Ice Cream Prayer with Apologies to Sarah McLachlan

Your love is better than ice cream,
better than anything else that I've tried....

Your love is better than chocolate,
better than anything else that I've tried....

My Psalm 117

Praise the LORD,
everybody everywhere!
Shout his praises
so he can hear you!

For his love is incredible,
infinite, and
and his faithfulness never ends.
Praise the LORD.

Passover Prayer

Long ago,
at this season,
on such a night as this,
your people, Lord,
set out on a journey.
All but crushed
by their enslavement,
they yet recalled
the far-off memory
of a happier past
and heard the voice
of their God,
bidding them
to summon the courage to be free.

Boldly, they went forth from Egypt,
crossed the Sea,
and headed through the desert for the Promised Land.

What they experienced, they remembered, and told their children, and they to theirs.

From generation to generation,
the story was retold,
and we are here to tell it yet again.

We too give thanks for Israel's liberation
and in doing so we too remember what it means to be a slave.

And so we pray for all who are still fettered,
still denied their human rights.
Let all God's children sit at your table,
drink the wine of deliverance,
and eat the bread of freedom:

Freedom from bondage
And freedom from oppression,

Freedom from hunger
And freedom from want,

Freedom from hatred
And freedom from fear,

Freedom to think
And freedom to speak,

Freedom to learn
And freedom to love,

Freedom to hope
And freedom to rejoice;

Soon in our days,



Sometimes, Lord,
my heart aches for a message,
looks for an angel,
listens for, needs, a word from you...

My heart waits to hear
what you might speak to me,
to my life, to my worries, to my fears...

My heart waits for to hear you say,
"Do not be afraid... I am with you...
I am always with you... I will never leave you...
I am beside you, before you and behind you,
above and below and within you..."

My heart strains to hear you say,
"You have found favor with me...
I care for you... I care about you...
I watch for you... I watch out for you...
You have a place in my heart,
a place I keep only for you
and I look for you in my heart..."

Speak to my heart, Lord,
send an angel, a message, a word...
Speak to me as you spoke to Mary:
when I am not expecting you...
when I am confused and do not understand...
when I am afraid of what tomorrow may bring...

Fill my heart with your grace
that I might see every angel you send my way,
that I might hear every word you speak to me,
that I might ponder whatever might be
the message of love you offer...


(from the Concord Pastor Comments blog; the illustration is Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner)


Lord, lift me up
and let me stand
by faith on heaven's tableland;
a higher plane
than I have found,
Lord plant my feet on higher ground.

A Pastor's Prayer (pt. 2)

Lord Jesus, my King,
help me not to take the church less seriously
than you do.

A Pastor's Prayer (pt. 1)

Almighty God, my Father,
help me not to take the church
more seriously than you do.

From a Line by Barnes

Lord God,
please let me be
graced with the opportunity
to live without veneer.

(from a line by M. Craig Barnes in his book, The Pastor as Minor Poet, p. 38).

You Define Me

Abba, thank you
that I do not have to believe
what others think about me,
say about me,
or even KNOW about me!

Thank you that YOU define me,
not me,
not those I love,
not those who love me,
not those who like me or don't like me,
but YOU.

Help me to believe more and more
what you know
and what you say
about me.


Spring Prayer

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!

For blue of stream and blue of sky;
For pleasant shade of branches high;
For fragrant air and cooling breeze;
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!

(by Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Prayer Before Worship

Lord God Adonai, thank you
for once again bringing me to your day,
your house,
and communion with your people.

Please make your presence known to me,
and help me to make my presence known to you.

Let me please you in my singing,
and going.

Please meet me,
break me,
mold me,
fill me,
change me.

Help me to decrease
that you may increase,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Birchot HaShachar

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who gave the heart understanding
to distinguish between day and night.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who made me an Israelite.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who did not make me a slave.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who made me in His Image.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who made me according to His will.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who gives sight to the blind.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who clothes the naked.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who releases the captives.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who straightens the bent.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who spreads the earth upon the waters.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who has provided for all my needs.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who establishes the footsteps of man.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who girds Israel with might.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who crowns Israel with glory.

Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who gives the weary strength.


Family Thanks

Lord God, you have been so kind to me
through my family,
and you are still and ever kind.

Thank you for my wife, the lovely Robin.
Thank you that she still loves me
despite knowing me better than anyone but you
for these past thirty-six years!
Thank you that she will still go out with me,
that she will still (sometimes) laugh at my jokes,
that she is still so strange as to not think me strange.

Thank you for my awesome children,
such incredibly bright,
sweet-natured daughter and son.
Thank you for their love for me.

Thank you for the husband my daughter chose
and the wife my son married.
Thank you that I have such a man,
and such a woman,
to love my children,
and to parent my grandchildren.

Thank you for my grandchildren.
Oh, how can I thank you?
Thank you for Miles.
Thank you for Mia.
Thank you for Calleigh.
Oh, Lord, how they fill my heart
and what sweet exhaustion they bring to my life!

Thank you that they all know you,
and love you,
and serve you.
Thank you that my children and grandchildren
are faithful servants,
committed to the church.
Thank you for all their forgiveness
and patience
and grace
and perseverance
as a pastor's kids.

Thank you that I see them so often,
and that as often as I see them
and spend time with them,
I still can't wait to see them again.
And thank you that (I think)
they even like spending time with me.

And with all that, my thanks aren't done,
but like your mercies,
are new every morning.

A Prayer for My Son on His Birthday

Oh, Lord, my God,
gone are the days
when my little boy
could climb into my lap
and melt my heart with a smile.
Gone are the nights
when I could read him a book
and smile with joy
at his plea for more.

But oh, what a son he still is today.
Oh, how you've blessed me,
not only with a boy,
but with such a son,
and such a husband,
and such a father,
and such a friend as he is.

And though I know it is selfish
to ask more when you have given so much already,
I ask.
Lord, I ask.

Please make his every dream
come true.

Make him like Enoch, who walked with you.
Make him like Noah, who found grace in your sight.
Make him like Abraham, who walked by faith.
Make him like Joseph, a dreamer and doer.
Make him like Moses, who walked on holy ground.
Make him like his namesake Aaron, who led your people into your presence.

Make him like Caleb and Joshua, who saw with eyes of faith.
Make him like Elijah, who was received food from your hand.
Make him like Elisha, who received a double portion.
Make him like David, who danced before you, a man after your own heart.
Make him like Jehoshaphat, who trusted in you.
Make him like Hosea, who forgave largely.

Make him like John, a beloved disciple.
Make him like Barnabas, a mentor and encourager.
Make him more than anything, like Jesus, lover of souls.

Bless him, Lord, on his birthday,
and every day to come,
as you have so blessed me with him,
in Jesus' name, amen.

St. Patrick's Breastplate

Today I put on
a terrible strength
invoking the Trinity
confessing the Three
with faith in the One
as I face my Maker.

Today I put on the power
of Christ's birth and baptism,
of his hanging and burial,
His resurrection, ascension,
and descent at the Judgement.

Today I put on the power
of the order of the Cherubim,
angels' obedience,
archangels' attendance,
in hope of ascending
to my reward;
patriarchs' prayers,
prophets' predictions,
apostles precepts,
confessors' testimony,
holy virgins' innocence
and the deeds of true men.

Today I put on
the power of Heaven,
the light of the Sun,
the radiance of the Moon,
the splendour of fire,
the fierceness of lightning,
the swiftness of wind,
the depth of the sea,
the firmness of earth
and the hardness of rock.

Today I put on
God's strenghth to steer me,
God's power to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye for my vision,
God's ear for my hearing,
God's word for my speech,
God's hand to protect me,
God's pathway before me,
God's shield for my shelter,
God's angels to guard me
from ambush of devils,
from vice's allurements,
from traps of the flesh,
from all who wish ill,
whether distant or close,
alone or in hosts.

I summon these powers today
to take my part against every implacable power
that attacks my body and soul,
the chants of false prophets,
dark laws of the pagans,
false heretics' laws,
entrapments of idols,
enchantments of women
or smiths or druids,
and all knowledge that poisons
man's body or soul.

Christ guard me today
from poison, from burning,
from drowning, from hurt,
that I have my reward.

Christ beside me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,

Christ within me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me.

Christ on my right hand,
Christ on my left,

Christ where I lie,
Christ where I sit,
Christ where I rise.

Christ in the hearts of all who think of me,
Christ in the mouths of all who speak to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Today I put on
a terrible strength,
invoking the Trinity,
confessing the Three,
with faith in the One
as I face my Maker.

Give and Take

Good morning, good God!

I know that much of my prayer
is a kind of give and take:
I offer you something
and then I ask for something...

Today is no different
so please be patient
with how little I have to offer
and how much I know I need from you...

I offer you my challenges this day
and pray for strength to accept them...

I offer you my failures this day
and pray for wisdom to rise above them -
and to try again to tomorrow...

I offer you my sorrows this day
and pray that I carry them with grace...

I offer you my joys this day
and pray I put the happiness of others
ahead of my own...

I offer you my fears this day
and pray for courage
to make it through the night to tomorrow...

I offer you this day's unexpected problems
and pray for serenity to cope with them...

I offer you my work this day
and pray I do it well, with honesty
and in fairness to others...

I offer you my laziness this day
and pray you shake and waken me
to this day's opportunities to live fully,
change gracefully
and become the person you made me to be ...

I offer you my eyes, Lord:
let me see as you do...

I offer you my ears:
help me hear the cry of the poor...

I offer you my voice:
use my words for healing
and for making peace...

I offer you my thoughts:
give me your Spirit's counsel...

I offer you my imagination:
keep it true and pure...

I offer you my hands:
work through me for good of others...

I offer you my feet:
lead my steps
on the path you have marked out for me...

I offer you my heart, Lord:
mold and shape it
according to your Word...

I offer you this day, Lord,
the day you have given me,
the only day I have...

Keep me in today, Lord,
and keep my day in your loving care...


(from the Concord Pastor Comments blog)

Make Us Useful in the Salvation of Our Fellow Man

Oh! give us to serve Thee, and especially, and this prayer we have already prayed but we pray it again, make us useful in the salvation of our fellow man. O Lord, have we lived so long in the world and yet are our children unconverted? May we never rest until they are truly saved. Have we been going up and down in business, and are those round about us as yet unaware of our Christian character? Have we never spoken to them the Word of Life? Lord, arouse us to a deep concern for all with whom we come in contact from day to day. Make us all missionaries at home or in the street, or in our workshop, wherever Providence has cast our lot, may we there shine as lights in the world.


(A prayer of Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

Prayer for the Lord's Day

Lord God Adonai,
thank you for this day,
this Lord's Day.

I am excited
to worship with your people,
to greet those you've given me
to share life with,
to learn and teach,
to sing and dance,
to laugh and cry,
to pray and listen,
to once again be renewed
by the communion of the saints
and the corporate worship
of the Living God.

Please come upon your people
in Spirit and truth,
pour out your blessings,
hear us as we cry out to you,
bless us as we focus on you,
speak to us as we listen to you,
and take us to higher ground,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of Confession

(A prayer of John Donne)

Wilt Thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
But swear by Thyself, that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
And having done that, Thou hast done;
I fear no more.

The Victor's Prayer

O Lord,
we bless You
that the issue of the battle
between You and Satan
has never been uncertain,
and ends in victory.
Calvary broke the dragon's head,
and we contend with a vanquished foe,
who with all his subtlety and strength
has already been overcome.
When we feel the serpent at our heel
may we remember Him Whose heel was bruised,
but Who, when bruised, broke the devil's head.

Our soul with inward joy extols the mighty conqueror.
Heal us of any wounds received in the great conflict;
if we have gathered defilement,
if our faith has suffered damage,
if our hope is less than bright,
if our love is not fervent,
if some creature-comfort occupies our heart,
if our soul sinks under pressure of the fight.

You Whose every promise is balm, every touch life,
draw near to Your weary warriors, refresh us,
that we may rise again to wage the strife
and never tire until our enemy is trodden down.
Give us such fellowship with You that we may
defy Satan, unbelief, the flesh, the world,
with delight that comes not from a creature,
and which a creature cannot mar.
Give us a draught of the eternal fountain
that lies in Your immutable,
everlasting love and decree.

Then shall our hand never weaken, our feet never stumble,
our sword never rest, our shield never rust,
our helmet never shatter, our breastplate never fall,
as our strength rests in the power of Your might.

In Jesus' name, amen.


A Prayer of Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Spirit of the living God!
we want thee.
Thou art the life, the soul;
thou art the source
of thy people's success;
without thee they can do nothing,
with thee they can do everything.


Abba, thank you
for the medicines
that have healed me in body and soul
over the years.

Thank you for Calamine lotion and cortisone,
cough syrup and chewable aspirin.

Thank you for Bendadryl,
for Neosporin and Tylenol Cold.

Thank you for Advil PM
and Nyquil
and Novocaine
and eye drops
and nose spray.

Thank you for vitamin C,
and more.

And thank you, most of all,
for prayer,
and presence,
and the healing peace that comes
from knowing you,
in Jesus' name,

My Psalm 116

I love you, God,
because you listen to me.
you listen to my cries.

You patiently let me
pour out my words and
lay out my needs,
even my demands,
sinful as I am.

Sometimes when I am under attack,
and sometimes when I only THINK I'm under attack,
you nonetheless humor me.
How you must chuckle at my impatience,
at my panic,
at my paranoia.

But, gracious God, you make things right.
Caring Father, you cradle me in your arms.
You take my side
even when I deserve your rebuke!
You turn me around
when I've messed up royally.

Teach me to rest in you.
Help me to bask in your blessings,
and swim in your salvation.
Save me from whining,
and keep my feet from stumbling.

I'm here.
You're here.
That alone is amazing to me.
You have been faithful.
You have kept me faithful.
That is even more amazing.

I have nothing to offer you,
nothing worthy of the blessings you've poured out on me.
I can only lift high the cup of salvation,
and remember your outpoured love.
I will pray in Jesus' name,
trusting you to help me see and adopt your agenda.
I'll rely on you to fulfill your will in me,
and I'll serve your people with all my strength.
I'll seek your pleasure
and not man's.
I'll be faithful to you,
to your house,
to your kingdom,

Mighty, Amazing, Wonder, and Awe

Lord God, let tomorrow see the fresh fulfillment of your Word:

"Then everyone will stand in awe, proclaiming the mighty acts of God, realizing all the amazing things he does" (Psalm 64:9).

Yes, let tomorrow see the fulfillment of your Word:

"Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe. And they praised God, saying over and over again, 'We have seen amazing things today'" (Luke 5:26),

in Jesus' name, amen.

Healer of My Soul

Healer of my soul,
Keep me at even,
Keep me at morning,
Keep me at noon,
Healer of my soul.

Keeper of my soul,
On rough course faring,
Help and safeguard my means this night,
Keeper of my soul.

I am tired, astray, and stumbling,
Shield my soul from the snare of sin.

Healer of my soul,
Keep me at even,
Keep me at morning,
Keep me at noon,
Healer of my soul.


Lord, save me from deceitfulness and duplicity.
Especially mine.

Daily Prayer

Show us your mercy, O Lord;
And grant us your salvation.
Clothe your ministers with righteousness;
Let your people sing with joy.
Give peace, O Lord, in all the world;
For only in you can we live in safety.
Lord, keep this nation under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth,
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten,
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God,
And sustain us with your Holy Spirit.

From Chrysostom

Lord God Adonai,
as St. Chrysostom prayed,
"Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions
as may be best for us,"
for you always know what is best,
and we seldom do.
Forgive us for trying to inform you
in what is best for us,
and teach us to submit to your wisdom,
and kindness,
in our praying
and in our living,

Facebook Prayer

Thank you, Lord,
for promising
that you'll never
defriend me.

A Father's Thanks

thank you
that my son
of your love
so sincerely
and passionately.