A Prayer in Autumn

Good and generous Lord, You have once more brought the year full circle, through planting and growing and ripening to harvest time, and autumn.

We thank You for the sun and the wind, the rain and the dew, the minerals of the earth and all the plants that grow and all the beasts and birds of farm and field. We marvel at Your wonderful ways of bringing food from the earth for man’s good.

Dear God, help us to use Your rich gifts as You want us to. Teach us to share them with our neighbor when he is in need. Make us see, in the marvelous succession of seasons, and in the growth and ripening of our crops, the merciful, generous hand of Your divine providence.

Help us to realize, too, that if we keep Your commandments and live according to the inspirations of Your grace, we shall also reap a plentiful harvest in the autumn of our lifetime: a harvest that we will be able to enjoy for ever and ever, where no rust can destroy, nor blight spoil any least part of it. Amen.

(from the National Catholic Rural Life Conference)

On Yom Kippur

(from Walter Brueggemann's Prayers for a Privileged People)

On this day our Christian thoughts are turned
to Jewish possibilities of forgiveness and reconciliation.
On this day we stand with them in covenant,
before you,
before your Torah,
amid a world torn asunder.

Our thoughts are of death and destruction,
of fragility and life under threat.
We ponder cities mired in mud and
mountains wrecked in quake;
we notice melting ice and rising water;
we name places of violence
far away and close to home.

We tremble in our insecurity,
afraid to be victim,
but now and then noticing that we are perpetrators;
we finance and applaud faraway violence,
usually not naming the torn bodies or
raped mothers or forgotten children.
We feel uneasy but not frontally guilty,
not until we face your thoughts
that are remote from our thoughts;
we imagine that you think in grief and disappointment
over the mess we have made;
we imagine that you shudder in dismay and anger
over the violation of your good dream;
we imagine that you are ready to abandon us.

But we also imagine that your thoughts are interrupted
by your own poets and prophets,
who line out newness...
new exodus,
new covenant,
new forgiveness,
new life.

While we watch in our dis-ease,
we hear Easter news again,
and your resolve of new beginning.

And so we begin to move
from sadness to joy,
from hurt to dance,
from enslavement to freedom.

And then we wait again for your wonder to become visible
in the world of empires and colonies,
of mudslides and torrents.

We wait. Come fully, come soon.

(a prayer by Walter Brueggemann, from his book, Prayers for a Privileged People)

A Preacher's Prayer

God of all,
we know you sent us out to do your work,
to face rejection,
to spread the good news of the Kingdom of God,
to have people turn their backs on us,
to be your prophets,
to be laughed at,
to heal the sick,
to be dismissed,
to travel light,
sometimes broke and sometimes penniless,
and sometimes rich and wealthy.

We are reminded to shake off the dust from our shoes
when we are not welcome and not listened to.
We are reminded that in our weakness you are strong.
We are reminded that in all of this, Jesus too was rejected and a scandal to many.

Lord, today some of us step into pulpits as your prophets
in places where we have been treated less than kind,
and sometimes outright rejected.
Lord, pour your healing salve into the wounds we carry.

Today, some of us are so wounded from the attacks
that it is hard to lift our feet to shake the dust off our shoes.
Pour your healing grace over us that makes Christ's power perfect in our weakness.

Today, some of us feel like total failures and like giving up.
Pour your steadfast love into us that we may see ourselves as you see us,
and not give up as you yourself did not give up. Amen.

(Swiped from Rev Abi's Long and Winding Road blog)

Photo: a carved pulpit from the Eglise St. Etienne (church of St. Stephen) on the island of Ua Pou in the Marquesas.

Talmud Prayer

Be praised, O Lord, for the renewal of life. My Master, I have sinned before You. May it be Your will, O Lord my God, to grant me a good heart, a good portion, a good inclination, a good friend, a good name, a good eye, a good soul, a lowly disposition, and a humble spirit (from the Talmud, Tractate Berakhot, brought to my attention by my good friend Brad).

I Rise This Day

I rise this day,
in the love of the Father.
I rise this day,
with the mind of Christ.
I rise this day,
in the Spirit's power.
I rise this day,
in the blessings of God.

(from the DesertPastor blog)

A Prayer of Brandon Heath

Give me your eyes for just one second,
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing;
Give me your love for humanity,
Give me your arms for the broken hearted,
The ones that are far beyond my reach;
Give me your heart for the once forgotten,
Give me your eyes so I can see.

(From the song, Give Me Your Eyes, by Brandon Heath)

From a Prayer by Joseph Bayly

Lord of childhood
make me childlike
not childish
not scared
not devious.
When you plow a field
I know you plan
a crop
when you harrow
breaking up plowed clods of dirt
to fine earth.

(from Joseph Bayly's Psalms of My Life)

Walk on Water Prayer

Lord, bid me come to you, walking on the water.

(based on Peter's words in Matthew 14:28)

Peacemaker Prayer

by Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries

Oh Lord God,
Today I am called to be a peacemaker,
but I am unfit for the task.

By nature I am a peace-faker
and a peace-breaker,
so I myself need help.

Others ask me to understand and guide them,
but my ears are dull, my eyes are dim,
and I lack the wisdom they need.

But you, Lord, have all they need,
so I come to you for supply.

Make me fit for your purposes,
so I might serve them
and honor you.

Cleanse me from my own sin
so I will not add to their problems;
take the logs from my eyes,
so I can remove the specks from theirs.

Fill me with your Spirit
so they may benefit from your fruit:
love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Give me wisdom from above
so I might be pure and peace-loving,
considerate and submissive,
full of mercy and good fruit,
impartial and sincere.

Open your Word to my eyes
and to my heart,
so I will have a steady lamp
to light our path.

Strip me of my own agenda and desires,
so I might look only to others' good
and be absolutely worthy of their trust.

Help me to model everything I teach,
so others can see the way.
Give me humility to admit my weaknesses
and confess my wrongs,
so others might do the same.

Draw me again and again into prayer,
where you can strengthen and correct me.

Make me submissive -- help me to show
that I myself am under authority.

Help me to treat others
as I want to be treated,
so they may see
the essence of your Law.

Make me creative, versatile, and adaptable
so I can adjust to the surprises ahead.

Help me to accept others
as you have accepted me,
and thus bring praise to your name.

Give me faith and perseverance
so I will not doubt your provision
or abandon your principles,
even when others fight against them.

Grant me the gift of encouragement,
to give others hope
and help them believe
that our labor is not in vain.

Help me to model your forgiveness
so relationships are healed
and your Gospel is revealed.

Grant me discernment so that I may read
the deep waters of others' hearts,
sort fiction from fact,
and know when it's time to act.

Give me boldness and courage,
tempered with kindness,
to confront others in love
so they might see their errors
and find their way back to you.

Help me to prepare thoroughly
and not presume upon your grace.

Make me just and fair,
so that even if people disagree
with my counsel they will believe
that I treated them well.

In short, Father,
please give me the Spirit of Christ
so that I might walk in his steps
and guide your people
into the path of your peace.

(Source: peacemaker.net website)

Christ Is All

I bring to Thee my heart to fill;
I feel how weak I am, but still
To Thee for help I call.
In joy or grief, to live or die,
For earth or Heaven, this is my cry:
Be Thou my all in all.

Christ is all, yes, all in all,
My Christ is all in all.

Around me in the world I see
No joy that lures my soul from Thee;
Its honors fade and fall;
But with Thee, though I mount the cross,
I count it gain to suffer loss,
For Thou art all in all.

I've little strength to call my own,
And what I've done before Thy throne
I here confess, is small;
But on Thy strength, O God, I lean,
And through the blood that makes me clean,
Thou art my all in all.

No tempest can my courage shake,
My love from Thee no pain can take,
No fear my heart appal;
And where I cannot see I'll trust,
For then I know Thou surely must
Be still my all in all.

(verses by Herbert H. Booth)

Mary Mary Prayer

Lord, I'm thankful for my blessings,
Everything that you gave;
Times when danger was around me,
My life, Lord, you saved.

Where would I be without your love?
Where would I be without your grace?
You didn't have to do it but I'm glad you did.

Can't pretend that what I got
I got it on my own;
Every move that I made,
Can't say I never been wrong.
When I fell you picked me up again,
Thought I brought it on myself,
I can always depend on you
Whenever I need help.


Lord God, I awoke this morning in a downcast mood. But you have the power to lift me up and to restore me to life. Please do so today. As I spend myself for the people you love, please restore me, encourage me, show me the signs of your blessing and your promise to your people Cobblestone, in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of Edward Shillito

The other gods were strong, but Thou wast weak;
They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds only God's wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds but Thou alone.

(Edward Shillito, from "Jesus of the Scars")

My Psalm 100

I shout for joy to you, LORD;
I'm so happy to be your son.

I'm so happy to worship you;
I'm delighted to sing songs to you.

I'm thrilled to know and say that you are God,
you are my Creator, and I am yours.
I'm happy to be your child, the sheep of your pasture.

I'm grateful to enter your gates,
it is my privilege to come into your courts with praise;
I am honored to give thanks to you and praise your name.

For you, LORD, are good,
and your love endures forever;
your faithfulness never ends.


A Prayer of Brian McLaren

God, our Creator, thank you for the gift of Jesus. He walked among us embodying your creative and life-giving Word in his body, his life, his words, his deeds, his sufferings, his death, and his resurrection. When we see him loving the outcast, forgiving the sinner, confronting the hypocrite, and teaching the crowds a new way of life, we see your heart, your compassion, your mercy, your character. To know Jesus is to love him, and to love him is to know him, and to know and love him is to know and love you.

So help me, Lord, to be among your disciples who come to you to be taught.

Help me, Lord, to be among the poor in spirit, to see and know that your kingdom is my homeland even now ...

Help me, Lord, to be among those who mourn, to join you in your sadness for all that's wrong and broken in this world, and in joining you, to find true comfort.

Help me, Lord, to be among the meek, those who find strength in weakness and power in vulnerability, to never fear lack or want, because when I have your love, I have all the world.

Help me, Lord, to desire justice, rightness, goodness, fairness, cleanness, clearness, and integrity more than I hunger for food or thirst for water ... and so let me find the truest fulfillment and satisfaction.

Help me, Lord, to be among the merciful. Help me to be a true friend to those who are hated, misunderstood, rejected, excluded, disregarded ... just as you, God of Mercy, are. When others fail - when they fail me - help me show the same mercy you show to those who fail you ... including me.

Help me, Lord, to be among the pure in heart. May your pure light shine in my heart and dispel every shadow, every layer and fold that conceals or pretends. Since it is only the heart that sees you, remove from my heart everything that keeps me from seeing you.

Help me, Lord, to be among the makers of peace. Many build walls. Many sow fear and distrust. Many spread rumors. Many inflame conflict and profit from it. Help me to be even among them an agent and messenger of your peace and reconciliation, and so bear your family likeness, God of peace.

Help me, Lord, not to fear being among the persecuted, but rather, to rejoice in having the honor of standing for your restorative justice and rightness, so I will see that your kingdom is my homeland, even now.

Help me, Lord, to be among those who suffer wrong well and with grace. Help me not to resent it, not to fear it, not to seek to escape it. Instead, help me to find joy in it ... when others insult me, make my life more difficult, or falsely malign me because of you. Help me to see through the momentary, light trouble to the lasting and weighty reward, even now, for your kingdom comes by suffering rather than by making others suffer.

So help me, Lord, to be among your disciples who come to you to be taught. I am a limping, broken sinner and beginner, far from these realities, but this is where I want to go. In your mercy, lead me in this path. Amen.

(a meditation on Matthew 5:1-12 by Brian McLaren)

The Economics of Enough

Teach me God the economics of enough.
If in greed I ask too much of you.
If in fear I ask too little.
Measure daily my bread.

(from http://twitter.com/twitturgies)

Philippians 2 Prayer

Lord God, I have encouragement from being united with Christ,
I have comfort from his love,
I have fellowship with the Spirit,
I have tenderness and compassion,
by his grace;
give me to be like-minded with my brothers and sisters,
having the same love,
being one in spirit and purpose.

Help me to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
but in humility consider others better than myself.
Help me to look not only to my own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Make my attitude the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not cling to his position, to his status, or rights,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

In light of that,
in awareness of that,
help me to live out that very Christ life in me,
help me to work out my salvation with fear and trembling,
and fully cooperate with you, God, who works in me
to bring about Christlikeness and completeness according to your good purpose.

Help me to do everything without complaining or arguing,
so that I may become blameless and pure,
a child of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation,
in which I shine like a star in the universe
as I hold out the word of life,
that distant shores and the islands may see your light
as it rises on me.

For that, Lord, I will be poured out like a drink offering
until I am empty, too,
and I will be grateful and glad to do so.

From Psalm 40

I am poor and needy;
Lord, think of me today.

(from Psalm 40:17a)

Have Pity

God, have pity upon us.
We want peace without pain
and security without sacrifice.
We want peace
but not the perils of peacemaking.
O God, may we learn what love is.

(A prayer of Peter Marshall)

Sensory Prayer

Thank you, Lord,
that I can walk without pain,
see without impediment,
hear without assistance,
sleep without fear,
chew without discomfort,
swallow without effort,
work without end!


(Painting is the Allegory of the Five Senses, by GĂ©rard de Lairesse, seventeenth century)

Pancreas Prayer

God, thank you
that all these years,
fifty-one plus,
my pancreas has functioned fully
and without me giving it a thought,
or you a word of thanks!
But I thank you now.
Thank you.

Make Me

Abba, make me
grateful instead of self-pitying,
optimistic instead of merely diligent,
energetic instead of so dreadfully weary,
in Jesus' name, amen.

How Wide Is My Vista

Lord, how wide is my vista now. I am free to eat of every tree in the garden, so to speak. I am not impeded by dividing lines but can fellowship and worship and learn from and enjoy Thomas Merton (Catholic), A. W. Tozer (CMA), Henri Nouwen (Catholic), John Bevere (charismatic), Andrew Murray (Dutch Reformed), Charles Swindoll (EV Free, nondenominational), Samuel Logan Brengle (Salvation Army), Max Lucado (Church of Christ), and so many others. How blessed I have been through Episcopalian podcasts, and Catholic monasteries, and Methodist chapels, Baptist baptistries, and Church of God in Christ T.V. preachers, and so much more. How beautiful is the whole Body of Christ to me!

My Psalm 99

You reign, LORD!


Exert your power and influence;
let the nations sit up and take notice.

You are enthroned between the cherubim;
shake the earth with your mighty moving.

You are great, LORD,
exalted over everything and everyone everywhere.

Let all people everywhere
come to praise your great and awesome name—
for you are holy.

You are King,
you are mighty,
you are just.
You always do what is right.

I exalt you, LORD God,
I bow before your throne
and make my back,
my heart,
my life your footstool.

You heard Moses and Aaron;
you chose them to be your servants,
and Samuel and David.
They called on you, LORD,
and you answered them.

You forgave them,
and showed them mercy,
though you punished their misdeeds.

Do so for me, too, Abba, Father,
do so for my family,
for my church,
for my friends and my flock.

I exalt you, LORD God,
I bow before your throne
and make my back,
my heart,
my life your footstool.


A Prayer of A. B. Simpson

Oh, for the baptism of fire! Oh, for the living coal upon the burning lips of love! 0h, for men and women God-possessed and self-surrendered, grasping God's great idea and pressing forward toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.



help me
to step over my wounds
and move on,
in Jesus' name,

A Prayer of Guerric of Igny

I love you, O Lord, my strength; through you every hostile power yields to me, worm that I am, and the guile of the ancient serpent is laughed to scorn by the angels you send to minister to us, so that his desire to hurt is turned to our advantage instead.

I love you, Lord, my powerful defender, wise guide, gentle consoler, generous rewarder. Confident, I cast all my care on him whose strength cannot be overthrown, whose wisdom cannot be led astray, whose loving kindness cannot be exhausted in fulfilling my every need. How much better, how much safer it is to have him caring for me than to be looking after myself. How much better it is to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man. How justly cursed is the man who, trusting in man, makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the Lord. Indeed I am poor and needy but if the Lord takes thought for me I am rich and blessed; no mistake, everything works for good in me.

Therefore let those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not forsake those who put their trust in you.


Show Me Your Will

Abba, Father, show me your will. I want to pray as Watchman Nee urges in Let Us Pray. I want to learn to pray according to your will--to first discern your will and then pray for it, fervently and faithfully.

Let it be so. Amen.

From Kirk Whalum, Slightly Revised

Falling in love with you, Jesus,
Was the best thing I've ever
Ever done.

In your arms, I feel protected,
In your arms, never disconnected,
In your arms, I feel protected,
There's no place I'd rather, rather be.

Falling in love with you, Jesus,
Was the best thing I've ever
Ever done.

(From the song by Kirk Whalum)