Hiding Place

Bob Hostetler

Adonai, you are my hiding place.
I hide in you right now;
cover me with your hand.
Help me to hide in you throughout this day,
that even when I am out and about among my fellow men,
I remain hidden in you,
in Jesus' name, amen.


Bob Hostetler

Abba, I am in your care.
Lord Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.
Holy Spirit, I rest in you, Amen.

Thanks Today

Bob Hostetler

I give you thanks today, Lord God, Adonai;
I give you thanks for the day,
for the gift of waking,
for the grace of breathing,
for the bounty of breaths I will draw
and thoughts I will think,
words I will exchange,
and work I will do.
Thank you for every moment of safety I will enjoy,
for every bite of nourishment,
every taste of pleasure.
Thank you for every moment of sight,
for the grace of seeing,
the privilege of gazing on my wife, my children,
my friends, and the thousands of objects and images my eyes will see today.
Thank you for the sounds I will hear,
the grace of hearing,
the blessing of lover's voice and music and speech
and even the cacophony of traffic and machinery.
Thank you, Father, for all your kindnesses to me,
which daily go unmarked,
Make me more mindful of the thousands of graces
you bestow on me today,
and make me glad to be alive, and sensate,
and able to enjoy so much.
Grant me to enjoy even the least enjoyable,
remembering that the sense to taste bitter
as well as sweet
is a grace as well,
in Jesus' name, amen.


Bob Hostetler

I don't want my life, Lord, to be a meandering stream,
its course altered by every stone
and diverted by each depression,
following the path of least resistance.
I want it to be a direct, undiverted flow
through the wide, inviting gates
that lead to your will in Jesus Christ. Amen.

(from the Sept. 25 reading in Eugene Peterson's Praying With The Psalms).

Teach Me to Pray

Bob Hostetler

Abba, teach me to pray.
Save me from "making" prayers.
Help me to know how to pray,
what to pray,
for whom to pray.
Prompt my praying.
Guide my praying.
Be the author of my prayers, from beginning to end,
even as you are the author of my life
and my salvation,
in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 37

Bob Hostetler

Adonai, help me not to be bothered by the wicked
or envy those who do wrong.
I know they come and go like grass,
like the fickle flowers of the field.

I put my trust in you, Lord God;
grant me the grace to do right,
to live a quiet and secure life.
You are my delight;
grant me my heart's desires:
fresh energy,
stable finances,
effective ministry,
and to see my wife and children be happy.

I commit my future to you,
I am confident that you will act when I most need you,
defend me against my Enemy
and lift up my efforts like the sun at noonday.

I quiet myself before you, and wait with longing for you.
Save me from being sidetracked by critics
or spending my mental and spiritual energy on the stubborn and clueless.

Save me from anger and bitterness.
Help me keep my cool, knowing it can do no good
to cater to those who will never be satisfied.
My hope is in you, Lord, not in the approval of man.

Soon the wicked will be no more,
and searching will do no good;
but the humble will be blessed
and live in peace.

I know my Enemy plots against me
and lately has landed more than a few blows,
but you are not surprised by his attacks,
and I know that.

Let him draw his sword
and bend his bow;
let everything he tries
turn back on himself;
let his every weapon be shattered.

Though my reserves run low,
I have more wealth than the wicked;
for you are my strength and my supply.

My life is in Yahweh's care,
and you yourself guard my birthright for ever;
I will not be put to shame when bad times come;
even in famine I will be filled.

Your enemies, Lord, will be destroyed;
they will vanish like fog at noon
and a match flame in a strong wind.

The wicked takes and never gives,
but you, Lord, make me generous in giving;
you have blessed me with land of my own
and granted me victory in battle.

You are even now guiding my steps and keeping them firm;
you take pleasure in me.
I may trip, but you will catch me before I’m sent sprawling,
and lift me up again on your strong arm.

I am getting old, but from my youth
I have seen your faithfulness and generosity to the righteous,
and your kindness to their children.
Let me see your compassion and generosity be multiplied
in my own children’s lives.

I turn my back on evil again tonight; I pledge to do good.
Be my home for ever,
and shower me with blessing.

Save those who do evil,
or if they will not be saved, annihilate them.
But give me a permanent place
where I can live for ever in your presence.

Let wisdom flow from my lips.
Let my tongue speak what is right;
Place your law in my heart,
and keep my foot from slipping.

Let those who watch me
with a critical eye
be frustrated and disappointed.
You will not abandon me him to the clutches of the wicked,
nor let me be condemned if I am tried.

I put my hope in you, Yahweh;
I keep to your path.
Raise me up.
Please lift me up from my weariness and struggle.

I have seen the wicked riding high
towering like a cedar of Lebanon.
But I would not trade my fleeting trials
for their passing prosperity.

I want to be like the innocent, the honest,
the serene, the plentiful,
instead of the wicked who will all be destroyed together,
and their children pay the price.

I know I often feel like giving up,
like cashing in;
it would be so much easier
not to be a pastor,
not to work so stinking hard,
not to share the burdens of so many
and be the one who always has to show up,
and give give give.
But I have you for my Savior;
you are my refuge in times of trouble;
You help me and rescue me,
and you will rescue me again
and save me because I take refuge in you. Amen.


Bob Hostetler

Lord Jesus, I claim your word that the kingdom of God is like yeast that "a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was all leavened all through" (Luke 13:21).

Let the kingdom spread and grow in my community.
Let your kingdom come in and through Cobblestone.
Let it grow and multiply steadily like yeast in dough.
Let us see it rise and expand and spread the warmth of your love and grace throughout our land, in Jesus' name, amen.

Come, Living Water

Bob Hostetler

Come, Living Water.
Come into my dry and weary soul.
Come in like a flood.
Come, shock my system.
Come, fill my empty places.
Come, Living Water.
Come and revive me.
Come refresh me.
Come, Living Water.
Come, Living Water.

Steer the Ship of My Life

Bob Hostetler

A prayer of Basil of Caesarea (c. 330-379)

Steer the ship of my life, good Lord,
to your quiet harbor,
where I can be safe
from the storms of sin and conflict.
Show me the course I should take.
Renew in me the gift of discernment,
so that I can always see
the right direction in which I should go.
And give me the strength and the courage
to choose the right course,
even when the sea is rough and the waves are high,
knowing that through enduring hardship and danger,
in your name we shall find comfort and peace. Amen.

Less of a Sham

Bob Hostetler

Father, I confess: sometimes I make up stuff. I do stuff for show. I pretend to know stuff. I act like I'm made of stuff that I'm not. But I thank you that by your grace I am becoming less of a sham and more of a man.

A Prayer from Fanny Crosby

Bob Hostetler

A wonderful Savior are you, my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
You hide my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.

You hide my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land...
And cover me there with your hand.

A wonderful Savior are you, my Lord,
You take my burden away;
You hold me up and I shall not be moved,
You give me new strength with each day.

With numberless blessings each moment you crown
And, filled with your goodness divine,
I sing in my rapture: "O glory to God
For such a Redeemer as mine!"

(From the hymn by Fanny Crosby)


Bob Hostetler

Lord, I long for a simpler life, a life of just simply following you and pleasing you. I get too wrapped up in demands and responsibilities and expectations and so on--and on. Bills and expenses. Timing and deadlines. Help me, Lord. Help me to simplify, to focus on you and seek you alone.

Summer's End

Abba, August is past, the summer is gone. By your grace, my son will be married in 7 days, and my daughter will own a house in 23. And I, if I survive, will look back on September with gratitude. Save me, Lord, from stress and exhaustion. Save me from financial ruin. Help me give both of my precious children a start--a great start--on their adult lives, in Jesus' name, amen.

Prayer from Ecclesiastes 3

Bob Hostetler

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).