To the Mountains


Photo and graphic by Edie Melson

Hard Workers

This prayer, abundantly answered for my children, I now pray once a month for my grandchildren (from the iPhone/iPad app, "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids," available in the iTunes app store, here):


One More Time


Forgive me, Lord,
and try me one more time.

(a prayer of Andrae Crouch; image by fancycrave1 via pixabay.com)

To Delight Our Great Landlord

Herder of the stars in the sky, we are grateful for the short month.

For unlatching the heavens and letting the new moon out. This snow must melt and this ice will gurgle into our stock pond under thy strengthening sunshine.

Even so, all our cold tears must turn to sweet water under the warmth of thy everlasting care and sprout the seeds of hope stored high and dry in our hearts.

Put thine unerring finger on our compass, Lord, that we run this terrace rightly and plan a year's work on this farm that will delight our Great Landlord.

Whether we seed, weed, feed, or breed, walk close by and lend us the counsel of the Good Shepherd, all of whose lambs we will feed, even as thou feedest us.

Amen.

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

Saturday Psalm #132

Lord, remember me
and all my sufferings,
though small indeed compared to many.
I've made many promises to you.
I've vowed this and that over the years:
“I won't do it again,"
"I'll never go back,"
"I'll always remember
your mercy and grace to me."
Forgive my gold promises
and dross follow-throughs.

I still would dwell on your mountain, Lord,
and worship at the footstool of your throne.
Arise again in me, O Lord,
and fill me with your power.
Clothed me again in godliness;
inspire me again with songs of joy.
For the sake of your great Name,
do not reject me, your weakest of servants.
Your promises never fail;
you never take them back, as I do.
You have been so faithful to me
and to my descendants.
You have answered my prayers
generously and abundantly.
You have made my heart and my family
your home.

Bless me and mine and make us prosperous;
satisfy us in times of scarcity and times of abundance.
Clothe us all in godliness;
inspire us all with songs of joy.
Increase our influence
and make us a light to those around us,
Lord our God,
our great and glorious king.

For Mia on Her Birthday

Lord, watch over my sweet, wonderful granddaughter, Mia,
As her days increase;
Bless and guide her wherever she is, everywhere she goes,
Keeping her as lovely and kind as she is today
even as you increase her in wisdom, learning, and skill.
Continue to make her strong in faith and conduct.
Comfort her when she's sad or discouraged.
Lift her when she stumbles.
Surround her with friends and family
who respect, value, and love her.
And may the peace that passes understanding
and joy unspeakable
fill her heart and her days,
both now and ever more,
in Jesus' name,
amen.

When I Cannot See My Way

When I cannot see my way,
I will trust and still obey;
If you bid me forward go,
You will not fail the way to show.

Though the sea be deep and wide,
Though a passage seem denied,
I will still in faith proceed,
Wherever you, my Lord, may lead.

Amen.

(a prayer by Thomas Kelly, slightly revised)

Hör Mein Bitten

Hear my prayer, O God, incline Thine ear!
Thyself from my petition do not hide.
Take heed to me! Hear how in prayer I mourn to Thee,
Without Thee all is dark, I have no guide.

The enemy shouteth, The godless come fast!
Iniquity, hatred, up on me they cast!
The wicked oppress me, Ah where shall I fly?
Perplexed and bewildered, O God, hear my cry!

My heart is sorely pained, within my breast,
my soul with deathly terror is oppressed,
trembling and fearfulness up on me fall,
with horror overwhelmed, Lord, hear me call.

O for the wings, for the wings of a dove!
Far away, far away would I rove!
In the wilderness build me a nest,
and remain there forever at rest."

(anthem for soprano solo, chorus and organ or orchestra written by Felix Mendelssohn in Germany in 1844. The text, originally in English, written by William Bartholomew, is derived from Psalm 55' image via pixabay.com)

Fair Dust

Lord... how do I despise
What upon trust
Is styled honor, riches, or fair eyes;
But is--fair dust!
I surname them gilded clay,
Dear earth, fine grass or hay.

(a prayer of George Herbert;
image by MrsBrown via pixabay.com)

Nettles

Oh let me wake where nettles are growing
in the cool first light of a spring morning
the young leaves shining after a night's rain
a green radiance glistening through them

(excerpt from W. S. Merwin's poem, "Urticophilia," in The Moon Before Morning; photo via pixabay.com)

Saturday Psalm #131

O Lord, my heart is not proud (some of the time),
my eyes are not haughty (on occasion);
I do not pretend to understand great matters,
and do not aspire to great feats (more or less).

But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child wanting only its mother's presence,
that is how my soul reposes on you.

I put my hope in you, Lord,
both now and forevermore. Amen.

(photo by losiek via everystockphoto.com)

Valentine

Like summer snow
floating from a sun-filled sky,
draping airy-white on flowered fields,
Your love astonished me.

No frilly show,
no assorted-chocolate pledge,
no candy hearts or silver kisses
disclosed your care for me;

But unsparing,
thorn-wearing
cross-bearing love,
that opened hands and feet and side
to spill your heart for me,

To recreate,
inundate my longing soul
with giving, holding, accepting,
enfolding love for me.

Wilt Thou Forgive

Wilt Thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
But swear by Thyself, that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
And having done that, Thou hast done;
I fear no more.

(a prayer of John Donne; illustration by JuiMagicMan via pixabay.com)

Prayer from an App

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

Saturday Psalm #130

Here I am, Lord, right here.
Can you hear me?
Are you listening?

Thank you, LORD, for not keeping
a record of my sins.
If you were keeping count,
I would be fried.

But you grant forgiveness,
full and free,
grace upon grace,
to me.

That is a work of wonder.
It's a miracle in itself.

So I wait for you, LORD;
my soul waits on you,
to act,
to work,
to speak,
to bless,
to move.
Rather than trying to do your work for you,
I put my hope in your promise to bless me,
and work in me what pleases you.

So I wait for you, LORD;
more than the night shift waits for quitting time.

Lord, let everyone I know and love
put their hope in you,
       for you never fail,
you never let us down,
you never renege on your commitments.

You WILL do all that you promise.
You will save.
Amen.

(based on Psalm 130)

Spirit Abide

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

(a prayer of John Baillie, from A Diary of Private Prayer, slightly revised; photo by staffordgreen0 via pixabay.com)

A Variation on St. Teresa of Avila's Bookmark


Lord, with your help,
I will let nothing disturb me,
nothing frighten me.
I will remember that this too shall pass,
while you never change;
I will patiently endure,
waiting on your timing and your reward.
Because I have you,
I shall not want.
You alone are enough for me.
Amen.

(A variation on the words of St. Teresa of Avila:
Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee
All things are passing;
God never changeth;
Patient endurance
Attaineth to all things;
Whom God possesseth
In nothing is wanting;
Alone God sufficeth).

Saturday Psalm #129

Lord, you know who is against me,
and who has mistreated me,
and I am content
to leave it all in your hands.
They will not gain the victory.

I don't need
anything you don't supply,
and I can withstand
anything you allow.

And you have been so righteous and faithful;
you have freed me from the cords of the wicked,
you have saved me from depression,
you have liberated me from the fear of other humans!

May all who hate and hurt your people
be turned back from further damage.
Show them their sin, and grant them repentance,
but if they refuse, let them be like new grass in a heat wave,
which withers before it can grow.

But may those who love your people
and defend them
be abundantly blessed,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(based on Psalm 129; photo illustration is by Starry-J via pixabay.com)