A Prayer for All Hallow's Eve

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

(Traditional Scottish prayer; the artwork pictured above can be ordered here)

My Psalm 104

I praise you, Lord, from my heart!
O Lord my God,
you are beyond description!
You are berobed with honor
and majesty--
you dress yourself in light,
you make the starry heavens
your accessories.

You make the stratosphere
your vaulted ceiling,
the clouds your chariot,
the winds your skateboard.

You make the wind currents do your bidding,
you turn flames of fire into your servants.

You poured the foundations of the earth,
firm and immovable.

You filled the oceans
until the water submerged mountains.

You told the mighty deep where to go
and the crashing waves obeyed your commands.

The mountains rose, the valleys sank
each one to the exact place You appointed.

You tell the waters where they must stop
and they turn back when you say.

You send forth springs into the valleys;
you send waters skipping down the mountainside;
they refresh every wild beast;
the wild donkeys drink their fill.
Birds of every kind nest by their banks;
they sing in the overhanging branches.

You water the mountains from celestial springs;
the earth is rejuvenated,
vegetation sprouts,
gardens grow,
pastures produce,
and vineyards bear their happy fruit,
and gladden the hearts of men.

You take care of the forest trees,
you cause them to bring forth sap,
you watch birds make their nests
and storks their homes in the fir trees.
You cause the wild goats to leap,
and the conies and badgers to burrow underground.

You measure the seasons with the moon,
the days by the setting sun.

You make darkness
to bless the nocturnal creatures.
You make the young lions roar for their supper,
and slumber when the sun shines.

You give man the light of day
to bless his work
and the night to sleep.

O Lord, what a varied world you have made!
In wisdom have you made it all;
the earth overflows with your incredible riches:
the sea, great and wide,
brimming with innumerable creatures,
both weird and wonderful,
both small and great.

Ships sail your waters like a highway,
and fearful giants use them like a playground.

All these rely on you,
as I need to do,
for their daily bread,
their very life.
They don't worry or stress.
They take what you provide,
and are filled with good things.
If not for you,
they would wither and die,
and sink to the ocean floor.
But you supply their needs
like flowers that flourish in the field.

Make me like them, Lord.
happy to serve your purpose:
your glory.

Your glory is never-ending.
Your works bring you praise.
You are just to enjoy your creation.
You are worthy of my absolute devotion.

I will sing your praise, Lord, as long as I live;
I will exalt my God while I draw breath.
Let my meditation be sweet to your ears;
let my rejoicing in you bring you joy.

Let sinners disappear completely,
absorbed into the throngs of the redeemed,
by your great grace and mighty power,
and so increase the company
of those who praise you.

I praise you.
I praise you from my heart!

Breath of Praise

Abba, I give you praise today;
for your constancy and perseverance in all things,
from the rotation of the earth
to your faithfulness to me;
for your justice,
from your laws and decrees
to your discipline of me;
for your mercy,
from your care for the birds of the air
to your kind mercy toward me,
shown even now in the mercy of a new day,
of my latest breath.
I give you praise, Abba;
if I could praise you enough,
it would take all my breath for all of eternity,
and still would not be enough.

Sheepish Prayer

Lord, baaaaa.

Be Thou

Abba, I am nothing without you.
I can do nothing without you.
I am lost and helpless without you.

Be thou my vision.
Be thou my wisdom
and my righteousness.
Be thou my peace, my wholeness, my Shalom.
Be thou my kindness and grace,
my health and rest,
my light and salvation.
Be my joy,
my everything,
my all-in-all,
in Jesus' name, amen.


Thank you, Lord,
for the sufferings I have endured.
They are nothing compared to your suffering,
but I thank you nonetheless
for what you have taught me
and accomplished through suffering in me.
Thank you for the refining process.
Thank you for the endurance and perseverance
you have taught me.
Thank you for reminding me that when I am weak,
you are strong, amen.

Sunday Prayer

give us a day of blessing today;
bare thine arm!
Strap your sword upon your thigh,
O mighty warrior,
and ride out to conquer for us,
Conquering Savior!
Surround us
with the host of heaven,
defend us
with thousands of angels,
and grant us a day of victory,
in Jesus' name, amen.


Abba, Father, your Word promises the supply of all my needs according to my riches in Christ Jesus. So I pray, first, teach me what my needs are and help me be wise enough not to confuse my needs with my wants, my desires, my compulsions, and my lusts. Then, I pray, teach me to ask you boldly, faith-fully, for my needs, and to experience your provision, in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 103

I praise you, LORD, from the bottom of my heart;
I praise your holy name from deep inside.

I praise you, LORD, from the bottom of my heart,
for all the blessings you have showered on me,

You work righteousness
and justice for all who are lowly and oppressed.
You revealed your ways to Moses
and performed mighty deeds for your people, Israel.
You will do no differently for me and mine.
You are compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, overflowing with love.
You are utterly holy
and yet you never fly off the handle.
You show me infinite mercy, in spite of my sin,
and treat me far better than I could ever deserve.

Your love is as great as the heavens are high above the earth;
the 24 trillion miles between here and Proxima Centauri,
the closest star,
is too small a distance to compare to your great love,
and to the space you've put between me and my sins!

I praise you for your Father's heart,
filled with compassion for your children,
though we are dust,
our days are like grass,
our lifetimes are each a flash in the pan.

But your love reaches from everlasting to everlasting,
your love reaches through the vastness of the universe,
and your blessings find me,
and my children,
and even my children's children.

I praise you because you are more than faithful
to those who keep your covenant,
place their trust in you,
and learn to walk in your ways.

I praise you because you, LORD,
have established your throne in heaven,
and your kingdom rules over all.

I praise you, LORD,
in unison with your angels,
in harmony with your mighty ones who do your bidding,
who obey your word.

I praise you, LORD, with the heavenly hosts,
I praise you from earth
and join with all who praise you in heaven.

22 Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.


Lord, I cast all my cares upon you.
I lay all of my burdens down at your feet.
And even though I don't know what to do,
I just cast all my cares upon you.

Autumn Prayer

Abba, Father, the trees are ablaze with your glory.
The seasons change, but you never do.
You are always beautiful,
in the green and freshness of Spring
as in the golds and reds and chills of Autumn.
Make me like you.
Let my life reflect your beauty,
season after season,
as the calendar of my life turns and turns and turns.

The trees are letting go of this year's foliage.
Help me let go of both blessings and burdens,
and surrender them both to your loving care.

Fallen leaves pattern the ground with variety.
So design my own fallings and failings
into whatever design will please you most.

In Jesus' name, I pray,

(Photo by Andrea Hughes)

A Prayer of Carolyn Arends

You made cosmos out of chaos,
You made Adam out of dust,
You made wine out of the water,
You'll make something out of us.

You make light shine in our darkness,
You make life to conquer death,
You make children out of sinners,
You'll make something of us yet.

(From Carolyn Arends's song, Something Out Of Us, on her new CD, Love Was Here First. Go here to read my review of this recording).

My Psalm 102

Lord, are you listening?
Can you hear me?

Please bend your ear
and come to me
in my great need.
Tune to my wavelength,
and answer me asap.

For my days pass far too fast
and I'm feeling mighty old these days.
I've lost a step--or twenty!
But worse than my age these days
are my unreliable moods.
I stress too easily.
I get discouraged much too often.
I deprive myself of sleep
and my Enemy steals my peace.
And my joy.

I care far too much what people think.
And I've almost forgotten what joy feels like.
What's the deal?
What's wrong with me?
I tell myself it's part of the aging process.
But I know there's more to it than that.

Help me figure it out, Lord.
Speak to me through your Word,
through wise counselors,
and through my loving wife and kids and friends.

Until then, I know this:
You are still in control.
You are still worthy of praise.
You will arise and have mercy on me and mine.
You will send help in time of need.
You will never abandon your people.
You will be glorified among the nations.
Your radiance will awe the kings of the earth.
You will rebuild all the Enemy tears down,
you will restore all he steals.
You hear the prayers of the most needy.
You will not reject their pleas.

When I am tempted to be discouraged
or to self pity,
I will remember that you have looked down on me
from your holy heights
and blessed me beyond my wildest imagining!

You hear the groans of the prisoners,
You free those condemned to die.
Your fame is rightly celebrated in Zion,
and by your grace I will yet sing your praises in Jerusalem,
both in this life and the next.

So what if I'm old?
So what if I could be healthier and more vigorous?
My God, who lives forever,
has granted me a long and wonderful life!

More importantly, you who laid the foundation of the earth
and made the heavens with your hands
will be mine forever!
This body of mine will wear out like old clothing.
You will someday even discard the heavens and the earth
and replace them like an outdated suit of clothes.
But you are always the same;
you will live forever.
And you are mine forever.
And all me and mine--we are yours.
Thank you!

Recitare: rush through

O Elusive and Captivating Spirit
take hold of me
like a well-worn saxophone
press Your lips to me
play and moan
Your jazz and blues
embrace me, O Living Music
rush through
as i become your wind instrument
in both laughing song
and sad lament
set us all up as Your
orchestra of delight
sparking to ignite
the grace
to embrace
a world curled in fright

(by Steven Hamilton, used with permission)

Old Prayer for a New Series

Lord God Adonai, tomorrow we start the new series, "God's iPod," at Cobblestone. I praise you for the honor of being your messenger in the morning. Please prepare me and bless my preparation. Please flow through me, and use me, and use your people's attentive listening to bring glory to yourself and change to us all.

Please make tomorrow's worship a pleasing sacrifice to you, and mightily use your servants the worship team in leading the saints to the very throne of God. Let the Levites--our welcome center team and greeters and ushers and prayer partners and coffee team, and more--bring joy to your heart. Please anoint every message in this series, and each of us who speak, to accomplish your good, perfect, and pleasing will in all of us. Please draw us closer to you. Take us to a new level of submission and obedience and relationship with you. Show yourself in all your "exceeding abundantly" power, in Jesus' name, amen.

A Psalm of Awakening

Lord I want to die
in my sleep
I want to go to bed
and be awakened
by you
Get up son
it's the first day of school
the beginning of your new job
the dawn of eternity.
Here are your clothes.
Your older brother
wore them first
now they're yours
white and fresh and clean
smelling of heaven.

(from Joseph Bayly's Psalms of My Life, p. 32)

Commit Anew

Abba, I commit anew today to you,
to your Word,
to your way of doing things.
I await on the counsel
of your Holy Spirit,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Collect for Creation

Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth, you made us fellow workers in your creation: Give us wisdom and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for My Daughter on Her Birthday

To borrow a phrase from Yeats, Lord,
you have made her a flourishing hidden tree
and granted her beauty and courtesy,
and kindness and charm and wisdom.

I give you praise and thanks for my only daughter,
my firstborn, my Blossom;
for the child you gave me,
for the woman she grew into,
for the love we share,
for the pride and joy I feel in her,
for the blessings you've given her,
and the blessings you've given me through her.

Please bless her today and in the days to come, Lord.
Keep her safe and well.
Keep the baby in her womb safe and well.
Keep her marriage strong and beautiful.
Prosper her and her husband,
answer their prayers,
supply their needs.

Show her every kindness,
grant her your favor,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of C. S. Lewis

He whom I bow to only knows to whom I bow
When I attempt the ineffable Name, murmuring Thou,
And dream of Pheidian fancies and embrace in heart
Symbols (I know) which cannot be the thing thou art.
Thus always, taken at their word, all prayers blaspheme
Worshiping with frail images a folk-lore dream,
And all men in their praying, self-deceived, address
The coinage of their own unquiet thoughts, unless
Thou in magnetic mercy to thyself divert
Our arrows aimed unskillfully, beyond desert;
And all men are idolaters, crying unheard
To a deaf idol, if thou take them at their word.

Take not, O Lord, our literal sense. Lord, in thy great,
Unbroken speech our limping metaphor translate.

(C.S. Lewis, 1898 - 1963)

Not Going to Wait

Dear God,

I want to thank you for what you have already done. I am not going to wait until I see results or receive rewards. I am thanking you right now.

I am not going to wait until I feel better or things look better. I am not going to wait until the pain in my body disappears. I am thanking you right now.

I am not going to wait until people say they are sorry or until they stop talking about me behind my back. I am not going to wait until my financial situation or the economy improves. I am thanking you right now.

I am not going to wait until the children are asleep and the house is quiet. I am not going to wait until a different season in my life unfolds. I am thanking you right now.

I am not going to wait until I understand every experience in my life that has caused me pain or grief. I am not going to wait until the journey gets easier or the challenges are removed. I am thanking you right now.

I am thanking you because I am alive. I am thanking you because I made it through the day’s difficulties. I am thanking you because I have walked around the obstacles. I am thanking you because I have the ability and the opportunity to do more and do better. I’m thanking you, Heavenly Father, because you haven’t given up on me. You are good and you are good all the time.

Thank you for all the good you’ve done for me. Amen.

(from Donna Partow's website)

My Psalm 101

Lord, let the soundtrack of my life
be filled with songs about your love and justice;
let my theme song be filled with your praise.

By your grace, make me careful to lead a blameless life.
Make me patient in waiting for you to show yourself.
Let my housecoat be a blameless heart.

By your grace, help me shield my eyes from anything vile.
Help me steer clear of faithless friends
and corrupting companions.

By your grace, I will have nothing to do with evil.
I will not listen to gossip and slander;
I will not excuse arrogance.

By your grace, I will look for godly companions and counselors
to walk with me
and minister to me.

By your grace, I will learn to recognize
and avoid all those who traffic in lies
and stir up conflict and dissension.

By your grace, I will turn a deaf ear to wickedness
and live and lead without their interference.

(The illustration is Psalms 101 and 102 from a 13th century Psalter created by monks in France)

Let Me Suck

Lord, let me suck
all the marrow out of this day.
Grant that I may drain
every last drop of enjoyment
and effectiveness from it,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Teach Me

Lord, teach me to pray.
I confess that even after all these years,
even after you have so thoroughly
transformed my prayer life in recent years,
I still need to learn from you.
Teach me to pray.
Teach me to dive into you.
Teach me to practice your presence.
Teach me to experience you in prayer.
Teach me to unite with you in prayer.
Teach me to follow you in prayer,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Temper My Dysfunctions

Abba, please temper my dysfunctions,
cleanse me from sin,
and heal any hurts
that may impede my worshipful submission
to you, in Jesus' name, amen.

Infant Prayer

Abba, why do I ever doubt you? Neglect you? Wander from you? I am like a child--Mia reminds me--who knows that all is not well, who feels a lack, an emptiness, a pain, a hunger, or a thirst, and yet has not skill enough to say--perhaps not even to know--"I thirst!" But I do, and when I drink of you, when I at last come to you and take Living Water, my food and drink, I am satisfied, and I marvel that I did not come sooner, that I could not diagnose my own condition. Have mercy on me, Lord, that I will in the future be not an infant but AT LEAST mature enough to know that "all my springs are in you." Amen.

Another Twitturgies Prayer

Hold me God in the grip of grace.
Fold into me forgiveness; freedom.
Keep me.
Craft me.
I know I'll grow if you don't let go.

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

I Used to Pray

Abba, I used to pray because
I wanted stuff:
a job,
a contract,
a victory,
a specific need to be filled,
or a desire to be met.

I used to pray because
I was supposed to:
as a Christ-follower,
but especially as a pastor,
a leader in your church.

I used to pray because
I was afraid of what would happen
if I didn't pray:
I would surely fail,
something would go wrong,
someone might leave,
someone could die.

I still have the remnants
of those reasons.
I still operate
in those modes.

But more and more these days
I pray
like I breathe.
I must.
It is life.
It is the one thing that is needful.
I can do no other,
because I am lost without you,
I must have you,
I must hold on to you,
I must
I must
I must.

All my springs are in you.
I pray to survive.
I pray to live.
I pray to be.

God alone sufficeth.