Bob Hostetler

Abba, thank you so much for the caliber of people you've given me to love and lead and serve with at Cobblestone. How kind you are to me!

For Holding Me

Bob Hostetler

Thank you, Lord, for loving me and keeping me and holding me together--even in those times (especially in those times) when I don't feel held together.

Lord, I trust your sovereign wisdom and love. I know that you alone are God, and there is none like you. There is none who holds me as you hold me.

Hold me now, Lord, in these changeful days. Keep me together, Lord, in your hand, and in your will, in Jesus' name, amen.

A Preacher's Prayer

Bob Hostetler

Lord God, please help me to preach better than I can preach, in Jesus' name, amen.


Bob Hostetler

Lord, I praise you for your immutability.
You never lose anything of who you are.
You never suffer a diminution of yourself,
your abilities,
or your plans.
You are never caught off guard,
you never have to reassess
or revise
or retreat from
your good plans.

Help me, Lord, to rest in your awesome serenity,
in your ability to bring good--even best--out of evil,
and in your ability to keep that which I have committed to you
against that day when Jesus returns, in Jesus' name, amen.

Professional Spirituality

Bob Hostetler

Lord God, save me from "professional spirituality."
Purge me of "ideas" about you,
about prayer,
about anything.
Cure me of the poison
of the ministry,
of approaching you
or preaching you
as if I were an expert.

Wisdom, Understanding, Insight, and Experience

Bob Hostetler

Lord, since you surely seem to be granting signs and wonders and dreams and visions to your church, please grant me wisdom (and the other leaders in your church) and even, Lord, give me some deeper understanding or insight or experience into such things so that I may be able to lead your people well and discern the right way from the wrong, and the best from the merely good, in Jesus' name, amen.

A Leader's Prayer

Bob Hostetler

Abba, Father, please help me to lead better than I can lead, in Jesus' name, amen.

Monday Prayer

Bob Hostetler

I have suffered much, Lord;
renew my life,
according to your Word (Psalm 119:107),
in Jesus' name, amen.

Abraham Believed God

Bob Hostetler

Lord, I'm aware the Scripture says, "Abraham believed God."
Not, "Abraham believed the text."
Not, "Abraham believed a set of precepts."
Not, "Abraham believed a list of propositions."
But "Abraham believed God."

I tend to be dangerously "nominal" in my faith, as A. W. Tozer puts it. But I want a faith like Abraham, your friend, whose faith rested on your personality and character. And I sense you drawing me into the reality of your presence.

Help me to be your man, and not my own;
to trust you, and not myself or my own strength;
to think your thoughts after you, not my own;
to accomplish your will, not my own.

Not my own--let that phrase characterize me and my all, in Jesus' name, amen.

Shepherd of the Stars

Bob Hostetler

You are mind-boggling, God.
You are Shepherd of the Stars.
Whole galaxies form your royal train.
The countless host of heaven,
blazing suns,
mighty planets,
dappled moons,
comets, asteroids, vapors, black holes,
all follow after you like so many ducks behind their mother.
And yet, Lord, my immmense, mind-boggling, Star-Shepherd,
you condescend to me,
to sit with me,
whisper to me,
commune with me.
Such thoughts are too marvelous for me,
I cannot attain unto them!
But I praise you and thank you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 38

Bob Hostetler

O Lord, please don’t rebuke me; go easy on me.
Don’t I have enough people taking shots at me? Aren’t there enough knives sticking out of my back?
How will I bear it if you turn your face from me, or punish me for my sins.
I acknowledge my sins; they add up like a college student’s credit card balance.
They threaten to destroy me like a skyscraper being demolished.
I can’t stand my own smell; I’m sick of my own foolishness and stubbornness.
I hate my sin; I bow in repentance and press my face to the ground in mourning.
I am corrupt from the inside out, and there is nothing good in me.
I am weak and pathetic; I cry out because of my filthiness.

But Lord, you know my heart’s longing; you hear my soul’s cry.
Bend your ear to my cries; look upon my trembling form.
My loved ones don’t even know how I’m feeling;
my family all have their own things going, they can’t identify with what I’m going through.
My enemies lay snares for me; my detractors continue to accuse me,
and use their imaginations to suspect me of all sorts of things.

Even if I heard their suspicions, I have nothing to say to them.
As innocent as I am of their accusations, I’m guilty of a lot worse.
But I put my hope in you, Lord; I will let you answer for me.
Save me from making my enemies into prophets;
deliver me from fulfilling their evil expectations.
Apart from you, I am desolate.

I confess my sin and my sinfulness; I repent of all my wrongdoing.
My enemies—natural and supernatural—go on multiplying.
I can’t make everyone like me, much less agree with me.
I can only try, by your grace, to make sure they oppose me wrongfully, because I do what is good.
So please don’t abandon me, Lord.
Don’t be distant.
Come quickly to help me, my Savior, Adonai.


Bob Hostetler

Lord, your immensity reminds me that your resources are not vast,
they are limitless,
because you are limitless.
You may call on any number--
an infinite number--
of resources to accomplish your will,
because you lack nothing,
and all you possess
you possess in infinite number!

So, are you telling me about something you want to accomplish in me?
Through me?
I know that nothing is too hard for you.
I open my heart and will....
pour into them whatever you choose, in Jesus' name, amen.

All My Work is For You, Master

Bob Hostetler

A hymn of Albert Orsborn, revised

Lord, how often my feet falter
on the pathway of the cross,
and my purposes get altered,
and my gold gets mixed with dross.
Still, forbid me not your service,
keep my yet in your employ.
Pass me through a sterner cleansing,
if I may but bring you joy.

All my work is for you, Master,
you are all my heart's desire.
O, that you will count me faithful
in the day that tries by fire.

I have not worked for hireling wages,
but as one with vows to keep,
with a heart whose love engages
life or death to save the sheep.
All is known to you, my Master,
all is known, and that is why
I can work and wait the verdict
of your kind but searching eye.

Let me love you, let love rule me,
springing up and flowing forth
from a childlike heart within me
or my work is nothing worth.
Give me passion, give me patience,
give me principle and fire,
that with heart and mind and utterance
serving you my one desire,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Prayer for the Church

Bob Hostetler

Mighty God, rip the harness of the evil plowman to shreds.
Let all those who hate you and your church be made to grovel in humiliation.
Let them be like grass in shallow ground that withers before the harvest.
Make your church effective and triumphant despite all the enemy's attacks, in Jesus' name, amen.


Bob Hostetler

Thank you for this, Lord:
for my daughter,
my Blossom,
the apple of my eye,
my pride,
my joy,
who turns twenty-five today.

Grant all her requests, Lord,
and make her dreams come true--
no, more than that, make all your dreams for her
come true, in Jesus' name, amen.


Bob Hostetler

God, I praise you for your immanence.
I praise you because you are above all;
you see and know and control all things,
including all the influences and instances of my life.
I praise you because you are beneath all things;
your presence and control extends
to the depths of the lakes and seas,
the innermost parts of the earth,
including the "hidden" reaches of my heart and soul.
I praise you because you dwell outside and beyond all;
you are not confined or hemmed in by space or time,
by this universe, nor even by my circumstances or shortcomings.
I praise you because you are in all,
filling all,
yet distinct from all created things,
and you are the source and supply of all I am and have, amen.

For My Staff

Bob Hostetler

Abba, Lord God, Adonai,
I pray for my fellow Cobblestone staff members,
for Sharla and John.
Give them rest, Lord,
and re-creation.
Restore them like Elijah by the Brook Cherith.
Send your angels to minister to them as to Jesus in Gethsemane.
Revive them as you revived Lazarus and Eutychus.
Restore to them the joy and energy to minister your grace to your people,
and look on them, their families, and their work with favor, in Jesus' name, amen.

Prayer for Peace

Bob Hostetler

Thank You, Master and Lover of mankind, King of the ages and giver of all good things, for destroying the dividing wall of enmity and granting peace to those who seek your mercy. Please awaken the longing for a peaceful life in all those who are filled with hatred for their neighbors, especially those at war or preparing for war.

Grant peace to your servants. Implant in them the fear of You and confirm in them love one for another. Extinguish every dispute and banish all temptations to disagreement. For You are our peace and to You we ascribe glory: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

I pray for peace to triumph over provocation in North Korea, and for wisdom to triumph over deception and naivete in the world's response.

I pray, Lord our God, for all those who suffer from acts of war, especially for the victims and all those in the struggles in Afghanistan, Burundi, Chechnya, Colombia, Congo, India and Pakistan, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Kosovo, Lebanon, Macedonia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Uganda.

I pray for your peace and mercy in the midst of the great suffering that people are now inflicting on each other. Accept the prayers of your Church, so that by your goodness peace may return to all peoples.

Lord God Adonai, remember and have mercy on my brothers and sisters around the world who are involved in every civil conflict. Remove from their midst all hostility, confusion, and hatred. Lead everyone along the path of reconciliation and peace.

Let all believers turn aside from violence and do what makes for peace. By the strength of your mighty arm save your people and your Church from all evil oppression; hear the supplications of all who call to You in sorrow and affliction, day and night, and let not their lives be lost.

Grant peace, love, and speedy reconciliation to your people whom You have redeemed with your precious blood. Make your presence known to those who have turned away from You and do not seek You, so that none of them may be lost, but all may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, so that everyone, in true love and harmony, may praise your all holy Name.

Lord have mercy; Christ have mercy; Lord have mercy,

in Jesus' name, amen.