A Good Morning Prayer

Good morning, good God.

Thank you for the good rest of this night just past,
for the new promise of this fresh morning,
and for all the possibility this day holds.

Somehow, while I slept,
you kept all things under your control
and held all things together
while I rested under the shadow of your wing.

Remind me often
that you are as capable in the day
as in the night,
in Jesus' name, amen.

That We May Enjoy Our Redemption

Grant, Almighty God, that as we now carry about us this mortal body, and nourish through sin a thousand deaths within us--O, grant that we may ever by faith direct our eyes towards heaven, and to that incomprehensible power, which is to be manifested at the last day by Jesus Christ our Lord, so that in the midst of death we may hope that you will be our Redeemer, and enjoy that redemption, which he completed when he rose from the dead; and not doubt that the fruit which he then brought forth by his Spirit will come also to us, when Christ himself shall come to judge the world; and may we thus walk in the fear of your name, that we may be really gathered among his members, to be made partakers of that glory, which by his death he has procured for us. Amen.

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

For a Heart of Prayer

G-d, bless me with a heart of prayer:
To lift my voice,
To sing Your praise,
To extol Your wisdom,
To recall Your deeds,
To proclaim Your glory,
To declare Your majesty,
To recount Your ways,
To remember Your works,
To delight in Your gifts,
To rejoice in Your Word.

Let prayer flow from my lips.
Let me join the song of my people,
Filling the realms above
And the realms below
With joy and wonder,
So that holiness, radiance and awe,
Walk with us
Throughout our days.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.


I climb into your lap today
and in my childish prattle
ask for your favor.
In your infinite wisdom,
feed me what I need,
and help me to recognize
even the sourest spoonfuls
as your good gifts to me,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Don't Let Me Lose My Sight of You

Disturb Us, Lord

Disturb us, Lord,
when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
when our dreams have come true
because we have dreamed too little,
when we arrived safely
because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord,
when with the abundance of things we possess
we have lost our thirst for the waters of life;
having fallen in love with life,
we have ceased to dream of eternity,
and in our efforts to build a new earth,
we have allowed our vision
of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord,
to dare more boldly,
to venture on wider seas
where storms will show your mastery;
where losing sight of land,
we shall find the stars.

We ask You to push back
the horizons of our hopes;
and to push into the future
in strength, courage, hope, and love.

(attributed to Sir Francis Drake)

Bring Him Home

God on high,
Hear my prayer;
In my need,
You have always been there.

Bring him peace,
Bring him joy;
He is young.
He is only a boy.

You can take,
You can give,
Let him heal,
Let him live.
If I die, let me die,
Let him live.
Bring him home.
Bring him home.
Bring him home.

(a prayer from Les Miserables, slightly revised)


Abba, you have been kind to see my grandson, Ryder, and his parents through this harrowing weekend just past.

Thank you for his mother's wisdom in taking him to the hospital and for the care he received there. Thank you for bringing him home Sunday morning.

And, while I know you never sleep or slumber, that you miss no detail of our lives, and that nothing escapes your attention, I pray nonetheless: be vigilant, Lord. Be alert to his every breath and prevent a relapse. Keep his lungs and airways clear. Restore his appetite. Make his recovery complete in every way. And let this not be a harbinger of things to come but a soon-to-be-forgotten anomaly in his otherwise long and healthy life, in Jesus' name, amen.

On This Sunday

O Lord, our Heavenly Father, at the beginning of another week we come to you for help and light.

Grant that we make this a sacred day of rest to your service. May we consecrate this day to find all peace and strength in you. Make our hearts beat with devotion so that we may serve you in spirit and in truth. May we live this day laying a good foundation for our coming work.

Be with us in the worship services of your day so that your saints may join in heart and soul. Be with us so that we may receive the blessing promised to all who sincerely pray to you and faithfully hear your Word.

This we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray, amen.

That We May Be Ruled by Christ's Authority

Grant, Almighty God, that as you have given us your only begotten Son to rule us, and have by your good pleasure consecrated him a King over us, that we may be perpetually safe and secure under his hand against all the attempts of the devil and of the whole world--O, grant that we may suffer ourselves to be ruled by his authority, and so conduct ourselves, that he may ever continue to watch for our safety: and as you have committed us to him, that he may be the guardian of our salvation, so also suffer us neither to turn aside or to fall, but preserve us ever in his service, until we be at length gathered into that blessed and everlasting kingdom, which has been procured for us by the blood of your only Son. Amen.

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

A Prayer of Martin Luther

Lord God,
I have indeed transgressed your commandments.
I have been impatient in reverses and trials.
I am unsympathetic and unmerciful.
I do not help my neighbor.
I am unable to resist sin.
I do not tire of doing wrong.

Dear Lord, pour out your grace to me
and give me your Holy Spirit
so that I may be obedient and keep each of your commandments.
Help me to be at odds with the world
and to give my heart and soul to you. Amen.

(a prayer of Martin Luther, from a collection entitled Luther's Prayers, by way of the Daily Prayer blog)

Man of Galilee

Savior of light, I look just now to Thee;
Brighten my path, so only shall I see
Thy footprints, Lord, which mark the way for me;
Light of my life, so surely Thou wilt be,
O Man of Galilee!

Another touch, I ask another still,
That daily, hourly, I may do Thy will;
Healer of wounds and bearer of all pain,
Thy touch, Thy power are evermore the same,
O Man of Galilee!

Lord of my life, I dare step out to Thee
Who stilled the waves and stayed the tossing sea;
When floods o'erwhelm, my safety Thou wilt be;
When nightfall comes, O Lord, abide with me;
O Man of Galilee!

Pilot of souls, I trust Thy guiding hands;
Take Thou the helm and, at Thy blest command,
I sail straight on until, the harbor won,
I reach the glory of Thy sweet well done;
O Man of Galilee!

O Man of Galilee,
Stay with and strengthen me;
Walk thou through life with me,
O Man of Galilee!

(a prayer of Robert Hoggard)

A Prayer on Tax Day

Father God, thank you
for placing no greater burden on man
than to do justly,
to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with our God.

Grant that I may also fulfill my civic duties,
pay my taxes,
and still provide for my family
while generously supporting your work in this world,
in Jesus' name, amen.

For Healing from CF

Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
our only help in time of need:
please look on your precious children
Calleigh and Ryder.
Look on them with the eyes of your mercy;
comfort them with a sense of your goodness;
preserve them from all attacks of the enemy;
and give them and their parents patience under their affliction.

However you do it, Lord,
by miraculous intervention,
by a breakthrough in medical research,
or in some other way,
whether simultaneously or serially,
please heal them both from all signs and symptoms of cystic fibrosis,
blessing them with complete health and wholeness
and enabling them to lead the remainder of their lives in vitality and vigor,
to the glory of your name,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(thank you for praying this prayer with me; if you would like to help our efforts to fund and find a cure for CF, please do, here)

Undignified and Unashamed Prayer

O King,
Let me weep and dance before your throne
as undignified and unashamed as David,
with a naked heart,
a wild tongue,
scarred emotions,
and earthly desires.

Break the chains of my respectable tidy language,
set loose my awe and my squirrelly playfulness.

I need the freedom and humility
to cry in your arms,
and the courage
to shout your praise.

(by way of Steven James's blog, from his ebook, A Heart Exposed)

Throw Open the Windows of My Soul

Father, my soul gets so cluttered: old hopes, broken dreams, dusty determinations, stored-up hurts and resentments, good intentions waiting to be pulled out at just the right time, undone tasks, unkempt thoughts, unrepented sins.

Come to my heart, Lord.
Throw open the windows of my soul,
sweep through its dusty confines,
clean out its musty places,
go through, blow through, flow through,
clear it,
clean it,
rearrange it,
and make it your own,
like a bride moving into a bachelor pad,
in Jesus' name, amen.

To Boldly Embrace Uncertainty

Lord God Adonai, there is so much I don’t know.
I know nothing next to what you know.
I don’t know what my future holds.
I don’t even know what tomorrow—
or the next five minutes—holds.
But I know that you love me.
I know that you love the church.
I know that you love the world.
I know your plans for me are good.
I know your power is unlimited
and your love is unconditional.
And so, step by step, and moment by moment,
help me to trust you,
to be courageous and full of faith,
to boldly embrace uncertainty,
and to rely on you for whatever results,
in Jesus’ name. Amen.

(from the book, Quit Going to Church, pp. 212-213)

That We May Ever Submit Ourselves to You

Grant, Almighty God, that as you so kindly call on us daily by your voice, meekly and calmly to offer ourselves to be ruled by you, and since you have exalted us to a high degree of honor by freeing us from the dread of the devil, and from that tyranny which kept us in miserable fear, and have also favored us with the Spirit of adoption and of hope--O, grant that we, being mindful of these benefits, may ever submit ourselves to you, and desire only to raise our voice for this end, that the whole world may submit itself to you, and that those who seem now to rage against you may at length be brought, as well as we, to render obedience to you, so that your Son Christ may be the Lord of all, to the end that you alone may be exalted, and that we may be made subject to you, and be at length raised up above, and become partakers of that glory which has been obtained for us by 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)

Mixed Faith

Save me, God,
from a mixed faith:
a faith in you...
and in me.
I believe;
help my unbelief.
I long to believe only--
and therefore fully--
in you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Pink Slip Prayer

Father, thank you
for the publisher that said "no, thank you" today.

I had high hopes for that one.
I really thought it would be a yes.
But you know best, and I trust your wisdom and love,
even when it hurts.

Maybe you have something else planned.
Something better.
Or maybe you're teaching me something.
I hope it's the "something better" option.

Post Resurrection Prayer

I have no wit, no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numb'd too much for hopes or fears;
Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
I lift mine eyes, but dimm'd with grief
No everlasting hills I see;
My life is in the falling leaf:
O Jesus, quicken me.

My life is like a faded leaf,
My harvest dwindled to a husk:
Truly my life is void and brief
And tedious in the barren dusk;
My life is like a frozen thing,
No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall--the sap of Spring;
O Jesus, rise in me.

My life is like a broken bowl,
A broken bowl that cannot hold
One drop of water for my soul
Or cordial in the searching cold;
Cast in the fire the perish'd thing;
Melt and remould it, till it be
A royal cup for Him, my King:
O Jesus, drink of me.

(a prayer by Christina Rossetti, "A Better Resurrection." From Goblin Market, The Prince's Progress and Other Poems. London: Macmillan 1879)

Easter Morning Prayer

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,

Good Friday Evening

No Cherub's heart or hand for us might ache,
No Seraph's heart of fire had half sufficed:
Thine own were pierced and broken for our sake,
O Jesus Christ.

Therefore we love Thee with our faint good-will,
We crave to love Thee not as heretofore,
To love Thee much, to love Thee more, and still
More and yet more.

(by Christina Rossetti)

Good Friday Morning

Up Thy Hill of Sorrows
Thou all alone,
Jesus, man's Redeemer,
Climbing to a Throne:
Thro' the world triumphant,
Thro' the Church in pain,
Which think to look upon Thee
No more again.

Upon my hill of sorrows
I, Lord, with Thee,
Cheered, upheld, yea, carried,
If a need should be:
Cheered, upheld, yea, carried,
Never left alone,
Carried in Thy heart of hearts
To a throne.

(by Christina Rossetti)

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 http://scotkinnaman.com)

Tuesday in Holy Week

By Thy long-drawn anguish to atone,
Jesus Christ, show mercy on Thine own:
Jesus Christ, show mercy and atone
Not for other sake except Thine own.

Thou Who thirsting on the Cross didst see
All mankind and all I love and me,
Still from Heaven look down in love and see
All mankind and all I love and me.

(by Christina Rossetti)

That We May Follow With True Docility

Grant, Almighty God, that as we have not only been created by you, but when you have placed us in this world, you have also enriched us with abundance of all blessings---O, grant that we may not transfer to others the glory due to you, and that especially since we are daily admonished by your Word, and even severely reproved, we may not with an iron hardness resist, but render ourselves pliable to you, and not give ourselves up to our own devices, but follow with true docility and meekness that rule which you have prescribed in your Word, until at length having put off all the remains of errors, we shall enjoy that blessed light, which you have prepared 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)

A Prayer for April 1

(from a poem by Edward Rowland Sill)

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!