O Love, O My

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

(a prayer of George Matheson by way of Ben Witherington's blog)

Simple Prayer

Take O take me as I am;
Summon out what I shall be;
Set your seal upon my heart
and live in me.

(a prayer by John Bell)

In This Season, In This Economy

Let not the needy, O Lord,
be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor
be taken away.

Birds and Lilies

Gracious God,
please make me more like the birds and the lilies,
who (in Bonhoeffer's words) "glorify their Creator,
not by their industry, toil or care,
but by a daily
acceptance of his gifts."


Come, Lord Jesus.
Come quickly.
Come to your church.
Come to us, the smug, the self-righteous.
Come to us, the arrogant and self-satisfied.
Come to us, the hurting who in their pain hurt others.
Come to the preachers with poison ideas and careless tongues.
Come to the misogynist and racist.
Come to the small-minded,
to the legalistic,
to the power hungry,
to the unforgiving.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
Come save us.
Transform us.
Before we do worse.

You Have Given Us Sunday

Father, we rejoice that you have given us Sunday,
the day when we remember that you created the world
and all that is within it,
the day when Jesus was raised from the dead
and death and hell laid waste,
the day in which all things were made and remade.

Father, may we approach Sunday
with longing and expectation;
as the hungry seek for bread,
so may we yearn for word and sacrament;
save our worship from all that is trivial;
rooted in the reality of the world in which we live,
may it yet glimpse the glory of your presence,
and stand in awe at the light of your holiness;
may we sense the presence of all who have gone before us,
hearing in our own songs the echo of unseen heaven's praise,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(From More Everyday Prayers)

My Little Vessel Is Full

O My God,
Thou fairest, greatest,
first of all objects,
my heart admires,
loves thee,
for my little vessel
is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out
all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee
ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,
for adorning it, for sanctifying it,
though it is fixed in barren soil;
for the body thou hast given me,
for preserving its strength and vigour,
for providing senses to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express,
for what thou art to thy creatures.

Increase my love, O my God,
through time and eternity.

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

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Lord, help me not take for granted
the simplest of gifts and blessings...

Make me grateful for the everyday, the commonplace,
what's right at hand, always there and at my fingertips...

Help me see what I often miss:
the gift of life itself and the blessing of your love...

(from A Concord Pastor Comments)

One Single Day

Thank you, Lord,
for today, just one single day,
you have given me grace to pray,
food to eat,
clothes to wear.

You allowed me
to wake in my own bed,
in health,
and in (mostly) my right mind.

I have hope of meaningful work,
innumerable comforts,
and a happy conclusion to this day.

By your grace, I can see, hear, touch, taste, feel.
By your grace, I know love and companionship.
By your grace, I have the means to buy, and abundance to give.
By your grace, I am forgiven and forgiving.

For this and more,
just one day's worth,
I give you my most heartfelt thanks!


A Prayer for Blessing

Lord God Adonai,
if you plan to bless me--
and I know you do--
then no devil's strategy
and no man's scheme
can thwart you!

So bless me, Lord.
Bless me,
bless my wife,
bless my family,
bless my children,
my grandchildren,
my home,
my body,
my writing,
and more,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of Father Louis by Father Matt

(A prayer of Thomas Merton, read by Father Matt Kelty, a monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani, where Merton lived. I finish today a retreat at the abbey, where I recall with great fondness and appreciation Father Matt's devotions when he was chaplain at the abbey. Father Matt died in 2011. I miss him)

Breathe on Me

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with Thee I will one will,
To do and to endure.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Blend all my soul with Thine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with Thee the perfect life
Of Thine eternity.

(a prayer of Edwin Hatch)

Make Me Want Again to Be Holy

Lord, have mercy.
Guide me,
make me want again to be holy,
to be a man of God,
even though in desperateness and confusion.

I do not necessarily ask for clarity, a plain way,
but only to go according to your love,
to follow your mercy, to trust your mercy.

I want to seek nothing at all, if this is possible.
But only to be led without looking and without seeking.
For thus to seek is to find.

(a prayer of Thomas Merton, from his journals, August 2, 1960, IV.28)


God, submerge me
in the darkness of your love,
that the consciousness of my false, everyday self
falls away from [me]
like a soiled garment. . . .
May my 'deep self' fall into your presence . . . .
knowing you alone . . .
carried away into eternity
like a dead leaf in the November wind.

(Thomas Merton, The Ascent to Truth, p. 238)

I Claim an Entrance There

O God, if still the holy place
Is found of those in prayer,
By all the promises of grace
I claim an entrance there.

Give me a self-denying soul,
Enlarged and unconfined;
Abide within me, and control
The wanderings of the mind.

Give me the strength of faith that dares
To die to self each day,
That bravely takes the cross, nor cares
To find an easier way.

Help me to make more sacrifice,
To walk where Christ would lead,
That in my life He may arise
To hallow every deed.


(a prayer of General Albert Orsborn)

Another Psalm 2

Lord, people do get worked up, don't they?
Why do so many rant and rage?
They twist themselves every which way
to gain power
and to deny yours.
They think you are so demanding
and they just want to be free.

You are not impressed, I know.
You will be lifted up regardless,
and you will lift up whom you will.
You will accomplish your purposes
and do good to all sorts of people
in all sorts of places.

You will depose the powerful
and lavish your love on the lowly.

You are the king over all,
and I bow before you.
I kiss your feet.
I submit to your will.

Only in you, Lord, can I be truly happy.
In you I take refuge.
In you I trust.

Fill Me with Joy

Gracious Heavenly Father,

No one takes my heartaches more seriously than you do. You know when my spirit feels crushed, and you are the one who lifts me up and rebuilds my hope. So as another work-week begins, I lift up my heartaches to you and seek the healing and refreshment only you can give.

But I also pray that you will fill me with joy, Lord. Make my heart happy and my face cheerful. I live in difficult times, and serving you is serious business, but please keep me from taking myself too seriously. Don’t let me become grim and humorless.

Fill my workplace with healthy laughter, positive relationships, and the joy of the Lord. Give me a sense of humor that’s keen and clean. Never let joy-stealing attitudes take root in my heart. Even amid the stress and strain of my daily work, let me be a cheerful giver and a cheerful servant.

I pray in the name of Jesus, who was “full of joy through the Holy Spirit” (Luke 10:21). Amen.

(from the upcoming book, Monday Morning Proverbs, by David Faust. Used with permission)

On Veterans Day

G-d of compassion,
G-d of dignity and strength,
Watch over the veterans of the United States
In recognition of their loyal service to our nation.
Bless them with wholeness and love.
Shelter them.
Heal their wounds,
Comfort their hearts.
Grant them peace.

G-d of justice and truth,
Rock of our lives,
Bless our veterans,
These men and women of courage and valor,
With a deep and abiding understanding
Of our profound gratitude.
Protect them and their families from loneliness and want.
Grant them lives of joy and bounty.
May their dedication and honor
Be remembered as a blessing
From generation to generation.

Blessed are You,
Protector and Redeemer,
Our Shield and our Stronghold.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

For Evils That Didn't Happen

Thank you, Lord, that much evil that could have happened to me yesterday didn't.

Thank you that I didn't run out of gas,
that I didn't get a ticket or a toothache.

Thank you that I didn't stub my toe or bite my tongue.

Thank you that I didn't hurt a friend or a loved one...or anyone.

Thank you that I didn't trip and fall,
that I didn't lose my wallet,
that I didn't lose my voice,
that I didn't lose my job,
that I didn't lose my health,
that I didn't lose my wife,
that I didn't lose my children,
that I didn't lose my mind...yet.

Thank you that I didn't fall into conscious, willful sin.

Thank you that I didn't neglect you in prayer.

In this and in everything, Lord, I give thanks, in Jesus' name, amen.

Another Psalm 1

Lord, you have made me truly happy.

I feel no need to follow wicked advice.
I have no desire to hang around with troublemakers
or interact with cynics.

I just want to be in your presence;
I long to hear from you.

You make me like a tree,
planted by a river,
surviving dry seasons and thriving in the sun.
I thirst for your rain;
I bask in your blessing.

How sad for the wicked,
who don't know your lovingkindness.
How sad and empty their lives,
like dusty desert places.

I don't envy them one bit.
I'm happy with my lot,
content where you have placed me.

Watch over my path and guide my steps.
Save me from the destructive ways of the wicked.


Lord, why do the nations rage?
Why do we worry more than we pray?
Why is it so easy to stress and so hard to trust?
Why isn't it easier to eradicate slavery and oppression?
Why isn't it simpler to cure cancer and cystic fibrosis?
Why aren't we better at such things?
Why is there still so much hatred and conflict in the world?
Why do we hold on so tightly to our illusions and dysfunctions?
Why do we demonize and stigmatize those with whom we disagree?
Why do we refuse to listen and cooperate?
Why do we let inessentials divide us?
Why is there still so much darkness and division,
so little light and liberty?

A Post-Election Day Prayer

Praise be to your name, God, for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are yours.
You change times and seasons;
    you depose kings and raise up others.
You give wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
You reveal deep and hidden things;
    you know what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with you.
Praise be to your name, God, for ever and ever.

(based on Daniel 2:20-22)

A Voter's Prayer

To You who search the hearts of men and know their hearts like no other,
we ask for help to:
  • look past the surface issues and see what You see;
  • silence the loud political voices and hear what you hear;
  • reject harsh rhetoric words and speak things pleasing to you;
  • breath in the aroma of your sweet presence as we vote and
  • feel your leading deep within as we cast our ballots.
All praise and honor be to the King of kings and Lord of lords.



Come, Lord Jesus. Come to my heart right now. Come to my life. Come to my family. Come to my church, to my work- place. Come to my friends and neighbors. Come to my com- munity and to my nation. Come to this world.

Come to the thirsty. Come to the desperate. To the sad and sorrowing. To the hurting and hungry. To the sick and to the lonely. Come, Lord.

Come and make all things right. Come soon. Come on the clouds, let every eye see you, let the whole world be filled with your glory, as the waters cover the sea. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

(a prayer from the book, How to Survive the End of the World)

Make My Worship Pleasing to You

Father God, lead me back to the heart of worship. Let my daily worship and my weekly worship with others reorient me and place me in the right posture in relation to your throne, in relation to your rule over all. Make my worship pleasing to you; make it also an impetus for repentance and reconciliation with others.

Holy Spirit, teach me as I read and study your Word. Lead me into all truth, as Jesus promised.

And, Lord Jesus, you who are worthy to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise, revive and restore me through the worship I offer. Let my worship bring joy to you. Let it bring heaven to me. Amen.

(a prayer from the book, How to Survive the End of the World)

In the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

Lord God,
strength of the weak
and hope of the helpless,
have mercy on the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Bring light into their darkness,
heat into their cold,
clean water into their plumbing,
electricity into their homes,
fuel to their gas tanks,
food to their mouths.

Please restore soon
what was destroyed so quickly.

Please give wisdom to those who are in positions of leadership
and generosity to those who are in a position to help.

Send patience and peace,
aid and support,
strength and hope to all who are grieving,
and working.

Stifle and subdue the baser instincts of humanity,
and ignite and enlarge the nobler,
that those who serve
and those who are served
may someday soon be better
than they are right now,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer to be Stretched

(from The Way, by E. Stanley Jones with Dean Merrill)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

A Prayer on All Saints Day

Living God, in whom there is no shadow or change, we thank you for the gift of life eternal, and for all those who having served you well, now rest from their labours.

We thank you for all the saints remembered and forgotten, for those dear souls most precious to us. Today we give thanks for those who during the last twelve months have died and entered into glory.

We bless you for their life and love, and rejoice for them “all is well, and all manner of things will be well.”

God of Jesus and our God, mindful of all those choice souls who have gone on ahead of us, teach us, and each twenty-first century disciple of every race and place,
to follow their example to the best of our ability:
to feed the poor in body or spirit,
to support and comfort the mourners and the repentant,
to encourage the meek and stand with them in crises,
to affirm those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
to cherish and learn from the merciful,
to be humbled by, and stand with, the peacemakers.
Let us clearly recognize what it means to be called the children of God, and to know we are to be your saints neither by our own inclination nor in our own strength but simply by the call and the healing holiness of Christ Jesus our Saviour.


(a prayer by By Bruce Prewer)