Forgive me my gluttony, Lord God.
How can my sufficiency be in you
when I seek comfort and satisfaction in food?
How can you be the bread of life to me
when I am constantly stuffing my face?
How can I change?
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Go ahead

Go ahead and ruin me, Lord.
Go ahead and break me,
demolish me,
crush me,
if it is your will.

I am weak;
you are strong.

I am nothing;
you are all.

I am here;
I am yours.

Go ahead.

I Know Thee Who Thou Art

I know thee who thou art,
And what thy healing name;
For when my fainting heart
The burden nigh o’ercame,
I saw thy footprints on my road
Where lately passed the Son of God.

Thy name is joined with mine
By every human tie,
And my new name is thine,
A child of God am I;
And never more alone, since thou
Art on the road beside me now.

Beside thee as I walk,
I will delight in thee
In sweet communion talk
Of all thou art to me;
The beauty of thy face behold
And know thy mercies manifold.

Let nothing draw me back
Or turn my heart from thee,
But by the Calvary track
Bring me at last to see
The courts of God, that city fair,
And find my name is written there.

(A prayer by General Albert Orsborn of The Salvation Army; the first line is based on Mark 1:24 in the King James Version, the account of Jesus healing a demoniac in the synagogue at Capernaum, depicted in the picture by the great biblical artist James Tissot)


Lord God, my Abba,
however you do it,
may I please have my joy back?

My Psalm 76

In Judah you are known;
your name is great in Israel.
Pitch your tent in Oxford,
as gloriously as your dwelling place in Zion,
where you broke the flashing arrows,
the shields and the swords, the weapons of war
of all your enemies.

Show your resplendence,
more majestic than mountains teeming with game.

Plunder the high and mighty,
lay low those who sneer at you and your church.

At a single word from you, O God of Jacob,
both horse and chariot lie still.

You alone are to be feared.
Who can stand before your righteous anger?

From heaven you pronounce judgment,
and the land feared and was quiet-
when you, O God, rose up to judge,
to save all the afflicted of the land.

Rise up again, Lord God,
and save us all!

Hear the vows we have made,
let us fulfill them all,
bringing our worshipful devotion to the One
who alone is to be feared.

You break the unbreakable,
you are king of all the kings of the earth.

Paper Hat Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for paper hats,
for drinking straws,
facial tissues,
gadgets that make noise,
gadgets that make light,
and all the things
that bring my grandson joy,
because my grandson brings me joy!

True Friends

Lord God, teach me who are my true friends.
I sense that you are.
Teach it well.
Gently, if you can.


Lord, teach me nepsis:
to be watchfull, alert, vigilant,
to control my thoughts
instead of being controlled,
in Jesus' name, amen.


I sure could use
some of your kindness
right about now.

Preacher Prayer

Lord, save me please from "clever" thoughts;
give me instead the mind of Christ
and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of Denise Levertov

I do nothing, I give you
nothing. Yet you hold me

minute by minute
from falling.
Lord, You provide.

(excerpt from "Psalm Fragments (Schnittke String Trio)," by Denise Levertov, The Stream and the Sapphire, p. 23).

World Prayer

Abba, I pray for the church in China,
in Myanmar,
in North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran,
and throughout the world,
in oppression,
enduring persecution,
while I sit in comfort and ease,
in luxury, even.
Lord, hear my prayer:
deliver them from the lion's jaw,
from the dragon,
from the serpent.
Lord, give strength and hope.
Release them from prison
and deliver them from torture.
Protect them and grant them your presence.
Prosper them miraculously.
Give success in their efforts to minister
and survive,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Not Like Abraham

Abba, may I never again do like Abraham
pleading for Sodom,
who quit asking before you quit granting
what he asked!

Make me bolder,
more persevering,
in prayer,
in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 75

I give thanks to you, O God,
I give thanks, for your Name is near;
your wonderful deeds surround me.

You choose the appointed time;
you judge uprightly.

When the ground beneath me moves,
you hold the earth's pillars nonetheless.

Shut up the arrogant and their boasts;
tell the wicked, "Put down your weapons!
Abandon your plans!
Be still!"

No one, no matter how powerful,
can exalt a man.

You alone are Judge:
you bring one down, you exals another.

A cup is in your hand.
It overflows with spiked wine.
You pour it out,
and all the wicked of the earth
lap it up.

As for me, I will declare this forever;
I will sing praise to the God of Jacob.

I will resist the wicked,
and let you take care of the results.

A Prayer by John of Damascus

Thou hallowed chosen morn of praise,
That best and greatest shinest;
Fair Easter, queen of all the days,
Of seasons, best, divinest!
Christ rose from death; and we adore
Forever and forevermore.

Come, let us taste the vine’s new fruit,
For heav’nly joy preparing;
Today the branches with the root
In resurrection sharing:
Whom as true God our hymns adore
Forever and forevermore.

Rise, Zion, rise! and looking forth,
Behold thy children round thee!
From east and west, from south and north,
Thy scattered sons have found thee;
And in thy bosom Christ adore
Forever and for evermore.

O Father, O co-equal Son,
O co-eternal Spirit,
In persons Three, in Godhead One,
And One in power and merit;
In Thee baptized, we Thee adore
Forever and for evermore.

(A prayer by John of Damascus, 8th Century, translated from Greek to English by John M. Neale, 1862)

Unfaltering Praise of Mine

Lord, be it thine,
Unfaltering praise of mine!
To thee my whole heart's love be given
Of earth and Heaven Thou King divine!

Lord, be it thine,
Unfaltering praise of mine!
And, I pure prince! make clear my way
To serve and pray at thy sole shrine!

Lord, be it thine,
Unfaltering praise of mine!
O father of souls that long,
Take this my song and make it thine!

(O'Laoghaire, The Celtic Monk at Prayer, p. 134).

The Three That Seek My Heart

Bless to me, O God,
Each thing mine eye sees;
Bless to me, O God,
Each sound mine ear hears;
Bless to me, O God,
Each odor that goes to my nostrils;
Bless to me, O God,
Each taste that goes to my lips,
Each note that goes to my song,
Each ray that guides my way,
Each thing I pursue,
Each lure that tempts my will,
The zeal that seeks my living soul,
The Three that seek my heart,
The zeal that seeks my living soul,
The Three that seek my heart.

(A prayer from the Carmina Gadelica, III, p. 33, a compendium of Celtic Christian prayers and songs)

My Psalm 74

I know you have not rejected us, O God,
though at times it seems your anger does smolder
against the sheep of your pasture.

Remember the people you purchased years ago,
the tribe of your inheritance, whom you redeemed—
your flock, your dwelling.

Turn your steps toward our winding way,
and save us from wandering.

Our enemy prowls about like a roaring lion,
so adept at picking us off one by one and two by two,
setting us against each other
and pointing our attention at everything but you!

We can be so good at messing things up,
so destructive when we get suspicious
and seek our own way
and step across healthy boundaries.

Yet you have done miracles;
you have spoken through your prophets,
you have shown yourself to your people.

How long will the enemy mock you, O God?
Will the foe revile your name forever?

Do not hold back your hand, your right hand;
Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy the works of the Enemy!

You, O God, are my king from of old;
you bring salvation upon the earth.

You cleaved the oceans by your great power;
you broke the heads of the sea-monsters.

You crushed Leviathan
and gave him as food to the creatures of the desert.

You opened up springs and streams;
you dried up the thundering rivers.

The day belongs to you, and yours also is the night;
you established the sun and moon.

You set all the boundaries of the earth;
you made both summer and winter.

Remember how the enemy has mocked you, O LORD,
how foolish people have reviled your name.

Do not hand over this flock to wild beasts;
do not forget your faithful servants.

Have regard for your great plans for our future,
and save us from foes within and foes without.

Let us not retreat in disgrace;
but save the poorest and neediest among us,
and bring about praise for your name.

Rise up, O God, and defend your cause,
we who bear your name.

Silence the clamor of your adversaries,
hush the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually.

Thank You for the "Didn't"

Lord God, thank you for the catastrophes that did NOT happen this year:
the tsunami that never struck,
the cancer I didn't get,
the accident my child avoided,
the reversal my budget didn't suffer,
the attacks that never came,
the sin that was avoided,
all the tragedy I and my loved ones
and this world could have suffered
but somehow,
by your great mercy,
Thank you,
in Jesus' name,
for the "didn't."

A Prayer of Julian of Norwich

of your goodness,
give me yourself,
for you are enough for me,
and I can ask for nothing which is less
which can pay you full worship.
And if I ask anything which is less,
always I am in want;
but only in you do I have everything.

Julian of Norwich, Showings: Classics of Western Spirituality (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1978), p. 184.

For This Day

Abba, thank you for this day:
its health and nourishment,
its encouragement and productivity,
its warmth and comfort.
Thank you for the grace you've given me
to trust you and live in you
and let you take care of the rest,
in Jesus' name, amen.


Lord God Adonai, I need you today. I would say "I need you more than ever," or "especially" today, but I know my need of you, being utter and complete, never changes. But I feel my need of you today, keenly. I need you. Oh God, come to my assistance; oh Lord, make haste to help me. Amen.

Help and Helplessness

Lord, it stinks to be called to help people, to lead them to you, and yet to be so powerless and ineffectual to help them! Lord God, please help, because I am helpless. Oh, God, come to our assistance; oh Lord, make haste to help us.

Late Have I Loved You

Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient, and so new. Late have I loved you! You were within me but I was outside myself, and there I sought you! In my weakness I ran after the beauty of the things you have made — the things which would have no being unless they existed in you! You have called, you have cried, and you have pierced my deafness. You have radiated forth, you have shined out brightly, and you have dispelled my blindness. You have sent forth your fragrance, and I have breathed it in, and I long for you. I have tasted you, and I hunger and thirst for you. You have touched me, and I ardently desire your peace. Amen.

A prayer of St. Augustine of Hippo, from his Confessions

On What Everybody Else Ought to Do

Lord God, everybody seems to know
what everybody else needs to do!
Oh, please, save me from that attitude,
and help me not to accept it from others.

A Prayer from Paul

Lord, your gracious favor is all I need.
Your power works best in my weakness.
Let the power of Christ work in me
through weakness
by your gracious favor.

(based on 2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT)

Glory in the Grey

Almighty God...
Sun behind all suns...
Soul behind all souls...
show to us in everything we touch
and in everyone we meet
the continued assurance of thy presence round us,
lest ever we should think thee absent.
In all created things thou art there.
In every friend we have
the sunshine of thy presence is shown forth.
In every enemy that seems to cross our path,
thou art there within the cloud to challenge us to love.
Show to us the glory in the grey.
Awake for us thy presence in the very storm
till all our joys are seen as thee
and all our trivial tasks emerge as priestly sacraments
in the universal temple of thy love.

(George MacLeod, The Whole Earth Shall Cry Glory, pp. 13-14)

A Prayer of Alcuin of York

Give me grace, O Lord,
to be in all things strong, prudent and just
with a wise restraint at need.
Grant me an exact faith,
unshakeable trust in thee,
and perfect charity.
Fill me with the spirit of intelligence and wisdom.
Let me be always thoughtful for others and courageous,
with loyalty and reverence.
O Light, perfect and eternal, enlighten me.


Jesus, tender lover of my soul,
Pardoner of my sins, and friend indeed,
Keeper of the garden of my heart,
Jesus, thou art everything to me.

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.

What to me are all the joys of earth?
What to me is every sight I see,
Save the sight of thee, O Friend of mine?
Jesus, thou art everything to me.

Here I lay me at thy bleeding feet,
Deepest homage now I give to thee;
Hear thy whispered love within my soul;
Jesus, thou art everything to me.

Authors: Edward Henry Joy (1871-1949) (verses),
Arthur Smith Arnott (1870-1941) (chorus)
The Salvation Army Song Book: Song Number: 600