged
or to indulge in self pity,
I will remember that you have looked down on me
from your holy heights
and blessed me beyond my wildest imagining!

You hear the groans of the prisoners,
You free those condemned to die.
Your fame is rightly celebrated in Zion,
and by your grace I will yet sing your praises in Jerusalem,
both in this life and the next.

So what if I'm old?
So what if I could be healthier and more vigorous?
My God, who lives forever,
has granted me a long and wonderful life!

More importantly, you who laid the foundation of the earth
and made the heavens with your hands
will be mine forever!
This body of mine will wear out like old clothing.
You will someday even discard the heavens and the earth
and replace them like an outdated suit of clothes.
But you are always the same;
you will live forever.
And you are mine forever.
And all me and mine--we are yours.
Thank you!
Hallelujah!
Amen.

(photo art via pixabay.com)

Outdo


God, I fear

You’ve made the World too beautiful this year.

(a prayer by Edna St. Vincent Millay; photo by Lynn McCane)

You Lead Me

You lead me: O blessed thought!
O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whate'er I do, where'er I be,
Still it's Your hand that leads me.

You lead me, You lead me;
By Your own hand You lead me:
Your faithful follower I will be,
As by Your hand You lead me.

Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden's flowers bloom,
By waters calm, o'er troubled sea,
Still it's Your hand that leads me.

Lord, I would clasp Your hand in mine,
And never murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since I know my God is leading me.

And when my task on earth is done,
When, by Your grace, the victory's won,
Even death's cold wave I will not flee,
Since You through Jordan are leading me.

(a hymn by Joseph Gilmore, slightly revised; photo via pixabay.com)

Saturday Psalm #101

Lord, let the soundtrack of my life
be filled with songs about your love and justice;
let my theme song be filled with your praise.

By your grace, make me careful to lead a blameless life.
Make me patient in waiting for you to show yourself.
Let my housecoat be a blameless heart.

By your grace, help me shield my eyes from anything vile.
Help me steer clear of faithless friends
and corrupting companions.

By your grace, I will have nothing to do with evil.
I will not listen to gossip and slander;
I will not excuse arrogance.

By your grace, I will look for godly companions and counselors
to walk with me
and minister to me.

By your grace, I will learn to recognize
and avoid all those who traffic in lies
and stir up conflict and dissension.

By your grace, I will turn a deaf ear to wickedness
and live and lead without their interference.

(based on Psalm 101; the illustration is Psalms 101 and 102 from a 13th century Psalter created by monks in France)

A Good Prayer

Be praised, O Lord, for the renewal of life.

My Master, I have sinned before You.

May it be Your will, O Lord my God, to grant me a good heart, a good portion, a good inclination, a good friend, a good name, a good eye, a good soul, a lowly disposition, and a humble spirit.

(A prayer from the Talmud, Tractate Berakhot; photo by Bubamara via everystockphoto.com).

Rest and Rule

Father,
let your Spirit,
who rested on Jesus the Branch—
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord—
rest on me and rule in my life today,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(based on Isaiah 11:1-2; photo by "hickory hardscrabble" via everystockphoto.com)

A Variation on a Hymn

We’re in your hands,
We’re in your hands,
Whate’er the future holds,
We’re in your hands.
The days we cannot see
Are not a mystery;
You’ve planned them perfectly.
We’re in
your
hands.

(variation on a hymn by Stanley Ditmer; pronouns and lines 5-7 revised; photo by comfreak via pixabay.com)

On Our Anniversary

O Lord my God,
how can I possibly thank you
for my bride,
my wife,
and these forty-two years of marriage,
and forty-five 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 sorrows we have faced together;
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.

Saturday Psalm #100

I shout for joy to you, LORD;
I'm so happy to be your child.

I'm so happy to worship you;
I'm delighted to sing songs to you.

I'm thrilled to know and say that you are God,
you are my Creator, and I am yours.
I'm happy to be your child, the sheep of your pasture.

I'm grateful to enter your gates,
it is my privilege to come into your courts with praise;
I am honored to give thanks to you and praise your name.

For you, LORD, are good,
and your love endures forever;
your faithfulness never ends.

Amen.

(photo by paularps via everystockphoto.com)

Mysterious Companionship

O Holy Spirit of God, abide with me;
inspire all my thoughts;
pervade my imagination;
suggest all my decisions;
order all my doings.

Be with me in my silence and in my speech,
in my haste and in my leisure,
in company and in solitude,
in the freshness of the morning and
in the weariness of the evening;
and give me grace at all times humbly to rejoice
in your mysterious companionship,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(a Prayer of John Baillie, revised slightly from A Diary of Private Prayer)

A Prayer on Memorial Day

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)

Saturday Psalm #99

You reign, LORD!

Reign!

Exert your power and influence;
let the nations sit up and take notice.

You are enthroned between the cherubim;
shake the earth with your mighty moving.

You are great, LORD,
exalted over everything and everyone everywhere.

Let all people everywhere
come to praise your great and awesome name—
for you are holy.

You are King,
you are mighty,
you are just.
You always do what is right.

I exalt you, LORD God,
I bow before your throne
and make my back,
my heart,
my life your footstool.

You heard Moses and Aaron;
you chose them to be your servants,
and Samuel and David.
They called on you, LORD,
and you answered them.

You forgave them,
and showed them mercy,
though you punished their misdeeds.

Do so for me, too, Abba, Father,
do so for my family,
for my friends and neighbors.

I exalt you, LORD God,
I bow before your throne
and make my back,
my heart,
my life your footstool.

Amen.

If My Lips

If my lips
could sing as many songs as there are waves in the sea;
if my tongue
could sing as many hymns as there are ocean billows;
if my mouth
filled the whole firmament with praise;
if my face
shone like the sun and moon together;
if my hands
were to hover in the sky like powerful eagles
and my feet
ran across mountains as swiftly as the deer,
all that would not be enough
to pay you fitting tribute,
O Lord my God.

(Jewish prayer; photo by Andrew-Art via pixabay.com)

For Childlike Trust

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