Solomon Prayer

copyright Bob Hostetler

Lord, I sure could use some of that divine wisdom you gave Solomon.

I don't have the wisdom to lead this great people of yours. I am constantly and consistently being blindsided by my own incompetence or thoughtlessness as a leader, and others' needs and expectations. I am still coming up with new and imaginative ways to offend people, even those I love most. Some days it seems like the only safe way to relate to me, my work, and my calling is from a distance.

Wisdom, Lord, I plead for wisdom. Shoot, at my age, you'd think I'd have a lot more than I do. But I confess my lack, my inadequacy, my seemingly limitless deficiency, and ask you (for the sake of your name and your flock) to be wise in and through me, when I'm aware of it and when I'm not, in Jesus' name, amen.

Salvation from Pettiness

copyright Bob Hostetler

Lord, please save your servant from pettiness...
from envy and jealousy...
from pride and arrogance...
from self....

Satisfy me with what you are doing in, through, and around me, and let me rejoice fully in all you choose to do elsewhere, in Jesus' name, amen.

Ezekiel Prayer

copyright Bob Hostetler

God, plunder those who would plunder your people (Ezek. 39:10);
Be our help (Ezek 39:13) and bring about victory;
demonstrate your glory in and through us;
Show everyone (39:22) that you are God, that you are OUR God;
Please don't turn away from us, Lord (39:23)...purge us completely, cleanse us thoroughly, of any and all sin in our camp;
Let no one make us afraid (39:26);
And pour out your Spirit on us (39:29), in Jesus' name, amen.

Baby Confessions

copyright Bob Hostetler

Lord, I confess, I am such a baby. I want everything to come quickly and easily.

But I also want the fruit of discipline and hardship. I live in the midst of your great works, which so often grow in darkness. So I receive, Lord. You are, I know, increasing my faith and thus my joy. Thank you.

My Psalm 12

copyright Bob Hostetler

Help, Lord, for it so often seems that the godly are disappearing,
that there are so few faithful hearts among the children of men.
They lie and flatter,
and say one thing to my face and another behind my back.
Shut their flattering mouths, Lord,
and stop their tongues from speaking arrogantly.
Show them to be wrong who think their lies will advance them,
who believe they are beyond correction or condemnation.

Arise, Lord, on behalf of the poor;
hear the sighs of the needy.
Safely surround those who long for your deliverance.

Your words, Lord, are pure words:
they are like silver in a blazing furnace, perfectly pure.

So fulfill your Word, Adonai. Guard the humble; preserve the upright,
protect us all from this lying generation,
where the wicked walk on every side,
and the unfaithful are exalted.

A Prayer of Albert Orsborn

Saviour, if my feet have faltered
On the pathway of the cross,
If my purposes have altered
Or my gold be mixed with dross,
O forbid me not Thy service,
Keep me yet in Thy employ,
Pass me through a sterner cleansing
If I may but give Thee joy!

All my work is for the Master,
He is all my heart's desire;
O that He may count me faithful
In the day that tries by fire!

Have I worked for hireling wages,
Or as one with vows to keep,
With a heart whose love engages
Life or death, to save the sheep?
All is known to Thee, my Master,
All is known, and that is why
I can work and wait the verdict
Of Thy kind but searching eye.

I must love Thee, love must rule me,
Springing up and flowing forth
From a childlike heart within me,
Or my work is nothing worth.
Love with passion and with patience,
Love with principle and fire,
Love with heart and mind and utterance,
Serving Christ my one desire.

Let it be so, in Jesus' name, amen.

For Overworked Servants

copyright Bob Hostetler


I pray for overworked servants,
for those who are so faithfully spending themselves, liberally, generously, profligately, even.
I pray for those who are nearing the end of their resources, and those who have reached that point and yet somehow manage to keep going, keep serving, keep giving, not out of their abundance but out of their poverty.

Come quickly to their aid, Lord.
Supply them magnanimously.
Open the windows of heaven on them.
Shower them with grace,
renew them with strength,
and lift them up in your invisible arms,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Prayer for my Book

copyright Bob Hostetler

Father, I pray for my book, American Idols, coming out in January.

I recall your kindness in the writing,
how I felt your power and energy and inspiration
through that whole process.

Now, Lord, as you inspired its composition,
please inspire its preparation.
Prepare places in bookstores and on shelves for it.
Make the publisher attentive to it,
and bless their attempts to promote it and place it.

Make me wise and discerning and diligent in my efforts
to get the book into people's hands.

Let its ministry multiply by word of mouth, Lord,
and use it to the glory of Jesus' name, in which I pray, amen.

From A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie

Eternal Father of my soul, let my first thought today be of Thee,
let my first impulse be to worship Thee,
let my first speech be Thy name,
let my first action be to kneel before Thee in prayer.

For Thy perfect wisdom and perfect goodness:
For the love wherewith Thou lovest mankind:
For the love wherewith Thou lovest me:
For the great and mysterious opportunity of my life:
For the indwelling of Thy Spirit in my heart:
For the sevenfold gifts of Thy Spirit:
I praise and worship Thee, O Lord.

Yet let me not, when this morning prayer is said, think my worship ended and spend the day in forgetfulness of Thee. Rather from these moments of quietness let light go forth, and joy, and power, that will remain with me through all the hours of the day;
Keeping me chaste in thought:
Keeping me temperate and truthful in speech:
Keeping me faithful and diligent in my work:
Keeping me humble in my estimation of myself:
Keeping me honourable and generous in my dealings with others:
Keeping me loyal to every hallowed memory of the past:
Keeping me mindful of my eternal destiny as a child of Thine.

O God, who hast been the Refuge of my fathers through many generations, be my Refuge to-day in every time and circumstance of need. Be my Guide through all that is dark and doubtful. Be my Guard against all that threatens my spirit's welfare. Be my Strength in time of testing. Gladden my heart with Thy peace; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

(a prayer of John Baillie in A Diary of Private Prayer)

Quietness and Confidence

copyright Bob Hostetler

Father, make me a fulfillment of your Word: "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." Let me so rest in you, recline on you, repose in you, that I will neither fear nor worry about anything, in Jesus' name, amen.

For My Wife

copyright Bob Hostetler

Abba, Father, I pray for my wife right now:
strengthen her and deliver her;
let her deliverance come like the dawn;
let her energy and ability exceed the limitations of her body;
bless her, keep her,
make your face to shine upon her and be gracious to her,
lift up your countenance on her, and give her peace, in Jesus' name, amen.

Moon Prayer

copyright Bob Hostetler

Thank you for last night's harvest moon, Lord; how beautiful it was,
and how mesmerizing its dance amid the clouds.

Let me reflect your glory as faithfully
as the moon borrows light from the sun, in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 11

copyright Bob Hostetler

Lord, I take refuge in you;
Though sometimes I feel like flying off to the mountains—
when critics and cynics seem to be aiming for me,
notching arrows on their bowstring
to shoot at me,
and the ground seems to give way under my feet,
leaving me nowhere to stand.

But, Lord, you are still in your holy temple;
you are still on the throne.
Your eyes see everything, your insight still pierces the darkness.
You see my plight no less than their intentions,
And I know you have no desire to see their hateful, violent intentions come to pass.
Remind me, Lord, that sooner or later, you will trip them up;
and they’ll learn the hard way.
Lord, you are righteous; I know that. You love righteousness.
Help me to remain upright, even in times of trial, that I may behold your face.

Patience and Impatience

copyright Bob Hostetler

God, please make me patient...and impatient.
Make me patient with the things you're patient with,
and impatient with the things you're impatient with,
in Jesus' name, amen.

For How I Pray These Days

copyright Bob Hostetler

Abba, thank you that my praying has become--
by your gracious work--
less a matter of "I want, I want,"
and more "I surrender, I surrender,"
much less a seeking after what I desire
and more a seeking after what you will.

My Faith is in You

copyright Bob Hostetler

Lord, my faith is not in the power of prayer, but in you.
My faith is not in the multitude of my words,
nor in the intensity of my devotion, but in you.

I submit to you, and ask you and trust you to show yourself strong, in Jesus' name, amen.

For the Church in Oxford

copyright Bob Hostetler

Adonai, I pray for your Church in Oxford, that you would strengthen and enlarge it. Bring peace, unity, and victory to every church, to all the churches. Bring about greater cooperation and effectiveness, and let many come to you this fall and this coming year because of your church's faithfulness, in Jesus' name, amen.

It Suffices to Say

copyright Bob Hostetler

God, it suffices to say, you are my fortress,
my defender,
my armor,
my coat of Kevlar,
my tower,
my help,
my rescuer,
my Marines,
my cavalry,
my Dread Warrior,
Captain, my Captain,
my mountain of strength,
my miracle at the eleventh hour.

For This Day

copyright Bob Hostetler

For this day,
its work,
its prayer,
its music,
its nourishment,
its comfort,
its reading,
its fellowship,
its learning,
its safety,
its accomplishment,
its waking,
its sleeping,
its coming and going,
its beginning and its end,
I give you my heartfelt thanks, in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 10

Bob Hostetler

Lord, do you stand far off?
Why do you seem to hide yourself in troubled times?

You see the wicked: how they prey on the weak,
who are caught in scheme after scheme.
You see the wicked: how they boast about their ambitions,
as if greed were a virtue.
You see the wicked: how they treat you like their servant,
never thinking of you until it suits their purposes.
You see them, and yet they seem to be doing just fine;
they keep making money hand over fist,
things keep going their way,
and they’re having the times of their lives.
They curse and lie and threaten,
their tongues drip with evil.
They victimize good people,
and treat the poor and helpless with contempt.
They crush their victims,
and annihilate their competitors.
And they act as if you don’t even see what’s going on,
and sometimes it sure does look that way, Lord.
Arise, Lord! Take up weapons, O God.
Defend the helpless.
against those who revile you
and ignore you.
I know that you see people’s trouble and grief, Lord;
you consider it all carefully, and turn it around in your hand.
I know you’re attentive to victims,
the helper of the fatherless.
So do something! Show your strength against the wicked;
call them to account for their wickedness.

Adonai, you are King for ever and ever;
you have the power to banish the wicked.
Listen, Lord, to the cries of the afflicted;
encourage them, show them that you hear, that you care.
Rescue the victims of Hurricane Katrina,
and Hurricane Rita.
Defend those who are widowed or fatherless
because of bin Laden and al-Zarqawi.
Defend those who are preyed upon
by others who are more powerful,
more wealthy,
more callous,
that those who cause terror may terrify no more.

In You, O Lord

copyright Bob Hostetler

In you, O Lord, do I put my trust.
Not in myself,
not in my own righteousness (which is filthy rags),
not in my own obedience (for I am a sinner, and when I do obey you, it is all of you),
not in my service,
not in my gifts,
not in my sense of my own spirituality,
but in you alone. I trust you.

Into your hands I commend my spirit, O Lord, O God of truth;
please keep me as the apple of your eye and hide me under the shadow of your win, in Jesus' name, amen.

Teach me

copyright Bob Hostetler

Teach me, Lord, to be more a man of vision, and to know how to convey that vision to others.
Teach me to hear you when you're kind enough to send me a message, and make me discerning to understand and quick to obey.
Teach me still more to cast all my cares on you.
Teach me patience and trust. Increase my faith, my obedience, my focus, my influence, my strength in you, in Jesus' name, amen.

God My Teacher

copyright Bob Hostetler

Father, how I thank you for all you're teaching me:
to walk in your Spirit,
to trust you more and more,
to rest in you,
to live in peace,
to believe you and not get worked up about things I know you still control,
to listen to you,
to wait for your answer,
to remember your calling and wait for the vision to be fulfilled,
to be patient...
for all these things--and more that I'm not even cognizant of right now--
I give you thanks, in Jesus' name, amen.