For Ryder

Lord, I pray for this boy
that you would make him
like Enoch, who walked with God;
that you would make him
like Gideon, who though the circumstances of his birth
were far from perfect,
who though his family was of no reputation,
who though he had many disadvantages in life arrayed against him,
that you would make him like Gideon who learned
that with God even the smallest can be great.

I pray that you would make him
like David, the man after God's own heart,
who knew what it was not only to walk with you
not only to fight and win great battles on your behalf,
but who also knew how to dance before you.
Make it so, in this boy's life.

Give him and his parents and his big sister
every blessing and every advantage,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(my prayer at the dedication of Ryder Aaron McCane, June 23, 2012)

You Are Holy

You are holy, Lord, the only God,
and Your deeds are wonderful.
You are strong.
You are great.
You are the Most High.
You are Almighty.
You, Holy Father, are King of heaven and earth.
You are Three and One, Lord God, all Good.
You are Good, all Good, supreme Good,
Lord God, living and true.
You are love. You are wisdom.
You are humility. You are endurance.
You are rest. You are peace.
You are joy and gladness.
You are justice and moderation.
You are all our riches, and You suffice for us.
You are beauty.
You are gentleness.
You are our protector.
You are our guardian and defender.
You are our courage. You are our haven and our hope.
You are our faith, our great consolation.
You are our eternal life, Great and Wonderful Lord,
God Almighty, Merciful Saviour.

(a prayer of St. Francis Of Assisi, by way of the In-Formatio blog)

For the Day's Graces

I give you thanks today, Lord God, Adonai;
I give you thanks for the day,
for the gift of waking,
and the grace of breathing;
for the bounty of breaths I will draw,
thoughts I will think,
words I will exchange,
and work I will do.
Thank you for every moment of safety I will enjoy,
for every bite of nourishment,
every taste of pleasure.
Thank you for every moment of sight,
for the grace of seeing,
the privilege of gazing on my wife, my children, my grandchildren, my friends,
and the thousands of objects and images my eyes will see today.
Thank you for the sounds I will hear,
the grace of hearing,
the blessing of lover's voice and music and speech
and even the cacophony of traffic and machinery.
Thank you, Father, for all your kindnesses to me,
which daily go unmarked,
Make me more mindful of the thousands of graces
you bestow on me today,
and make me glad to be alive, and sensate,
and able to enjoy so much.
Grant me to enjoy even the least enjoyable,
remembering that the sense to taste bitter
as well as sweet
is a grace as well,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Make Me Your Garden

Lord God, I cry out to you from my heart: Remove my sin, receive me again, and I will fulfill all my heartfelt promises of the past. I will not look to others to save me. I will not trust in myself. I will not exalt the work of my hands to the place of an idol. You show mercy to the bereft; show mercy to me.

Heal my wickedness, thoroughly and finally. Lavish your love on me. Come to me like the dew on the grass. Make me your garden. Let me send down roots like the trees of Lebanon. Let me grow like aspens on the hillside. Cause me to thrive like a beautiful olive tree, and spread my fragrance like a grove of cedars, that many will be blessed by me, and that my fruit and influence may spread far and wide.

You, Lord, are my one-and-only. You are the one who fulfills my desires. I want for nothing, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(based on Hosea 14:1-8)

For Wildfire Country

Holy God, in the wake of fires that devour and consume,
Refresh us with the water of life.
In the barren places of ash and dust,
Restore us with the water of life.
When all we can see is devastation and despair,
Renew us with the water of life.

When those whose vocations are to protect the property of others are tired and weary,
Renew them with the water of life.
When the creatures of the forest are frightened, displaced, or injured,
Renew them with the water of life.
When the fires have ceased, the cycle of renewal begins, and the plants and animals return,
Renew them with the water of life.

In Christ, we are washed clean.
We are refreshed.
In Christ, we drink from the wellspring of hope.
We are restored.
In Christ, we dance in the fountain of life.
We are renewed.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

(based upon a Litany from ELCA Worship resources)


God, I praise you for your immanence.
I praise you because you are above all;
you see and know and control all things,
including all the influences and instances of my life.
I praise you because you are beneath all things;
your presence and control extends
to the depths of the lakes and seas,
the innermost parts of the earth,
including the "hidden" reaches of my heart and soul.
I praise you because you dwell outside and beyond all;
you are not confined or hemmed in by space or time,
by this universe, nor even by my circumstances or shortcomings.
I praise you because you are in all,
filling all,
yet distinct from all created things,
and you are the source and supply of all I am and have, amen.

I Must Have You With Me

I must have you, Savior, with me,
For I dare not go alone;
I must feel your presence near me,
And your arm around me thrown.

Then my soul shall fear no ill,
Go on, lead me where you will,
I will go without a murmur,
And your footsteps follow still.

I must have you, Savior, with me,
For my faith, at best, is weak;
You can whisper words of comfort,
That no other voice can speak.

I must have you, Savior, with me,
In the onward march of life,
Thro’ the tempest and the sunshine,
Thro’ the battle and the strife.

I must have you, Savior, with me,
And your eye the way must guide,
Till I reach the vale of Jordan,
Till I cross the rolling tide.

(a prayer by Fanny Crosby, revised)

That We May Feel Fully Persuaded That We Are Loved

Grant, Almighty God, that as you often justly hide your face from us, so that on every side we see nothing but evidences of your dreadful judgment--O, grant that we, with minds raised above the scene of this world, may at the same time cherish the hope which you constantly set before us, so that we may feel fully persuaded that we are loved by you, however severely you may chastise us; and may this consolation so support and sustain our souls, that patiently enduring whatever chastisements you may lay upon us, we may ever hold fast the reconciliation which you have promised to us in Christ your Son. Amen.

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

Your Will Be Done

Gracious Lord,
may your will be done
in me,
in my marriage,
in my home,
in my children,
in their children,
in my work,
in my leisure,
in my finances,
in my health,
in my eating and drinking,
in my reading,
in my driving,
in the entertainment I enjoy,
in the routines I observe,
in my listening and speaking,
in my thinking and doing,
in my moods and attitudes,
in my friends,
in my church,
in my community,
in my state,
in my nation,
on earth,
as it is in heaven,

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Lord, please let your thoughts flow
through my thoughts,
through my heart,
through the tips of my fingers,
through my keyboard,
through my computer,
through my manuscript,
through my edits,
through my editor's edits,
through the publishing process,
through the marketing process,
into my readers' minds
and to their hearts,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of Anselm

Let me seek you in my desire,
Let me desire you in my seeking.
Let me find you by loving you,
Let me love you when I find you.

(excerpted from a prayer of St. Anselm)

Need You

Good God, my Father,
I will need you today.
I always need you, in all I do,
but I confess I am not always aware of it.
But I am keenly aware of it today.
I need your energy and inspiration as I write.
I need your focus and clarity,
your moment-by-moment deliverance from distraction.
I need your encouragement and empowerment.
I need, most of all, the sweet fragrance of your presence, the constant assurance of your favor, and the realization of your creativity and love and truth flowing through me, to the glory of your name and the blessing of my readers.

Please grant that I may reach the end of this writing day in awed gratitude for your presence in my life, and your provision in my work, in Jesus' name, amen.

A Father's Day Prayer

Abba, Father,
thank you for being such a father to me:
patient, wise, loving, constant, and strong.

Thank you for my father,
for the long years you've given him on this earth,
and for the example he's shown me
and the things he's taught me.

Thank you for the kind of father
my son and son-in-law are
to my grandchildren:
patient, wise, loving, constant, and strong.

Let this Father's Day be a blessing to you
and to the fathers in my life and family,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Listen, Lord--A Prayer

Trinity Church Pulpit Detail: Holly on Martin Luther's Bible (Boston, MA)
O Lord, we come this morning
Knee-bowed and body-bent
Before Thy throne of grace.
O Lord--this morning--
Bow our hearts beneath our knees,
And our knees in some lonesome valley.
We come this morning--
Like empty pitchers to a full fountain,
With no merits of our own.
O Lord--open up a window of heaven,
And lean out far over the battlements of glory,
And listen this morning.

Lord, have mercy on proud and dying sinners--
Sinners hanging over the mouth of hell,
Who seem to love their distance well.
Lord--ride by this morning--
Mount Your milk-white horse,
And ride-a this morning--
And in Your ride, ride by old hell,
Ride by the dingy gates of hell,
And stop poor sinners in their headlong plunge.

And now, O Lord, this man of God,
Who breaks the bread of life this morning--
Shadow him in the hollow of Thy hand,
And keep him out of the gunshot of the devil.
Take him, Lord--this morning--
Wash him with hyssop inside and out,
Hang him up and drain him dry of sin.
Pin his ear to the wisdom-post,
And make his words sledge hammers of truth--
Beating on the iron heart of sin.
Lord God, this morning--
Put his eye to the telescope of eternity,
And let him look upon the paper walls of time.
Lord, turpentine his imagination,
Put perpetual motion in his arms,
Fill him full of the dynamite of Thy power,
Anoint him all over with the oil of Thy salvation,
And set his tongue on fire.

And now, O Lord--
When I've done drunk my last cup of sorrow--
When I've been called everything but a child of God--
When I'm done traveling up the rough side of the mountain--
O--Mary's Baby--
When I start down the steep and slippery steps of death--
When this old world begins to rock beneath my feet--
Lower me to my dusty grave in peace
To wait for that great gittin'-up morning--Amen.

(from God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse by James Weldon Johnson)

Lover of My Soul

Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to your bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide, and receive my soul at last.

Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on you;
Leave me not alone, but guide, comfort me my whole life through.
All my trust on you is stayed, all my help from you I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of your wing.

You, O Christ, are all I want, more than all in you I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is your Name, I am all unrighteousness;
False and full of sin I am; You are full of truth and grace.

Plenteous grace with you is found, grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within.
You of life the fountain are, freely let me take of you;
Spring up, Lord, within my heart, day by day 'til life is through.

(from a hymn by Charles Wesley, revised and updated)

Highest Good

God, You are the highest good of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of You is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied.

To go to heaven fully to enjoy You is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here.

Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows. But the enjoyment of You is the substance.

These are but scattered beams, but You are the sun.

These are but streams, but You are the fountain.

These are but drops, but You are the ocean.


(from God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse by James Weldon Johnson, by way of the Daily Prayer blog)

That Our Hearts May Be So Softened

Grant, Almighty God, that as we set up against you so many obstacles through the depravity of our flesh and natural disposition, that we seem to be designedly striving to close up the door against your goodness and paternal favor--O, grant that our hearts may be so softened by your Spirit, and the hardness which has hitherto prevailed may be so corrected, that we may submit ourselves to you with genuine docility, especially as you so kindly and tenderly invite us to yourself, that being allured by your sweet invitation, we may run, and so run as not to be weary in our course, until Christ shall at length bring us together to you, and, at the same time, lead us to you for that eternal life, which he has obtained for us by his own blood. Amen.

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

Pruning Prayer

Abba, you know I don't like the pruning process.
I want uninterrupted, straight-line growth--
painless, comfortable, encouraging--
but I confess that as arrogance and ambition.

I open my heart to your pruning process,
confident in your loving nature,
and good, wise plans for me.
Do what you will with me, amen.

On the Road Again

Gracious Lord,
be with me as I travel today.
Make smooth paths for me.
Grant safe and timely travel
to the airport,
between airports,
and between gates.
Help me to make my flights
and safely reach my destination.
Guide my steps,
guard my thoughts,
and give me sweet communion with you
and pleasant interactions with others
everywhere I go,
in Jesus' name, amen.


Jesus, Lord God from all eternity,
Whom love of us brought down to shame,
I plead Thy life with Thee,
I plead Thy death, I plead Thy name.

Jesus, Lord God of every living soul,
Thy love exceeds its uttered fame,
Thy will can make us whole,
I plead Thyself. I plead Thy name.

(a prayer of Christina Rossetti)

A Prayer Before Preaching

Lord God, what a marvel,
that I can proclaim your Word!
What an honor.
What a joy.

You dwell with the lowly
and visit those who tremble at Your Word.
Anoint me with lowliness.
Fill me with trembling.

Come upon me in spirit and truth.
Overshadow me with your Spirit.

All my springs are in you, Lord.
Flow from me
for the salvation of sinners
and for the blessing,
and upbuilding of your church,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Use All the Circumstances of My Life

Teach me, O God, to use all the circumstances of my life to-day
that they may bring forth in me
the fruits of holiness rather than the fruits of sin.
Let me use disappointment as material for patience:
Let me use success as material for thankfulness:
Let me use suspense as material for perseverance:
Let me use danger as material for courage:
Let me use reproach as material for long-suffering:
Let me use praise as material for humility:
Let me use pleasures as material for temperance:
Let me use pains as material for endurance.

(a prayer of John Baillie from his book, A Diary of Private Prayer)

Yahweh Yireh

Abba, Father, Yahweh Yireh,
you sent manna in the wilderness,
dispatched ravens to feed Elijah,
replenished the widow's flour and oil,
fed bread and water to Elijah at Horeb,
and multiplied the loaves and fishes by the lake.
You have done as much for me, time after time.
Do it again, Lord, please, in Jesus' name, amen.

Quicken Me

Lord God, Abba, in the words of your Word, I pray,
quicken me in thy righteousness,
quicken me after thy lovingkindness,
quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word,
quicken me according to thy judgment,
quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake,

(from Psalm 119:40, 88, 107, 149; 143:11, KJV)


O God, what thanks can I possibly render to you
for my bride,
my wife,
my thirty-five years of marriage,
and thirty-eight years
with the lovely Robin in my life?

Thank you for yet another year of life together.
Thank you for her faithful,
constant heart.

Thank you for the happiness we have known together;
for the sorrows we have faced together;
for the children we have raised
and the grandchildren we have been given.

Thank you for our home,
our health,
our laughter,
our hopes and dreams,
our unfinished plans
and our small accomplishments.

Thank you that she still laughs at (some of) my jokes.
Thank you that she grows more beautiful every day.
Thank you for all her perfections,
and all my improvements.

Spare us another year to walk together,
and grant that for us it may be true
that the best is yet to be,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Inasmuch As We Are So Dull and Slothful

Grant, Almighty God, that inasmuch as we are so dull and slothful, that though often admonished, we still don't consider our sins, and, though chastised by your hand, we yet return not immediately to a right mind--O, grant that we may hereafter profit more under your rod, and not be refractory and untractable; but as soon as you raise your hand, may each of us mourn, know our own evils, and then, with one consent, surrender ourselves to be ruled by you; and may we, in the meantime, patiently and calmly endure your chastisements, and never murmur against you, but ever aspire to the attainment of true repentance, until, having at length put off all the vices and corruptions of our flesh, we attain to the fulness of righteousness, and to that true and blessed glory which has been prepared for us in heaven by Jesus Christ. Amen.

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

Prayer for Faith

Lord, save me from trusting
in myself,
in my ideas,
in my ingenuity.
Give me the gift of faith in you,
your ideas,
your ingenuity,
your voice,
your power,
your words, in Jesus' name, amen.

For Summer

Glory be to God...
for clear blue skies and sunny days
for fresh green grass and leafy trees
for vivid purple flowers and well-tended gardens
for fluffy white clouds and gentle breezes
for bright red buses and busy streets

Glory be to God...
for people stepping out with sandaled feet
for children playing games with delighted squeals
for picnics and street parties
for street traders and market stalls
for long days and short nights
for open-topped buses and open-necked shirts.

Glory be to God...
for seasons
for summer
for sunshine

At last!

(a prayer by Chick Yuill)