Lord, How I Love You

Words and music by Keith Banks; arrangement Leslie Condon.

Evening Prayer

Merciful God, in whom is no darkness at all, I come before you at the end of this day. Thank you that you have given me strength for my daily work, and have guided me safely through this day. Bless what was good in my labor and conduct.

Since you ordained that man should labor during the day and rest at night, give me and mine peaceful and undisturbed rest so that we may be able to take up our daily task again. Command your angels to guard us and cause your face to shine upon us.

I cast all my anxieties on you, for you care for me. Control my sleep and rule my heart, in order that I may not be defiled in any way but may glorify you even in my nightly rest. Defend and protect me against all assaults of the devil and take me into your divine protection.

I confess that I did not spend this day without grievously sinning against you. In your mercy please cover my sins as you cover the earth in the darkness of the night.

Grant comfort and rest to all who are ill, bowed down with grief, or afflicted with spiritual distress. Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not abandon the works of your hands.

All this I ask in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord, amen.

Song of Solomon Prayer

Lord Jesus, please seal me with the inscription:
"The Lord knows those who are his" (2 Timothy 2:19),
for your love is stronger than death,
unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.

THANK YOU that many waters cannot quench your love for me;
that rivers cannot sweep it away.

It is worth more to me
than all the wealth of my house,
all the wealth of the ages.

For the Libyan People

Oh, Lord, hear my prayer for the people of Libya.

Please protect those poor people.
Protect them from murder,
and from the evil plans
of evil people.
Please watch over them.

Show them that you are God,
and that you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness.

Let not the arrogant stand.
Oppose and frustrate
all who do wrong.
Stand against
the bloodthirsty and deceitful.

Lead them, LORD, into peace,
into righteousness.

Even as the people rebel against earthly tyrants,
teach them the kindness and mercy
of the King of Glory.

Let all who take refuge in you
be glad;
let them ever sing for joy,
now and when the dust settles.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you,
and those who do not know you
may be drawn to you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of Watchman Nee

Let me love
but not be thanked.

Let me serve
but not be recompensed.

Let me spend my strength
but not be noted.

Let me suffer much
but not be seen.

Let me pour my wine
without drinking.

Let me break my bread
without reaping.

A Prayer Jesus Commands Me To Pray

God of glory,
Judge of all the earth,
Lord of the harvest,
the harvest is so great,
but the workers are so few.

Please send out more workers into your fields, and use them to produce a bumper crop of souls for your kingdom (Luke 10:2), in Jesus' name, amen.

For Said Musa

Abba, Father,
hear my prayer for my brother Said Musa.
O God, come to his assistance;
O Lord, make haste to help him.

You know, gracious God,
that he is suffering (and has suffered)
for his faith in a way that I have never known,
that most have never known.

Thank you for the news that he has been moved to a safer prison.
Thank you that his wife and family are safely out of Afghanistan.

Please heal the wounds of torture and abuse.
Please strengthen him in his faith
and in his mind and body and soul.
Please sing to him in the night watches.
Please release him from captivity.
Please surround him with the host of heaven
to protect him from those who seek his life
because he has become a follower of your Son.

Please grant that he may not lose heart.
Please grant that his testimony glorify your Name.
Please grant that he may not be afraid of those who can only kill the body.
Please grant that he may yet know deliverance
and plenty
and kindness
and joy
and hope
and happiness,
in this life.

Thank you that his story is known to me;
please make it known to the world.
Please move American media, especially, to tell it
more often and more thoroughly,
that your Name may be lifted up
and your will be done.

Lord, have mercy on my brother Said Musa,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Stir the Embers of My Heart

As I stir the embers of my daily fire, I ask you, living God, to stir the embers of my heart into a flame of love for you, my family, my neighbor, and my enemy. Amen.

(an ancient Celtic prayer, used each morning as the embers in the household hearth were stirred)

Prayer For First Responders (to the New Zealand Earthquake)

Crisis and chaos,
Confusion and loss,
A scene of sweeping destruction,
The first responders arrive
Among the breathless and dazed,
The frenzied, driven wild with fear and grief,
The incapacitated, the dead,
The weary, the lost, the injured,
And survivors forcing themselves
Beyond their limits
To fight devastation.

G-d whose ways are secret,
Bless these first responders with endurance
To be of maximum service in this moment of immeasurable need.
Bless their limbs with strength,
Their eyes with courage,
Their hands with gentleness,
So that they become a source of hope and love.
Give them the tools they need in the days and hours ahead.
Protect them from physical harm,
Shield them from emotional pain,
And guard them from taking this trauma into themselves.
G-d of justice and mercy,
We pray for the people of New Zealand.
Let the world rally on their behalf.
May the deeds of the first responders
Find favor in Heaven
And bring healing on earth.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

In Devastation (Prayer for the People of New Zealand)

G-d beyond my understanding,
The earth has turned violent,
Sweeping our brothers and sisters off their feet,
Crushing homes and lives,
Upending dreams,
Toppling the foundations of hope and sustenance.
A shallow breath
beneath the rubble
And wailing in the streets.
The injured, the dead, the starving.
The new widow,
The new orphan,
The newly bereft turn to You
Divine Source of abundance and grace.
G-d of justice and mercy,
We pray for the people of New Zealand,
And the victims of any disaster,
Any violence, suffering or despair.
Grant them shelter and solace,
Comfort and consolation,
Blessing and renewal.
May a world of justice, righteousness and mercy
Come swiftly to their aid.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Strength to rebuild,
Faith to mourn,
Courage to heal,
And devotion to each other.
Heavenly Guide,
Hand of love and shelter,
Grant the people of New Zealand Your protection,
Your radiance,
And Your peace.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Zarephath Prayer 3

Abba, Father,
Yahweh Yireh,
my Provider,
I know that what looks to me
like severe cash flow challenges
in the weeks and months to come
are no different to you than
a handful of flour in a jar
and a little olive oil in a jug.

What you did for the widow of Zarephath
through your servant Elijah,
please do for me and,
more importantly,
for my household,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Lord, Why Did You Tell Me to Love All Men, My Brothers?

Lord, why did you tell me to love all men, my brothers?

I have tried, but I come back to you, frightened…
Lord, I was so peaceful at home,
I was so comfortably settled.
It was well furnished, and I felt cozy.
I was alone, I was at peace.
Sheltered from the wind, the rain, the mud.
I would have stayed unsullied in my ivory tower.

But, Lord, you have discovered a breach in my defences,
You have forced me to open my door,
Like a squall of rain in the face,
the cry of men has awakened me;
Like a gale of wind a friendship has shaken me,
As a ray of light slips in unnoticed,
your grace has stirred me…
and, rashly enough, I left my door ajar.

Now, Lord, I am lost!

Outside men were lying in wait for me.
I did not know they were so near;
in this house, in this street, in this office;
my neighbour, my colleague, my friend.
As soon as I started to open the door I saw them,
with outstretched hands, burning eyes, longing hearts,
like beggars on church steps.

The first ones came in, Lord.
There was after all some space in my heart.
I welcomed them.
I would have cared for them and fondled them,
my very own little lambs, my little flock.
You would have been pleased, Lord,
I would have served and honoured you in a proper, respectable way.
Till then, it was sensible…

But the next ones, Lord, the other men,
I had not seen them; they were hidden behind the first ones.
There were more of them, they were wretched;
they over-powered me without warning.
We had to crowd in, I had to find room for them.
Now they have come from all over, in successive waves, pushing one another, jostling one another.
They have come from all over town, from all parts of the country, of the world;
numberless, inexhaustible.
They don’t come alone any longer but in groups,
bound one to another.
They come bending under heavy loads;
loads of injustice, of resentment and hate, of suffering and sin…
They drag the world behind them, with everything rusted, twisted, or badly adjusted.
Lord, they hurt me!
They are in the way, they are everywhere,
They are too hungry, they are consuming me!
I can’t do anything any more;
as they come in, they push the door, and the door opens wider…

Lord! My door is wide open!
I can’t stand it any more!
It’s too much!
It’s no kind of life!
What about my job? My family? My peace? My liberty? And me?

Lord, I have lost everything, I don’t belong to myself any longer;
There’s no more room for me at home.

Don’t worry, God says, you have gained all.
While men came in to you, I, your Father, I, your God,
Slipped in among them.

(from the book, Prayers of Life)

Sunday Night Thanks

thank you for this day,
for time spent with my family,
with your people,
and with you,

It's Sunday Morning, Lord

It's Sunday morning, Lord.
Thank you for another day of life
a dawning day of worship.

Grant that your people everywhere
will worship you
in spirit and in truth.
Grant that I may.

Grant an awareness
of your Holy Spirit.
Grant humility and submission.
Grant repentance and renewal.

Grant that your servants who lead worship,
and your servants who teach,
and your servants who facilitate the service of the day
may be led by you
and rewarded by fruit for their efforts.
Grant that I may.

Grant healing and hope.
Grant strength and support.
Grant brokenness and beauty.

Let this day change your church.
Let this day change your people.
Let this day change this world.
Let this day change me.

In Jesus' name, amen.

Morning Fog

Lord, protect me
from taking tomorrow for granted.
For I know that my life
is like the morning fog—
it's here a little while,
then it's gone.
Help me to live with an attitude that says instead,
"If the Lord wants us to,
we will live and do this or that" (James 4:14-16).

Proverbs 16:15 Prayer

Almighty King,
let me feel
the warmth of your smile
on all I do today;
let your favor refresh my heart
like a gentle rain.

Lord, Lay Some Soul Upon My Heart

Lord, lay some soul upon my heart,
And love that soul through me;
And may I bravely do my part
To win that soul for Thee.

Weather Praise

Nice job with today's weather, Lord! I know it will change again in a day or two (it IS February, after all), but I appreciate it nonetheless. Thank you.

Zephaniah 3:17 Prayer

Lord Jesus,
you are a mighty Savior.

Thank you
for rejoicing over me
with great gladness.

Thank you
for calming
all my fears.

Thank you
for exulting over me
in song.

(The art at left is a plaque that can be obtained here)

An Eighth Century Prayer

Riches I heed not,
nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance,
now and always:
Thou and Thou only,
first in my heart,
High King of heaven,
my Treasure Thou art.

(Author unknown, 8th Century; translated from ancient Irish to English by Mary E. Byrne, in “Eriú,” Journal of the School of Irish Learning, 1905)


Like summer snow
floating from a sun-filled sky,
draping airy-white on flowered fields,
Your love astonished me.

No frilly show,
no assorted-chocolate pledge,
no candy hearts or silver kisses
disclosed your care for me;

But unsparing,
thorn-wearing love
that opened hands and feet and side
to spill your heart for me,

To recreate,
inundate my longing soul
with giving, holding, accepting,
enfolding love for me.

Amos 4:13 Prayer

Lord God Almighty, I praise you because you are the one who shaped the mountains, stirs up the winds, and reveals your every thought. You turn the light of dawn into darkness and tread the mountains under your feet.

Grace Prayer

Gracious God and Father of all humanity,
thank you for granting me the grace
to show grace.

Your Ways Are Equal

Lord, your ways are equal (Ezekiel 18:25),
and my ways are unequal.
And you are without equal,
and I praise you also for that.

In your mercy and kindness, Lord,
consider me.
Show me your ways, that I might know you.
Teach me,
guide me,
uphold me,
protect me,
and enlarge my capacity for you
and for doing your will,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Ambrose's Prayer

Come, very Sun of heaven’s love,
In lasting radiance from above,
And pour the Holy Spirit’s ray
On all I think or do today.

(A prayer of Ambrose of Milan,
4th Century
(Splendor paternae gloriae),
translated by Louis Fitzgerald Benson, 1910;

Ezekiel 26:12 Prayer

Father, let me not take pride in riches or merchandise;
let me not rely for security on the walls of my home
or the strength of its construction.
Let me boast only in you
and trust you alone for my security.

(Based on Ezekiel 26:12)

Nebuchadnezzar's Praise

God, I praise you because your rule is everlasting, and your kingdom is eternal. All the people of the earth are nothing compared to you. You have the power to do as you please among the angels of heaven and with those who live on earth. No one can stop you or challenge you, saying, 'What do you mean by doing these things?'

(Based on Daniel 4:34-35)

A Prayer of Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!

A Prayer of Abandonment

Jesus, my Savior, you are the Sovereign Good; here is my life and my will. Dispose of me according to your good pleasure. I acknowledge, Lord, that of myself I can do nothing; but, provided that after having given me the grace of drawing me to you and having given me the knowledge of the truth, you do not withdraw from me, nothing will be impossible to me.


(from the Daily Prayer blog)

The Kind of Day I'm Sorry to See End

Lord, I thank you tonight
for the kind of day
I'm sorry to see end.

I know that this night
some people will watch night fall
with disappointment--even despair--
and greet the coming morning with dread.
I pray for such hurting souls, God,
even as I rejoice that I--
though undeserving--
can say "thank you!"

For the beauty, rest, grace, nourishment, health, security, comfort, enjoyment, fellowship, service, joy, learning and accomplishment of this day, I say thank you, in Jesus' name, amen.


of my

Hear My Prayer

A prayer of Moya Brennan, from her eighth recording, Signature:


Abba, Father, my Lord God, thank you for a family that blesses my socks off.

A Prayer by Edward White Benson

Teach me, good Lord:
Not to murmur at the multitude of business
and the shortness of time.
Not to magnify undertaken duties by seeming to suffer under them, but to treat them all as liberties.
Not to call attention to crowded work, or petty fatigues.
Not to gather encouragement from appreciation by others, lest this should interfere with the purity of my motives.
Not to seek praise, respect, gratitude, or regard from others.
Not to let myself be placed in favorable contrast with another.

(a prayer by Edward White Benson)

Zarephath Prayer 2

Abba, Father,
I pray again as I have prayed of late,
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)