Saturday Psalm #117

I praise you, LORD,
as everyone everywhere should!
I shout your praises
loud enough that I hope
the whole world will hear!

For your love is incredible,
astonishing,
awesome,
indescribable,
inexpressible,
immeasurable,
infinite, and
amazing,
and your faithfulness never ends.
Praise the LORD.

(photo detail by RonPorter via pixabay.com)

Freedom

Thank you for my freedom
To love anyone and everyone,
To show grace
And have mercy
And give hospitality
And extend blessing
To one and all,
In Jesus' name, amen.

Distance and Company

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.

(excerpted from Mary Oliver's poem, "Mysteries, Yes," found in her book Evidence)

How Else?

Lord our God, we are gathered here on this day to consider how you have carried out your good, firm will for the world and for all of us, by allowing our Lord Jesus Christ, your dear Son, to be captured that we might be free; to be found guilty that we might be found innocent; to suffer that we might rejoice; and to be given over to death that we might live forever.

Under our own power, we could only be lost. And we have not deserved such a rescue – no, not one of us. But in the inconceivable greatness of your mercy, you have shared in our sin and our poverty, in order to do such a great thing for us. How else could we thank you but to grasp, take up, and acknowledge this great thing? How else should this happen, but that the same living Savior who suffered for us, was crucified, died, and buried, and was also raised up, should now come into our midst, speak to our hearts and minds, open us to your love, and guide us to trust in it completely and to live by it and by it alone.

So we ask in all humility, but also in all confidence, that this happen in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

(from Karl Barth's Fifty Prayers)

Comfort Me

Saturday Psalm #116

I love you, God,
because you listen to me.
Inexplicably, incredibly,
you listen to my cries.
You patiently let me
pour out my words and lay out my needs,
even my demands, sinful as I am.

Sometimes when I am under attack,
and sometimes when I only THINK I'm under attack,
you nonetheless humor me.
How you must chuckle at my impatience,
at my panic,
at my paranoia.

But, gracious God, you make things right.
Caring Father, you cradle me in your arms.
You take my side
even when I deserve your rebuke!
You turn me around
when I've messed up royally.

Teach me to rest in you.
Help me to bask in your blessings,
and swim in your salvation.
Save me from whining,
and keep my feet from stumbling.

I'm here.
You're here.
That alone is amazing to me.
You have been faithful.
You have kept me faithful.
That is even more amazing.

I have nothing to offer you,
nothing worthy of the blessings you've poured out on me.
I can only lift high the cup of salvation,
and remember your outpoured love.
I will pray in Jesus' name,
trusting you to help me see and adopt your agenda.
I'll rely on you to fulfill your will in me,
and I'll serve your people with all my strength.
I'll seek your pleasure
and not man's.
I'll be faithful to you,
to your house,
to your kingdom,
Amen.

(based on Psalm 116; photo via pixabay.com)

Walk With Me

It's just me, Lord, 
I've little to say. 
I just ask for you 
to walk with me today. 

Always Strong and Courageous

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

I Beseech Thy Fatherly Pity

Essence beyond essence, Nature increate,
Framer of the world,
I set thee, Lord, before me,
and unto Thee do I lift up my soul.
I worship Thee on my knees,
and humble myself under Thy mighty hand.
I stretch forth my hands unto Thee:
my soul thirsteth after Thee, as a thirsty land.

I smite upon my breast,
and say, with the publican,
God be merciful to me a sinner,
the chief of sinners;
to the sinner above the publican
be merciful, as to the publican.
Father of mercies, I beseech Thy fatherly pity,
despise me not,
an unclean worm, a dead dog, a body of death;
despise not Thou the work of Thine own hands;
despise not Thine own image,
though bearing the brands of sin.
Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.
Lord, speak the word only, and I shall be healed.

And Thou, my Saviour Christ,
Christ my Saviour,
Saviour of sinners, of whom I am chief,
despise me not; despise me not, O Lord,
who am purchased with Thy blood,
called by Thy name;
but look on me with those eyes
with which Thou didst look upon
Magdalene at the feast,
Peter in the hall,
the thief on the cross:
that with the thief I may entreat Thee humbly,
Lord, remember me when Thou comest
into Thy kingdom;
that with Peter I may weep bitterly and say,
O that mine eyes were a fountain of tears,
that I might weep day and night;
that with Magdalene I may hear Thee say,
Thy sins are forgiven thee,
and with her may love much,
for my sins, which are many and manifold,
are forgiven.

And Thou, all-holy, good, and life-giving Spirit,
despise me not, Thy breath,
despise not Thine own holy things;
but return, O Lord; how long?
and let it repent Thee concerning Thy servant.

(a prayer of Lancelot Andrewes, from Lancelot Andrewes and His Private Devotions)

Arranged


Thank you, Lord, 
for arranging my schedule today
so that I have plenty of time to panic. 
Amen. 

(photo via pixabay.com)

Shelter Me

(A Prayer of Bruce Carroll, Billy Sprague, and Bob Bennett)



When I cannot close my eyes,
And the nights goes on,
Troubles taunt on every side,
And my doubt is strong,

Shelter me, shelter me,
Let the thought of your compassion be my strength.
Prince of peace, shelter me.

From the tempest of my unbelief,
Mighty God who calmed the sea,
Come and shelter me.

Saturday Psalm #115




















Not to me, O LORD, not to my name,
but to your great name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.

I know there are some
who question your presence,
your reality, even.

But I know you
not only as a God in heaven,
but as an ever-present,
sovereign
King.

In my best moments,
I'd much rather serve you
than the gods of others:
silver and gold,
status and success,
fortune and fame,
security or safety,
comfort or choice,
or busyness,
or happiness.....

Save me from their allure,
for it is so easy to be among those
who trust in such things.

But I will trust in you, LORD—
you are my help and shield.

Remember me and bless me:
bless the house of Aaron,
bless the house of Aubrey,
bless those who fear you, LORD—
small and great alike.

Grant godly increase,
to me and my children,
natural and spiritual.

May we be blessed by our LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
may we extol you, LORD,
both now and forevermore.
Praise the LORD.
Amen.

To My Generous Rewarder

I love you, O Lord, my strength; through you every hostile power yields to me, worm that I am, and the guile of the ancient serpent is laughed to scorn by the angels you send to minister to us, so that his desire to hurt is turned to our advantage instead.

I love you, Lord, my powerful defender, wise guide, gentle consoler, generous rewarder. Confident, I cast all my care on him whose strength cannot be overthrown, whose wisdom cannot be led astray, whose loving kindness cannot be exhausted in fulfilling my every need. How much better, how much safer it is to have him caring for me than to be looking after myself. How much better it is to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man. How justly cursed is the man who, trusting in man, makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the Lord. Indeed I am poor and needy but if the Lord takes thought for me I am rich and blessed; no mistake, everything works for good in me.

Therefore let those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not forsake those who put their trust in you.

Amen.

(a prayer of Guerric of Igny)

Rejoice Over Me

God, it's no wonder to me that you rejoice in yourself, in your perfection, because you are perfect, and utterly praiseworthy.

But to believe that you rejoice in me--not in the abstract "me," the "work of your hands," the vessel of clay, the "very good" humanity that I share with all humankind; but the "me" me, the proud, lazy, gluttonous, greedy, lustful, jealous, faithless me, the all-too-fallen me (though redeemed by your Son)--that's almost too much to believe.

But you do rejoice in me. You rejoice over me with singing. You dance over me. Because of your Son, yes, but nonetheless, this is me we're talking about. It's too wonderful for me. You are too wonderful for me. But I thank you, in Jesus' name, amen.

In Your Hands

God,
I am in your hands.
I am safe in your hands.
I am secure in your hands.
I am sheltered in your hands.
I am at peace in your hands.
I am in your hands.
Amen.

(photo by heterosapiens via pixabay.com)

Good Work

O God, creator of the world,
of sun and moon and stars,
you chose to fashion us, your own,
your handiwork of love.

Indeed, we are your hands’ own work
and yet into our hands
you give the care
of every living thing.

In more ways than we can count
our work builds up
or tears apart what came
as gift from you.

Keep us faithful in preserving
all you’ve given
lest we harm the smallest part
of all you’ve made.

Give us good and honest work to do
and rest at each day’s end.
Let a fair and good day’s wage be paid
for a good day’s work well done.

Give us work that nurtures and sustains
the ones who serve and those they serve.
Let those who labor work in peace,
in freedom, without fear.

Give those in need a job to do
and to the tired well earned rest.
Let all our work and toil, Lord,
give glory to your name.

Amen.

(from A Concord Pastor Comments)