Thank you, Lord, for deadlines met,
and deadlines beat.

Thank you for the honor and joy
of writing for you.

Thank you for the constant aid you gave
to enable the work to get done,
on time...
ahead of time, even.

Thank you for the sense of accomplishment,
the sense of relief,
and the joy of having more work waiting for me.


The Trees

Oh, Lord, how we are all for invention and
But I think
it would do us good if we would think about
these brothers and sisters, quietly and deeply.

The trees, the trees, just holding on
to the old, holy ways.

(excerpted from Mary Oliver's poem, "The Trees," found in her book Evidence)

Prayer for Storm Victims

Abba, Father,
look on your children in Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri, Georgia,
and everywhere else affected
by the recent storms and tornadoes
that have wreaked such devastation,
and loss of life.

Have mercy, Lord.
Restore hope.

Save from fear,
from separation,
from hopelessness,
from the sheer weight of loss and grief.

Bring beauty from ashes
and blessing from ruin,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer by Mary Oliver

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.

(excerpted from Mary Oliver's poem, "Mysteries, Yes," found in her book Evidence)

Like Warm Beeswax

God, make me strong in your holy love,
and make my soul soft and supple as a glove,
or like a ball of warm beeswax in your hands,
to be molded as you please.

(a prayer of Jane de Chantal, slightly revised, found on the Daily Prayer blog)

A Prayer for My Dad on His Ninety-First Birthday

Loving Lord God,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God;
from one year to the next, you are there.

You were there
ninety-one years ago
in Hutchinson, Kansas,
when a boy was born
to David and Bessie Hostetler,
and named Charles Vernon.

Today, he turns ninety-one.
Wow, Lord. Just wow.

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.
Thank you for healing his hip,
for his successful move to Ohio,
and for the good care he receives at Westover Retirement Community.
Thank you that he still knows me (most of the time)
and his other sons (most of the time).
Thank you that he still enjoys his life and his days.

On this day
and every day hence,
please bless him mightily
and grant him yet more health,
biscuits and gravy,
lame jokes,
and peace,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Jonah Prayer

Lord God Adonai,
incline my heart
to run to your will
and not from it...
when it pleases me,
and when it doesn't...
when I am at peace,
and when I am in turmoil...
when you call me to ease
and when you call me to sorrow,
for in your will
is your wisdom,
and in obedience
is my peace. Amen.

A Prayer for the Last Day of Passover

G-d of the past,
Source of the present,
Creator of the future,
Divine light
of compassion and hope,
My time is fleeting.
My days are numbered.
The course of my life unknown.
Where I am and where I’ll be
a mystery.

Heavenly hand of justice and mercy,
Keeper of secret truths,
You who give purpose and meaning to all things,
Grant me the grace and vision to live my life as a ceremony,
As a river of sacred moments that command my care,
That I honor with love and respect.
Give me the wisdom to see the spark,
The splendor and the spirit around me
And to choose the path of enthusiasm, energy, gentleness and peace.

You who know all things,
Guide me with Your wisdom,
Teach me Your laws,
Show me Your ways,
So that I live a life of joy and holiness,
Treating everyone and everything with dignity and honor,
In service to Your creation.

Blessed are You, G-d of all,
Source of life and love, abundance and peace.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

26 Thanks

Abba, Father, I praise you and bless you
and thank you today for...

Another day to serve you,
Brains to think,
Cake to celebrate my dad's birthday tonight,
Dad, who turns 91 tomorrow,
Easter, so wonderfully observed and recently passed,
Family that gladden my heart,
Grandchildren, three little apples of my eye,
Hands to work and fingers to type,
Ink in the printer,
Jesus, my Savior and Risen Lord,
Knees that still (mostly) bend,
Legs that walk,
Oranges and
Quiet times in my prayer chair,
Robin, the love of my life,
Sweet tea,
Tiny footsteps on the floor in the morning, your
Unconditional love and unfailing kindndess,
Vowels and consonants, the writer's building blocks,
Words and sentences, and language itself,
paragraphs and plots instead of some cheesy word that starts with X, and your consuming
Zeal for your house, for my heart and life,

A Prayer on Easter Sunday

Glory and praise to You, Risen Savior, for You bring light to our darkness, joy to our sorrow, and the fullness of love to our reluctant hearts. Once and for all You have conquered sin and evil. In the glory of Your Resurrection we have been set free from all that keeps us from following You.

On this Easter Day, fill our hearts with Your Light and Grace that we might joyfully echo the words of Your Holy Angels: He is not here in the tomb: He is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

(from the Daily Prayer blog)

A Prayer on Holy Saturday

Jesus, I await you.
Be risen anew in my heart
as the light of Easter
dawns tomorrow,

A Prayer for Good Friday

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.

(by Christina Rosetti)

A Prayer on Maundy Thursday

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

A Prayer for Holy Wednesday

Lord Jesus, gracious Savior, I come to you in this sacred week to ponder your great and wondrous love; love that led you to the cross that my sin might be blotted out and that I might be reconciled to my heavenly Father. O Christ, give me strength and grace to crucify my sinful desires and dedicate myself anew to you, who has loved me with an everlasting love and brought to me eternal salvation.

I confess to You my sins. They are many, and You know them all. For each and every one of them you suffered the agony of the cross and shed your precious blood that I may be cleansed and made acceptable in your sight. Thank you for the forgiveness and cleansing that is mine. Thank you that none of the sins of yesterday cling to me. Humbly I come, grateful for your mercy. Daily let me fulfill the tasks and duties to which You have called me with joy, confessing you as my Lord and Savior, and being of service to my neighbor.

Grant that your suffering and death, proclaimed for the salvation of mankind, may by the power of the Holy Spirit awaken in many a deeper love to You. O Lord, have mercy upon me and all sinful mankind, and create in me and all that seek you a clean heart, holy desires, and an undying love. Hear my prayer, gracious Redeemer. Amen.

(borrowed and revised from

Prayer on the First Night of Passover

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,


Revelation Prayer

Lord Jesus, I praise you because you are mighty.
You are Faithful and True.
You judge fairly.
Your eyes are like blazing fire,
and on your head are many crowns.
You wear a robe dipped in blood,
and your name is the Word of God.
You lead the armies of heaven.
From your mouth issues a sharp sword,
with which to humble the nations,
which you rule with an iron rod.
You tread the winepress of the fierce wrath of almighty God.
You bear the title: King of kings and Lord of lords,
and I praise you,
my King and my Lord, amen.

(based on Revelation 19:11-16).

Prayer for Holy Monday

God of love,
My prayer is simple:
Your son, Jesus, suffered and died for me.

I know only
that I cannot have real strength
unless I rely on you.

I cannot feel protected
from my many weaknesses
until I turn to you
for forgiveness and your unalterable love.

Help me to share this
strength, protection and love with others.

(from One Prayer a Day for Lent)

Palm Sunday Prayer

On this day of great rejoicing,
Lord Jesus Christ,
when we welcome You
as our King and Savior,
we also walk in the shadow
of Your cross.
Hosanna! we cry.
Blessed are You
who come in God’s name to save us.
Strengthen our faith
on this Palm Sunday
so that when the time comes
to carry the cross
we might still call out to You
with heartfelt praise.
Give us the grace and the courage
to follow You this Holy Week
from death to resurrection,
from darkness to the fullness of light.
We need You, Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior.

My Regular Prayer on Sermon Writing Day

I am your servant
And I am listening;
Speak to me Lord, speak to me.
I need your wisdom
And truth and comfort;
Speak to me Lord, speak to me.

Speak to me,
Speak to me,
Through your word,
Through your Spirit,
Speak your words of life.
Speak to me,
Speak to me,
I am listening,
I am waiting,
Speak to me.

I am your servant
And I am listening;
Speak to me Lord, speak to me.
My heart is silent,
My soul is longing,
Speak to me Lord, speak to me.

(a prayer of Tommy Walker)

Tax Day Prayer

Lord Jesus, I've been there,
or very near,
where you sent Peter
to cast his line
and catch a fish
in whose mouth
was a coin that paid
your taxes,
and his.

I'm no fisherman, Lord,
but I would not be averse
to a similarly miraculous provision from you
that would meet my need
and satisfy the IRS.

You Struck the Rivers

Lord, I praise you
because you struck the rivers
and parted the sea;
you sent your chariots of salvation for your people.

You commanded your weapons of power!
You split open the earth with flowing rivers!
The mighty deep cried out, lifting its hands to you.
You are mighty, and worthy of praise!

(from Habakkuk 3:8-10)


I am going

Hebrews 4:16 Prayer

Father God, I come before you in awe of who you are and of the amazing privilege that we have to approach your throne boldly. Thank you for this awesome gift you give us. Today, I bring these requests before you for all those in need and humbly lay them at your feet.

Where there is pain, apply a soothing balm. Where there is sorrow, fill them with joy. Where there is turmoil, grant them peace. Where there is confusion, give clarity. Where there is deep hurt, deliver encouragement.

Restore hope to the hopeless. Rest for the weary. Sweet comfort for the broken hearted.

To those who have lost their way, gently steer them back on the path to you. To those that are in a season of loneliness, show them that you are the friend above all friends.

To those that are sick, place your healing hand upon them. Minister deeply to hurting spirits. Strengthen the weak. Cheer up the downhearted.

Wrap those in need in your loving embrace and allow your sweet Holy Spirit to flow freely through their bodies and do a mighty work.

Draw us all closer to you and fill us with love unimaginable.

I ask all this in the mighty and saving name of Jesus Christ our Lord.


(from the Daily Prayer blog)

Praying Again for Japan

Lord God Adonai, lover of all humanity, hear my prayer for the people of Japan and all places throughout the lands that are and will be affected by the latest earthquakes and the resulting landslides, tsunamis, evacuations, and more:

Have mercy, Lord,
on all the displaced,
the injured,
the bereaved.

Have mercy, Lord,
on all who lose homes
and farms
and businesses
and livelihoods.

Have mercy, Lord,
on all who join in relief and rescue efforts,
who risk their lives to save others,
who sacrifice for the sake of your children.

Have mercy, Lord,
on leaders and decision-makers
and grant them clarity
and decisiveness,
wisdom and effectiveness.

Have mercy, Lord,
on the souls of those who are swept away
by this great tragedy,
and grant remission of sins and your merciful pardon,
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Have mercy, Lord,
and move your church,
the Body of Christ,
to compassion
and service
for the victims of this tragedy,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Daniel Prayer

Lord, I pray for strength,
and beauty in my life.
Help me to become well versed
in every branch of learning,
gifted with knowledge and good sense,
and have the poise needed
to effectively serve you, my King,
in Jesus' name,

(based on Daniel 1:4)

I Preach Today, Lord

I preach today, Lord.

Let me do so, please,
with passion,
and warmth.

Awaken my own heart
that I may awaken others'.

Speak to me
and then speak through me.

Move in me
and then move through me.

Grant me the eye of faith,
a heart of compassion,
a sharp mind,
and the joy of one
who sees you work
and rejoices to have
humbly played his part,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Dayspring from on High Be Near

Christ, Whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true, the only Light,
Sun of Righteousness, arise,
Triumph o’er the shades of night;
Dayspring from on high be near;
Day-star, in my heart appear.

Visit now this soul of mine,
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
Fill me, Radiancy divine,
Scatter all my unbelief;
More and more Yourself display,
Shining to the perfect day.

(by Charles Wesley)

False Prophet Prayer

Lord God Almighty,
remove from among your people
all false prophets
and the unclean spirits that inspire them.

(based on Zechariah 13:2)

Foot-Soldier Prayer

Lord God Adonai,
you thunder
at the head of your army;
your forces are beyond number,
and mighty is the army that obeys your command.

I submit to you today as your foot-soldier;
help me to faithfully and effectively follow your orders.

(based on Joel 2:11)

A Prayer of St. John Scholasticus

My God, I pretend to nothing upon this earth,
except to be so firmly united to you by prayer
that to be separated from you may be impossible;
let others desire riches and glory;
for my part, I desire but one thing,
and that is to be inseparably united to you,
and to place in you alone
all my hopes of happiness
and repose.

For Your Happy Willingness

Thank you, Lord,
for your "happy willingness" to create,
as Tozer phrased it.

Thank you that you were pleased
to form the heavens and the earth,
night and day,
Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.

Thank you that you lovingly and laughingly created
the otter and the eel,
the hawk and the hippopotamus,
roses and orchids,
blacked-eyed Susans and black-eyed peas.

Thank you that you delivered Israel out of Egypt
and me out of sin and condemnation.
Thank you that you made me whole
and gave me new life and fellowship with you, amen.


I never imagined
I'd be this old, Lord.

I never gave it a thought.

I'm now four years older
than my mother when she died,
yet just over half
of the course my father has
so far run.

Yet I thank you
that this old
is not so old
as it once was,
and that I am not quite
so decrepit
as I once imagined
53 to be.

Thank you for so many
and mercies
you have so far shown.

Thank you for each sunrise
and sunset,
for so many--countless--
healthful and happy times.

Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah;
lead me all my journey through.


Lay Thy Terror Upon Me

Lord Jesus, I come to Thee for spiritual preparation. Lay Thy hand upon me. Anoint me with the oil of the New Testament prophet. Forbid that I should be come a religious scribe and thus lose my prophetic calling. Save me from the curse that lies dark across the modern clergy, the curse of compromise, of imitation, of professionalism. Save me from the error of judging a church by its size, its popularity or the amount of its yearly offering. Help me to remember that I am a prophet - not a promoter, not a religious manager, but a prophet. Let me never become a slave to crowds. Heal my soul of carnal ambitions and deliver me from the itch for publicity. Save me from bondage to things. Let me not waste my days puttering around the house. Lay Thy terror upon me, O God, and drive me to the place of prayer where I may wrestle with principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world. Deliver me from overeating and late sleeping. Teach me self-discipline that I may be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

I accept hard work and small rewards in this life. I ask for no easy place. I shall try to be blind to the little ways that could make life easier. If others seek the smoother path I shall try to take the hard way without judging them too harshly. I shall expect opposition and try to take it quietly when it comes. Or if, as sometimes it falleth out to Thy servants, I should have grateful gifts pressed upon me by Thy kindly people, stand by me then and save me from the blight that often follows. Teach me to use whatever I receive in such manner that will not injure my soul nor diminish my spiritual power. And if in Thy permissive providence honor should come to me from Thy church, let me not forget in that hour that I am unworthy of the least of Thy mercies, and that if men knew me as intimately as I know myself they would withhold their honors or bestow them upon others more worthy to receive them.

And now, O Lord of heaven and earth, I consecrate my remaining days to Thee; let them be many or few, as Thou wilt. Let me stand before the great or minister to the poor and lowly; that choice is not mine, and I would not influence it if I could. I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame and I choose it above all things on earth or in heaven.


Writer's Prayer

O God, who hast hitherto supported me,
enable me to proceed in this labor,
and in the whole task of my present state;
that when I shall render up, at the last day,
an account of the talent committed to me,
I may receive pardon,
for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.

(written by Samuel Johnson on April 3, 1753, on the day he signed a contract to write the first complete dictionary of the English language)

Be Merciful to Me, A Fool

O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

No pity, Lord,
could change the heart
From red with wrong
to white as wool;
The rod must heal
the sin: but Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

'Tis not by guilt the onward sweep
Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
‘Tis by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.

These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart-strings of a friend.

The ill-timed truth we might have kept–
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
The word we had not sense to say–
Who knows how grandly it had rung!

Our faults no tenderness should ask.
The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;
But for our blunders — oh, in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

(from a poem by Edward Rowland Sill)