O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

A hymn by George Matheson, updated and revised

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in you;
I give you back the life I owe,
That in those ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller grow.

O light that follows all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to you;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in your sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer glow.

A Spacious Place

copyright Bob Hostetler

Abba, Father, you have indeed brought me into a spacious place (Psalm 18:19),
given me a dream wife--no, a wife beyond dreaming,
blessed me with children who make my heart swell,
set me among people who love you and long to serve you,
linked me with the best coworkers in the world,
made me accountable to and partner with the finest church leadership a man could hope for,
given us land for our future and a bold budget to make this a year of breaking through!

Lord, you are my rock and my salvation,
my God, in whom I trust.
You have done marvelous, marvelous things,
and that my soul knows right well.

Hem Me In

copyright Bob Hostetler

God, my King, my Father, as you accomplished your will through such unlikely candidates as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, perfectly and thoroughly and without hindrance (Isa. 43:13), so do in me:
hem me in,
stack the odds,
do all, Lord, to make me your instrument,
your vessel,
your tool...
take my all and let it be useful
for accomplishing what you will
when you will
as you will,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Save Me From a Mixed Faith

copyright Bob Hostetler

Save me, God, from a mixed faith:
a faith in you...and in me.
I believe; help my unbelief.
I long to believe only--and therefore fully--
in you, in Jesus' name, amen.

Thanks for Pardon, Acceptance, Adoption

Bob Hostetler

Abba, how long since I last thanked you
for my pardon, acceptance, and adoption?
I do so now;
thank you that you have made me no longer your enemy,
thank you that you have made me your subject,
thank you that you have made me your friend,
thank you that you have made me your son!

Like a Baby

Bob Hostetler

Lord, I want my soul to be like a weaned child (Psalm 131),
but too often I'm just a baby,
a spoiled suckling in spirit.
I want everything to come easily, truth be told.
But I do want the fruit of discipline and hardship.
I live in the midst of your great works,
which are so often formed in darkness.
So I receive, Lord.
You are, I know, increasing my faith
and thus my joy.
Thank you, in Jesus' name, amen.

Morning Prayer

A hymn by James Reed, slightly revised

Thankful for the morning light,
Thankful for the morning dew;
Thankful for the gift of sight
O Father, Lord, to you.
To you with all my heart I pray,
Now at the dawning of the day;
I know you have me in your care,
And you will hear my prayer.

Thankful for the power to hear;
Thankful for the power to speak;
Lord, to you I bend my ear,
Your holy face I seek,
To you my earliest thoughts are giv’n,
Like incense, may they rise to Heav’n;
And hence from you a blessing bear,
In answer to my prayer,

Simple Prayer

copyright Bob Hostetler

Lord, all I need today is
enough time and focus to do my work,
enough money to pay my bills,
enough food to keep me going,
enough of you to save me from myself, in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of Thomas More (slightly revised)

Bob Hostetler

Give me the grace, Good Lord,
to set the world at naught,
to set the mind firmly on You
and not to hang upon the words of men's mouths...

...to be content to be solitary,
not to long for worldly pleasures,
little by little utterly to cast off the world and rid my mind of all its business...

...not to long to hear of earthly things,
but that the hearing of worldly fancies may be displeasing to me...

...gladly to be thinking of you,
piteously to call for your help,
to lean into your comfort,
busily to labor to love you...

...to know my own vileness and wretchedness,
to humble myself under the mighty hand of God,
to bewail my sins and, for the purging of them, patiently to suffer adversity...

...gladly to bear my sufferings here,
to be joyful in tribulations,
to walk the narrow way that leads to life...

...to have the last thing in remembrance,
to have ever before my eyes my death that is ever at hand,
to make death no stranger to me,
to foresee and consider the everlasting fire of Hell,
to pray for pardon before the judge comes...

...to have continually in mind the passion that Christ suffered for me, for His benefits unceasingly to give Him thanks...

...to buy the time again that I have lost,
to abstain from vain conversations,
to shun foolish mirth and gladness,
to cut off unnecessary recreations of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all, to set the loss at naught, for the winning of Christ...

...to think my worst enemies my best friends, for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred.

Such things are more to be desired by every man than all the treasures of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen, were it gathered and laid together all in one heap.


My Psalm 20

In times of trouble, LORD, respond to my cry.
God of Israel, keep me safe from all harm.
Send me help from your sanctuary
and strengthen me from Jerusalem.
Lord, remember all my gifts
and look favorably on the offerings I bring.

Lord, grant your heart's desire for me
and fulfill all your plans for me.
May I scream for joy and shout your praise
when you grant me victory;
let me fly banners to honor you, my God,
for you, LORD, answer all my prayers.

I know, LORD, that you save all who call on you.
You answer from your holy heaven
and rescue by your great power.
Some boast of their own great power and ability,
but I will boast in you, my LORD and my God.
Those who trust in themselves will fall down and collapse,
but I will rise up and stand firm because I trust in you.

Give victory, O LORD!
Respond to my cry for help.

The Temple

copyright Bob Hostetler

This is your Temple, Lord God.
This is your apse.
This is your transept.
This is your nave.
You have raised it.
You have furnished it.
You have lighted it.
I, your custodian, will sweep it
and do my best to keep it
so that it might bring glory to you,
this Temple, my body.

From Principles of Prayer (by Charles Finney)

A prayer by Louis Gifford Parkhurst, Jr.

O Lord, guide my reading of the Scriptures
that I might have greater discernment of the truth,
that I might discern the words of prophecy
that apply to my life and my time, in Jesus’ name, amen.


copyright Bob Hostetler

Help me, God of Peniel,
to wrestle with the strength
and will of Jacob in my prayers,
laying hold and keeping hold of you
until I am sure of your blessing and will,
and ready, though wounded, to obey.

A Prayer of Eugene Peterson

From Eugene Peterson's Praying With the Psalms
(entry for January 8):

Almighty God, judge of all the earth, keep me from ever supposing that I am the judge of others, deciding their worth or conniving in vengeance. My job is to sing your praises and love my neighbor. Help me to stick to my task, for Jesus' sake, amen.

My Psalm 19

Bob Hostetler

The heavens declare your glory, God;
the starry sky shows off your handiwork.
Day after day they speak of you,
and nightly they show knowledge of you like a canvas revealing the artist.
Without speech or language,
without an audible voice,
they publish your praise through all the earth,
and silently shout your glory to the end of the world.

You have made the sky to house the sun,
which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
and daily springs up like an athlete ready to run a race.
You send it forth every morning from the eastern horizon,
until it sinks in the western sky,
giving light and heat to everything in its path.

As the sun, so your law, O Lord: it is perfect,
giving strength to the soul:
the testimony of your Word, Lord, is sure,
making wise the simple.
Your statutes are right,
rejoicing the heart:
your commandments are pure,
enlightening the eyes.
Respect for you, Lord, is pure;
let it last for ever in my heart:
your judgments are true
and righteous altogether.

Your Word is more desirable than gold,
far more valuable than a Ft. Knox of fine gold:
your words are sweeter than honey
and tastier than the drippings from a honeycomb.
They steer me away from danger:
in keeping them there is great reward.

Lord, even your “errors” are too sophisticated for me;
let your Word convict and cleanse me from my most secret faults.
Keep me from presumption;
break the power of pride in my life;
make me upright
and keep me innocent in your sight.

Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in your sight, O Lord,
my strength, and my redeemer, amen.


copyright Bob Hostetler

Thank you, Lord, for potable water.
Thank you for daily bread...and meat and vegetables and fruits and dairy.
Thank you for soap,
and for dry clothes,
and winter coats,
and good doctors,
and abundant medicines.

Thank you for a roof over my head
and walls that keep the draft out
and the warmth in.
Thank you for toilets,
and sewers.
Thank you for a clean bed
and a clean body,
in Jesus' name, amen.

I Want What You Want

Bob Hostetler

Lord, I want for myself only what you want for me.
I want for my loved ones only what you want.
I want for my work only what you want.
I want for my church only what you want.
I want for my friends only what you want.

Honestly. I see and have seen enough of your dealings with men that I wholeheartedly trust your wisdom, love, mercy, grace...and timing. So whatever I may ask, now or in the future, please help me to ask with the awareness that your will for me is my desire, that "earth has nothing I desire besides you" (Psalm 73:25) and your perfect, gracious will for me. Amen.

Year of Breaking Through

Bob Hostetler

Adonai, Mighty God, please make this a breakthrough year for me, my family, and for your people Cobblestone.

God-of-Breaking-Through (1 Chron. 14:11), break through strongholds like a flood to advance your kingdom in my life, in my family, and in my church and community, in Jesus' name, amen.