Prayer of My Heart

Jesus, thou art everything to me,
Jesus, thou art everything to me,
All my lasting joys are found in thee,
Jesus, thou art everything to me.

Little to Offer

Bob Hostetler

I have nothing to offer, Lord;
I have little left to give.
But I can get up again tomorrow morning.
I can put one foot in front of the other.
I can persevere.
I can do what I know to do.
I can lay myself down.
I can let you decide when to pick me up.

A Prayer of Thomas a Kempis

Bob Hostetler

Lord, make possible for me by grace what is impossible to me by nature. You know that I am not able to endure very much, and that I am downcast by the slightest difficulty. Grant that for your sake I may come to love and desire any hardship that puts me to the test, for salvation is brought to my soul when I undergo suffering and trouble for you.

Always Near

Bob Hostetler

As the dawn
over the horizon

and the sun
its evening shade,

it's with such
I know

You are always near.

(by June Cotner Graves, in the book Bedside Prayers, San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1997).

Prayer of W. H. Aitken

Bob Hostetler

Lord, take my lips and speak through them;
take my mind and think through it;
take my heart and set it on fire.

Shine Your Light

Bob Hostetler

Lord, shine your light into my confusion.
Please show me what I need to see.
Save me from suspicion or misunderstanding,
and let me see with your eyes,
let me read whatever message you want me to read,
and make me discerning beyond my ability or insight,
in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 43

Bob Hostetler

Stick up for me, O God,
and be my hero, my defender,
from deceitful,
or unjust,
or ignorant people.
You are my safe place,
the One I run to for protection;
though sometimes you seem oblivious to my needs,
I know (on my best days)
that I don’t need to be afraid of my enemy.

Send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me into your presence,
and into the mountain of your holiness.
Let me bow before you
as a priest at your altar,
God my exceeding joy.
Let me praise you with beautiful music,
O God, my God.

Moods will come and go, Lord,
but let me never be cast down in my heart
like those who have no hope.
I hope in you, Lord God;
I find renewal in praising you,
my salvation and my God.

I Fast

Bob Hostetler

Lord, I fast.
I fast to submit my will to yours.
I fast to tell you I acknowledge your primacy, your preeminence.
I fast to demonstrate--to myself, I suppose, more than you--
that there are things I value more than food,
more than my body,
more than myself,
and today (and for the duration of this fast)
I fast to intercede for the marriages of my friends and flock.
You know, Lord, how desperate and deep is our need.
You know we need not just one miracle, but many,
miracle upon miracle.
I know you hate divorce.
I know that, apart from you, our condition is hopeless.
So I fast to say, "Maranatha," come quickly, Lord Jesus;
come to our assistance, and make haste to help us, in Jesus' name, amen.

My Weather-Beaten Soul

Bob Hostetler

Bless, O God, bless my weather-beaten soul.

(Prayer of an old man, West Indies)

Seek You

Bob Hostetler

God, you are my God,
and I seek you this morning;
let my prayers rise before you
like the morning sacrifice.

Please grant that I may seek you wholeheartedly,
which I confess I do not now.

Grant that I may seek you only,
which I do not now.

Grant that I may seek you moment-by-moment,
consistently, and constantly,
which I do not now,
for I confess my need of you
constantly and completely and only,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Willing to Be Made Willing

Bob Hostetler

Lord God, I confess that I am not often willing
to make you my all, to seek you first...
but I am willing to be made willing.

Please, Father, transform me to seek you first,
to content myself in you,
to make you my all,
to concentrate my hopes,
and aspirations,
on you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

In this New Year, 2007

Lord God Adonai,
in this new year, 2007, I pray,
give me grace to experience more of you,
to learn your ways,
to drink more deeply of your presence and power.

Make me more fully your man,
increase my devotion to you,
make me more prayerful still,
and more a man of your Word.
Please give me victory over the sin of faithlessness,
that habitually leads me to lust, gluttony, worry, and stress.
Please help me to walk through 2007 in faith,
calmly and confidently seeking you
and trusting you,
making wise decisions,
holding on to the right things,
letting go of the right things,
delegating the right things,
ignoring the right things,
taking a stand on the right things,
and giving in on the right things.
Help me to care, and not to care.

Please make 2007 a year of blessing for Robin,
a year in which she more fully owns and believes
in her own beauty, intelligence, and capability.
Please grant her success in her studies;
honor and empower her plans to finish classes in December,
and please set in motion the machinery
that will open to her a multitude of first-job options after graduation.
Prosper the work of her hands and mind and heart, Lord.

Please help us to pay our debts,
and avoid new ones.
Help us this year to live within our means,
and to do better than that once Robin graduates.

Continue to draw my children to you
with cords of lovingkindness.
Please let 2007 be a year in which
a fresh and powerful passion for you is ignited
within Aaron and Aubrey, Nina, and Kevin.
Please bring my first grandchild safely into this world.
Please enable Aaron and Nina to buy a home this year.
Please give Aaron and Aubrey both new jobs,
jobs that fulfill their dreams and “float their boats.”
Provide for Nina as the baby’s arrival approaches;
provide work for Aaron that makes a lengthy—even permanent—
maternity leave possible for Nina.
Prosper my children financially,
and may their souls prosper and be in health
even as I also ask you to keep their bodies healthy.

Please make 2007 truly a year of breaking new ground for Cobblestone.
Please help us early in the year to structure for effectiveness and efficiency
as we go through the rest of the year.
Please bring together the financing,
the construction,
and everything else in such a way
that we will once again say, in late 2007 or early 2008,
when we occupy “The Loft,”
“Wow! Look what God has done.”
While all that is going on, Lord,
please keep us focused on pleasing you,
worshiping you wholeheartedly,
reaching out effectively,
loving people into life-changing encounters with God.
Make Cobblestone, as a church,
and me as a leader,
more like what we say we are.

For my writing, Lord, I hardly know what to pray.
If it pleases you for me to keep writing,
then prosper that part of my ministry.
Bring to me projects that please you;
please grant that I may stop writing for money in 2007,
and reject all projects that fail to capture my imagination
and reflect your will.

You have been so kind and so gracious to me, Father.
Please keep me (and mine) as the apple of your eye,
and hide us all under the shadow of your wings,
in Jesus’ name, amen.