Tired Prayer

Lord God, I'm tired.
But I thank you for the work that makes me tired.
Thank you for the breath to feel out of breath,
and for the consciousness to feel all but unconscious,

My Maker and My King

My Maker and my King,
To Thee my all I owe;
Thy constant goodness is the spring
Whence all my blessings flow.

The creature of Thy hand,
On Thee alone I live;
Thy countless benefits demand
More praise than I can give.

O let Thy grace inspire
My soul with strength divine!
Let all my powers to Thee aspire,
And all my days be Thine.

(A hymn by Anne Steele)


Abba, how can I possibly pray
for all the people I have to pray for?
How can I bring the great needs of the flock before you every day?
I need your grace just to be able to pray!
You know my need.
You know theirs.
Give grace to me to pray,
and Holy Spirit please intercede with me and for me
in my shortcomings, in Jesus' name, amen.

Two Verses

My Lord God Adonai:
God of earth and sea and sky,
I lift my voice, I speak my prayer,
And cast on you my every care.

This day, Lord, now is past,
And I am much in need of rest.
I need your peace, I need your calm,
I beg your Spirit's healing balm.

A Christmas Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson

Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

A Prayer for Christmas Eve

(This prayer, written by a young Italian seminarian named Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli in 1902 who would later become Pope John XXIII, has become a Christmas Eve tradition for me).

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.


O Lord, I Will Delight in Thee

O Lord, I will delight in Thee
And on Thy care depend,
To Thee in every trouble flee,
My best, my only Friend.

When all created streams are dried,
Thy fullness is the same;
May I with this be satisfied
And glory in Thy Name.

No good in creatures can be found
But may be found in Thee;
I must have all things and abound
While God is God to me.

O Lord, I cast my care on Thee,
I triumph and adore;
Henceforth my great concern shall be
To love and please Thee more.

(A hymn by John Ryland)

God of Ice

God of ice, God of cold,
I praise you for your power
and creativity displayed
in frigid temperatures,
icy blasts,
gray skies,
frosting breaths,
in all the awesome array
of your ways in nature.
You are God of all:
arctic and tropic,
cold and heat,
ice and magma,
and you are worthy of praise
in all your ways,

Sunday Morning Prayer

O Lord, Abba, Father, at the beginning of another week I come to You for help and light.

Please make this a sacred day of worship and service to you. Call forth wholehearted worship, joyful and effective service, and faith from all who gather. Make your praise glorious today. Make your servants joyful. Stir up the spiritual gifts that are in us. Call those who are lost out of darkness and into the light. Revive your church. Renew us all. Unite us with you and with each other as we worship. Tear down strongholds. Break through barriers. Cast out Satan. Fill us with the Holy Spirit, and build us up in our most holy faith, in Jesus' name, amen.

I Take the Blessing From Above

What am I, O Thou glorious God,
And what my father's house to Thee,
That Thou such mercies have bestowed
On me, the chief of sinners, me?
I take the blessing from above
And wonder at Thy boundless love.

Honor and might and thanks and praise,
I render Thee, O pardoning God,
Extol the riches of Thy grace
And spread Thy saving name abroad,
That only name to sinners given
Which lifts poor dying souls to Heaven.

Jesus, I bless Thy gracious power,
And all within me shouts Thy name;
Thy name let every soul adore,
Thy power let every tongue proclaim,
Thy grace let every sinner know
And find (with me) their Heaven below.

(from a hymn by Charles Wesley)


Abba, I am yours.
I am in your hands.
I ask nothing today except what you have in mind,
in your limitless mind,
for me to enjoy,
or lose.
Be it unto me according to your will,
in Jesus' name, amen.

From A Diary of Private Prayer

O Thou whose eternal presence is hid behind the veil of nature, informs the mind of man, and was made flesh in Jesus Christ our Lord, I thank Thee that He has left me an example that I should follow in His steps.

Jesus Christ said, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.

Jesus Christ said, Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.

Jesus Christ said, Do good and lend, hoping for nothing again. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.

Jesus Christ said, Love your enemies. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.

Jesus Christ said, Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.

Jesus Christ said, Fear not, only believe. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.

Jesus Christ said, Except ye turn again and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.

Jesus Christ said, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.


(a prayer of John Baillie in A Diary of Private Prayer)


Lord God Adonai,
how I thank you for days free of meetings!

Sabbath Gift

Lord, your Sabbath command,
your Sabbath gift,
is a boon to my soul.
Please forgive me for often
neglecting it,
and missing out on your best for me.
Thank you for the refreshment
it brings me
when I remember the Sabbath
and keep it holy.


Lord, you answered my prayer
for insight and understanding.
I don't like the insight,
but I thank you for the answered prayer!

A Prayer of Clement

You, Lord, through your works have revealed the everlasting structure of the world.
You, Lord, created the earth.
You are faithful throughout all generations,
righteous in your judgments,
marvelous in strength and majesty,
wise in creating and prudent in establishing what exists,
good in all that is observed
and faithful to those who trust in you,
merciful and compassionate;
forgive us our sins and our injustices,
our transgressions and our shortcomings.

Do not take into account every sin of your servants,
but cleanse us with the cleansing of your truth,
and "direct our steps to walk in holiness and righteousness and purity of heart,"
and "to do what is good and pleasing in your sight"
and in the sight of our rulers.
Yes, Lord, "let your face shine upon us" in peace "for our good,"
that we may be sheltered "by your mighty hand"
and delivered from every sin "by your uplifted arm";
deliver us as well from those who hate us unjustly.

Give harmony and peace to us and to all who dwell on the earth,
just as you did to our fathers
when they reverently "called upon you in faith and trust,"
that we may be saved,
while we render obedience to your almighty and most excellent name,
and give harmony and peace to our rulers and governors on earth. Amen.

O Master, Let Me Walk With You

(A hymn by Washington Gladden, slightly revised)

O Master, let me walk with you
in lowly paths of service true;
Tell me your secret; help me bear
the strain of toil, the fret of care,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Holding Fast

Lord, I hold fast to you.
I will not depart from following you,
but will keep your commandments,
by your grace.
Please be with me wherever I go,
prosper me,
for the sake of your kingdom,
and your flock,
in Jesus' name, amen.
(2 Kings 18:6-7)

Not Enough

Abba, I confess.
I am not smart enough to get through this day without you;
I need your knowledge and wisdom.
I am not strong enough;
I need your power and might.
I am not NEARLY righteous enough;
I need your holiness to course through me and flow from me.
I am not joyful;
I need your help to "rejoice always;"
I am no communicator;
I need you to empower my poor attempts at communication.
I am poor and needy, Abba,
and my poverty and need are all I have
to give you today--or any day.
I bring my emptiness to you
and ask for a fresh filling,
in Jesus' name, amen.