A Prayer for All Hallows' Eve

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

(Traditional Scottish Prayer)

A Prayer of St. Gregory of Khandzta

Christ Our Lord
You suffered and were tempted.
You are powerful to come to the aid
of those who are assailed by the devil,
For you are the support of Christian people.
O Lord, protect with Your Right Hand
those who trust in Your Name.
Deliver them from the Evil One,
and grant them everlasting joy. Amen.

(St. Gregory of Khandzta, 759-861)

Blessèd Lord, in Thee is Refuge

Blessèd Lord, in Thee is refuge,
Safety for my trembling soul;
Pow’r to lift my head when drooping
’Midst the angry billows’ roll.
I will trust Thee, I will trust Thee;
All my life Thou shalt control.

In the past, too, unbelieving,
’Midst the tempest I have been,
And my heart has slowly trusted
What my eyes have never seen.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Teach me on Thine arm to lean.

O, for trust that brings the triumph
When defeat seems strangely near;
O, for faith that changes fighting
Into vict’ry’s ringing cheer!
Faith triumphant, faith triumphant,
Knowing not defeat nor fear.


(from the hymn by Herbert Booth)

Kyrie Eleison

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven,
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God,
have mercy on us.

A Prayer of John Baillie

Today, O Lord--
let me put right before interest;
let me put others before self;
let me put the things of the Spirit before the things of the body;
let me put the attainment of noble ends above the enjoyment of present pleasures;
let me put principle above reputation;
let me put Thee before all else.


(a prayer of John Baillie in A Diary of Private Prayer, Day 14, Morning)


Lord God Adonai,
plunder our enemies.

Take captive men, women, and children
from the camps of our enemies,
and their gifts and talents and treasure,
for the sake of what you plan to do in Oxford
and our surroundings.

Bring to us more and more souls
who will enable us to reach out to more and more souls,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Frequent Prayer

Lord, I'm in your hands.

A Prayer by John Newton

Your love in time past
Forbids me to think
You'll leave me at last
In trouble to sink;
Each sweet Ebenezer
I have in review
Confirms your good pleasure
To help me quite through.

(from a hymn by John Newton, slightly revised)

Psalm 36:11

Let me not be crushed under the heels of the proud,
nor disheartened by the works of the wicked,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Mighty Savior

Thou art a mighty Savior,
Thy love doth never waver;
Thou shalt be mine forever,
And Thine alone I'll be.

(from the hymn by George S. Smith)


Lord God,
let me mind the things of God
and not the things of man (Matt. 16:23),
in Jesus' name, amen.

Spiritual Vultures

Lord, I read today of your disciples plucking grain on the Sabbath, and the Pharisees finding fault with you for it. And I realized, if you were going from place to place, how came the Pharisees to see this, and criticize...except that they were tracking your every move, weren't they? They were spiritual vultures, waiting for a good cause to find fault. So, Lord, you know how it is.

Lord, as you answered the Pharisees then, answer the Pharisees who follow and surround your church today, those spiritual vultures who track others' every move, looking for a reason to find fault. Defend your church. Defend your pastors. Defend your servants who love you fervently and serve you freely, in Jesus' name, amen.

Shout of a King!

Lord God, let it be with Cobblestone Community Church
as it was with Israel, that:
"the Lord their God is with them,
and the shout of a king is among them!" (Numbers 23:21b).

Great is the Lord Who Delights in the Welfare of His Servants

Abba, let my life,
my temperament,
my ministry
cause people to say,
"Great is the Lord,
who delights in the welfare
of his servants" (Ps. 35:27),
in Jesus' name, amen.


Abba, Father,
how gracious and generous you have been
to me as a pastor
and to your church, Cobblestone,
with so many volunteers,
and such hard-working servants.
I praise you for them all,
even as I cry out
for more workers for the harvest!

Immortal, Invisible

(a hymn by Walter C. Smith)

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessèd, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great Name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;
Thy justice, like mountains, high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all, life Thou givest, to both great and small;
In all life Thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish—but naught changeth Thee.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;
But of all Thy rich graces this grace, Lord, impart
Take the veil from our faces, the vile from our heart.

My Psalm 77

I cried out to you for help, Lord;
My heart cried out for your attention.
I was in distress, I sought you; 

I reached out for you all day and night,
even waking from sleep to cry for your mercy,
and comfort would not come.
I called to you, O God, as you tell me to;
I asked,
I sought,
I knocked.

But no respite came,
the burden never lifted.
I sank lower and lower.
I longed for the old days,
that now seem so long ago,
when I felt your presence,
and slept in your warm embrace.

My heart asked, my spirit sought:
“Is this what it’s going to be like now?
Will you let the Enemy have the victory?
Has your unfailing love failed?
Have your promises expired?
Will you forget to be merciful?
Will you leave me this way?”

Then something happened.
I felt the cloud lift.
I know I didn’t cause it,
but at some point, a gentle wind
blew through my spirit.
I remembered your ways with me,
I gave up doubting and complaining,
and once again turned to focus on you
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.

Your ways, O God, are holy.
They are past finding out, far beyond my ken.
You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
You have done it before,
and you will do it again.

The storm clouds saw you, O God,
the storm clouds heard you coming
and fled before you.
You trod the crashing waves
and came to my side.

Lead me now
as you led Moses and your people.
Lead me.
Lead your people.

I Would Valiant Be

Lord, let the words of John Bunyan be true of me:

He who would valiant be
'gainst all disaster,
let him in constancy
follow the Master.
There's no discouragement
shall make him once relent
his first avowed intent
to be a pilgrim.

Who so beset him round
with dismal stories
do but themselves confound;
his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might;
though he with giants fight,
he will make good his right
to be a pilgrim.

Since, Lord, thou dost defend
us with thy Spirit,
We know we at the end,
shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away!
I'll fear not what men say,
I'll labor night and day
to be a pilgrim.


I'm In Your Hands

(From a hymn by Stanley Ditmer, slightly revised)

I shall not fear though darkened clouds may gather round me,
The God I serve is One who cares and understands;
Although the storms of life may threaten to confound me,
Of this I am assured: I'm in your hands.

I'm in your hands,
I'm in your hands,
Whate'er the future holds,
I'm in your hands.
The days I cannot see
Have all been planned for me.
Your way is best for me,
I'm in your hands.


God, be merciful to us
And bless us. Amen.

(Psalm 67:1)

Dare Not

Lord, I dare not think,
I dare not decide,
I dare not act,
on my own.
In each and every thing I need you.

(based on a prayer suggested by Watchman Nee in his book, The Release of the Spirit)

Spirit Wind

Lord God Adonai,
teach me please not to be blown around
on the waves of circumstances,
but to sail solely
by the wind
of the Spirit,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Who Like Me?

Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven;
Who like me your praise should sing?

(from the hymn by Henry F. Lyte, "Praise, my Soul, the King of Heaven")

Poor and Needy

Hear, O LORD, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy (Psalm 86:1).

Let Down

Holy Spirit, you let me down.
What do I do know?


If on my own strength I had to depend,
then I would be helpless and useless right now. BUT....

I'll go in your strength, O Lord,
in paths you have marked for my feet.
I'll follow the light of your Word
and not shrink from the dangers I meet.
Your presence my steps shall attend,
your fulness my wants shall supply,
on you till my journey shall end,
my unwavering faith shall rely.

I'll go in your strength, O Lord,
to work you appoint me to do;
in joy which your smile will afford
my soul shall her vigor renew.
Your wisdom will guard me from harm,
your power my sufficiency prove;
I'll trust your omnipotent arm
and prove your unchangeable love.

I'll go in your strength, O Lord,
to conflicts which faith will require,
your grace as my shield and reward,
my courage and zeal shall inspire.
Since you give the word of command
to meet and encounter the foe,
with your sword of truth in my hand,
to suffer and triumph I'll go.

(except for the first two lines, revised from a hymn by Edward Turney)


(A prayer of William Booth, slightly revised)

O Christ of burning, cleansing flame,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Your blood bought gift today I claim,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Look down and send what I need most,
Pour out the promised Holy Ghost;
I need another Pentecost,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

’Tis fire I want, for fire I plead,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
The fire will meet my every need,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
For strength to ever do the right,
For grace to conquer in the fight,
For power to walk the world in white,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

To make my weak heart strong and brave,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To live a dying world to save,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
O see me on your altar lay
My life, my all, this very day;
To crown the offering now I pray,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

You Know How It Feels

Lord Jesus, you yourself had to say to Philip,
"Have I been with you all this time,
and you still do not know me?"

Thank you, Lord, for the reminder
that you know how that feels.
You know what it's like to have a friend,
whom you thought knew you,
say or do something that makes you feel
utterly misunderstood, unknown, unloved, unheard.

I cast all my cares on you,
for you care for me.
Friends may desert me
or disappoint,
but you will uphold me forever.

Bless the Lord, O My Soul

O my soul, bless God. From head to toe,
I’ll bless your holy name!
O my soul, bless God, don’t forget a single blessing!

You forgive my sins – every one.
You heal my diseases – every one.
You redeem me from hell – save my life!
You crown me with love and mercy – a paradise crown.
You wrap me in goodness – beauty eternal.
You renew my youth – I’m always young in your presence.

You make everything come out right.

(Psalm 103:1-6, The Message).

Teach Me to Care and Not to Care

Lord, Adonai, to slightly paraphrase Eugene Peterson's words,

"Teach me to care, teach me to use all these occasions of need that are the agenda of my work as access to God, as access to neighbor. Teach me to care by teaching me to pray, to pray so that human need becomes the occasion for entering into and embracing the presence and action of God in this life. Teach me to care by teaching me to pray so that those with whom I work are not less human through my caring but become more human. Teach me to care so that I do not become a collaborator in self-centeredness, but rather a companion in God-exploration. Teach me to use each act of caring as an act of praying so that this person in the act of being cared for experiences dignity instead of condescension, realizes the glory of being in on the salvation, and blessing and healing of God, and not driven further into neurosis and the wasteland of self.

"And, not to care. Teach me to be reverential in all these occasions of need that are the agenda of my work, aware that you were long beforehand with these people, creating and loving, saving and wooing them. Teach me the humility of not caring, so that I do not use anyone's need as a workshop to cobble together makeshift, messianic work that inflates my importance and indispensability. Teach me to be in wonder and adoration before the beauties of creation and the glories of salvation, especially as they come to me in these humans who have come to think of themselves as violated and degraded and rejected. Teach me the reticence and restraint of not caring, so that in my eagerness to do good, I do not ignorantly interfere in your caring. Teach me not to care so that I have time and energy and space to realize that all my work is done on holy ground and in your holy name, that people and communities in need are not a wasteland where I feverishly and faithlessly set up shop, but a garden, a rose garden in which I work contemplatively.

Suffer me not to mock ourselves with falsehood.

Teach me to care and not to care,"

in Jesus' name, amen.

(adapted from Subversive Spirituality, by Eugene Peterson, pp. 167-168).

A Prayer from James 1

I rejoice, Lord God, with praise and thanksgiving,
for the various trials I have fallen into,
because I know you intend for them
to produce patience in me.
Grant that I may let patience do its perfect work,
that I may be made more complete in you,
lacking nothing.
And do please grant me wisdom,
liberally, in fulfillment of your promise.
I ask in faith,
trusting you completely and with renewed hope,
in Jesus' name, amen.