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).