Heir Prayer

You own the cattle on a thousand hills,
The wealth in every mine,
You own the rivers and the rocks and rills,
The sun and stars that shine;
Wonderful riches more than tongue can tell,
You are my Father, so they're mine as well,
You own the cattle on a thousand hills,
I know that you will care for me.

My Psalm 119 (Part 6)


Wise and gracious God,
watch over me and envelop me in your care.
Ward off all evil and keep me safe.

Where are you? I look for your salvation,
watching until my eyes
wear out.

Wake me with your your love and
walk with me through each day.

Work your will in me.
With your Word, I can be wise.
With your help, I can be strong.
With your guidance, I can be effective.

What is gold to me? It is nothing,
while your Word is everything.

Work your will in me.


Papa, Abba, Father, your statutes are wonderful,
pointing my feet in the ways of righteousness.

Print your words on my heart;
please emblazon them on my mind.

Pour your Word into my mouth and let it flow from me like a river;
put me where I can tell of your marvelous works.

Please turn to me and have mercy on me;
Papa, you are always kind to those who love your name.

Purge me from sin and
purify my heart and life more and more each passing day.

Please free me from the need for man's approval.
Point your smiling face upon your servant.
Plow up the fallow ground of my heart.
Plant the seeds of righteousness in me.
Produce a bumper crop of holiness in me.


Creator God, you are awesome in all your ways;
command me and I will obey.

Create in me a heart that runs in the way of your commands,
clinging to your Word like a lover and a lifeline.

Craft me into a worthy vessel,
cleanse me and
change me.

Call, and I will answer.
Carve your words on my heart.
Channel my life wherever you choose.

Captain of my salvation, your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true.
Creator of all, your statutes are forever right;
close your wings around me and hide me there. Amen.

My Psalm 119 (Part 5)


My God, I love your Word! I rely on it.
May I memorize it and meditate on it
more than I do.
Make me wiser than my enemies by my devotion to it, for they are
many and they are ever with me.

Master, grant me
more insight than ever before,
more attentiveness to your Word and words.

Make me more understanding than I have otherwise any hope of being.
Mind my feet and keep them from every evil path so I
might obey your word and honor you.

Merciful One, I long for your Word and listen for your instruction.

Make me once more and always an addict for your Word;
make me hopelessly dependent on it.


Night light: that is your Word to me.
Neon sign: that too.

Nothing compares to your precious Word.
Nothing lifts me up,
nothing carries me through,
nothing protects me and preserves me,
nothing blesses me or encourages me like your Word.

None of my other reading,
no matter how inspiring, approaches the limitless value of your Word.
None of it measures up,
none of it even comes close.

Never let me
neglect it,
never misuse it,
never ever forsake it.


Strong Tower, my God,
sweet lover of my soul,
stand with me against double-minded men and women,
sustain me with your Word.

Shield me, my refuge;
shower me with hope through your Word.

Send evildoers away from me, and
save me from being distracted from your Word by their machinations.

Sustain me according to your gracious promise, and I will live;
supply my hope, my joy, my stamina.

Shore up my defenses, and I will be delivered;
stay with me when the next attack comes.

Save me from
Search me and
steel me against all temptation.

Stay with me, and let your Word
stay in me and
stream from me.

An Early Morning Prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you:
I cannot do this alone.
In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me…
Restore me to liberty,
And enable me to live now
That I may answer before you and before me.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.

A Prayer for My Dad on His 90th Birthday

Lord God,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You were there
in Hutchinson, Kansas,
when a boy was born
to David and Bessie Hostetler,
and named Charles Vernon.

Today, he turns ninety.
Thank you for his long life,
and continued health,
and the three sons he raised
with his wife, my mother.
Thank you for the heritage of faith
he received
and passed on.

On this day
and every day hence,
please bless him mightily
and grant that he may enjoy his life,
his loves,
his puzzles,
his meals,
and peace,
in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 119 (Part 4)


You made me, Lord God Adonai;
you created me.
You have given me grace upon grace. Now, please, will
you also give me the further blossoming of the fruit of the Spirit in my life?

You bring me joy, and
you have lately reawakened joy in my spirit, in your service; now let
your joy abound in my life, abound and abound.

Your word is my hope.
Your voice is my inspiration.
Your unfailing love is my comfort.
Your promises are my strength.

Your tender mercies--let them surround me so I may live.
Your instructions--let them be my passion.
Your people--they are my people.
Your desires--make them my desires, and I will never be ashamed.


King Jesus, I do get worn out,
but I have put my hope in your word.

King Eternal, I do sometimes lose patience
awaiting the fulfillment of all your promises,
looking for your vindication, your deliverance.

Keep me as the apple of your eye.
Keep me faithful to you in all I do and say.
Keep me refreshed in your Word, and
keep me kind to all, even to those who persecute me.


Lord, your eternal word stands firm in heaven.
Lover of my soul, your faithfulness extends to every generation,
and has never yet failed me.

Lord, you have been so faithful to accomplish your plans in me,
and I know you are still working on me, sometimes painfully,
until I reflect your likeness.

Lighten my steps today with the joy of the Lord.
Lift me up and let me stand on your Word.
Let my mind be constantly trained by your gracious precepts.

Limitless is your perfection, and your enduring
love for me, the
lowliest of your servants, my
Lord, my God.

My Psalm 119 (Part 3)


Zealously remember your word to your servant, Lord,
your many promises and assurances.
Zealously comfort me in my affliction,
for your presence is life to me.
Whoever may deride me, or despise me,
I will do whatever you ask, whatever you command.

Grant that I may take comfort in your commands,
and defend your honor against those who lie
and attack
and forsake your commands.

What is it with people, Lord,
that we can call ourselves by your name
and yet blatantly ignore what you tell us to do,
how you tell us to act?

Your words are my lyrics, O Lord,
wherever I am.
I am blessed.


Hallelujah, LORD! You are my portion; I await your command.
Help me, and grant me your favor; be gracious to me according to your promise.
Hasten to my assistance and turn my feet to your testimonies;
hasten and do not delay.
Help me when the wicked ensnare me;
hold me close when my "friends" desert me.
Help me to stay faithful in praising and seeking you,
and keep me in the company of all who fear you,
of those who keep your precepts.
Hallelujah, LORD! The earth blossoms with your steadfast love;
help me to learn your ways.


Triune God, you have dealt well with your servant,
true to your word.
Teach me discernment and wisdom,
that I may better follow you and please you and glorify you.
Too many times I have neglected your way, but hallelujah! you have
taught me faithfulness.

Triune God, you are good and do good;
train me in your ways.
Take the lies some people tell about me,
those whose hearts are unfeeling, and
turn them somehow to accomplish your glory.
The words of your mouth are priceless to me, more priceless
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

My Psalm 119 (Part 2)


Dear Lord, I do get knocked down, but your Word revives me.
Deliver me from my own plans, and teach me to wait on you.

Direct me with your Word, and teach me

Dry my weeping eyes with the consolation of your words.
Deliver me from self-deception and grant me the
distinction of knowing and heeding your instructions.

Draw me closer to you,
draw the contours of my life to align with your gracious Word.

Dread Warrior King, I cling to your laws.
Deliver me from shame and ignorance, and
drive evildoers far from me.


Heavenly Father, teach me.
Holy God, make me holy.

Handle me gently and mold my heart to beat in rhythm with your commands,
for that is where my happiness is found.
Hold me tightly,
fill me with an eagerness for your laws.

Heal me and turn my eyes from worthless things,
and focus me instead on your beauty.

Help me trust in your promise.
Help me abandon all shameful ways.
Help me become every day more like The Word.
Help me to be renewed every day by your goodness.


Wonderful Counselor, Lord God, give me your unfailing love,
write your salvation on my life.

Work in me the things that please you and answer those who revile me,
wake me each day with the truth of your Word.

With you, and with your Word, I can hope.
With you, and with your Word, I can thrive.
With you, and with your Word, I can walk in freedom,
with utter devotion to your commandments.
With you, and with your Word, I can talk to kings and
will not be ashamed.

Wonderful is your Word.
Wonderful are you.


My Psalm 119 (Part 1)


Abba, I am always better off when I walk in your ways,
always better off to keep my eyes on you,
always better off to follow your instructions,
always better off to seek him you with my whole heart;

Always better off to make your ways mine, than to foolishly try to make my ways yours!

Always better off to align my life with your Word and will,
always better off to keep my mind stayed on you;

Always better off to meditate on your Word, and stay faithful in prayer,
always better off praise you with my lips and follow you with my life.


Bless me Lord, and help me to keep my way pure,
by aligning my life with your word.
Be the object of my heart's desire,
be the end of my life's pursuit.

Bless me with the ability to remember your words, to
be guided by them and not by temptation.

Blessed are you, O LORD;
by your gracious Word I am molded.

Bring your words to my mind repeatedly throughout the day.
Bind them to my mind and heart and will like a phylactery.


Gracious God, be generous to your servant, and I will live;
give me favor and I will respond with gratitude.

Guide me by your wonderful Word, and
grant that I may hear your voice clearly and unmistakably.

Give me clear directions, and
go with me everywhere I go.

God, my soul is consumed with longing for you, I am
greedy for you, for your words.

Give the arrogant what they deserve;
grant me continued deliverance from them.
Grant to me and those I love your blessing, your
great reward in the face of their lies.

Gracious God, you delight me in every way;
guide and counsel me with your Word.

If You Plan to Bless Me

Lord God Adonai,
if you plan to bless me--
and I know you do--
then no devil's strategy
and no man's scheme
can thwart you!

So bless me, Lord.
Bless me,
bless my wife,
bless my family,
bless my children,
my grandchildren,
my flock,
my body,
my preaching,
my sleeping,
my thinking,
my feeling,
my dreaming,
and more,
in Jesus' name, amen.

The Bread of Tears

Feed me, Lord,
with the bread of tears,
and give me a measure of tears to drink.

(Thomas A Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Chapter 22)

I Will Not Be Dismayed

Abba, you are wonderful to me.
You hold me,
help me,
encourage me,
defend me.

I will not be dismayed,
no matter what my Enemy may do,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer for Compassion

Lord Jesus, I have not done well as a pastor
in ministering to people with all kinds of dysfunctions.
Make me like you, please,
who healed every disease.
Help me to better care for those
with narcissistic tendencies.
Help me not to avoid those
with borderline personality disorder.
Help me to be patient with those
suffering under the weight of bipolar disorder.
And more.
Help me not to alienate
or dismiss
or give up
on even those with the most severe dysfunctions,
nor even to favor those
who share my own dysfunctions,

Men at Work

Abba, Father, tomorrow our mission team to Peru begins their journey home. Please clear the way before them for a safe and successful journey, and fill their minds and hearts with petitions and praises for the people they've met and the things they've accomplished, in Jesus' name, amen.

Pollen Prayer

Lord, you created pollen,
and like everything you created,
it enhances and multiplies
the beauty of your creation.

But this year,
more than most,
right now,
the pollen in the air
is causing suffering
for many.

Please help.
Have mercy.

A Prayer for April 15

On this day of internal revenue
some of us are paid up,
some of us owe,
some of us await a refund,
some of us have no income to tax.

But all of us are taxed,
by war,
by violence,
by anxiety,
by deathliness.

And Caesar never gives any deep tax relief.

We render to Caesar . . .
to some it feels like a grab,
to some it is clearly a war tax,
to some – some few –
it is a way to contribute to the common good.

In any case we are haunted
by what we render to Caesar,
by what we might render to you,
by the way we invest our wealth and our lives,
when what you ask is an “easy yoke”:
to do justice
to love mercy
to walk humbly with you.

Give us courage for your easy burden, so to live untaxed lives. Amen.

(a prayer by Walter Brueggemann, from his book, Prayers for a Privileged People, Abingdon, 2008)

Various and Sundry Thanks

Thank you, Lord,
a million times thank you.
You are such a gracious God,
such a kind Father,
such a patient Friend.

Thank you for all you enabled me
to accomplish today,
and all the challenges
you've put before me tomorrow.

Thank you for a lovely date night with my bride.
Thank you that I have such a wife,
such children,
and such grandchildren.

Thank you for answered prayer today for Calleigh,
who continues to grow
and enjoy good health.

Thank you for the books I am reading.
Thank you for the food I have eaten.
Thank you for the restful night that awaits me.
Thank you for the joy and blessing
of studying your Word,
and for the inestimable privilege
of preparing another message tomorrow
for your people.

Thank you that I am a child of the King,
a servant of the Most High.
Thank you that I am blessed with every spiritual blessing
in Christ Jesus.
Thank you that I am a joint-heir with Jesus.
Thank you that I am more than conqueror,
a victor, not a victim,
the head and not the tail.

Thank you that I am not what the Enemy says I am,
what I fear I am,
what others think I am,
but that I am what your gracious will
declares me to be,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Quick Prayer

A Prayer of Lancelot Andrewes

Be unto me, O Lord,
always thy mighty hand for defence:
thy mercy in Christ for salvation:
thine all true word for instruction:
the grace of thy life-bringing Spirit
for comfort until the end and in the end.

I commend unto Thee,
O Lord,
my soul and my body,
my mind and my thoughts,
my words and my deeds,
my hands, feet and eyes,
my life and my death.

O Gladsome Light of the holy glory of the immortal Father, heavenly holy, blest, O Jesus Christ, being come to the going down of the sun, seeing the evening light, we hymn the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit of God. Worthy art Thou at all times to be hymned with holy voices, Son of God, which givest life: therefore the world doth glorify Thee.

A Ragamuffin Prayer

Grazie, Signore...
for judging me
not by my shabby good deeds
but by Your love
that is Your gift to me,
for Your unbearable forgiveness
and infinite patience with me,
for other people
who have greater gifts than mine,
and for the honesty
to acknowledge
that I am
a ragamuffin.

(Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, p. 121).

A Preacher's Prayer

My Master God,
I am desired to preach today,
but go weak and needy to my task;
Yet I long that people
might be edified with divine truth,
that an honest testimony
might be borne for thee;
Give me assistance in preaching and prayer,
with heart uplifted for grace and unction.
Present to my view
things pertaining to my subject,
with fullness of matter and clarity of thought,
proper expressions, fluency, fervency,
a feeling sense of the things I preach,
and grace to apply them to men’s consciences.
Keep me conscious all the while of my defects,
and let me not gloat in pride
over my performance.
Help me to offer a testimony for thyself,
and to leave sinners inexcusable
in neglecting thy mercy.
Give me freedom to open the sorrows of thy people,
and set before them comforting considerations.
Attend with power the truth preached.
and awaken the attention of my slothful audience.
May thy people be refreshed, melted, convicted, comforted,
and help me to use the strongest arguments
drawn from Christ’s incarnation and sufferings,
that men might be made holy.

I myself need thy support, comfort, strength, holiness,
that I might be a pure channel of thy grace,
and be able to do something for thee;
Give me then refreshment among thy people,
and help me not to treat excellent matter in a defective way,
or bear a broken testimony to so worthy a redeemer,
or be harsh in treating of Christ’s death, its design and end,
from lack of warmth and fervency.
And keep me in tune with thee as I do this work.

(from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers, edited by Arthur Bennett)

A Prayer of Charles Wesley, Personalized

Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven, to earth come down;
fix in me thy humble dwelling;
all thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit me with thy salvation;
enter now my trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit
into this, my troubled breast!
Let me all in thee inherit;
let me find that second rest.
Take away my bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
end of faith, as its beginning,
set my heart at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver,
let me all thy life receive;
suddenly return and never,
nevermore this temple leave.
Thee I would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

Finish, then, thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be.
Let me see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee;
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven I take my place,
till I cast myself before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.
(the image above is one of many illustrated hymns by Diana Wolverton. See more (and order prints) here)

Have Your Way

This yearning deep within me
reaches out to you;
Your joy of oil for mourning
soaks me, makes me new,
And I will go
to your secret place,
Bow my knee
to your glorious throne.
Have your way
in my heart, O Lord,
have your way.
I need you, Holy Spirit,
fire to my soul;
Consume my total being.
Jesus, take control.

(by Darlene Zschech, Hillsong Publishing, 1998)

The Gift of Silence

God, please grant me the gift of silence,
the grace to hold my tongue.

My Psalm 118

I give you my thanks, LORD, for you are good,
and your love never fails.

I will say it again:
your love never fails.

I will say it wherever I go:
your love never fails.

I will say it whatever happens:
your love never fails.

In my lowest moments I cried out to you,
and you answered me
and set me free.

You are with me; how can I be afraid?
What can man do to me?

If you decide to bless me,
who can stand against me?

I will take refuge in you, LORD;
I am learning not to trust in man
or rely on the approval of anyone but you.

I've learned the hard way,
but by your grace,
I am learning to seek your pleasure
even in the face of the hypocritical and hyper-critical,
who sometimes seem to surround me on every side.
swarming like bees.
But with your help, I stand.

I've been pushed to my limit at times,
but you never failed to help me.

You are my strength and my song;
my great and constant deliverer.

Let shouts of joy and victory
once again resound in the tents of the righteous.
Let your people once more declare,
"The LORD's right hand has done mighty things!"

Let your right hand be lifted high;
let your right hand do mighty things in our midst.

Open for me the gates of righteousness;
and I promise, I will enter and give thanks to you.

I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
and never fail to deliver me.

Put me anywhere you want,
use me any way that will bring you pleasure,
even if that means
more brokenness and pain.

As long as I know it is you doing it,
I will be content.

This is the day you have made;
whatever it brings, I will rejoice in it.

O LORD, save us;
O LORD, grant us success.

You are God,
and you have made your light shine upon me.
you lead me in triumphal procession in Christ

You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
you are my God, and I will exalt you,
spreading everywhere the fragrance
of the knowledge of your Son, by your grace.

I give you my thanks, LORD, for you are good,
and your love never fails.

Ignorant Prayer

O my God . . .
I do not know what to do,
But my eyes are on you.

(Based on 2 Chronicles 20:12)

Easter Prayer

It is only right,
with all the powers of our heart and mind,
to praise You Father
and Your Only-begotten Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ:
Dear Father, by Your wondrous
condescension of loving-kindness toward us,
Your servants, You gave up Your Son.
Dear Jesus You paid the debt of Adam
for us to the Eternal Father by
Your Blood poured
fourth in loving-kindness.
You cleared away the darkness of sin
By Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection.
You broke the bonds of death
and rose from the grave as a Conqueror.
You reconciled heaven and earth.
Our life had no hope of eternal happiness
before You redeemed us.
Your Resurrection has washed away our sins,
restored our innocence and brought us joy.
How inestimable is the tenderness
of Your love!

(Saint Gregory the Great's Easter Prayer)

Holy Saturday Prayer

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so may we await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Good Friday Prayer by Christina Rossetti

Am I a stone, and not a sheep,
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,
To number drop by drop Thy blood's slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon--
I, only I.

Yet give not o'er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

Maundy Thursday Prayer

Lord, wash,
not my feet only,
but also my hands and my head (John 13:9).
And my heart.
And my mind.
And my life.