Commonplace

Lord, help me not take for granted
the simplest of gifts and blessings...

Make me grateful for the everyday, the commonplace,
what's right at hand, always there and at my fingertips...

Help me see what I often miss:
the gift of life itself and the blessing of your love...

(from A Concord Pastor Comments)

Line of Fire

Lord, these days it seems that the whole world is in convulsions. You know the issues, you know why so many in Hong Kong, Iran, Lebanon, and Iraq have taken to the streets to call for change, for basic necessities, for freedoms that I take for granted. Lord, please have mercy. Save men, women, and children from persecution and oppression, from injury, imprisonment, and death. Supply the miracle it will take for people in those places (and others) to bring about real and lasting change. Let wisdom prevail. Let peace win. Let freedom prevail. In Jesus' name, amen.

No Words


In a Time of Turmoil

Lord God, you know the situation.
Please grant peace to those whose hearts and minds
are in turmoil.
Clear a path and send abundant provision.
Care for all those affected by these changes,
and let your wisdom and attentive loving care rule and reign over all, in Jesus' name, amen.


(photo via everystockphoto.com)

Saturday Psalm #119 (Pt. 7)

Qoph

Jesus, I call with all my heart; answer me, and
joyfully I will do all you say.
Just as I am, I cry out to you;
just as I am, save me and I will give you glory.

Jesus, I will turn to you first thing in the morning;
just walk with me through the day, and all fear will fade.

Join my vigil, as I keep eyes open through the watches of the night;
join my heart to yours as I meditate on your promises.

Jesus, hear my voice;
Jesus, preserve my life;
Jesus, keep me close.

Resh

Rock, Redeemer, Righteous One, look upon my suffering and deliver me.
Redeem me and vindicate me;
rescue my life as you have promised.

Rake my Enemy over the coals;
rebuke him and make him flee.

Reward me with your compassion, O LORD;
regard my life and
renew me.

Rally my energy against all my foes, and
restore me to a place of joy and contentment.

Righteous and true are all your words;
righteous and loving are all your commands.

Sin and Shin

Savior, show me your kindness and I will be satisfied;
stand for me, for I stand on your Word.
Such joy your Word gives me.

Strike all hate and falsehood from my heart,
show me your grace and your kindness.

Seven times a day I praise you;
should be seventy.

Send your shalom on me,
save me from stumbling.

Send your salvation, O LORD,
steer me in the way of your commands.

Strong Tower, I will run in the way of your statutes, and
stand on your Word.

Taw

To you I lift my voice, O LORD;
train me in your word.
Turn your ear to my requests;
to you I will cling.

The song of my heart sings your praise,
teach me your decrees.
Teach me to turn to you before all earthly help.
Teach me to rely on your help.
Teach me to delight in your law.
Teach me to draw nourishment from your Word.

Touch me today, that I may praise you;
tell me where to go and what to say.
Amen.

Blessèd Lord, in You is Refuge

Blessèd Lord, in you is refuge,
Safety for my trembling soul;
Pow’r to lift my head when drooping
’Midst the angry billows’ roll.
I will trust you;
All my life you shall control.

In the past too unbelieving
’Midst the tempest I have been,
And my heart has slowly trusted
What my eyes have never seen.
Blessèd Jesus,
Teach me on your arm to lean.

Give me trust that brings the triumph
When defeat seems strangely near;
Grant me faith that changes fighting
Into vict’ry’s ringing cheer!
Faith triumphant,
Knowing not defeat nor fear,
amen.

(a prayer of Herbert Booth, slightly revised; photo via pixabay.com)

Te Deum

I'm alive!
Praise belongs to you,
Lord God Adonai.

I am conscious.
Praise belongs to you.

I can breathe.
Praise belongs to you.

I can see.
Praise belongs to you.

I can hear.
Praise belongs to you.

I can speak.
Praise belongs to you.

I can smell.
Praise belongs to you.

I can taste.
Praise belongs to you.

I can walk.
Praise belongs to you.

I can type.
Praise belongs to you.

I can love.
Praise belongs to you.

I can trust.
Praise belongs to you.

I can sleep.
Praise belongs to you.

I can sing.
Praise belongs to you.

I can smile.
Praise belongs to you.

I can focus my thoughts.
Praise belongs to you.

I can swallow.
Praise belongs to you.

I can tie my own shoes.
Praise belongs to you.

I can read.
Praise belongs to you.

I can work.
Praise belongs to you.

I can bend my limbs without pain.
Praise belongs to you.

I can pay my bills.
Praise belongs to you.

I can kiss my wife and kids and grandkids.
Praise belongs to you.

I can shout.
Praise belongs to you.

I can sit.
Praise belongs to you.

I can think.
Praise belongs to you.

I can write.
Praise belongs to you.

I can wink.
Praise belongs to you.

I can drive.
Praise belongs to you.

I can pray.
Praise belongs to you.

I can learn.
Praise belongs to you.

I can hope.
Praise belongs to you.

I can persevere.
Praise belongs to you.

Praise to you, O Lord God, King of the Universe.
Amen.

Purity of Heart


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

Rest and Rule

God,
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)

Never to Lose Sight

O God of Grace,

You have imputed my sin to my substitute, and have imputed his righteousness to my soul, clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe, decking me with jewels of holiness. But in my Christian walk I am still in rags; my best prayers are stained with sin; my penitential tears are so much impurity; my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin; my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.

I need to repent of my repentance; I need my tears to be washed; I have no robe to bring to cover my sins, no loom to weave my own righteousness; I am always standing clothed in filthy garments, and by grace am always receiving change of raiment, for you always justify the ungodly; I am always going into the far country, and always returning home as a prodigal, always saying, “Father, forgive me,” and you are always bringing forth the best robe.

Every morning let me wear it, every evening return in it, go out to the day’s work in it, be married in it, be wound in death in it, stand before the great white throne in it, enter heaven in it shining as the sun.

Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the exceeding righteousness of salvation, the exceeding glory of Christ, the exceeding beauty of holiness, the exceeding wonder of grace.

(from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers, edited by Arthur Bennett; photo via pixabay.com)

Saturday Psalm #119 (Pt. 6)

Ayin

Wise and gracious God,
watch over me and envelop me in your care.
Ward off all evil and keep me safe.

Where are you? I look for your salvation,
watching until my eyes
wear out.

Wake me with your your love and
walk with me through each day.

Work your will in me.
With your Word, I can be wise.
With your help, I can be strong.
With your guidance, I can be effective.

What is gold to me? It is nothing,
while your Word is everything.

Work your will in me.

Pe

Papa, Abba, Father, your statutes are wonderful,
pointing my feet in the ways of righteousness.

Print your words on my heart;
please emblazon them on my mind.

Pour your Word into my mouth and let it flow from me like a river;
put me where I can tell of your marvelous works.

Please turn to me and have mercy on me;
Papa, you are always kind to those who love your name.

Purge me from sin and
purify my heart and life more and more each passing day.

Please free me from the need for man's approval.
Point your smiling face upon your servant.
Plow up the fallow ground of my heart.
Plant the seeds of righteousness in me.
Produce a bumper crop of holiness in me.

Tsadhe

Creator God, you are awesome in all your ways;
command me and I will obey.

Create in me a heart that runs in the way of your commands,
clinging to your Word like a lover and a lifeline.

Craft me into a worthy vessel,
cleanse me and
change me.

Call, and I will answer.
Carve your words on my heart.
Channel my life wherever you choose.

Captain of my salvation, your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true.
Creator of all, your statutes are forever right;
close your wings around me and hide me there. Amen.

Just Scratching the Surface

God, I thank you that I am not insane, that my poor mind is not torn by horrid nightmares and nameless terrors. I thank you for the light and blessings of civilization, past mercies, present comforts, and future prospects. I thank you for food, and the appetite to eat it, and the power to digest it. I thank you for clothes to wear and books to read. I thank you for the Church, the Bible, the revelation of Jesus Christ, the Fountain opened for sin and uncleanness, the glorious possibility of escape from the penalty and power and consequences and character of sin. I thank you for home and friends, and Heaven bending over all, in Jesus' name, amen.

(based on lines from Samuel Logan Brengle, in Heart Talks on Holiness, chapter 19)

Lovers of Your Word


(today's prayer for my children and grandchildren from the iPhone/iPad app, "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids," available in the iTunes app store, here)

Streams Upon Streams


Giver of All Good, streams upon streams of love overflow my path.
Thou hast made me out of nothing,
hast recalled me from a far country,
hast translated me from ignorance to knowledge,
from darkness to light,
from death to life,
from misery to peace,
from folly to wisdom,
from error to truth,
from sin to victory.

Thanks be to thee for my high and holy calling.
I bless thee for ministering angels,
for the comfort of thy Word,
for the ordinances of thy church,
for the teaching of thy Spirit,
for thy holy sacraments,
for the communion of saints,
for Christian fellowship,
for the recorded annals of holy lives,
for examples sweet to allure,
for beacons sad to deter.

Thy will is in all thy provisions
to enable me to grow in grace,
and to be meet for thy eternal presence.

My heaven-born faith gives promise of eternal sight,
my new birth a pledge of never-ending life.
I draw near to thee, knowing thou wilt draw near to me.

I ask of thee, believing thou hast already given.
I entrust myself to thee, for thou hast redeemed me.
I bless and adore thee, the eternal God,
for the comfort of these thoughts,
the joy of these hopes.

(from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers, edited by Arthur Bennett)

Health Food


Thank you, God, that books don't have calories. Amen.

Saturday Psalm #119 (Pt. 5)

Mem

My God, I love your Word! I rely on it.
May I memorize it and meditate on it
more than I do.
Make me wiser than my enemies by my devotion to it, for they are
many and they are ever with me.

Master, grant me
more insight than ever before,
more attentiveness to your Word and words.

Make me more understanding than I have otherwise any hope of being.
Mind my feet and keep them from every evil path so I
might obey your word and honor you.

Merciful One, I long for your Word and listen for your instruction.

Make me once more and always an addict for your Word;
make me hopelessly dependent on it.

Nun

Night light: that is your Word to me.
Neon sign: that too.

Nothing compares to your precious Word.
Nothing lifts me up,
nothing carries me through,
nothing protects me and preserves me,
nothing blesses me or encourages me like your Word.

None of my other reading,
no matter how inspiring, approaches the limitless value of your Word.
None of it measures up,
none of it even comes close.

Never let me
neglect it,
never misuse it,
never ever forsake it.

Samekh

Strong Tower, my God,
sweet lover of my soul,
stand with me against double-minded men and women,
sustain me with your Word.

Shield me, my refuge;
shower me with hope through your Word.

Send evildoers away from me, and
save me from being distracted from your Word by their machinations.

Sustain me according to your gracious promise, and I will live;
supply my hope, my joy, my stamina.

Shore up my defenses, and I will be delivered;
stay with me when the next attack comes.

Save me from
straying.
Search me and
steel me against all temptation.

Stay with me, and let your Word
stay in me and
stream from me.
Amen.

A Prayer on All Saints' Day


Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
you have knit together your elect
in one communion and fellowship
in the mystical body
of Your Son, Christ our Lord,
and kindled the flame of your love
in the hearts of the saints.
I praise you for the holy men and women
you have raised up
in every time and place.
Give me grace so to follow their example
in devotion and godliness
that I may come
to those ineffable joys
that you have prepared for those
who unfeignedly love you,
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

(updated and modernized from the Catholic Liturgy of the Hours, the Gothic Missal, and The Book of Common Prayer, 1979)

From Ghoulies and Ghosties

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

(traditional Scottish prayer;
photo via publicdomainpictures.net)

Into Safe Haven

God of all grace,
give us your peace that passes understanding,
that the quietness that comes
from friendliness with human beings,
and true divine friendship with you may possess our soul;
that we, withdrawn awhile from the turmoil of the world,
may gather the strength that we have lost,
and established and strengthened by your grace,
pass on through all the troubles of this earthly life,
safe into the haven of eternal rest,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.

(by George Dawson, Communion of the Saints: Prayers of the Famous; photo via pixabay.com)

A Prayer from Jayber Crow

Lord,
please grant that my life,
when poured out at the end,
would say,
"Good-good-good-good-good!"
like a gallon jug
of the prime local spirit.
Amen.

(a prayer based on words
by the title character
of the Wendell Berry book,
Jayber Crow; photo by JamesDeMers via pixabay.com)

Deliver My Life

Lord God, deliver me please
from the evil of the unexamined life...
the unworshipful life...
the self-centered life...
the self-absorbed life...
the self-satisfied life...
the frantic life...
the marginal life...
the care-filled life...
the accidental life...
the self-reliant life...
the arrogant life...
the inconsequential life...
the shallow life...
the appetite-driven life...
the reactive life...
the fruitless life...
the material life...
the thoughtless life...
the prayerless life...
the small life...
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via pixabay.com)

Saturday Psalm #119 (Pt. 4)

Yodh

You made me, Lord God Adonai;
you created me.
You have given me grace upon grace. Now, please, will
you also give me the further blossoming of the fruit of the Spirit in my life?

You bring me joy, and
you have lately reawakened joy in my spirit, in your service; now let
your joy abound in my life, abound and abound.

Your word is my hope.
Your voice is my inspiration.
Your unfailing love is my comfort.
Your promises are my strength.

Your tender mercies--let them surround me so I may live.
Your instructions--let them be my passion.
Your people--they are my people.
Your desires--make them my desires, and I will never be ashamed.

Kaph

King Jesus, I do get worn out,
but I have put my hope in your word.

King Eternal, I do sometimes lose patience
awaiting the fulfillment of all your promises,
looking for your vindication, your deliverance.

Keep me as the apple of your eye.
Keep me faithful to you in all I do and say.
Keep me refreshed in your Word, and
keep me kind to all, even to those who persecute me.

Lamedh

Lord, your eternal word stands firm in heaven.
Lover of my soul, your faithfulness extends to every generation,
and has never yet failed me.

Lord, you have been so faithful to accomplish your plans in me,
and I know you are still working on me, sometimes painfully,
until I reflect your likeness.

Lighten my steps today with the joy of the Lord.
Lift me up and let me stand on your Word.
Let my mind be constantly trained by your gracious precepts.

Limitless is your perfection, and your enduring
love for me, the
lowliest of your servants, my
Lord, my God.

To 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.

Need

Lord God Adonai, I need you today. I would say "I need you more than ever," or "especially" today, but I know my need of you, being utter and complete, never changes. But I feel my need of you today, keenly. I need you. Oh God, come to my assistance; oh Lord, make haste to help me. Amen.

(photo via pixabay.com)

A Prayer of Peter...and Me

Lord, you know all things;
You know I love you.

(drawn from John 21:17; photo via pixabay.com)

Maker and King

My Maker and my King,
To you my all I owe;
Your constant goodness is the spring
From which my blessings flow.

The creature of your hand,
On you alone I live;
Your countless benefits demand
More praise than I can give.

O let your grace inspire
My soul with strength and praise;
Let all my powers to you aspire,
And bless you all my days.

(a hymn by Anne Steele, slightly updated; photo via pixabay.com)

For a Friend Who Waits

Lord, you know my friend is in a crisis, awaiting word, trying to stay calm, hoping for hope. Please hear my prayer and the prayers of all who share my concern: Send healing. Grant a wildly successful surgery. Prompt relief and gratitude by the clear sign of your providential, even miraculous, work. Let this day bring hope and clear confirmation of "your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days" (Psalm 90:14, NIV). Show your mercy and grace, your power and glory, your love and beauty, in Jesus' name, amen.

Saturday Psalm #119 (Pt. 3)

Zayin

Zealously remember your word to your servant, Lord,
your many promises and assurances.
Zealously comfort me in my affliction,
for your presence is life to me.
Whoever may deride me, or despise me,
I will do whatever you ask, whatever you command.

Grant that I may take comfort in your commands,
and defend your honor against those who lie
and attack
and forsake your commands.

What is it with people, Lord,
that we can call ourselves by your name
and yet blatantly ignore what you tell us to do,
how you tell us to act?

Your words are my lyrics, O Lord,
wherever I am.
I am blessed.

Heth

Hallelujah, LORD! You are my portion; I await your command.
Help me, and grant me your favor; be gracious to me according to your promise.
Hasten to my assistance and turn my feet to your testimonies;
hasten and do not delay.
Help me when the wicked ensnare me;
hold me close when my "friends" desert me.
Help me to stay faithful in praising and seeking you,
and keep me in the company of all who fear you,
of those who keep your precepts.
Hallelujah, LORD! The earth blossoms with your steadfast love;
help me to learn your ways.

Teth

Triune God, you have dealt well with your servant,
true to your word.
Teach me discernment and wisdom,
that I may better follow you and please you and glorify you.
Too many times I have neglected your way, but hallelujah! you have
taught me faithfulness.

Triune God, you are good and do good;
train me in your ways.
Take the lies some people tell about me,
those whose hearts are unfeeling, and
turn them somehow to accomplish your glory.
The words of your mouth are priceless to me, more priceless
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

Then and Now

Almighty God, thank you that you not only loved me,
but you love me right now.
Thank you that you saved me
and are saving me.
Thank you that you spoke,
and that you speak.
Thank you that you gave yourself for me
and that you give yourself to me.
Thank you that you thought of me eons ago
and think of me still,
that you made a way for me
and make a way for me still,
that you answered my prayers
and answer them still.
Thank you, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
that you are the God of the living THEN
and of my life NOW, in Jesus' name, amen.

Visibly or Invisibly

Father, you know us in secret,
and you know all our secret places.
What we do to benefit your kingdom
will not be lost if it is not seen by others,
for you see
and you reward according to your grace and mercy.
Strengthen us to do good works,
visibly or invisibly,
always in your name.

(a prayer of G. K. Chesterton).

I'm Irritated


Lord,
I'm irritated. But before I take out my irritation on others, help me to pause and respond in love instead. When I want to lash out, overwhelm me with the power of your love. Keep me from saying something I will later regret. Teach me to treat others with love so that I can continue to be a credible witness for you. 
(an excerpt from the book, 365 Pocket Prayers, by Ron Beers)

For Aubrey

It's my favorite daughter's birthday, Lord.
I still can't fathom,
can't even process,
that she is all she is.

I'm still and always amazed
at how kindly, fully, and generously
you've answered my prayers
and her mother's prayers
for her.

You have made her faithful like Ruth and regal like Esther,
fierce like Deborah and brilliant like Abigail,
industrious like Lydia and a leader like Junia.

I give you so much praise and thanks
for my only daughter,
my firstborn, my Blossom;
for the child you gave me,
the woman she is,
the love we share,
the pride and joy I feel in her,
the blessings you've given her,
and the blessings you've given me through her.

Please bless her abundantly today
and in all the days to come.
Keep her safe and well.
Keep her marriage strong and beautiful.
Prosper her and her husband,
answer their prayers,
supply their needs,
fulfill their dreams.

Let her children continue to grow in happiness, health, and holiness.
Reward Aubrey's love and faithfulness and diligence as a mom
with beauty and grace, charm and wisdom,
health and wholeness, integrity and strength in each of her children
as you have done for me in mine.

Show her every kindness,
grant her your favor,
use her,
bless her,
hold her,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Saturday Psalm #119 (Pt. 2)

Daleth

Dear Lord, I do get knocked down, but your Word revives me.
Deliver me from my own plans, and teach me to wait on you.

Direct me with your Word, and teach me
discernment.

Dry my weeping eyes with the consolation of your words.
Deliver me from self-deception and grant me the
distinction of knowing and heeding your instructions.

Draw me closer to you,
draw the contours of my life to align with your gracious Word.

Dread Warrior King, I cling to your laws.
Deliver me from shame and ignorance, and
drive evildoers far from me.

He

Heavenly Father, teach me.
Holy God, make me holy.

Handle me gently and mold my heart to beat in rhythm with your commands,
for that is where my happiness is found.
Hold me tightly,
fill me with an eagerness for your laws.

Heal me and turn my eyes from worthless things,
and focus me instead on your beauty.

Help me trust in your promise.
Help me abandon all shameful ways.
Help me become every day more like The Word.
Help me to be renewed every day by your goodness.

Waw

Wonderful Counselor, Lord God, give me your unfailing love,
write your salvation on my life.

Work in me the things that please you and answer those who revile me,
wake me each day with the truth of your Word.

With you, and with your Word, I can hope.
With you, and with your Word, I can thrive.
With you, and with your Word, I can walk in freedom,
with utter devotion to your commandments.
With you, and with your Word, I can talk to kings and
will not be ashamed.

Wonderful is your Word.
Wonderful are you.

Amen.

Headlong

Grant, Almighty God, that as we were from our beginning lost, when you were pleased to extend to us your hand, and to restore us to salvation for the sake of your Son; and that as we continue even daily to run headlong to our own ruin--O, grant that we may not, by sinning so often, so provoke at length your displeasure as to cause you to take away from us the mercy you have hitherto exercised towards us, and through which you have adopted us. But, by your Spirit destroy the wickedness of our hearts, and restore us to sound minds, that we may ever cleave to you with true and sincere hearts, that being fortified by your defense, we may continue safe even amidst all kinds of danger, until at length you gather us into that blessed rest which has been prepared for us in heaven by our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

(a prayer of John Calvin, in his Commentary on Hosea, translated into English in 1846 and updated by me into modern English)

Untimely Judgments

Abba, Father,
help me to do as your Word says,
and not make judgments about anyone ahead of time,
but to wait until the day of the Lord's return
when he will bring our darkest secrets to light,
reveal our private motives,
and give to each of us whatever is due,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(based on 1 Corinthians 4:4-5)

To Walk in the Day

Grant, Lord, that I may walk in the day,
and not stumble,
because I see the Light of this world (John 11:9),
in Jesus' name, amen.

(image by blanca_rovira via pixabay.com)

Make Them Like You

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

Another Harvest Home

Almighty God, who holdest the yellow moon like a cherry bowl on the tips of thy fingers, is not our newly cleaned and covered corncrib an altar to thee?

As the silk retreats into the browning shuck, as the sap recedes and the day grows shorter, as the dahlias dance and the fringed gentians put on blue veils, as the apple seed darkens and the milkweed blows fairy cotton all over the place, as the blackbirds hold county convention and the patriarch swallow calls his family together, as the ewe weans her lambs and the calves let their hair grow, we know, Good Landlord, that another Harvest Home is come.

We thank thee for all this plenty that we are now too ingather.

And we pray thee for peace.

For enduring peace, based on this plenty, around the world.

Amen.

(from the book, The Farmer Gives Thanks; photo by 6151189 via pixabay.com)

Saturday Psalm #119 (Pt. 1)

Aleph

Abba, I am always better off when I walk in your ways,
always better off to keep my eyes on you,
always better off to follow your instructions,
always better off to seek you with my whole heart;

Always better off to make your ways mine, than to foolishly try to make my ways yours!

Always better off to align my life with your Word and will,
always better off to keep my mind stayed on you;

Always better off to meditate on your Word, and stay faithful in prayer,
always better off praise you with my lips and follow you with my life.

Beth

Bless me Lord, and help me to keep my way pure,
by aligning my life with your word.
Be the object of my heart's desire,
be the end of my life's pursuit.

Bless me with the ability to remember your words, to
be guided by them and not by temptation.

Blessed are you, O LORD;
by your gracious Word I am molded.

Bring your words to my mind repeatedly throughout the day.
Bind them to my mind and heart and will like a phylactery.

Gimel

Gracious God, be generous to your servant, and I will live;
give me favor and I will respond with gratitude.

Guide me by your wonderful Word, and
grant that I may hear your voice clearly and unmistakably.

Give me clear directions, and
go with me everywhere I go.

God, my soul is consumed with longing for you, I am
greedy for you, for your words.

Give the arrogant what they deserve;
grant me continued deliverance from them.
Grant your blessing to me and those I love, your
great reward in the faces of liars.

Gracious God, you delight me in every way;
guide and counsel me with your Word.

The Refreshment of Prayer

Lord, what a change within us one short hour
Spent in Thy presence will prevail to make;
What heavy burdens from our bosoms take,
What parched fields refresh as with a shower.

We kneel, and all around us seems to lower;
We rise, and all, the distant and the near,
Stands forth in sunny outline, brave and clear;
We kneel how weak; we rise how full of power!

Why should we ever weak or heartless be,
Why are we ever overborne with care,
Anxious or troubled, when with us is prayer,
And joy, and strength, and courage are with Thee?

(a prayer of Richard Trent, by way of Leonard Sweet's Facebook page; image via everystockphoto.com)

Times

Thank you, Lord, that the seasons of my life
have included so many births, and so few deaths;
more times to plant, than times of plucking up that which is planted;
No times to kill, and many times to heal;
infrequent times to break down, and frequent times to build up;
Fewer times to weep than times to laugh;
Fewer times to mourn than times to dance.

Thank you for those times to cast away stones, and times of gathering stones together;
thank you for times of embracing, and times to refrain from embracing;
Thank you for so many times to get, and so few times to lose,
so many times to keep, and so few times to cast away.

Make me wise to recognize times to rend, and times to sew;
times to keep silence, and times to speak;
times to love, and times to hate;
times of war, and times of peace,
in Jesus' name, amen

(based on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, KJV; photo via everystockphoto.com).

Saturday Psalm #118

I give you my thanks, LORD, for you are good,
utterly,
and your love never fails.

I will say it again:
your love never fails.

I will say it wherever I go:
your love never fails.

I will say it whatever happens:
your love never fails.

In my lowest moments I cried out to you,
and you answered me
and set me free.

You are with me; how can I be afraid?
What can man do to me?

If you decide to bless me,
who can stand against me?

I will take refuge in you, LORD;
I am learning not to trust in man
or rely on the approval of anyone but you.

I've learned the hard way,
but by your grace,
I am learning to seek your pleasure
even in the face of the hypocritical and hyper-critical,
who sometimes seem to surround me on every side.
swarming like bees.
But with your help, I stand.

I've been pushed to my limit at times,
but you never failed to help me.

You are my strength and my song;
my great and constant deliverer.

Let shouts of joy and victory
once again resound in the tents of the righteous.
Let your people once more declare,
"The LORD's right hand has done mighty things!"

Let your right hand be lifted high;
let your right hand do mighty things in our midst.

Open for me the gates of righteousness;
and I promise, I will enter and give thanks to you.

I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
and never fail to deliver me.

Put me anywhere you want,
use me any way that will bring you pleasure,
even if that means
more brokenness and pain.

As long as I know it is you doing it,
I will be content.

This is the day you have made;
whatever it brings, I will rejoice in it.

O LORD, save us;
O LORD, grant us success.

You are God,
and you have made your light shine upon me.
you lead me in triumphal procession in Christ

You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
you are my God, and I will exalt you,
spreading everywhere the fragrance
of the knowledge of your Son, by your grace.

I give you my thanks, LORD, for you are good,
utterly,
and your love never fails.
Amen.

(photo illustration by Tama66 via pixabay.com)

The Radiance

Father in heaven,
God of grace,
Grant that we
may know Your beauty
and gaze on your face
To such an extent
as to show
The radiance of your love
As well on earth
 as is seen in heaven above.

Prayer for a New Home

Lord, bless this house and make it home.
Let it always be a place of refuge and rest for us,
and a warm and welcome gathering place
for family and friends.
Fill it with your presence
and guard it with your care,
in Jesus' name, amen.