You Come Through

As you have done in the past,
you are doing now, Lord God:
you are coming through
and showing up for me.

Men have shown disrespect,
and tried to hurt me,
but you more than make up
for all their worst efforts.

You hear when I call to you.
You give me sweet rest in my heart
and restful sleep on my bed.

You have put gladness in my heart,
and gratitude in my soul.
I have no trouble sleeping,
and optimism for each new day,
for you and you alone keep me safe.

(based on Psalm 4; the illustration can be purchased here)

A Prayer for Humility

O Father, give us the humility which
realizes its ignorance,
admits its mistakes,
recognizes its need,
welcomes advice,
accepts rebuke.
Help us always to praise rather than to criticize,
to sympathize rather than to discourage,
to build rather than to destroy,
and to think of people at their best rather than at their worst.
This we ask for thy name's sake. Amen

(a prayer of William Barclay, by way of the Daily Prayer blog)

Humble Plea

Jesus, hear my humble pleading:
My great needs are known to Thee.
Come, O come to me revealing
All Thy grace can do in me.

I Repent

Josh Lee singing: I Repent by Derek Webb from New Hope on Vimeo.

(written by Derek Webb, sung by Josh Lee)

Garage Revival

Thank you, Lord,
for the garage revival
you gave me today.

Thank you for meeting me
in the homeliest of places
and blessing me
in the richest of ways,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Neighborhood Prayer

I pray to you, God, for the families of my neighborhood. Visit them. Throw their troubles out of them and bring hope. Make the daily cares that devour the heart disappear. Present solutions to life's problems. Settle the disturbed relationships among members of different families whom I know or don't know.

O Lord, remind the people of our area that you exist, that you are a strong and loving Protector. Keep away, Lord, anything that causes the disturbance of peace from souls, and the escape of sleep from our eyes. Stay a little while more tonight in our neighborhood. Spread peace along with the night. Let the harshness of the day and its struggles not spread over the night too, God.

(a prayer by Demetrios, Archbishop of America, Greek Orthodox)

Hurricane Irene

Father, the winds and waves obey your voice. Please speak peace to this storm and to all in its path. Amen.

(borrowed from my friend Cheryl Johnson's blog)

For Deliverance from Adversarial People

Thank you, Lord, for deliverance
from adversarial people!

Thank you for leading me into green pastures
and beside quiet streams,
Lord, my shield, my glory,
and the lifter of my head.

Thank you for freedom from sleepless nights
and stressful dreams.

Thank you for sustaining me,
providing for me
and defending me.

You are a saving God,
my Salvation.

(based on Psalm 3)

Hezekiah's Prayer, Revised

Sovereign Lord,
I thank you
for the troubles I have had in my soul,
for by them you continue to teach me humility.

You give life, Lord,
and you have given new life to my spirit.
All my suffering
has been for your purposes,
for good and not evil.
You have saved me from destruction,
and cast my sins behind you.
You have lifted me from the pit,
that I might praise you
with my words and with my life.

Well, then, I will praise you,
like a father telling his children
a thrilling bedtime story.

I will praise you
like a gifted Gospel singer
belting out "How Great Thou Art."

I will praise you
all the days of my life. Amen.

(based on Isaiah 38:15-20; the illustration above is by Stacy Lee, available for purchase here)


Lord God, I don't deserve
this life you've given me,
much less the affluence
you allow me to enjoy.

I have multiples of things
many of your children
on this earth go without.

I have multiple children and grandchildren,
friends and loved ones.

I have multiple pairs of shoes.
Multiple shirts, pants,
and other clothes,
some of which I seldom wear;
multiple bank accounts,
multiple rooms in my home,
multiple cars,
plates to eat from,
cups to drink from,
chairs to sit on,
and inkpens.

I have multiple pleasures,
multiple luxuries,
multiple memories,
all, all, all from your hand,
for out of your store of infinite treasure,
you have given, and given, and given again.
Thank you, Lord,
my God and my King,

Must I Kill All My Little Darlings?

They are waiting for me, all my little darlings.
I have labored over them
as if in the pangs of childbirth.
I have nurtured them,
weighed and coddled them,
smiled at them and played with them.
They have grown and multiplied,
and though at times they are recalcitrant,
I have loved them.

How many must go?
Which ones are weak, superfluous, misplaced, unclear, redundant?

You know, Lord.
I approach them now as a gardener, not a butcher.
But it still hurts.
Give me clarity, give me fortitude.
Make me merciless, make me wise.
Supply boldness, supply discretion.
And in your kindness and creativity,
let every syllable that is trimmed, every phrase that is straightened,
be obedience to you,
a credit to me,
and a blessing to the reader,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Fourth Century Prayer

Who then, my Lord, compares to you?
The Watcher slept, the Great was small,
the Pure baptized, the Life who died,
the King abased to honor all:
praised be your glory.

(a prayer of Ephrem of Edessa, translated by John Howard Rhys. It is the final verse of a hymn as it appears in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982)

Whom Have I?

(words and music by Len Ballantine; based on Psalm 73:25)

Save Me From Success

Father, save me from success.
From wealth. Awards. Fame. Status.
Save me from a mindset that measures my worth by this world’s standards.
Save me from becoming enamored with my own words, ideas or ingenuity.
Save me from overreaching,
from outrunning your pace,
and your providential plans for me.
Save me from trusting in myself,
from becoming smug or self-satisfied,
from unhealthy expectations and harmful comforts.

Let nothing come too easily
or more quickly to me
than your wisdom dictates.

Save my writing from becoming pedestrian,
my habits from becoming staid,
my prayers from going stale,
and my life from being predictable.

As you have done so far
please do for the rest of my journey:
Let me work hard for every achievement
and acknowledge you in every blessing,
in Jesus' name, amen.

How the Nations Rage

Lord God Adonai,
how the nations rage
and politicians plot.

The news is all bad
and getting worse, it seems.

But you are still there
on your throne,
looking down from heaven, laughing.

I don't have to listen to their raging
or watch their finger-pointing.
I will simply focus on serving you,
day by day and moment by moment,
and rejoice in your sovereignty.

Blessed are all who take refuge in you.

(based on Psalm 2)

Make Me That Man

Make me that man, Lord.
The one who doesn't think like the wicked
or flirt with temptation
or go along with the crowd.

Make me that man
who loves your Word
and dwells in your presence.

Make me that man who is like a tree,
planted by a flowing stream,
bearing fruit season after season.
Make me that man whose leaf never withers,
whose prosperity only grows,
in Jesus' name,

(based on Psalm 1:1-3)

A Hymn of Prayer Both New and Old

A hymn by William Featherston with a new verse (the last) by Bob Hostetler:

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the pleasures of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love with this heart you have purchased from sin,
I love with a mind you've renewed from within,
With whatever strength you may give from now on,
My Jesus, I'll love you, my strength and my song.

Recession Thanks

Lord God, thank you
for all the good things
you have given
that are recession-proof:
my salvation,
your unconditional love,
blue skies
and arresting cloud formations,
my marriage,
a walk in the park,
holding hands,
squealing grandkids
and chirping crickets.


It's good here, Lord.
Under the shadow of your wings.

Senryu Prayer

I love you my God
For you love me first each day
Moment by moment.

For Absence

Lord God Almighty, I thank 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.

I Light My Candle

I light my candle
at your flame, Holy Spirit.
Let me burn brightly,
and let my light so shine
that others may see
and glorify the Father.
Let my light not fade or fail
until my course is run
and the victory won,
in Jesus' name, amen.


I write today, Lord.
I will be using words,
and some of them will be verbs.

Inspire them all, God,
but especially the verbs.
Hover over them.
Speak them into existence.
Breathe into them the breath of life.

All my verbs come from you.
You are my “is.”
My “am.”
My “see,” my “know.”
You are my “laugh” and “cry,”
my “wake” and “sleep,”
“shiver” and “sweat,”
“think” and “speak,”
“jump” and “skip” and “dance” and “bounce.”

There is not an action in my day,
a movement of my bones,
a breath in my breast
or a word on my tongue
that does not come from you.

Let it be consciously so in my writing today.
And at the end of my day, with the final word on the page,
pronounce it good, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Thanks for Little Things that Make a Big Difference

Thank you, God,
for the little things
that make such a big
difference in my life:
a few temperatures cooler,
the microscopic enzymes that help me digest food,
the salt that seasons a meal,
a morning kiss from my bride,
a smile from a grandchild,
the respect of my kids,
a well-turned phrase in a book,
a non-stuffy nose,
a few drops of rain,
found money in a pants pocket,
a light that turns green just in time,
an extra ten minutes of sleep,
a "thank you,"
a thoughtful note or text message,
the ability to inhale fully,
walking barefoot in the grass.

A Prayer for the Lord's Day

O Lord, My Lord,

This is thy day,
the heavenly ordinance of rest,
the open door of worship,
the record of Jesus’ resurrection,
the seal of the sabbath to come,
the day when saints militant and triumphant unite in endless song.

I bless thee for the throne of grace,
that here free favour reigns;
that open access to it
is through the blood of Jesus;
that the veil is torn aside
and I can enter the holiest
and find thee ready to hear;
waiting to be gracious,
inviting me to pour out my needs,
encouraging my desires,
promising to give more than I ask or think.

But while I bless thee, shame and confusion are mine:
I remember my past misuse of sacred things,
my irreverent worship,
my base ingratitude,
my cold, dull praise.
Sprinkle all my past sabbaths with the cleansing blood of Jesus,
and may this day witness deep improvement in me.

Give me in rich abundance the blessings the Lord’s Day was designed to impart;
May my heart be fast bound against worldly thoughts or cares;
Flood my mind with peace beyond understanding;
may my meditations be sweet,
my acts of worship life, liberty, joy,
my drink the streams that flow from thy throne,
my food the precious Word,
my defence the shield of faith,
and may my heart be more knit to Jesus.

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

My Psalm 5 in Sickness Prayer

Give ear to my words, O Lord.
Consider my thoughts.
Listen closely to my soul's cry,
my King and my God.

For to you I call out.
You will hear my voice,
morning and night,
rain or shine.

You will hear my voice,
whether in praise or petition.
I call to you for healing.
I cry out to you for relief from this virus
or infection that has invaded my body.
Please defend me.
Heal me.
Expel it.
And restore me to health
and full function,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Forgive Us For the Sins of the Tongue

God forgive us for the sins of the tongue!
If we had nothing else for which to praise Christ,
we ought to bless Him to all eternity
that He came ‘by water’
to cleanse that tongue which is naturally so foul!

(a prayer of C. H. Spurgeon)

Not Born Yet

Abba, he's not born yet, but the doctors and lab people say he has cystic fibrosis. Like his big sister.

Lord, have mercy. Have mercy on him. Nurture him in the womb and keep him safe. Bring him into this world with every possible blessing, and heal him. Heal him. Now. Or later. But speed healing to his tiny frame.

Have mercy on his parents, too, and comfort them in their grief and loss, and in their adjustment to the realization of the coming decades of treatments and diligence and care. As you have done with Calleigh, build their faith and deepen their dependence on you.

Have mercy on his grandparents and other family members, who had prayed and hoped for news of health. Teach us all new ways to support his sister and parents, and draw tight around them the bonds of family and friends who will do whatever is needed to help this boy thrive.

Have mercy on everyone with CF, and speed the day when discussions of caution, infections, treatments, and life expectancies are a thing of the past, in Jesus' name, amen.

Gather Me

O GOD, gather me now to be with you as you are with me.
Soothe my tiredness;
quiet my fretfulness;
curb my aimlessness;
receive my compulsiveness;
let me be easy for a moment.

O LORD, release me from the fears and guilts which grip me so tightly;
from the expectations and opinions which I so tightly grip,
that I may be open to receiving,
to learn something refreshingly different.

O GOD, gather me to be with you as you are with me.
Forgive me for claiming so much for myself
that I leave no room for gratitude;
for confusing exercises in self-importance
with acceptance of self-worth;
for complaining so much of my burdens that I become a burden;
for competing against others so insidiously
that I stifle celebrating them and receiving your blessing
through their gifts.

O GOD, gather me to be with you as you are with me.
Keep me in touch with myself,
with my needs,
my anxieties,
my angers,
my pains,
my corruptions,
that I may claim them as my own
rather than blame them on someone else.

O LORD, deepen my wounds into wisdom;
shape my weakness into compassion;
gentle my envy into enjoyment,
my fear into trust,
my guilt into honesty,
my accusing finger into tickling ones.

O GOD, gather me to be with you as you are with me.

(by Ted Loder, by way of the A Concord Pastor Comments blog)