A Prayer on October 31

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

(Traditional Scottish Prayer)


Lord, I love it when Ryder greets the food I put before him with "Whoa," as if he's never seen such beauty and bounty before.

Give me a like mind, that I may each day greet the things you place before me with fresh enthusiasm, appreciation, and wonder.


A Stupid Thing

Lord God Adonai,
help me,
when temptation comes,
when I feel attacked
or accused,
devalued or depressed,
to more fervently--
and quickly--
devote myself to prayer,
and so make such attacks
a stupid thing
for the devil to try,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Divine Invitation

Sweet, sweet love of God,
We revere Your firelight heart;
Sweet, sweet grace surrounds,
We've been sought, through all of our years
You've carried our tears with you.

We are all here to find 
The place where our restless souls will be free; 
We were all made to see: 
Our hearts could not rest until found in Thee.

In this divine invitation we find your embrace,
And in our deep adoration see the light of your face.
In this divine invitation we all find the place
For our souls where the longings were born long ago.

Sweet, sweet Savior, come
Near us now
Into the depths of our hearts.

Sweet, sweet breath of life,
You fulfill
With the warmth of your love
A mystery of your ways.

(a prayer by Something Like Silas, performed by Page CXVI)

I Enter Thy Presence

Great God, in public and private, in sanctuary and home,
may my life be steeped in prayer,
filled with the spirit of grace and supplication,
each prayer perfumed with the incense of atoning blood.
Help me, defend me,
until from praying ground I pass to the realm of unceasing praise.
Urged by my need,
invited by Thy promises,
called by Thy Spirit,
I enter Thy presence,
worshipping Thee with godly fear,
awed by Thy majesty, greatness, glory,
but encouraged by Thy love.

I am all poverty as well as all guilt,
having nothing of my own with which to repay Thee,
but I bring Jesus to Thee in the arms of faith,
pleading His righteousness to offset my iniquities,
rejoicing that He will weigh down the scales for me,
and satisfy thy justice.

I bless Thee that great sin draws out great grace,
that, although the least sin deserves infinite punishment because done against an infinite God,
yet there is mercy for me,
for where guilt is most terrible,
there Thy mercy in Christ is most free and deep.
Bless me by revealing to me more of His saving merits,
by causing Thy goodness to pass before me,
by speaking peace to my contrite heart;
strengthen me to give Thee no rest untiI Christ shall reign supreme within me in every thought, word, and deed,
in a faith that purifies the heart, overcomes the world,
works by love, fastens me to Thee, and ever clings to the cross.

(from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers)

A Prayer of St. Basil

O God and Lord of the Powers,
and Maker of all creation,
Who, because of Thy clemency
and incomparable mercy,
didst send Thine Only-Begotten Son
and our Lord Jesus Christ
for the salvation of mankind,
and with His venerable Cross
didst tear asunder the record of our sins,
and thereby didst conquer the rulers and powers of darkness;
receive from us sinful people, O merciful Master,
these prayers of gratitude and supplication,
and deliver us from every destructive and gloomy transgression,
and from all visible and invisible enemies who seek to injure us.
Nail down our flesh with fear of Thee,
and let not our hearts be inclined to words or thoughts of evil,
but pierce our souls with Thy love,
that ever contemplating Thee,
being enlightened by Thee,
and discerning Thee,
the unapproachable and everlasting Light,
we may unceasingly render confession and gratitude to Thee:
The eternal Father, with Thine Only-Begotten Son,
and with Thine All-Holy, Gracious,
and Life-Giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

A Prayer About Value

Please keep me from measuring myself by the wrong standards.

How I compare to others isn't important.
The only thing that matters--and the only way to avoid my insecurities--
is to find my value as a creation of almighty God.

When I reflect on how much you love me, I find the courage to be myself,
and I realize I might be more valuable than I give myself credit for.

(an excerpt from the book, 365 Pocket Prayers, by Ron Beers)

For Friends with Cancer

Lord God,
today I am praying for four dear friends
who are struggling with cancer.

I'm sick of it.
I hate it.
In determined weakness I stand against it.
In Jesus' name, I oppose it.

Banish it, Lord.
Obliterate it,
in them and in others.
But especially in them.

Heal them by your mighty hand.
Visit them with hope and wholeness.
I pray for your immediate, instant healing,
even as I submit to your sovereign authority
to heal in other ways,
as you will,
as your wisdom and love see fit.

But act, Lord.
Bare your mighty arm.
Make known your healing balm.

Provide them with wise and attentive care
as well as laughter,
and energy and stamina along the way.

Grant them
courage when they are afraid,
comfort when they are in pain,
and blessing when their spirits start to flag,
that they may conquer fear
and depression
and faithlessness
as they also conquer cancer,
in your power,
for your glory,

A Prayer of Corretta Scott King

Eternal and everlasting God, who art the Father of all mankind, as we turn aside from the hurly-burly of everyday living, may our hearts and souls, yea our very spirits, be lifted upward to Thee, for it is from Thee that all blessing cometh.

Keep us ever mindful of our dependence upon Thee, for without Thee our efforts are but naught.

We pray for Thy divine guidance as we travel the highways of life. We pray for more courage.

We pray for more faith and above all we pray for more love.

May we somehow come to understand the true meaning of Thy love as revealed to us in the life, death and resurrection of Thy son and our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.

May the Cross ever remind us of Thy great love, for greater love no man hath given.

This is our supreme example, O God.

May we be constrained to follow in the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

(a prayer of Corretta Scott King)

A Ragamuffin Prayer

Grazie, Signore...
for judging me
not by my shabby good deeds
but by Your love
that is Your gift to me,
for Your unbearable forgiveness
and infinite patience with me,
for other people
who have greater gifts than mine,
and for the honesty
to acknowledge
that I am
a ragamuffin.

(based on words from Brennan Manning's The Ragamuffin Gospel, p. 121).

A Prayer to My Shepherd

Lord, you are my shepherd; I lack nothing that I really need. You care for me and lead me. You restore and revive me. Even in the darkest times, I don’t have to be afraid, for I know you are there with me, protecting me and comforting me. You provide my needs, you pour out on me one blessing after another. Your goodness and love—and constant presence—are all I need, now and forever. Amen. (Based on Psalm 23)

(a prayer from The Bible 30-Day Experience Guidebook by Bob Hostetler)

A Prayer to My Daily Bread

Lord Jesus, you are the Bread of Life. Live in me. Be my daily bread. Be my manna, my provision, my life and health. Help me, Lord, not to “snack” at your table, but to feast on you, to eat my fill of your presence and power. And let my life overflow and result in blessings on those around me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

(a prayer from The Bible 30-Day Experience Guidebook by Bob Hostetler)

Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess

Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.

Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples' affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.

Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.

Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains -- they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.

I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn't agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint -- it is so hard to live with some of them -- but a harsh old person is one of the devil's masterpieces.

Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.


A Prayer of One Set Free

Almighty God, thank you for setting me free from my past. Thank you that I have been set free from sin and have become a slave to righteousness (Romans 6:18). Thank you for freeing me from the guilt and shame and punishment my sins deserve, apart from the salvation that is mine in Christ. Thank you that I am no longer subject to judgment and condemnation, but am free to live, breathe, trust, serve, and rejoice through faith in the One who suffered outside the city walls to make me holy through his own blood (Hebrews 13:12). In Jesus’ name, amen.

(a prayer from The Bible 30-Day Experience Guidebook by Bob Hostetler)

Helpless Without You

Lord, I am helpless without you.
I am powerless without you.
I am wholly, thoroughly inadequate without you.
I am empty, weak, ineffectual without you.

But in you, abiding in you,
I am more than a conqueror.
In you, I can move mountains.
In you, I can scale a wall,
overthrow kingdoms,
shut the mouths of lions,
rout armies...
in you, abiding in you and walking in your Spirit,
I can face all things through Christ, who is my strength. Amen.

No Earthly Thing Can Satisfy Me

I thank Thee, O Lord, that Thou hast so set eternity within my heart that no earthly thing can ever satisfy me wholly. I thank Thee that every present joy is so mixed with sadness and unrest as to lead my mind upwards to the contemplations of a more perfect blessedness. And above all I thank Thee for the sure hope and promise of an endless life which Thou hast given me in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

(a prayer of John Baillie in A Diary of Private Prayer, by way of the Daily Prayer blog)

For My Daughter on Her Birthday

To borrow a phrase from Yeats, Lord,
you have made her a flourishing hidden tree
and granted her beauty and courtesy,
and kindness and charm and wisdom.

I give you praise and thanks
for my only daughter,
my firstborn, my Blossom;
for the child you gave me,
for the woman she grew into,
for the love we share,
for the pride and joy I feel in her,
for the blessings you've given her,
and the blessings you've given me
through her.

Please bless her today
and in the days to come, Lord.
Keep her safe and well.
Keep her marriage strong and beautiful.
Prosper her and her husband,
answer their prayers,
supply their needs.

Let their children's healing appear,
and reward their love and faithfulness
with beauty and grace,
prosperity and plenty.

Show her every kindness,
grant her your favor,
in Jesus' name, amen.

For My Life

Lord God, deliver me please
from the evil of the unexamined life...
the unworshipful life...
the self-centered life...
the self-absorbed life...
the self-satisfied life...
the frantic life...
the marginal life...
the care-filled life...
the accidental life...
the self-reliant life...
the arrogant life...
the inconsequential life...
the shallow life...
the appetite-driven life...
the reactive life...
the fruitless life...
the material life...
the thoughtless life...
the prayerless life...
the small life...
in Jesus' name, amen.

For That Which I Do Not But Would

God, you are my God,
and I seek you this morning;
let my prayers rise before you
like the morning sacrifice.

Please grant that I may seek you wholeheartedly,
which I confess I do not now.

Grant that I may seek you only,
which I do not now.

Grant that I may seek you moment-by-moment,
consistently, and constantly,
which I do not now,
for I need you constantly and completely
and only, amen.


your immensity
reminds me
that your resources
are not vast...
they are limitless,
you are limitless.
You may call
on any number--
an infinite number--
of resources
to accomplish your will,
you lack nothing,
and all you possess
you possess
in infinite number!
are you telling me about something you want to accomplish in me?
Through me?
I know that nothing is too hard for you.
I open my heart and will....
pour into them whatever you choose, in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer For Those Who Are Sorting Things Out

Gracious God, my world and my circumstances overwhelm me at times. I can see so many sides to my situation, so many ways it could go, so many avenues and choices. But Father, I need to make some decisions. I need to move forward. And I need Your grace and power to sort things out.

Lord, when I look at the pictures of Jesus in Scripture, I don’t see Him confused or upset. I don’t see Him wondering what to do or how to do it. When He faced big decisions and life-changing moments, He always drew apart and spent time with You.

Lord, when I’m tempted to worry, please pull me into prayer. When my thoughts swirl about me, remind me that I have Your mind. Help me acknowledge You in every way as I trust You to make my paths straight.

Savior, I want to say along with you, “Lord, not my will but Yours be done.” Grant my desire to seek You first. Give me grace to seek You always. And help me as I sort things out according to Your Word, your will, and your way. In the holy name of Jesus I pray—AMEN.

(from Marti Pieper's blog, http://martipieper.com)

Bedew My Whole Nature

Come, O Lord my God;
my soul invites you earnestly,
and waits for you eagerly.

Come to me, O Jesus, my well beloved,
and plant fresh flowers in my garden,
such as I see blooming
in such perfection
in your matchless character!

Come, O my Father,
who is the Husbandman,
and deal with me in your tenderness and prudence!

Come, O Holy Spirit,
and bedew my whole nature,
as the herbs are now moistened with the evening dews.

Oh, that you would speak to me!
Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.
Oh, that you would walk with me;
I am ready to give up my whole heart and mind to you.

I am only asking what you delight to give.

(a prayer of Charles H. Spurgeon, slightly revised)

Wild flowers

Blessed Jesus, thou dost receive with favor the smallest sincere token of affection! Thou dost receive our poor forget-me-nots and lovetokens, as though they were intrinsically precious, though indeed they are but as the bunch of wild flowers which the child brings to its mother.

We will give thee the first fruits of our increase, and pay thee tithes of all, and then we will confess "of thine own have we given thee" (Charles H. Spurgeon).

Fall Days

Oh, Lord,

Traveling Prayer

Lord Jesus,
be our vanguard,
our rear guard,
and our constant companion
as we travel.


I'm safe.
I'm sheltered.
I'm warm.
I'm fed.
I'm hydrated.
I'm clean.
I'm clothed.
I'm comfortable.
I'm healthy.
I'm free.
I'm able.
I'm ambulatory.
I'm conscious.
I'm aware.
I'm lucid.
I'm loved.
I'm dry.
I'm home.
I'm relaxed.
I'm happy.
I'm hopeful.
I'm blessed.
I'm grateful.

Let My Bones Be Soaked With Your Love

O my God,
let me, with thanksgiving,
remember, and confess unto you
your mercies on me.

Let my bones be soaked with your love,
and let them say unto you,
Who is like you, O Lord?

You have broken my chains in pieces.
I will offer unto you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
And how you have broken them, I will declare;
and all who worship you, when they hear this, will say:
Blessed is the Lord in heaven and in earth!
Great and wonderful is his name!

(A prayer of St. Augustine)

October Prayer

Change me, oh God,
Into a tree in autumn
And let my dying
Be a blaze of glory!

Drape me in a
Crimson, leafy gown,
And deck my soul
In dancing flakes of gold!

And then when Death
Comes by, and with his hands
Strips off my rustling garment
Let me stand

Before him, proud and naked,
Unashamed, uncaring,
All the strength in me revealed
Against the sky!

Oh, God
Make me an autumn tree
If I must die!

(a prayer of Esther Pope, 1896-1958)