Lord God, as I prepare for surgery
to fix a retinal tear,
I thank you for
my eyesight these past 49 years,
and for all the beauty I've experienced with it.
Thank you, too, for Dr. Adam's willingness to see me,
for his expertise,
for the great trust I have in him,
and for his quickness at responding.
Be with me in the surgery today,
grant success,
and work healing in me
through and in addition to
the doctor's efforts,
in Jesus' name, amen.

My Eye

Lord God, whatever is up with my eye,
please help,
please heal,

My Psalm 60

You have humbled me, O God, and you have broken me;
you have let me suffer,
now please restore me!
I’ve felt the ground quake beneath me
and open up as if to swallow me;
now please close its fissures and end its shaking.
You have shown your people desperate times,
confusing times like a drunken jag.
But sober us, Lord;
raise a banner
of victory to be displayed for your glory.
Save us and help us with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.

You have spoken from your sanctuary:
you have granted a good land to your people,
and a gracious plenty.
You have marshaled a wonderful company,
and brought us together for your purposes.
Now bring us into your land,
lead us to possess the promise.
Refine us completely as you wish,
give us aid against the enemy,
for the help of man is worthless.
With you and you alone we will gain the victory,
and you will trample down our enemies.


Oh, Lord, there is so much pride.
So much pride.
It is poison.
It is evil.
It makes me sick.
Save, Lord,
save me from pride,
in me and in others,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Be Born Again

(A prayer by Frederick Buechner, in Listening to Your Life, p. 341)

Thou Son of the Most High, Prince of Peace, be born again into our world. Wherever there is war in this world, wherever there is pain, wherever there is loneliness, wherever there is hope, come, thou long-expected one, with healing in thy wings.

Holy Child, whom the shepherds and the kings and the dumb beasts adored, be born again. Wherever there is boredom, wherever there is fear of failure, wherever there is temptation too strong to resist, wherever there is bitterness of heart, come, thou blessed one, with healing in thy wings.

Saviour, be born in each of us who raises his face to thy face, not knowing fully who he is or who thou art, knowing only that thy love is beyond his knowing and that no other has the power to make him whole. Come, Lord Jesus, to each who longs for thee even though he has forgotten thy name. Come quickly. Amen.

Thou Wayfaring Jesus

A prayer by Henry Van Dyke

Thou wayfaring Jesus, a pilgrim and stranger,
Exiled from heaven by love at thy birth,
Exiled again from thy rest in the manger,
A fugitive child 'mid the perils of earth,—
Cheer with thy fellowship all who are weary,
Wandering far from the land that they love;
Guide every heart that is homeless and dreary,
Safe to its home in thy presence above.

A Christmas Prayer

(A prayer by Henri Nouwen, from The Road to Daybreak)

O Lord, how hard it is to accept your way. You come to me as a small, powerless child born away from home. You live for me as a stranger in your own land. You die for me as a criminal outside the walls of the city, rejected by your own people, misunderstood by your friends, and feeling abandoned by your God.

As I prepare to celebrate your birth, I am trying to feel loved, accepted, and at home in this world, and I am trying to overcome the feelings of alienation and separation which continue to assail me. But I wonder now if my deep sense of homelessness does not bring me closer to you than my occasional feelings of belonging. Where do I truly celebrate your birth: in a cozy home or in an unfamiliar house, among welcoming friends or among unknown strangers, with feelings of well-being or with feelings of loneliness?

I do not have to run away from those experiences that are closest to yours. Just as you do not belong to this world, so I do not belong to this world. Every time I feel this way I have an occasion to be grateful and to embrace you better and taste more fully your joy and peace.

Come, Lord Jesus, and be with me where I feel poorest. I trust that this is the place where you will find your manger and bring your light. Come, Lord Jesus, come.


A Prayer for Christmas Eve

Night has fallen; the clear, bright stars are sparkling in the cold air; noisy, strident voices rise to my ear from the city, voices of the revelers of this world who celebrate with merrymaking the poverty of their Saviour. Around me in their rooms my companions are asleep, and I am still wakeful, thinking of the mystery of Bethlehem.

Come, come, Jesus, I await you. . . .

I am a poor shepherd; I have only a wretched stable, a small manger, some wisps of straw. I offer all these to you, be pleased to come into my poor hovel. I offer you my heart; my soul is poor and bare of virtues, the straws of so many imperfections will prick you and make you weep--but oh, my Lord, what can you expect? This little is all I have. . . . I have nothing better to offer you, Jesus, honour my soul with your presence, adorn it with your graces. Burn this straw and change it into a soft couch for your most holy body.

Jesus, I am here waiting for your coming. Wicked men have driven you out, and the wind is like ice. I am a poor man, but I will warm you as well as I can. At least be pleased that I wish to welcome you warmly, to love you and sacrifice myself for you.


(A prayer written by a young Italian seminarian named Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli in 1902. He would later become Pope John XXIII).

Be Near

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray;
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there.

O Holy Child of Bethlehem

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to me I pray,
Cast out my sin and enter in,
Be born in me today.
I hear the Christmas tidings
The great glad story tell,
O come to me, abide with me,
My Lord, Immanuel!

(slightly modified from O Little Town of Bethlehem, by Phillips Brooks)

Twenty-one Thanks

Lord God Adonai,
for my lovely wife,
for my daughter,
my son,
the apples of my eye,
for my beloved daughter-in-law,
for my future son-in-law,
for my beautiful grandson,
for my home,
for my church,
for my co-laborers in the Gospel,
for my many friends,
for my education,
for my experiences,
for my wife's new degree,
for my kids' new jobs,
for my office and my books,
for my pantry filled with food,
for the possession of all five senses,
for the relative lack of disorder, dysfunction, and disease,
for a vocation filled with purpose and challenge,
for the manifold freedoms I enjoy,
for the choice I can exercise,
for all these and so much more,
Lord God, I give you thanks,
in Jesus' name, amen.


Lord, please fulfill your Word
and crush Satan under my feet (Romans 16:20),
in Jesus' name, amen.

Plea for Healing

Lord, please heal my heart.
Do what I cannot do,
and make me willing to participate
in the healing.
I am willing to be made willing.

Braveheart Prayer

Lord God Adonai,
please make me a spiritual braveheart.
Teach my hands (and heart) to fight (Ps. 144:1).
Show me who my true friends are.
Give me stamina and wisdom,
endurance and grit,
in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 59

Deliver me from my Enemy, O God;
protect me from his stratagems.
Deliver me from his pawns.
Save me from betrayal and spitefulness.
I’ve been set up, Lord;
I’ve been railroaded and rolled.
People have strategized against me,
and lied to my face.

I confess my sin, O LORD.
I am a sinner, that’s for sure,
and you know how that’s just scratching the surface.
But arise, LORD, to help me; look on my plight!

O LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel,
rouse yourself to purge me of sin,
and replace my confusion with clarity.
I don’t know who to trust anymore.
I can’t sleep,
the hurt keeps rolling in like the tide.

O my Strength, I watch for you;
you, O God, are my fortress,
my loving God,
my hope,
my help,
my everything,
my Strong Captain,
my Dread Warrior,
my Faithful Defender.
Go before me
and protect me from new attacks.
You are my shield;
you can deflect every attack
and vindicate me
without me having to say a word
or hatch a plan
or map out a response.
Let sin be found out,
let deceit be uncovered,
in me no less than in others.
Let it be known to the ends of the earth
that God rules over me and mine.

But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my castle,
my stronghold,
my refuge in times of trouble.
O my Strength, I sing praise to you;
you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.

My Kyrie Eleison

Lord, King and Father unbegotten, True Essence of the Godhead,
have mercy on me.
Lord, Fount of light and Creator of all things,
have mercy on me.
Lord, Thou who hast signed me with the seal of Thine image,
have mercy on me.
Christ, True God and True Man,
have mercy on me.
Christ, Rising Sun, through whom are all things,
have mercy on me.
Christ, Perfection of Wisdom,
have mercy on me.
Lord, vivifying Spirit and power of life,
have mercy on me.
Lord, Breath of the Father and the Son, in Whom are all things,
have mercy on me.
Lord, Purger of sin and Almoner of grace,
I beseech Thee abandon me not because of my sins,
O Consoler of the sorrowing soul,
have mercy on me.

Holding On

Lord God, Adonai,
I will hold on to you.
I will hold on.
I will not give up.
I will seek you,
I will trust you,
I will wait for you to visit me
with deliverance,
and peace.

Until then, I will hold on.