When Life's Circumstances Lift Me to the Crest of the Wave

Lord, forgive me
that when life’s circumstances
lift me to the crest of the wave,
I tend to forget Thee.
Yet, like an errant child,
I have blamed Thee
with my every failure,
even as I credit myself
with every success.

When my fears evaporate like the morning mist,
then vainly I imagine that I am sufficient unto myself,
that material resources and human resources are enough.

I need Thee when the sun shines,
lest I forget the storm and the dark.
I need Thee when I am popular,
when my friends and those who work beside me
approve and compliment me.
I need Thee more then, lest my head begin to swell.

O God, forgive me for my stupidity,
my blindness in success,
my lack of trust in Thee.
Be Thou now my Savior in success.

Save me from conceit.
Save me from pettiness.
Save me from myself!
And take this success, I pray, and use it for Thy glory. In Thy strength, I pray.


(a prayer by Peter Marshall)

A Prayer Before I Preach

Lord God, what a marvel,
that I can proclaim your Word!
What an honor.
What a joy.

You dwell with the lowly
and visit those who tremble at Your Word.
Anoint me with lowliness.
Fill me with trembling.

Come upon me in spirit and truth.
Overshadow me with your Spirit.

All my springs are in you, Lord.
Flow from me
for the salvation of sinners
and for the blessing,
and upbuilding of your church,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer for Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia

Abba, Father, God of all,
hear my prayer for the people of Egypt,
and Tunisia,
as political unrest and turmoil
rage in their lands.

Lord, please protect the people.
Please watch over them.
Bring about constructive change,
increasing freedom,
and peace.
Let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!

I pray especially for my brothers and sisters in Christ throughout those lands, that you will protect them as you protected your people in the days of Esther and Mordecai.

For all who are afraid, send protection.
To all who are angry, bring peace.
On all who pursue righteousness, shower success,
in Jesus' name, amen.


Lord God, Heavenly Father,
I know that I am not yet
what you call me to be,
but I thank you from my heart
that I am not now what I once was.

The Worth of Jesus Perfumes My Humble Breathings

O God of grace,
I bewail my cold,
heartless prayers;
their poverty adds sin to my sin.
If my hope were in them
I should be undone,
But the worth of Jesus perfumes my feeble breathings,
and wins their acceptance.

Deepen my contrition of heart,
Confirm my faith in the blood that washes from all sin.
May I walk lovingly with my great Redeemer.
Flood my soul with true repentance
that my heart may be broken for sin and unto sin.
Let me be as slow to forgive myself
as thou art ready to forgive me.
Gazing on the glories of thy grace
may I be cast into the lowest depths of shame.
and walk with downcast head now thou art pacified towards me.

O my great High Priest,
pour down upon me streams of needful grace,
bless me in all my undertakings,
in every thought of my mind,
every word of my lips,
every step of my feet,
every deed of my hands.
Thou didst live to bless,
die to bless,
rise to bless,
ascend to bless,
take thy throne to bless,
and now thou dost reign to bless.

O give sincerity to my desires,
earnestness to my supplications,
fervour to my love.

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

A Prayer for Miles

Lord, look at him.
Isn't he so awfully cute?
Thank you for the glasses
that have been prescribed for him.
But for all their healing potential,
I trust in you first and foremost
for his healing.

Please heal every muscle
and nerve and function
in his eyes,
and make surgery

In Jesus' healing hame I pray,

Thanks for Small People

Lord God Adonai, I thank you for small people,
with small minds and small hearts,
if only because their small behavior
is overshadowed by those who
shine like stars in the sky,
blameless and pure,
children of God without fault
in a warped and crooked generation.

Drown Me In You

Oh, Lord, by your gracious and blessed salvation,
let me enter fully into you and into your presence,
your fellowship,
your infinite sufficiency.

I take you, Lord, as my all.
I take you as my ENOUGH.
I take you as my sufficiency.

Please rid me of all but you.
Cleanse me of all that is not of you.
Give me you.
Fill me with you.
Drown me in you.

Lift My Vision of You

Lord God,
you are high and lifted up,
the lofty One who inhabits eternity
and yet is not contained by it.

Lift my vision of you, Lord.
Let me always see you,
grasp you,
attain you as a fact,
not merely as a concept,
an idea,
or an ideal.

Fine-tune my heart and mind
to truly sing your praises aright,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer Before Preaching

God, save me
from the sin of paring down the gospel
to suit the pride of men.

God grant
that I may deliver your message
straight and full and plain,
that, whatever else I may sacrifice,
I will have one thing—
the favor of my Lord Jesus Christ.

(Based on the words of J. Gresham Machen, “Prophets False and True,” in God Transcendent (Edinburgh, 1982), page 125).

Bursting Limit

This cardboard box
see it says
Bursting limit
100 lbs. per square inch.
The box maker knew
how much strain
the box would take
what weight
would crush it.
You are wiser
than the box maker
maker of my spirit
my mind
my body.
Does the box know
when pressure increases close to
the limit?
It knows nothing.
But I know
when my breaking point
Is near.
And so I pray
Maker of my soul
Determiner of the pressure
Stop it
lest I be broken
Or else
change the pressure rating
of this fragile container
of your grace
so that I may bear more.

(A prayer of Joseph Bayly from Psalms of My LIfe)

As a Little Child

Lord, help me to receive your kingdom--daily--as a little child.

Save Me From Self

Lord save me
from myself
my settled self
unsettle me
bring to end of rope
but only
if you
are at the end.
My procrastinating self
that can so easy find
side roads
that are more interesting
even ones where
errands can be run.
Send me back to
my comfort loving self
uncomfort me
pull the covers from me
on cold night
that I may wake. Starve my body
that my soul may feast.
My proud self.
Give me grace to bend myself
And keep me bent
lest you should one day
bend me to the breaking point.
My righteous self
show me sin
that lurks beneath
my conscious thought
that pushes me
to settling
comfort pride
and self
rationalizing self
that finds excuse
for what I do
and don't.
Save me from myself
Save me so that
self may die
and save me
from pride
that self is dead.

(A Prayer of Joseph Bayly, from Psalms of My Life)

A Prayer Before Writing

Lord God Adonai,
I am about to write.
I have nothing to say,
nothing to offer.
I am a poor writer,
and an even poorer Christian.
And yet I must try
to find words
that will bring into being
something that has never been before.
Help me, Lord.
Inspire me.
Empower me.
Flow through me.
Grant that I may write
better than I can write,
and thus know that
all the honor and glory and thanks
belong to you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Prayer Suggested by Psalms 63 and 141

God, you are my God,
and I seek you this morning;
let my prayers rise before you
like the morning sacrifice.

Please grant that I may seek you wholeheartedly,
which I confess I do not now.

Grant that I may seek you only,
which I do not now.

Grant that I may seek you moment-by-moment,
consistently, and constantly,
which I do not now,
for I need you
constantly and completely and only, amen.

The Valley of Vision

Lord, High and Holy,
meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me
to the valley of vision,
Where I live in the depths
but see Thee in the heights;
Hemmed in by mountains of sin,
I behold Thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox:
-that the way down is the way up
-that to be low is to be high
-that the broken heart is the healed heart
-that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit
-that the repenting soul is the victorious soul
-that to have nothing is to possess all
-that to bear the cross is to wear the crown
-that to give is to receive
-that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the night time stars can be seen from the deepest wells,
And the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;

Let me find Thy light in my darkness,
-Thy life in my death
-Thy joy in my sorrow
-Thy grace in my sin
-Thy riches in my poverty
-Thy glory in my valley.

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


Fill my cup, Lord;
I lift it up, Lord.
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup,
fill it up and make me whole.

Prayer Prompted by Reading

Thank you, Father,
that I have never been
a hostage,
a prisoner,
or castaway.

Zarephath Prayer

Lord God Adonai, let it be to me as it was to the widow of Zarephath.

Let the jar of flour not be used up
and the jug of oil not run dry
until the day you send
showers of blessing on me,
on my home,
on my land,
on my life.

In Jesus' name, amen.

(Based on 1 Kings 17:14)

Evening Prayer on a Snowy Day

Good evening, good Lord!

So busy are we
about so many trivial things...

Perhaps that's why
you spent this day
blanketing us with snow,
slowing our steps,
hitting our pause button
and grinding the traffic of our business
to a halt...

* * *

I needed that, Lord.
I needed to be inconvenienced,
interrupted, slowed down
- stopped -
by the pure, soft beauty
of your presence,
settling gently, flake by flake;
dressing me and my world
in a garment of pure grace...

Let the snow fall on my upturned face,
let me catch its sweetness on my tongue
and taste your presence...

Am I too old, Lord,
for making angels in the snow?
Then send a snowy angel
to make of me
what you would have me be...

Even as the snow chills my limbs
let your touch melt my heart
and draw me inside
to where the fire of your love
burns for me always,
crackling, bright and warm...

Remind me, Lord,
of those who are burdened by this weather
and empty my pockets
to shelter and serve them...

Later, Lord, in the quiet of night
the snow will slow and stop
and by morning our pace will quicken again...

Keep us mindful then of these moments
when the blanket of your presence
stills and warms our hearts
close to you...


(From A Concord Pastor Comments blog)

Light These Idle Sticks of My Life

God, I pray Thee,
light these idle sticks of my life
and may I burn for Thee.

Consume my life, my God,
for it is Thine.

I seek not a long life,
but a full one, like you, Lord Jesus.

(A prayer by Jim Elliot, martyred missionary to the indigenous people of Ecuador)

A Prayer for Sudan

Abba, Father,
I cry out to you today
on behalf of the people of Sudan.

I ask you to give them
energy to work for justice,
genius to solve stubborn problems,
compassion for others,
and resources to work with.

Give them leaders with integrity and wisdom.
Raise up leaders in the churches.
Provide training for their leaders
and patience,
and cooperation for all.

Let the results of the referendum be pleasing to you,
and let the problems that stand in the way
of peace and progress--
usage rights for the Nile,
border disputes,
a plan for sharing oil revenues,
and more--
be resolved peacefully and fairly.

Bring an end to war
and persecution for all peoples,
and especially for the Christians of southern Sudan,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Prayer for Job Seekers

Gracious and loving God,
you know our need
for meaningful work.
Send your Holy Spirit
to guide those
who are searching for employment.
Help them to recognize
the gifts and talents
you have given them.
Deepen their desire to follow your will.
Inspire them
as they contact potential employers.
Give them patience
as they wait for responses.

Shelter them from feelings of rejection.
Protect them from discouragement.
Give them courage to overcome fear.

Shower on them the graces they need to persevere.
Let this time of searching become an opportunity to grow in faith,
to cultivate the virtue of hope, and to experience your healing love.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.


(From the Daily Prayer blog)


Thank you, Lord,
that the task ahead of me
is never as great
as the power behind me.

Colossians 1 Prayer

God, please fill me
with the knowledge of your will
through all the wisdom and understanding
that the Spirit gives,
that I may live a life worthy of my Lord
and please him in every way:
bearing fruit in every good work,
growing in the knowledge of God,
being strengthened with all power
according to your glorious might
so that I may have great endurance and patience,
and give joyful thanks to you, Father,
who has qualified me to share
in the inheritance of your holy people
in the kingdom of light.

(Based on Colossians 1:9-12)

A Fourth Century Prayer

’Glory be to God in the highest, and upon earth peace, good-will among men.’ We praise You, we sing hymns to You, we bless You, we glorify You, we worship You by Your great High Priest; You who are the true God, who are the Unbegotten One, the only inaccessible Being. For Your great glory, O Lord and heavenly King, O God the Father Almighty, O Lord God, the Father of Christ the immaculate Lamb, who takes away the sin of the world, receive our prayer, You Who sit upon the cherubim. For You alone are holy, You alone are the Lord Jesus, the Christ of the God of all created nature, and our King, by whom glory, honor, and worship be to You. Amen.

(a fourth-century morning prayer from the Apostolic constitutions, a collection of documents meant to give direction to Christian leaders on discipline, worship and doctrine, by way of Alan Fadling's blog)

A Confession

Compassionate and gracious God, You are slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. You have not dealt with me according to my sins, nor rewarded me according to my iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is Your love toward those who fear You.

Most Gracious God, I confess that I have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what I have done and by what I have left undone. I have not loved you with my whole heart; I have not loved my neighbor as myself. I have been proud, and selfish. I have been lazy. I have shunned your ways and failed to heed your Spirit's voice. I have hurt others, and in so doing have hurt you. I am a glutton. A liar. Lustful. Greedy. Wasteful. I have been quick to speak, and slow to listen. I have been quick to complain, and slow to give thanks. I have been quick to judge, and slow to forgive.

I am truly sorry and I humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on me and forgive me; that I may delight in Your will, and walk in Your ways, to the glory of Your Son Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.

A Writer's Prayer

Oh Lord, let me not be one of those who writes too much;
who spreads himself too thinly with his words,
diluting all the things he has to say,
like butter spread too thinly over toast,
or watered milk in some worn-out hotel;
but let me write the things I have to say,
and then be silent, ’til I need to speak.

Oh Lord, let me not be one of those who writes too little;
a decade-man between each tale, or more,
where every word accrues significance
and dread replaces joy upon the page.
Perfectionists like chasing the horizon;
You kept perfection, gave the rest to us,
so let me earn the wisdom to move on.

But over and above those two mad spectres of parsimony and profligacy,
Lord, let me be brave, and let me, while I craft my tales, be wise:
let me say true things in a voice that is true,
and, with the truth in mind, let me write lies.

(a prayer by Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author Neil Gaiman)

A Prayer of Alfred the Great

Lord God Almighty, shaper and ruler of all creatures, we pray for Your great mercy, that You guide us better than we have done, toward You, and guide us to Your will, to the need of our soul, better than we can ourselves. And steady our mind towards Your will and to our soul’s need. And strengthen us against the temptations of the devil, and put far from us all lust, and every unrighteousness, and shield us against our foes, seen and unseen. And teach us to do Your will, that we may inwardly love You before all things, with a pure mind. For You are our maker and our redeemer, our help, our comfort, our trust, our hope; praise and glory be to You now, ever and ever, world without end. Amen.

Alpha and Omega

Alpha and Omega, First and Last, I pray:
be my first thought every morning,
and my last thought every night.

Claim my first allegiance,
my last full measure of devotion.

Take first place in my heart,
and rule over every last affection.

Make me first to serve,
last to seek credit.

Let me please you first,
and all others last, amen.

A New Year's Prayer

O Lord,

Length of days does not profit me except the days are passed in thy presence, in thy service, to thy glory.

Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides, sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from thee,
but may rely on thy Spirit,
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth thy praise,
testify thy love,
advance thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with thee, O Father, as my harbour,
thee, O Son, at my helm,
thee O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.

Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.

Give me grace to sanctify me,
thy comforts to cheer,
thy wisdom to watch,
thy right hand to guide,
thy counsel to instruct,
thy law to judge,
thy presence to stabilize.

May thy fear be my awe,
thy triumphs my joy.

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