Memorial Day Prayer

In the quiet sanctuaries of our own hearts,
let each of us name and call on
the One whose power over us
is great and gentle,
firm and forgiving,
holy and healing…

You who created us,
who sustain us,
who call us to live in peace,
hear our prayer this day.

Hear our prayer for all who have died,
whose hearts and hopes are known to you alone…

Hear our prayer for those who put the welfare of others
ahead of their own
and give us hearts as generous as theirs…

Hear our prayer for those who gave their lives
in the service of others,
and accept the gift of their sacrifice…

Help us to shape and make a world
where we will lay down the arms of war
and turn our swords into ploughshares
for a harvest of justice and peace…

Comfort those who grieve the loss of their loved ones
and let your healing be the hope in our hearts...

Hear our prayer this day
and in your mercy answer us
in the name of all that is holy.


(from the Concord Pastor blog)

Be All to All

We bring before You, O God:
the cries of the weary,
the pains of the distressed,
the tears of the tragedies of life,
the anxious hours of the insecure,
the restlessness of the refugees,
the hunger of the oppressed.

Dear God, be near to each.

Helper of the helpless,
Hope of the homeless,
The Strength of those tossed with tempests,
The Haven of those who sail:
Be all to all.

Be within us, to strengthen us;
without us, to keep us;
above us, to inspire us;
beneath us, to uphold us;
before us, to direct us;
behind us , to propel us;
around us, to sustain us.
Be all to all in present need.

(A prayer of Lancelot Andrewes)

Everywhere and Always Is In You

Abba, my language
isn't sufficient for you.
I can't express your beauty,
your majesty,
not even your presence.
I know that no matter where I go,
you are there.
You do not arrive after me,
you do not even arrive before me.
You are not even, to be accurate, already "there,"
for the "there" itself is not
a place you occupy,
any more than a moment is a moment to you...
the "there" itself--like the "now" or the "then"--
is found in you, not you in it, for everywhere and always is in you.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
but I praise you in my ignorance and littleness.

Simple Thanks

Lord God,
thank you
for telling me
the truth
about myself.

Chorus X (T. S. Eliot)

O Light Invisible, we praise You!
Too bright for mortal vision.

O Greater Light,
we praise You for the less;
The eastern light
our spires touch at morning,
The light that slants
upon our western doors at evening,
The twilight over
stagnant pools at batflight,
Moon light and star light,
owl and moth light,
Glow-worm glowlight on a grassblade.

O Light Invisible, we worship You!
We thank You for the lights that we have kindled,
The light of altar and of sanctuary;
Small lights of those who meditate at midnight
And lights directed through the colored panes of windows
And light reflected from the polished stone,
The gilded carven wood, the colored fresco.
Our gaze is submarine, our eyes look upward
And see the light that fractures through unquiet water.
We see the light but see not whence it comes.

O Light Invisible, we glorify You!
In our rhythm of earthly life, we tire of light.
We are glad when the day ends, when the play ends; and ecstasy is too much pain.
We are children quickly tired: children who are up in the night and fall asleep as the rocket is fired; and the day is long for work or play.
We tire of distraction or concentration, we sleep and are glad to sleep,
Controlled by the rhythm of blood and the day and the night and the seasons.
And we must extinguish the candle, put out the light and relight it;
Forever must quench, forever relight the flame.

Therefore we thank You for our little light, that is dappled with shadow.
We thank You who has moved us to building, to finding, to forming at the ends of our fingers and beams of our eyes.
And when we have built an altar to the Invisible Light, we may set thereon the little lights for which our bodily vision is made.
And we thank You that darkness reminds us of light.

O Light Invisible, we give You thanks for Your great glory!

A Prayer by e. e. cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing day:
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and
a blue true dream of sky and
for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes

Oregon Tree

God, make me like an Oregon tree, in Jesus' name, amen.

While I Speak to Thee

While I speak to Thee,
Lord, Thy goodness show:
Am I what I ought to be?
Oh, Savior, let me know.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Christ Jesus,
before ascending into heaven,
You promised to send the Holy Spirit
to Your apostles and disciples.
Grant that the same Spirit
may perfect in our lives the work of Your grace and love.

Grant us the Spirit of Fear Of The Lord
that we may be filled with a loving reverence toward You.

The Spirit of Piety
that we may find peace and fulfillment
in the service of God while serving others;

The Spirit of Fortitude
that we may bear our cross with You
and, with courage, overcome the obstacles
that interfere with our salvation;

The Spirit of Knowledge
that we may know You and know ourselves
and grow in holiness;

The Spirit of Understanding
to enlighten our minds
with the light of Your truth;

The Spirit of Counsel
that we may choose the surest way of doing Your will,
seeking first the Kingdom;

Grant us the Spirit of Wisdom
that we may aspire to the things that last forever;

Teach us to be Your faithful disciples
and animate us in every way with Your Spirit. Amen.

Borrowed Prayer

Here at the cross in this sacred hour,
Here at the source of reviving power:
Helpless indeed, I come with my need,
Lord, for Thy service fit me, I plead.

To the Creator

Praise to you, Most Holy, Most High; praise and glory to your name.

I praise you for bestowing life on your Creation; for granting reason to humankind, for making us a little lower than you, higher than the animals, for bestowing on us your likeness.

Thank you and praise to you for creating us as volitional creatures, though by that volition we fell.

Thank you for creating us as sensate beings, though in our sinfulness we serve our senses and sensation more than you.

I praise you for making us rational creatures, though our thoughts and imaginings are clouded by sin.

I praise you that you made us feeling, emotional beings, though we do not love you as we ought.

In all your works you are good and great, most excellent and most worthy of praise, which I offer you imperfectly, incompletely, but sincerely, in Jesus' name, amen.

Victor's Prayer

Lord, I am helpless without you. I am powerless without you. I am wholly, thoroughly inadequate without you. I am empty, weak, ineffectual without you.

But in you, abiding in you, I am more than a conqueror. In you, I can move mountains. In you, I can leap over a wall, overthrow kingdoms, shut the mouths of lions, rout you, abiding in you and walking in your Spirit, I can do all things through Christ, who is my strength. Amen.

A Prayer of Father Louis (Thomas Merton)

Lord, have mercy.

Have mercy on my darkness,
my weakness,
my confusion.

Have mercy on my infidelity,
my cowardice,
my turning about in circles,
my wandering,
my evasions.

I do not ask for anything but such mercy,
in everything,

My life here – a little solidity and very much ashes.
Almost everything is ashes. What I have prized most is ashes.
What I have attended to least is, perhaps…
a little solid.

Lord, have mercy.
Guide me,
make me want again to be holy,
to be a man of God,
even though in desperateness and confusion.

I do not necessarily ask for clarity, a plain way,
but only to go according to your love,
to follow your mercy, to trust your mercy.

I want to seek nothing at all, if this is possible.
But only to be led without looking and without seeking.
For thus to seek is to find.

(Thomas Merton, Journals, August 2, 1960, IV.28)


Lord, have mercy on Calleigh.
Lord, have mercy on Bob.
Lord, have mercy on Lynette.
Lord, have mercy on Mike.
Lord, have mercy on Sandy.
Lord, have mercy on Calvin.
Lord, have mercy on Austin.
Lord, have mercy on Richard.
Lord, have mercy on Kurtis.
Lord, have mercy on Philip.
Lord, have mercy on Joe.
Lord, have mercy on Jim.
Lord, have mercy on Michael.
Lord, have mercy on Jason.
Lord, have mercy on Dee.
Lord, have mercy on Missie.
Lord, have mercy on Sara.
Lord, have mercy on Jack.

Ascension Sunday Prayer

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks and praise. Today the Lord Jesus, the king of glory, the conqueror of sin and death, ascended to heaven while the angels sang his praises.

Christ, the mediator between God and humankind, judge of the world and Lord of all, has passed beyond our sight, not to abandon us but to be our hope. Christ is the beginning, the head of the Church; where he has gone, we hope to follow.

The joy of the resurrection and ascension renews the whole world, while the choirs of heaven sing for ever to your glory: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!

For the Absence of Things

Lord, I praise you
for the absence of things:
for hunger,
because by it I know the blessing of fulness;
for silence,
for by it I know the blessing of sound;
for want,
for it teaches me gratitude when wants
are supplied;
for darkness,
because by it I learn to love light;
for sickness,
for emptiness, idleness, helplessness,
for by all such things you teach me gratitude and remind me that all good and perfect gifts come down to me from your hand, by your grace, in Jesus' name, amen.

Thanks by Number

Thank you, Lord God, for the
1 wife you have given me,
2 children I'm so proud of,
2 awesome people they married,
2 wonderful parents I was born to,
2 older brothers I grew up with,
2 paid-off cars that still run,
2 accountability partners to meet with,
2 sharp eyes,
2 good ears,
2 strong legs,
2 good arms,
3 amazing grandchildren,
3 fine pastors I labor beside,
4 godly grandparents,
4 trips to Israel we've enjoyed,
4 churches I've pastored,
10 fingers to type with,
30 years of ministry,
33 years of marriage, and more than
52 years, and more than
625 months, and more than
19,027 days, and more than
456,648 hours, and more than
27,406,080 minutes of life so far.

And that just scratches the surface.

Prayer for a Peacemaking Church

Abba, as I enter into three days of conflict coaching and conciliation training this morning, please grant that I and all who gather will be thoroughly equipped, so as to make our church a peacemaking church, in Jesus' name, amen.

My Psalm 121

I look up, I look around,
I look all over for help.
Then I remember: my help comes from you, LORD,
the One who made heaven and earth.
I don't know why I ever look to anything
or anyone else.
You hold onto me.
You never take your eyes off me.
You're never surprised,
never confused,
never overwhelmed.
You are always alert
and always there for me,
my Watcher,
my Keeper,
my Shelter,
my Shade.

You will keep you from all harm—
you will watch over my life;
you will watch over my coming and going
both now and forevermore.
(The illustration is a painting by William Brody; can be purchased at

I'm No Folliot S. Pierpoint

For the beauty of this day,
for the fragrance of honeysuckle,
for the rising of the sun,
for the flight of the sparrow,
for the blood in my veins,
and the impulses of my brain,
for the precise mixture in the air I breathe,
for the gift of language
and the consciousness and thought and spirit
which all combine to graciously grant me
the ability to praise you,
Father, unto Thee I raise,
This, my sacrifice of praise, in Jesus' name, amen.

Another Prayer of Anselm

O, Lord my God, teach my heart where and how to seek you, where and how to find you. Lord, if you are not here but absent, where shall I seek you? But you are everywhere, so you must be here, why then do I not seek you? Surely you dwell in light inaccessible – where is it? and how can I have access to light which is inaccessible? Who will lead me and take me into it so that I may see you there? . . . What shall your servant do, eager for your love, cast off far from your face? . . . You are my Lord and my God, and I have never seen you. You have created and re-created me, all the good I have comes from you, and still I do not know you, and I have not yet accomplished that for which I was made.

A Preacher's Prayer by Henri Nouwen

Dear Lord, you have sent me into this world to preach your word. So often the problems of the world seem so complex and intricate that your word strikes me as embarrassingly simple. Many times I feel tongue-tied in the company of people who are dealing with the world's social and economic problems.

But you, O Lord, said, 'Be clever as serpents and innocent as doves.' Let me retain innocence and simplicity in the midst of this complex world. I realize that I have to be informed, that I have to study the many aspects of the problems facing the world, and that I have to try to understand as well as possible the dynamics of contemporary society. But what really counts is that all this information, knowledge and insight allow me to speak more clearly and unambiguously your truthful word. Do not allow evil powers to seduce me with the complexities of the world's problems, but give me the strength to think clearly, speak freely, and act boldly in your service.

Give me the courage to show the dove in a world so full of serpents. Amen.

A Prayer for the Bride and Groom

God grant them,
today and every day that is to come,
a love that burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame;
the love which many waters cannot quench,
and mighty rivers cannot wash away;
the love which lasts longer than life
is stronger than death,
and is worth more than all the wealth
in the world,
in Jesus’ name, amen.

(based on Song of Solomon 8:6-7)

My Psalm 120

I call on you, LORD, in my distress,
and you answer me.
You don't always share my sense of urgency,
but you do answer.

Save me, O LORD, from lying lips
and from deceitful tongues,
even as you grant me mercy
and compassion
toward those who slit their own throats
and shoot themselves in the foot
by their own duplicity.

They deprive and destroy themselves
even as they damage others.

Too long have I lived
among those who hate peace.

By your grace, I am a man of peace;
by your grace, help me share shalom with others.

A Prayer from a Preacher's Study

Gracious God, grant please,
as E. M. Bounds wrote,
that prayer in my life,
in my study,
in my preaching,
would be a conspicuous
and all-impregnating force
and an all-coloring ingredient.
Let it play no secondary part,
be no mere coating.
Train me in self-denying prayer,
and make of my study
a closet,
a Bethel,
an altar,
a vision,
and a ladder,
that every thought might ascend heavenward
before it goes manward,
that every part of my preaching
might be scented by the air of heaven
and made serious,
because you were there, in the study,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(from Power Through Prayer, chapter 5)

A Prayer for Prisoners and Corrections Officers by St. Cyprian

Most gracious Father, bless with Thy special care all penitentiaries and homes of refuge. Look with pity upon those who are housed there. Guide and protect those who have returned to the world. Grant all of them true contrition for past sins, and strengthen them in their good resolutions. Lead them along from grace to grace so that by the help of the Holy Ghost they may persevere in the ways of obedience and humility, and in the struggle against evil thoughts and desires. Grant the Holy Spirit to those engaged in teaching and training them, that they might have a right judgment with respect to those entrusted to them. May they labor for love of Thee with deep humility and singleness of purpose, purity of heart and life, and true zeal for Thy glory and the salvation of souls. Give them faith and love to sustain them in disappointment, love and patience toward those under them, and in Thine own good time crown their work with an eternal recompense. This we ask in the name of Thine only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Become As Little Children

Lord, you said "Unless you become as little children, you will in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven."

I'm sorry for misapplying your words.
You didn't mean for me to become whiny,
and demanding, did you?

My bad.


Restored Joy

Thank you, Lord God Adonai,
for restoring to me the joy of my salvation,
the joy of your presence,
the joy of work,
the joy of friendship,
the joy of my ministry,
the joy of preaching,
the joy of studying,
the joy of life.

You have answered my prayers,
you have renewed a steadfast spirit within me,
you have granted me a willing spirit, to sustain me,
and a respite from past pains....
either that, or you have granted me victory
over pain.

Either way, I thank you and bless you.
Open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise.
In your good pleasure make Cobblestone prosper.
Build up the walls of your protection around her.
And let me be a part of your good plans for all who serve you there,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of Anselm

Lord, my God, you gave me life and restored it when I lost it. Tell my soul that so longs for you what else you are besides what it has already understood, so that it may see you clearly. It stands on tiptoe to see more, but apart from what it has seen already, it sees nothing but darkness. Of course it does not really see darkness, because there is no darkness in you, but it sees that it can see no further because of the darkness in itself.

Surely, Lord, inaccessible light is your dwelling place, for no one apart from yourself can enter into it and fully comprehend you. If I fail to see this light, it is simply because it is too bright for me. Still, it by this light that I do see all that I can, even as weak ees, unable to look straight at the sun, see all they can by the sun’s light.

The light in which you dwell, Lord, is beyond my understanding. It is so brilliant that I cannot bear it, I cannot turn my mind’s eye toward it for any length of time. I am dazzled by its brightness, amazed by its grandeur, overwhelmed by its immensity, bewildered by its abundance.

My Psalm 119 (Part 7)


Jesus, I call with all my heart; answer me, and
joyfully I will do all you say.
Just as I am, I cry out to you;
just as I am, save me and I will give you glory.

Jesus, I will turn to you first thing in the morning;
just walk with me through the day, and all fear will fade.

Join my vigil, as I keep eyes open through the watches of the night;
join my heart to yours as I meditate on your promises.

Jesus, hear my voice;
Jesus, preserve my life;
Jesus, keep me close.


Rock, Redeemer, Righteous One, look upon my suffering and deliver me.
Redeem me and vindicate me;
rescue my life as you have promised.

Rake my Enemy over the coals;
rebuke him and make him flee.

Reward me with your compassion, O LORD;
regard my life and
renew me.

Rally my energy against all my foes, and
restore me to a place of joy and contentment.

Righteous and true are all your words;
righteous and loving are all your commands.

Sin and Shin

Savior, show me your kindness and I will be satisfied;
stand for me, for I stand on your Word.
Such joy your Word gives me.

Strike all hate and falsehood from my heart,
show me your grace and your kindness.

Seven times a day I praise you;
should be seventy.

Send your shalom on me,
save me from stumbling.

Send your salvation, O LORD,
steer me in the way of your commands.

Strong Tower, I will run in the way of your statutes, and
stand on your Word.


To you I lift my voice, O LORD;
train me in your word.
Turn your ear to my requests;
to you I will cling.

The song of my heart sings your praise,
teach me your decrees.
Teach me to turn to you before all earthly help.
Teach me to rely on your help.
Teach me to delight in your law.
Teach me to draw nourishment from your Word.

Touch me today, that I may praise you;
tell me where to go and what to say.