An Aquinas Prayer for My Children

Grant to my children your grace, most merciful Jesus, that it may be with them and in them now and to the end of their lives. Grant that they may always desire and will those things that are most acceptable and most dear to you. Let your will be theirs, and let their will ever follow yours and agree perfectly with it. Let their willing and not-willing be in complete unison with your will, and let them not be able to will anything but what you will, nor will not what you will not, in Jesus’ name, amen.

(Based on a prayer by Thomas Aquinas)

A Place to Walk

Thank you, God, for making my way secure,
for making my feet like the feet of a deer,
for lifting me up onto higher ground
and causing me to stand on the heights.

Thank you for sustaining me and holding me;
for providing a broad path for my feet,
a firm place to walk upon.

Thank you for showing me where to go,
and for going there ahead of me,
and behind me,
and with me.

Your presence is sweet.
Your ways are good.
You are altogether wonderful to me. Amen.

Fireplace Prayer

Thank you for fire, Lord. 
For the warmth it gives. 
The light it shines. 
Its aroma. 
Its energy. 
Its beauty.

Make me like that. 

Lift Me Up

Why is it, Lord, that I so quickly
see the problem,
call to mind the hurt,
rehearse the pain,
dwell on my mistakes,
fret and stew in worry
and feed upon my fear?

Why is it, Lord, that I'm so slow
to see your grace,
treasure peaceful moments,
hold on to every healing,
listen for your whispered word,
lean upon your strength,
and place my troubled heart
in your open, loving hands?

Lift me up, O Lord,
out of all that keeps me down...

Open wide my eyes to see
the beauty of your face...

Lift my hands and heart
to you in prayer...

Open up my ears
to your Spirit's voice within me...

Touch my mind and heart
where I'm most in need of healing...

Remind me every day of my blessings,
old and new...

Give me strength to live
one day,
one hour,
one minute at a time...

Lift me up, O Lord,
out of all that keeps me down
and let my spirit find its joy
in you and in your love...


(from A Concord Pastor Comments; art by Amy S. Turner)


Tired of the way,
Thirsty for you,
I've crossed a desert,
I have stayed without strength;
I come to you.

I fought like a soldier,
and sometimes I suffered
And although I won the fight,
I have worn my armor
I come to you.

Immerse me
in the river of your spirit;
I need to refresh this dry heart,
Thirsty for you:

Immerse me.

A Revised Hymn of Praise

Summer IN Winter, and sunshine and beach time,

Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

A Travel Te Deum

The alarm worked fine.
The car started.
The garage door wasn't frozen shut.
The roads were clear.
The deer stayed out of our way.
There were open parking spaces close to the terminal.
The security check went smoothly.
The gate personnel were kind and helpful.
The first flight departed on time and arrived early.
The airport shuttle waited for us.
The second flight's doors were still open--just--when we arrived at the gate.
The airline got us to our destination, only a little late.
Praise God.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Your Grace Has Stirred Me

Lord, why did you tell me to love all men, my brothers?

I have tried, but I come back to you, frightened…
Lord, I was so peaceful at home,
I was so comfortably settled.
It was well furnished, and I felt cozy.
I was alone, I was at peace.
Sheltered from the wind, the rain, the mud.
I would have stayed unsullied in my ivory tower.

But, Lord, you have discovered a breach in my defences,
You have forced me to open my door,
Like a squall of rain in the face,
the cry of men has awakened me;
Like a gale of wind a friendship has shaken me,
As a ray of light slips in unnoticed,
your grace has stirred me…
and, rashly enough, I left my door ajar.

Now, Lord, I am lost!

Outside men were lying in wait for me.
I did not know they were so near;
in this house, in this street, in this office;
my neighbour, my colleague, my friend.
As soon as I started to open the door I saw them,
with outstretched hands, burning eyes, longing hearts,
like beggars on church steps.

The first ones came in, Lord.
There was after all some space in my heart.
I welcomed them.
I would have cared for them and fondled them,
my very own little lambs, my little flock.
You would have been pleased, Lord,
I would have served and honoured you in a proper, respectable way.
Till then, it was sensible…

But the next ones, Lord, the other men,
I had not seen them; they were hidden behind the first ones.
There were more of them, they were wretched;
they over-powered me without warning.
We had to crowd in, I had to find room for them.
Now they have come from all over, in successive waves, pushing one another, jostling one another.
They have come from all over town, from all parts of the country, of the world;
numberless, inexhaustible.
They don’t come alone any longer but in groups,
bound one to another.
They come bending under heavy loads;
loads of injustice, of resentment and hate, of suffering and sin…
They drag the world behind them, with everything rusted, twisted, or badly adjusted.
Lord, they hurt me!
They are in the way, they are everywhere,
They are too hungry, they are consuming me!
I can’t do anything any more;
as they come in, they push the door, and the door opens wider…

Lord! My door is wide open!
I can’t stand it any more!
It’s too much!
It’s no kind of life!
What about my job? My family? My peace? My liberty? And me?

Lord, I have lost everything, I don’t belong to myself any longer;
There’s no more room for me at home.

Don’t worry, God says, you have gained all.
While men came in to you, I, your Father, I, your God,
Slipped in among them.

(from the book, Prayers of Life)

Prayer for an Emmaus Day

Lord, you know what awaits me and the lovely Robin today. You know every bend and bump in the road, every sunbeam and cloud in the sky. So, Lord, please, make straight paths for our feet. Grant us safe travel. Grant us successful travel. Please let us make our connections. Please help us reach our destination. Save us from worry and stress. Make us patient and polite along the way. Make us kind and attentive to others, and please give us the blessing of somehow being helpful to someone else. And especially, Lord, make this day an Emmaus moment, that we may travel in your company and, when we reach our destination, know you better than when we began, in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo by Glen26, courtesy of stock.xchng)

Stir the Embers

As I stir the embers of my daily fire, I ask you, living God, to stir the embers of my heart into a flame of love for you, my family, my neighbor, and my enemy. Amen.

(an ancient Celtic prayer, used each morning as the embers in the household hearth were stirred; photo by Conanil, courtesy of

For Answers

Lord God, my Father,
thank you for answered prayer
for flight schedules,
for safety,
for blessing,
for beauty,
for strength,
and grace.

And that's just the last twenty-four hours.


(photo by Candy_N via


Today, O Lord —
let me put others before self;
let me put things of the Spirit before the things of the body;
let me put the attainment of noble ends before the enjoyment of present pleasures;
let me put principle above reputation;
and let me put you before all else.

(a prayer of John Baillie)

For Help in My Great Strides Efforts

Lord God Adonai, you have been so good to bless me and the lovely Robin with the children and grandchildren we have. My cup runneth over.

And though the two youngest face the daily challenge presented by Cystic Fibrosis, I pray that it will not be a lifelong challenge, but that our efforts and the efforts of many others, including the CF Foundation, will result in eradication of this disease very soon.

To that end, Lord, I beg you for your help in my family's GREAT STRIDES efforts this year.

Please guide me in my efforts to get the word out. I pray for donations of $3,500 or more. I pray for you to move in the hearts of more than fifty people to bring that about. I pray also, please inspire five or more people to become "McCane's Miracles" team members to set their own goals and raise funds toward a cure. Please send matching gifts from generous, community-minded businesses and organizations. Please move area churches, clubs, and groups to help. Please send at least 150 people to walk the streets of Oxford in May to show their support. Please make this year's GREAT STRIDES efforts a success from YOUR perspective, and use our efforts--and every donation--to bring about a cure, in Jesus' name, amen.

(Visit my GREAT STRIDES homepage here to learn more)


O Holy Spirit, rush upon me.

(a prayer based on 1 Samuel 16:13, ESV: "And the Spirit of The Lord rushed upon David")

Self-Made Man

God, save me
from the desire--
and my tendency--
to be a self-made man
instead of
a Spirit-made man.

(photo by "white bird," courtesy of photoXpress)

Higher, Please

Lord, lift me up
and let me stand
by faith
on heaven's tableland--
a higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Apples of Gold

Father, let my speaking today
be like apples of gold 
in settings of silver, 
in Jesus' name, 

To Have My Heart Changed

Lord, I am willing to have my heart changed.
Though it may mean that I shall be despised
and hated and persecuted, I will take up my cross;
I will crucify myself.
I am willing that my selfishness and pride
and hate and uncleanness shall be taken from me,
and that You shall reign in me
and create in me a clean heart,
perfect in its love, submission, loyalty, trust, and obedience.

(a prayer of Samuel Logan Brengle, as found in Take Time to Be Holy, the January 5 reading)

Prayer of Thanks for the Prayers of Others

Abba, thank you for the prayers of others on my behalf,
those times when someone's prayer--unbeknownst to me--
has encouraged, healed, delivered, or empowered me.

How many times in my life have I unknowingly been saved because someone--somewhere--prayed for me?

How many prayers have turned back some disaster that awaited me?

How many moments have been shot through with blessing and loveliness because someone spoke my name to you?

Whether close or distant,
from a friend or stranger,
long or short, thank you for them all.

How I will rejoice in eternity to see the record of all who have prayed for me, and how much I owe to them.

Icy Praise

It is always fitting to praise you, God.
You speak, the earth obeys.
You spread a blanket of snow on the ground
like wool;
you scatter frost on the grass
like ashes.
You pitch hailstones
like gravel falling from the sky.
You send unimaginable cold,
and then at your command it all melts,
the earth warms,
and streams begin to flow once more.
Wow, Lord God. Wow.

(based on Psalm 147:15-18; photo by image*after)


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)

For Seasons

Great Creator, thank you for the seasons that unfold right outside my windows,
and display your beauty and creativity,
and remind me of your many blessings and provisions.

Thank you for the glistening Winters,
the shimmer of sun on snow and the crack of branches under ice,
for biting winds and welcoming fireplaces.

Thank you for the vibrancy of Spring,
the budding of trees and blooming of flowers,
the return of the birds and smell of the air.

Thank you for the pleasures of Summer,
the bright sunny days and perfect moonlit evenings,
the smells of mowed grass and air thick with rain.

Thank you for the colors of Fall,
the crisp air and crackling leaves,
the cooling days and Indian Summers.

Great Creator, thank you for the seasons of this earth,
and likewise for the seasons of my life,
that teach me one after the other
that you are good.

A Capable Scribe

Lord, make me a capable scribe,
inspiring communicator,
a wordsmith,
a storycrafter,
a truth-teller,
kind of writer, in Jesus’ name, amen.

You Make Me Happy

You make me happy, Lord, so happy in the life you’ve given me;
I have no desire to follow the counsel of those who don't follow you.
I have no desire to listen to anger and blaming and arguing.
I have no desire to be around people who tear down people.
I am so grateful to be led by you,
to have you as my companion,
and to find such joy in knowing you,
worshiping you,
following you,
and serving you.
I delight in your Word;
it speaks to me morning and night.
I truly feel like a tree planted by a flowing stream,
ready to burst with new life and new growth,
positioned for a season of prosperity and blessing.
You make me happy, Lord, so happy in the life you’ve given me.

Billy Graham's Prayer for the New Year

Our Father and our God, as we stand at the beginning of this new year we confess our need of Your presence and Your guidance as we face the future.

We each have our hopes and expectations for the year that is ahead of us—but You alone know what it holds for us, and only You can give us the strength and the wisdom we will need to meet its challenges. So help us to humbly put our hands into Your hand, and to trust You and to seek Your will for our lives during this coming year.

In the midst of life’s uncertainties in the days ahead, assure us of the certainty of Your unchanging love.

In the midst of life’s inevitable disappointments and heartaches, help us to turn to You for the stability and comfort we will need.

In the midst of life’s temptations and the pull of our stubborn self-will, help us not to lose our way but to have the courage to do what is right in Your sight, regardless of the cost.

And in the midst of our daily preoccupations and pursuits, open our eyes to the sorrows and injustices of our hurting world, and help us to respond with compassion and sacrifice to those who are friendless and in need. May our constant prayer be that of the ancient Psalmist: “Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end” (Psalm 119:33).

We pray for our nation and its leaders during these difficult times, and for all those who are seeking to bring peace and justice to our dangerous and troubled world. We pray especially for Your protection on all those who serve in our armed forces, and we thank You for their commitment to defend our freedoms, even at the cost of their own lives. Be with their families also, and assure them of Your love and concern for them.

Bring our divided nation together, and give us a greater vision of what You would have us to be. Your Word reminds us that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).

As we look back over this past year we thank You for Your goodness to us—far beyond what we have deserved. May we never presume on Your past goodness or forget all Your mercies to us, but may they instead lead us to repentance, and to a new commitment to make You the foundation and center of our lives this year.

And so, our Father, we thank You for the promise and hope of this new year, and we look forward to it with expectancy and faith. This I ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, who by His death and resurrection has given us hope both for this world and the world to come.


(from the Daily Prayer blog)

On the Unknown Waters of This New Year

O Lord,

Length of days does not profit me except the days are passed in thy presence, in thy service, to thy glory.

Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides, sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from thee,
but may rely on thy Spirit,
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth thy praise,
testify thy love,
advance thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with thee, O Father, as my harbour,
thee, O Son, at my helm,
thee O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.

Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.

Give me grace to sanctify me,
thy comforts to cheer,
thy wisdom to watch,
thy right hand to guide,
thy counsel to instruct,
thy law to judge,
thy presence to stabilize.

May thy fear be my awe,
thy triumphs my joy.

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