This Book

Oh, Lord,
I will need your help,
today and every day,
if I am ever to finish this book.

Please inspire.
Please guide.
Please energize.
Please help,
in Jesus' name,

Psalm for the Creator

The heavens declare your glory, O God;
the skies display your handiwork.
Mountains and marshes proclaim you,
showing forth your constant, boundless brilliance.
Time and tides testify to your methods,
sun and shade partner to publish your praise.
Your diversity is endless.
Your art is astounding.
Your world is "out of this world!"

I Place Myself in Your Hands

O Lord,
I place myself in Your hands
and dedicate myself to You.

I pledge myself to do Your will in all things:
To love the Lord God with all my heart,
all my soul,
all my strength.
Not to kill,
not to steal,
not to covet,
not to bear false witness,
to honor all persons.
Not to do to another what I should not want done to myself.
Not to seek after pleasures.

To love fasting.
To relieve the poor.
To clothe the naked.
To visit the sick.

To bury the dead.
To help those in trouble.
To console the sorrowing.
To hold myself aloof from worldly ways.
To prefer nothing to the love of Christ.

Not to give way to anger.
Not to foster a desire for revenge.
Not to entertain deceit in the heart.
Not to make a false peace.

Not to forsake charity.
Not to swear, lest I swear falsely.
To speak the truth with heart and tongue.
Not to return evil for evil

To do no injury, indeed,
even to bear patiently any injury done to me.
To love my enemies.
Not to curse those who curse me but rather to bless them.
To bear persecution for justice's sake.

Not to be proud.
Not to be given to intoxicating drink.
Not to be an overeater.
Not to be lazy.
Not to be slothful
Not to be a detractor.

To put my trust in God.
To refer the good I see in myself to God.
To refer any evil I see in myself to myself
To fear the day of judgment.
To be in dread of hell.

To desire eternal life with spiritual longing.
To keep death before my eyes daily.
To keep constant watch over my actions.
To remember that God sees me everywhere.

To call upon Christ for defense
against evil thoughts that arise in my heart.
To guard my tongue against wicked speech.
To avoid much speaking.
To avoid idle talk.

Not to seek to appear clever.
To read only what is good to read.
To pray often.
To ask forgiveness daily for my sins,
and to seek ways to amend my life.

To obey my superiors in all things rightful.
Not to desire to be thought holy, but to seek holiness.
To fulfill the commandments of God by good works.

To love chastity.
To hate no one.
Not be jealous or envious of anyone.
Not to love strife.
Not to love pride.

To honor the aged.
To pray for my enemies.
To make peace after a quarrel,
before the setting of the sun.
Never to despair of your mercy, O God of mercy.

(a prayer of St. Benedict)

If You Don't Speak

Lord, if you don't speak,
it won't matter what I say.
But if you do speak,
it won't matter what I say.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Speaker's Prayer

Please let my speaking today be
what you want
and what others need.

A Grove of Grace

Help me a find a place to meet you, Lord:
a shady place, a grove of grace,
where you and I might meet and sit
together in the silence, in the shade, away
from all the noise that fills my mind...

Help me find a summer refuge at the shore
or in the fields or on some mountain top:
a grotto of your presence, Lord, a haven
where I'll find with you the peace
my heart desires...

This summer, Lord,
help me find a place to meet you
down the road or out of town
or even close to home:
a place where we might meet and sit
together in the silence, in the shade
and in the prayer that makes us one.

(from A Concord Pastor Comments; photo by Mark Penta)

Let It Be Day

O Sovereign God, it is through your inconceivable greatness that we are able to call upon you: Lord, our God, our Creator, our Parent, our Savior. In that greatness you know and love us all, you desire to be known and loved by us all, you see and guide our paths, and we all may come before you and go out to be with you.

And now we pour out before you all our cares, that you may care for us; our hopes and wishes, that they may be granted not according to our will but according to your will; our sins, that you may forgive them; our thoughts and desires, that you may cleanse them; our whole life in these times, that you may bring us to the resurrection of all humanity and to eternal life. We remember before you all who are in this house, and also all the men and women in prison throughout the world. Be with the members of our families at home, with all who are poor, sick, hard beset, or sorrowing. Enlighten the thoughts and rule the actions of those who in our land and in all lands are responsible for law, order, and peace. Let it be day, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(from Karl Barth's Prayer)

Nine Years of Prayers

Lord God Adonai,
thank you for the first nine years
of this prayer blog,
for nearly 2,900 prayers,
for the blessings
and growth
and grace
that have come to me
through these prayers,
and for the many thousands of other people
who have read them
and prayed them
and shared them with others,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(to see the first prayer posted on this blog, go here; photo by Peter Kaminski via

A Confession

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
maker of all things, judge of all people,
we acknowledge with shame the sins we have committed,
by thought, word, and deed, against your divine majesty,
provoking most justly your wrath and indignation against us.

We earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for all our misdoings.

Have mercy on us, most merciful Father.
For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake
forgive us all that is past,
and grant that from this time forward
we may serve and please you in newness of life,
to the honor and glory of your name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(prayer from an Australian Prayer Book)

I Surrender

When I think about what I was before
Only cared about what there was in store for me
Then You touched my life and opened my eyes
And woke me up inside
I was dead before You gave me a reason to live
And now I joyfully give my life
So use me, use me

I surrender my life to Your blood
I surrender my name for Your glory
I surrender my heart to Your will
I surrender my dreams to the plans You have for me
Thank You for showing me
the emptiness of all I held onto
I surrender it all
I surrender my everything for You

All my hopes, all my dreams
All You want me to be
I surrender it all to You
You can have my mistakes
All my plans, so well laid
I surrender it all to You
All the days I cannot see
All that's still ahead of me
I surrender it all to You
Take my stand on Your word
Of Your love I am assured
I surrender it all to You

(words & music by Phil Laeger © 2013 Weathered Music

Deliver Me From Fretfulness

O Lord my God, who dwellest in pure and blessed serenity beyond the reach of mortal pain, yet lookest down in unspeakable love and tenderness upon the sorrows of earth, give me grace, I beseech Thee, to understand the meaning of such afflictions and disappointments as I myself am called to endure. Deliver me from all fretfulness. Let me be wise to draw from every dispensation of Thy providence the lesson Thou art minded to teach me. Give me a stout heart to bear my own burdens. Give me a willing heart to bear the burdens of others. Give me a believing heart to cast all burdens upon Thee.

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

True Worship

Lord, let me and mine truly worship you truly today.

Quicken our conscience with your holiness.
Purge our imaginations with your beauty.
Open our hearts to your love.
And help us fully devote our wills to your purpose, in Jesus' name, amen.

(Based on a stanza by Dr. William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury).

To My High Rock

My High Rock,
the forces of life push against me.
I hurt. I feel desolate and alone.
Then I remember: You are the High Rock.
Help me, because I'm too weak and discouraged
to help myself.
And because you are my High Rock,
I know you're going to lift me up. Amen.

(from the book, Invading the Privacy of God, by Cec Murphey)

To Greet the Coming Day in Peace

O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to rely upon thy holy will.
In every hour of the day reveal thy will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that comes to me
throughout the day with peace of soul,
and with the firm conviction that thy will governs all.
In all my deeds and words
guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events,
let me not forget that all are sent by thee.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely,
without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day
and all that it shall bring.
Direct my will, teach me to pray,
pray thou thyself in me. Amen.

(a prayer of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow)

How Else Could We Thank You?

Lord our God, we are gathered here on this day to consider how you have carried out your good, firm will for the world and for all of us, by allowing our Lord Jesus Christ, your dear Son, to be captured that we might be free; to be found guilty that we might be found innocent; to suffer that we might rejoice; and to be given over to death that we might live forever.

Under our own power, we could only be lost. And we have not deserved such a rescue – no, not one of us. But in the inconceivable greatness of your mercy, you have shared in our sin and our poverty, in order to do such a great thing for us. How else could we thank you but to grasp, take up, and acknowledge this great thing? How else should this happen, but that the same living Savior who suffered for us, was crucified, died, and buried, and was also raised up, should now come into our midst, speak to our hearts and minds, open us to your love, and guide us to trust in it completely and to live by it and by it alone.

So we ask in all humility, but also in all confidence, that this happen in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

(from Karl Barth's Fifty Prayers)

Jesus Prayer x 10

Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord, have mercy on me, a husband.
Lord, have mercy on me, a father.
Lord, have mercy on me, a grandfather.
Lord, have mercy on me, a son.
Lord, have mercy on me, a brother.
Lord, have mercy on me, a writer.
Lord, have mercy on me, a friend.
Lord, have mercy on me, a man.
Lord, have mercy on me, your child.

All Things Bright and Beautiful, Slightly Revised

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
You, Lord God, made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
You made their glowing colors,
You made their tiny wings.

The purple headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
You made them every one.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
To gather every day.

You gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

(a hymn by Ce­cil F. Al­ex­an­der, slightly revised)

On Robin's Birthday

Abba, you have granted me
the loveliest bride,
the perfect woman for me,
and I am grateful.
Thank you
for hearing my heart's cry
forty years ago
and thank you
for giving her in marriage to me
thirty-seven years ago.
And thank you
for every day with her since then,
days she has made
so wonderful,
so beautiful,
so warm and loving,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Remember Us

O Sovereign God, through Jesus Christ your Son you have humbled yourself in order to exalt us. You became poor to make us rich. You suffered and died, and in so doing gave us freedom and life. And this eternal mercy and good news displays your might and majesty as our Creator and Lord, the glory in which we praise you and in the light of which we may live all the days you give us. For this we thank you.

And in thanking you, we can come to you aright. We are able to spread out before you all that to our understanding seems hard and perplexing and in need of your care. In your mercy remember us all and be merciful to us, now and forever, for without you we can do nothing.

Have mercy on our church on earth in its division and dispersion, its weakness and its error.

Have mercy on the old and the young, on unbelievers far and near, on the godless and idolators who have not, or have not yet, heard your name in truth. Have mercy on the governments and the peoples of this earth, on their perplexity as they search for peace and righteousness, and also on the confusion in our human endeavors in science, nurture, and education, and on all the difficulties in so many marriages and families.

Have mercy on the countless persons who today suffer starvation, the many who are persecuted and homeless, the sick in body and soul here and in other places, the lonely, prisoners, and all those who suffer punishment at the hands of others.

Have mercy on us all in the hour of trial and the hour of death. Lord, because we believe with certainty that you have overcome, and that with you we too have already overcome, we call upon you now. Show us but the first step of the road to freedom, won at such cost. Amen.

(from Karl Barth's Prayer)

Garden Prayer

Gardener God,
Landscape me with your Word.
Make a holy garden of my life.

(based on James 1:21, The Message)

All For You

Lord, I am,
by your grace,
on your mind,
in your hands,
at your service,
where you will,
when you will,
as you will,
as long as you will,
for your glory,

The Great Mystery and the Great Simplicity

May God's word become anew for us each day the word of God. May it not be a truth, a principle, something which one places on the table, but a living person, the great mystery and the great simplicity. And may the signs of this word of God, of this name of God, be made visible through us, in the midst of us, by the severity and serenity of our lives, of our customs, and of our ethics. We pray so that we may receive the power to show this great joy and this great peace of which we so often speak. May this joy and this peace be noticeable. We pray in order that the Christian arrogance and ignorance and unbelief with which we daily dishonor thee may be a bit arrested, a little suppressed.

May this key which has been put in our hands be turned every so slightly so that the door can one day be opened.

(from Karl Barth's Prayer)

Quiet Me

Quiet me with your love, Lord; please, quiet me with your love. Let your love fill me and rush through me; let it consume me and constrain me. Let me walk in your love today, Lord; let me rest in your love tonight. Let your love overflow me; make me look on others and into their hearts and hurts with your eyes of love. Bind your love and faithfulness  around me and to me like phylacteries, let them rule me and be my guiding influence, always, in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer from the Didache

We thank you, holy Father, for your holy name which you enshrined in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality that you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever.

You, Master Almighty, have created all things for your name's sake. You gave food and drink to all people for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to you; but to us you freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Jesus, your servant.

Before all things we thank you because you are mighty. To you be the glory forever.

Remember, Lord, your church. Deliver it from all evil and make it perfect in your love, and gather it from the four winds sanctified for your kingdom which you have prepared for it. For Yours is the power and the glory forever.

My Task

Almighty God, judge of all the earth, keep me from ever supposing that I am the judge of others, deciding their worth or conniving in vengeance. My job is to sing your praises and love my neighbor. Help me to stick to my task, for Jesus' sake, amen.

(from Eugene Peterson's Praying With the Psalms)

Too Beautiful

Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me.

(lines from "God's World," a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay; photo by twbuckner via

July Fourth Prayer

Lord my God,
I worship you today,
on this 238th birthday of this nation,
these wonderful United States of America
in which I live.

I thank you for the freedom
to worship you publicly...
even as I ask you
to show kindness and mercy
to those who lack that freedom
because they live elsewhere.

Thank you for all those
who have sacrificed for my freedom,
for those who risked
(and some who gave) their lives
to make this a free and independent nation,
for those in my nation's armed services, past and present,
and for all who have served the cause of liberty in other ways...
even as I pray for those who even now
are in harm's way,
far from home,
in this nation's service.
Please meet their needs,
watch over them and their loved ones,
and grant them your favor in every way.

And, Father, on this Independence Day 2014,
I pray for the people in this land
and every land
who have not yet discovered the freedom
that is offered to them in your Son, Jesus Christ.
Draw them to you,
set them free
from sin and sadness and strife,
and grant them the eternal freedom
that is found only in trusting you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo art by Beverly & Pack, courtesy of


I would like to learn how to sink down into the light of your presence until I can become comfortable in that posture.

(excerpted from a prayer in Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, by Richard Foster)

The House of My Soul

The house of my soul is too small
for you to enter:
make it more spacious by your coming.
It lies in ruins; rebuild it.
Some things are to be found there
which will offend your gaze;
I confess this to be so and know it well.

But who will clean my house?
To whom but yourself can I cry,
Cleanse me of my hidden sins, O Lord, 
and for those incurred through others pardon your servant? 

(a prayer from The Confessions of St. Augustine, Maria Boulding, translator)


They are so far away, Lord. I miss them. It hurts.

Your Word says that you are close to the brokenhearted,
so I call on you:
Be close to me,
and to Robin,
and Aubrey, Kevin, Calleigh, and Ryder,
as we miss the family we love so much.

Enfold us in your arms and enfold them, too,
so that your strong embrace
will keep us all close.

Your Word says, too, that one day is as a thousand in your sight;
somehow, please make the days of our separation from each other
like hours.
Make the two thousand miles between us
like mere steps.

And hasten the day when we see each other
and hold each other

in Jesus' name, amen.