O Lord, I Have a Wild Heart

O Lord,
I have a wild heart
And cannot stand before thee;
I am like a bird before a man.
How little I love thy truth and ways!
I neglect prayer,
By thinking I have prayed enough and earnestly,
By knowing thou hast saved my soul.
Of all hypocrites,
grant that I may not be an evangelical hypocrite,
Who sins more safely because grace abounds,
Who tells his lusts that Christ’s blood cleanseth them,
Who reasons that God cannot cast him into hell, for his is saved,
Who loves evangelical preaching, churches, Christians, but lives unholily.
My mind is a bucket without a bottom,
With no spiritual understanding,
No desire for the Lord’s Day,
Ever learning but never reaching the truth,
Always at the gospel well but never holding water.
My conscience is without conviction or contrition,
With nothing to repent of.
My will is without power of decision or resolution.
My heart is without affection, and full of leaks.
My memory has no retention,
So I forget so easily the lessons learned,
And thy truths seep away.
Give me a broken heart that yet carries home the water of grace.

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

Give Us This Day

Give us this day our daily bread,
our daily light,
our daily breath,
our daily sight,
our daily word,
our daily warmth,
our daily work,
our daily strength,
our daily help,
our daily smiles,
our daily hope,
our daily trials,
our daily tests,
our daily trust,
our daily rest,
our daily run
from sun to sun,
until this earthly life is done,
in Jesus' name, amen.
our daily love,

Oh, the Places I've Gone

(with apologies to Dr. Seuss)

Oh, the places I've gone!
The places I've seen!
I thank you for all
The Great Places I've been!

The Grand Canyon,
the Golden Gate,
Niagara Falls,
the painted desert
and petrified forest,
the New England coast,
the Grand Cayman coral.
Mayan ruins
and Incan heights,
English hedgerows,
German castles,
French cafes,
Egyptian monuments,
Jordanian antiquities,
Southwestern deserts,
Northwestern cascades,
Smoky Mountain trails,
Manhattan streets,
Carolina beaches,
and Bahamian breezes.
And oh, the Galilean sunsets,
the Jerusalem moments,
Mediterranean winds,
and cathedral songs.

Oh, the places I've gone!
The places I've seen!
I thank you for all
The Great Places I've been!


Blessed be Thou, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has provided for all my needs, and has taught and inspired people to make use of your Creation to heal and help through the discovery, development, research and testing, manufacturing and marketing, and prescribing and selling of medicines.

Thank you for calamine lotion and cortisone,
Iodine and Bactine,
hydrogen peroxide,
Bufferin and Bayer, Tylenol and Advil,
Tinactin, Codeine, Comtrex and Coricidin,
Nytol, sertraline, cipro, amoxicillin, azithromycin,
vitamins and lotions,
creams and syrups,
allergy injections,
Claritin-D and Hall's Mentholyptus,
Pepto-Bismol and Tums,
and more.

Your grace has often come to me in a pill or lotion or cream, and your healing power has often come to me through channels like these. Thank you, in Jesus' name, amen.

My Mountain Crag

God, you are my fortress,
my mountain crag,
my stronghold,
my safehouse,
my defender,
my armor,
my coat of Kevlar,
my tower,
my help,
my rescuer,
my Marines,
my cavalry,
my Dread Warrior,
my mountain of strength,
my salvation at all times, and
my miracle at the eleventh hour.


Lord God Almighty, thank you for the weather you send on this earth:
For fog,
and more.
Your diversity is astounding,
the variety of your Creation inspiring.
Move and adorn my faulty life
as authoritatively as you do this fallen world,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Word of God, Speak

Word of God, speak.
Awake my senses.
Inspire my thoughts.
Supply my words.

I confess that I have poured forth speech
out of the emptiness and vagrancy of my own soul.
I have settled for my words
rather than listening and waiting for your words.
Not today.

Word of God, speak.
Let my conscious and unconscious thoughts be inspired repetition of your thoughts.
Let my words flow from your mind and your hand.
Choose them and mold them
with the reader in mind,
the soul whom you would move and touch and change
by the words I write today.

Come, Word of God. Speak,
in Jesus' name, amen.

With Deepest Awe

Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house.
I will worship at your temple with deepest awe,
in spirit and truth,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(based on Psalm 5:7 and John 4:24)

That We May Be So Preserved in Obedience

Grant, Almighty God, that inasmuch as we are so disposed and inclined to all kinds of errors, to so many and so various forms of superstitions, and as Satan also ceases not to lay in wait for us, and spreads before us his many snares - O grant, that we may be so preserved in obedience to you by the teaching of your word, that we may never turn here and there, either to the right hand or to the left, but continue in that pure worship which you have prescribed, so that we may plainly testify that you are indeed our Father by continuing under the protection of your only-begotten Son, whom you have given to be our pastor and ruler to the end. Amen.

(a prayer of John Calvin, in his Commentary on Hosea, translated into English in 1846 and updated by me into modern English)

Healing Waters

When shall I come unto the healing waters?
Lifting my heart, I cry to Thee my prayer.
Spirit of peace, my Comforter and Healer,
In whom my springs are found, let my soul meet Thee there.

From a hill I know,
Healing waters flow;
O rise, Emmanuel's tide,
And my soul overflow.

Wash from my hands the dust of earthly striving,
Take from my mind the stress of secret fear;
Cleanse Thou the wounds from all but Thee far hidden,
And when the waters flow let my healing appear.

Light, life and love are in that healing fountain;
All I require to cleanse me and restore;
Flow through my soul, redeem its desert places,
And make a garden there for the Lord I adore.

(A hymn of General Albert Orsborn)

Lord, Teach Us to Pray

"Lord, teach us to pray." Yes, us, Lord. We have read in Thy Word with what power Thy believing people of old used to pray, and what mighty wonders were done in answer to their prayers. And if this took place under the Old Covenant, in the time of preparation, how much more wilt Thou not now, in these days of fulfilment, give Thy people this sure sign of Thy presence in their midst. We have heard the promises given to Thine apostles of the power of prayer in Thy name, and have seen how gloriously they experienced their truth: we know for certain. they can become true to us too. We hear continually even in these days what glorious tokens of Thy power Thou dost still give to those who trust Thee fully. Lord! these all are men of like passions with ourselves; teach us to pray so too. The promises are for us, the powers and gifts of the heavenly world are for us. O teach us to pray so that we may receive abundantly. To us too Thou hast entrusted Thy work, on our prayer too the coming of Thy kingdom depends, in our prayer too Thou canst glorify Thy name; "Lord, teach us to pray." Yes, us, Lord; we offer ourselves as learners; we would indeed be taught of Thee. "Lord, teach us to pray."

(a prayer of Andrew Murray, from his book, With Christ in the School of Prayer, chapter one)

Hem Me In

God, my King, my Father, as you accomplished your will through such unlikely candidates as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, perfectly and thoroughly and without hindrance (Isaiah 43:13), so do in me:
hem me in,
stack the odds,
do all, Lord, to make me your instrument,
your vessel,
your tool...
take my all and let it be useful
for accomplishing what you will
when you will
as you will,
in Jesus' name, amen.


Oh God, grant us a sense of your timing.
In this season of short days and long nights,
of grey and white and cold,
teach us the lessons of beginnings;
that such waitings and endings may be the starting place,
a planting of seeds which bring to birth what is ready to be born--
something right and just and different,
a new song, a deeper relationship, a fuller love--in the fullness of your time.

O God, grant us the sense of your timing.

(by Ted Loder, from his book Guerrillas of Grace. Used with permission)

A Prayer of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our loving Father, from Thy hand have come all the days of the past. To Thee we look for whatever good the future holds. We are not satisfied with the world as we have found it. It is too little the kingdom of God as yet. Grant us the privilege of a part in its regeneration. We are looking for a new earth in which dwells righteousness. It is our prayer that we may be children of light, the kind of people whose coming and ministry the world is waiting. Amen.

(from the Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project, "Prayers" section)


Abba, I'm going to bed.
Quiet me with your love.
Sing me your lullaby.

(based on Zephaniah 3:17)


O Lord, save me
from the stupidity of others,
and save them from mine.

Snow Prayer

Shower me with your grace, O Lord,
The way you shower the barren branches with snow.
Fill me, the way you enrich the empty forest with your splendor.
Shower me with your life, even if it be frozen for a time, like snow.

Shower me with your grace, O Lord.
Make me like the snow that shimmers and reveals your light.
For you, O Lord, are light from light, and radiance beyond radiance.
And I am a mere reflection of the brightness you have showered on me.

Shower me with your grace, O Lord.
Make me like the snow that tosses light into the blue, blue universe.
Shower me with grace upon grace, as I remain beneath your glorious presence.
Let the world see only your magnificent light, your love, your radiance, your grace. Amen.

copyright (c) 2009 Therese Boucher (used with permission)

Greater Joy

You have given me
greater joy than those who dine sumptuously and drink extravagantly,
greater joy than those with silver and gold, houses and lands,
greater joy than the financially secure,
greater joy than the famous and the powerful,
greater joy than those who have tried to hurt me,
greater joy than any who look down on me,
greater joy than all who have been unkind to me.

You have given me
greater joy than I have any right to possess,
greater joy than I ever thought I could have,
greater joy than the angels in heaven,
greater joy than earth can possibly measure.

How can I thank you?
Words are inadequate to express my gratitude,
so please read my grateful heart. Amen.

(based on Psalm 4:7)

A Writer's Confession

Lord God Almighty, I confess that I have sinned against you through my own fault, in thought and word and deed, by what I have done and by what I have left undone.

I confess that I have too often trusted my own strength instead of relying on yours;
I have let my puny ability suffice when I could have and should have laid hold of your ready power.

I confess that I have chased after mammon, and written for mere money,
instead of seeking first your kingdom and your glory, and writing to please you.

I confess that I have been jealous of other writers and their success,
and have been ungrateful for all the kindness you have shown me.

I confess that I have taken shortcuts in my writing
and have been lazy in the hard work of planning and researching,
of editing and rewriting,
of reviewing and proofreading.

I confess that I have neglected prayer,
as if my activity is more important than yours in my writing.

I confess that I have chosen leisure over discipline,
speed over craft,
and my voice instead of your voice.

Thank you for the assurance of your forgiveness through my Lord, Jesus Christ.
Please cleanse me from sin and help me to write for you, in holiness and righteousness all my days, in Jesus' name, amen.

Epiphany Prayer

you revealed your Son to the nations
by the guidance of a star.
Lead us to your glory in heaven
by the light of faith.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Liturgy of the Hours)

Prayer for a Sick Wife

Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need: please visit my wife, your servant Robin, and relieve her of her sickness.

Look upon her with your eyes of mercy; banish all infection and relieve her cough and congestion.

Restore her to complete health, wholeness, and energy, and enable her to rise from her sickbed with hope and joy, in Jesus' name, amen.

Thus Pursue Our Warfare

Grant, Almighty God, that as we do not, by due gratitude, respond to your favors, and after having tasted of your mercy, have willingly sought ruin to ourselves - O grant, that we, being renewed by your Spirit, may not only remain constant in the fear of your name, but also advance more and more and be established; that being thus armed with your invincible power, we may strenuously fight against all the wiles and assaults of Satan, and thus pursue our warfare to the end - and that being thus sustained by your mercy, we may ever aspire to that life which is hid for us in heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(a prayer of John Calvin, in his Commentary on Hosea, translated into English in 1846 and updated by me into modern English)


I know that I have life
only insofar as I have love.
I have no love
except it come from Thee.
Help me, please, to carry
this candle against the wind.

(Wendell Berry, Leavings: Poems, 33)

A Prayer of Shakespeare

O Lord, who lends me life,
lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.

(from Henry VI, Part II, Act I, Scene 1, line 23-24)

In Life

Thank you for where you started me.
Thank you for how you grew me.
Thank you for when you stretched me.
Thank you for who you gave me.
Thank you for where you led me.
Thank you for how you chastened me.
Thank you for how you held me.
Thank you for what you taught me.
Thank you for where you have me.

A New Year's Prayer

To thee, O God, I give up myself, to be used and employed for thee. I desire to live no longer than I may do thee some service. Make what use of me thou pleasest, only let me obtain mercy of the Lord, to be found diligent, humble, and faithful. O that the work of this year may be better done than that of the last, and my time more filled up; and that I may never grow weary of well doing.

To thee, O God, I give up myself, to be disposed of by thee as thou pleasest. I know not what the year may bring forth to me, or to my family. But welcome the holy will of God; and God, by his grace, make me ready for it. If it be the last year of my life, my dying year, may I but finish my course with joy; and farewell this world. Whatever afflictions may this year befall me, I desire none of them may move me from God and my duty, amen.

(a prayer by Matthew Henry, January 1, 1707)