My Psalm 44

Oh, I have heard with my ears, O God;
my parents told me from my earliest years
what you did in their days,
in long ago days.
I have heard: with your hand you kept my family alive
through dust storms and snow storms;
you provided jobs in times of want
and gave us work to do and food to eat.
It was not by their power or ingenuity that they made it through,
nor did they raise three boys alone;
it was your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your face, for you loved us all.

You are my King and my God,
who decrees victories for me as you once did for Jacob.
Through you and you alone can I hope to push back my Enemy;
through your name I will trample my Foe.
I do not trust in my brain,
my creativity does not bring me victory;
I do not trust in my church,
in my coworkers,
in my leadership team,
in my volunteers;
they do not bring victory;
but you give victory over our enemies,
you put our adversaries to shame.
In You I will make my boast all day long,
and I will praise your name forever.
You have brought us through a time of testing,
a stretch where you allowed confusion
and bickering
and misunderstanding
and division to beset us.
We were ripe for the picking, and exposed to the Enemy.
You could have made us a byword in our community,
a laughingstock.
Even still, we are just a foolish decision
or sinful step from shame.
But we have not forgotten you
or been false to your calling.
We will not be turned back;
I myself recommit to you and your path.
to my calling and your purpose for me and mine.
Even if I face death all day long;
if I am led like a sheep to be slaughtered,
I will cry out to you
until you spring into action once again.

Rise up and help us;
redeem us because of your unfailing love,
in Jesus’ name, amen.

The Praise of Maimonides

Praise be to him who is such
that when our minds try to visualize his essence,
their power of apprehending becomes imbecility;
when they study the connection between his works and his will
their knowledge becomes ignorance;
and when our tongues desire
to declare his greatness by descriptive terms,
all eloquence becomes impotence and imbecility.

A Prayer of St. Augustine

Lord Jesus, don't let me lie when I say that I love you...
and protect me today, for I could betray you.

Storehouses of Snow

Lord, you have entered
the storehouses of the snow;
you send ice on the earth
and give birth to the frost from the heavens.
At your command the waters harden like stone,
and the surface of the deep is frozen.

Even as I long for Spring,
I wonder at your winter.

I praise you for your glory
displayed in snow and ice,
cold and frost, amen.


Bob Hostetler

Like summer snow
floating from a sun-filled sky,
draping airy-white on flowered fields,
Your love astonished me.

No frilly show,
no assorted-chocolate pledge,
no candy hearts or silver kisses
disclosed your care for me;

But unsparing,
cross-bearing, thorn-wearing love
that opened hands and feet and side
to spill your heart for me,

To recreate,
inundate my longing soul
with giving, holding, accepting,
enfolding love for me.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And being with you, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:25, 26).

From Silly Devotions

(A prayer of Teresa of Avila)

From silly devotions and sour-faced saints, spare us, O Lord.

A Prayer of Brennan Manning

Grazie, Signore...
for judging me not by my shabby good deeds
but by Your love that is Your gift to me,
for Your unbearable forgiveness
and infinite patience with me,
for other people who have greater gifts than mine,
and for the honesty to acknowledge that I am a ragamuffin.

(Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, p. 121).

A Prayer of Austin Farrar

My God, I wish to give you the gift you so much desire;
I wish to commit myself to you once and for all,
so there shall be no taking back.
I cannot commit myself into your hands, O God,
I cannot do it;
but yet I can commit myself into your hands;
for though I cannot keep myselfthere,
your fingers can hold me there,
your strong, gentle fingers
always giving way and never letting go;
your wise subtle fingers,
wrestling so gently against my puny rebellions,
that I tire myself trying to climb out of your hands,
and come to rest at last in those wounded palms.

A Prayer of Charles Foucald

Bob Hostetler

Abba, I abandon myself into your hands.
Do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you.
I am ready for all:
I accept all.
Let your will be done in me and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and I give myself,
surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.

A Prayer While Reading Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl

Bob Hostetler

Lord God, I thank you that I am richer
even than King Henry VIII.
I am married to the love of my life,
the wife of my youth,
and she has no competitor and no equal.
I have no throne, but I have heirs,
a happy and healthy
daughter and son.
I need fear no kings or popes.
I have friends I can trust,
who will tell me the truth
even when I don't like hearing it.
I am warm on the coldest winter nights.
I drink coffee every morning.
I can eat fresh fruits or vegetables any time,
I can take hot baths or showers every day,
I can travel faster and farther than he could dream.
And I can lay my head on my pillow each night
clean in conscience,
grateful for blessing,
and safe among my own.

New Canticle

Bob Hostetler

Cold and wind chill, bless the Lord.
Snowflake and icicle, bless the Lord.
Frost and freeze, bless the Lord.
Firewood and flame, bless the Lord.
Cloud and clear sky, bless the Lord.


Bob Hostetler

Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.

A Prayer of Nikos Kazantzakis

I am a bow on your hands, Lord.
Draw me, lest I rot.
Do not overdraw me, Lord, I shall break.
Overdraw me, Lord, and who cares if I break?

Get Glory

Bob Hostetler

"I will get glory over Pharoah and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen" (Exodus 14:17, ESV).

Get glory, Lord,
over all the forces that pursue,
and attack,
in Jesus' name, amen.