How Precious is Life

Bob Hostetler

Adonai, my God, you sure have given me frequent reminders lately--like hitting me over the head with a sledgehammer--of how precious life is.

Thank you for my own life, every heartbeat,
every waking moment, every sleeping breath.

Thank you for the precious life of my bride,
for every moment we have together,
for every intimacy,
every smile,
even every frustration (I would sooner take millions of them than not have her).

Thank you for the precious life of my daughter, my Blossom,
thank you for every kiss she gives me,
every sassy remark (give me many, many more),
every moment, every moment, every moment.

Thank you for the precious life of my son, my Boomer,
for the sound of his heavy foot upstairs and down,
for every time he makes fun of me (give me many, many more),
every moment, every moment, every moment.

How precious, Lord, is my life and theirs.
How precious is every friend you've spared me thus far,
and every family member.

Please help me to remember how precious life is not only when it is taken away, but when it lingers, too, in Jesus' name, amen.


Bob Hostetler

Adonai, I praise you and thank you
that the Son has set me free;
I am free indeed.

I am free to laugh,
I am free to dance,
I am free to sing,
I am free to follow you,
I am free to walk in the light,
I am free to say no,
I am free to say yes,
I am free to go,
I am free to stay,
I am free to say "I'm sorry,"
I am free to say "I love you,"
I am free to work,
I am free to rest,
I am free,
I am free indeed.

Thank you, in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 24

Bob Hostetler

The earth is yours, Lord, and everything in it;
the whole world, and all its people, belong to you.
For you started it all,
building it up from the ocean depths,
and parting land and sea.

I long to ascend into your hill, Lord.
I ache to stand in your holy place.

Cleanse my hands, and purify my heart;
rid my heart of its idols, and purge my tongue of its lies.
Pour out your blessing on me, Lord,
and fill me again with your righteousness, God of my salvation.

Turn my heart again to seek you wholeheartedly,
to seek your face, O God of Jacob.

I open the gates to you, Lord;
I swing open the doors like the gates of Jerusalem,
that the King of glory may enter in.

You are my King; you are my glory.
You are Adonai, strong and mighty,
Adonai, my Dread Warrior.

I open the gates to you, Lord;
I swing open the doors like the gates of Jerusalem,
that the King of glory may enter in.

You are my King; you are my glory,
the Lord of hosts, the King of glory, amen.

Prayer for Monday (based on a hymn by Charles Wesley)

Bob Hostetler

Be pleased to keep me, Lord, this day
Without committing sin,
And let me not one moment stray
From a prayerful mode within.

You can from every sin secure;
I know it is your will
To preserve your servant pure
From every touch of ill.

So, Lord, I bow before you now,
My soul on you depends,
To see me safely, purely through
Until this day shall end.

Pastor Prayer

Bob Hostetler

Remind me, Lord, when I'm tempted to panic by the complaints (legitimate and otherwise) of your people, that you've brought us all through choppy waters before.

Remind me that I've heard:
"You should really preach from the NIV."
"You don't use the King James Version?"
"Please don't use so many different translations."
"We need to sing more hymns."
"I need more Spirit-filled worship."
"I need deeper teaching."
"The music's boring."
"The music's too repetitive."
"The music's too loud."
"I couldn't hear a thing."
"The powerpoint was messed up."
"You shouldn't hug people."
"The announcements are too long."
"The announcements are too repetitive."
"You didn't make any announcements."
"The worship leader closes his eyes."
"The worship leader was off-key."
"The worship leader's mic was too loud."
"The instruments drowned out the voices."
"Why won't you meet with my son?"
"I was upset that you didn't call."
"I was upset that you showed up at my house without calling first."
"You shouldn't show videos in church."
"I couldn't get connected at your church."
"I can't attend anymore because people notice when I've been gone and ask where I've been."
"You repeat the same chorus too many times."
"You should try preaching without notes."
"I don't think the way you do communion is biblical."
"You're trying to be too seeker-friendly."
"That wasn't very seeker-friendly."
"You're just trying to be another Cincinnati Vineyard."
"You really need to be more like Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill."
"What was wrong with the coffee this week?"
"Your position on [pick a doctrine or issue] isn't strong enough."
"Your position on [pick a doctrine or issue] is too strong."

Remind me, Lord, that you are often pleased with something that doesn't particularly please your precious sheep. Help me to look for your approval, and be wise when I encounter the approval OR disapproval of the flock, in Jesus' name, amen.

Like Spring Snow

Bob Hostetler

Lord God, you do what you want, and what you want is always good. You made it snow yesterday--the first day of Spring!--and will make it melt when it pleases you. You are unimpeded and undistracted by cries of "global warming" and calendars that say "It's Spring!" So--you who can do anything--please make me and mold me according to your will. Make me a man after your own heart, a servant of God Most High, and a blessing to my family, church, and community, in Jesus' name, amen.

The Thief's Prayer

Bob Hostetler

Lord, remember me.
Remember me when you feel like blessing someone.
Remember me when you're handing out strength for the day,
rest for the night,
hope for tomorrow.
Remember me when I forget you are near.
Remember me when the crowd presses in on me.
Remember me when others find fault,
and demand what I cannot give.
Remember when I'm stricken with fear,
and peace eludes me,
and I forget that you are in control.
Remember me, too, when cloudy skies clear,
and all seems well with the world.
Remember me, Lord.
Remember me, in Jesus' name, amen.


Bob Hostetler

I choose to trust in you today, Lord (Ps. 37:3).
I choose to believe that you are in control.
I choose trust instead of stress.
I claim the peace of Christ to rule in my heart and mind.
I choose to take today one step at a time,
one task at a time,
one challenge at a time,
and let you worry about all the rest.

My Psalm 23

Bob Hostetler

Lord, you are my shepherd;
in your hand is everything I need:
you give me rest in lush green meadows,
you lead me beside gently flowing streams,
you renew my strength,
and lead me along good paths—
all of which reinforces your reputation as a good shepherd.

So, even if I must walk through the darkest valley,
where danger and death surrounds me,
I will not be afraid,
as long as you are right next to me,
because I know your rod and your staff
will protect and comfort me.

Lord, you bless me bountifully
in the very presence of my enemies.
You treat me like a guest—a king, even!—
anointing my head with oil.
And you keep pouring out blessings, though my cup overflows.

I know this: your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in your house, Lord, forever.

A Variation on St. Teresa of Avila's Bookmark

Bob Hostetler

I choose today, Lord,
to let nothing disturb me,
to let nothing dismay me.

I choose to remember
that all things are passing,
yet you never change.

I choose to pursue
that patience endurance
that attains all it strives for.

I choose to rest in the awareness
that he who has God
lacks for nothing:

God alone suffices

(Based on "the bookmark" of St. Teresa of Avila, sixteenth century).