From Ghoulies and Ghosties

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

(Traditional Scottish prayer; the artwork pictured above can be ordered here)

A Prayer for This Morning

I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

(the daily morning prayer of Martin Luther; thanks to Leonard Sweet for posting this on Facebook)

For Prayerfulness

Today's prayer from the "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids" app for iPhone and iPad...and my prayer today for my kids and my grandkids.


Give me that resilience of spirit that bends, but is never broken.
For upon life's resistances, I will rise.

(a prayer of E. Stanley Jones)

From Stupid Things

From the stupid things I often do,
deliver me, O Lord...

From my lack of thought and care,
deliver me, O Lord...

From my rash and headstrong judgments,
deliver me, O Lord...

From my impetuous quick temper,
deliver me, O Lord...

From my selfishness and greed,
deliver me, O Lord...

From my ego and my pride,
deliver me, O Lord...

From my foolishness and folly,
deliver me, O Lord...

From my delusions and my fantasies,
deliver me, O Lord...

From my wasting time and effort,
deliver me, O Lord...

From my stewing in self-pity,
deliver me, O Lord...

From my indifference and my apathy,
deliver me, O Lord...

From my jealousy and envy,
deliver me, O Lord...

From my grudges and resentments,
deliver me, O Lord...

From all my faults deliver me
and so deliver those whose hearts and lives
are bruised and hurt by mine, Lord...

Deliver me from all my faults
and in their place give me the grace
to be prudent
and forgiving...

Deliver me from all my faults
and in their place give me the grace
to be faithful, Lord,
to you and to your Word...


(a prayer from A Concord Pastor Comments; photo via

The Echo of Heaven's Praise

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)

A New Mizpah for Miles and Mia

Be near to them, Lord,
all the while I can't.
Hold them close.
Keep them safe.
Shield and shelter them.
Bless and buoy them.

Let them remember their Crappaw and Mimi,
and their Aunt Aubrey and Uncle Kevin,
and their cousins, Calleigh, Ryder, and Avery,
and miss us all,
but not with the terrible pangs of longing
with which we miss them.

Keep them busy and happy and fruitful and joyful
while we are absent one from the other,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer for This Day and All Days

Glory be to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee.

Glory to Thee who givest me sleep to recruit my weakness,
and to remit the toils of this fretful flesh.

To this day and all days,
a perfect, holy, peaceful, healthy, sinless course,
vouchsafe, O Lord.

The Angel of peace, a faithful guide,
guardian of souls and bodies,
to encamp around me,
and ever to prompt what is salutary,
vouchsafe, O Lord.

Pardon and remission of all sins and of all offenses
vouchsafe, O Lord.

To our souls what is good and convenient,
and peace to the world,
repentance and strictness
for the residue of our life,
and health and peace to the end,
vouchsafe, O Lord.

Whatever is true, whatever is honest,
whatever just, whatever pure,
whatever lovely, whatever of good report,
if there be any virtue, if any praise,
such thoughts, such deeds,
vouchsafe, O Lord.

A Christian close, without sin, without shame,
and, should it please Thee, without pain,
and a good answer
at the dreadful and fearful judgment seat
of Jesus Christ our Lord,
vouchsafe, O Lord.


(a prayer of Lancelot Andrewes)

Till One Draws Near

The well is deep and I require
A draught of the water of life,
But none can quench my soul's desire
For a draught of the water of life;
Till One draws near who the cry will heed--
Helper of men in their time of need--
And I, believing, find indeed
That You are the Water of Life.

(from "Life Is a Journey; Long Is the Road," by Albert Orsborn; slightly revised; photo by taliesin via

A Post-Emmaus Prayer

My Jesus,
as you were revealed to your friends in Emmaus
in the simplicity of breaking bread,
please disclose yourself to me today
in the simplest, tiniest
moments and movements
of my day.

(detail of Still Life with Hare, Duck, Loaf of Bread, Cheese and Flasks of Wine by Jean-Baptiste Oudry; public domain)

Getting Garbed

In your mercy
clothe me

in your protection
cloak me

in your care
enfold me

in your grace
array me.

With your justice
dress me

for your labor
garb me

by your love
envelop me

and fit me
for your work.

(art and prayer ©Jan Richardson via The Painted Prayerbook; used with permission)

Too Beautiful

God, I fear
You’ve made the World
too beautiful this year.

(a prayer of Edna St. Vincent Millay)

Dr. Samuel Johnson's Last Prayer

Almighty and most merciful Father, I am now as to human eyes, it seems, about to commemorate, for the last time, the death of thy Son Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer. Grant, O Lord, that my whole hope and confidence may be in his merits, and thy mercy; enforce and accept my imperfect repentance; make this commemoration available to the confirmation of my faith, the establishment of my hope, and the enlargement of my charity; and make the death of thy Son Jesus Christ effectual to my redemption.

Have mercy upon me, and pardon the multitude of my offences. Bless my friends; have mercy upon all men. Support me, by thy Holy Spirit, in the days of weakness, and at the hour of death; and receive me, at my death, to everlasting happiness, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.

(from Boswell's Life of Johnson, p. 556; photo in the public domain)

Today's Prayer from "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids"

Today's prayer (which I pray for my kids and my grandkids) in the "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids" app, available for iPads and iPhones.

Who Is Like You?

Who is like you,
Jesus, sweet Jesus?

You are the light of those who are spiritually lost.
You are the life of those who are spiritually dead.
You are the liberation of those who are imprisoned by guilt.

You are the glory of those who hate themselves.
You are the guardian of those who are paralysed by fear.
You are the guide of those who are bewildered by falsehood.

You are the peace of those who are in turmoil.
You are the prince of those who yearn to be led.
You are the priest of those who seek the truth.

(a prayer of Johann Freylinghausen)


Abba, thank you for the playgrounds of my childhood. 
For the woods and streams, 
the ponds and parks, 
the fields and yards. 
For the hours spent outside, in nature, in the dirt, in the grass, in this blessed world you created.

On My Daughter's Birthday

Lord, you have made her a flourishing hidden tree
--to borrow a phrase from Yeats--
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.

At the Beginning of This New Day

Almighty God,
my Father,
you have brought me in safety
to the beginning of this new day;
please preserve me
with your mighty power,
that I may not fall into sin
nor be overcome by adversity;
and in all I do,
please direct me to the fulfilling
of your purposes,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Prayer for a Blog

What an age we live in, Lord. What a joy and honor I have to be able to host "A Thousand Ways to Pray," and enter a discussion with other people about prayer via the internet.

I pray for this new venture. I ask you to be in charge of it. I don't ask you to help me with; I ask you to let me help you with it. Let me follow you. Let me hear from you and share with others through this digital window of opportunity that is mine. Inspire me, please. Aid me in the writing of posts. Send me to people and send people to me to open a dialogue that will enlarge and enrich our prayer lives. Let the content move people to comment on posts. Prod readers to bookmark the blog and add it to their blog reader. Prompt people to tweet and retweet posts, to "share" them on Facebook and "pin" them on Pinterest. Suggest to readers friends who might appreciate an emailed link to a post. And start a conversation that will make a difference in people's lives and in their marriages, families, churches, neighborhoods, and world, in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of Catherine of Siena

Prince of Peace,
Christ our King,
Christ our Brother,
Christ the Son of Man,
have mercy on us
and give us the courage
to suffer.

(attributed to Catherine of Siena)

Deliver Us

Let it be thy good pleasure to deliver us from impudent men, and from impudence: from an evil man and an evil chance; from an evil affection, an evil companion, and an evil neighbor: from Satan the destroyer, from a hard judgment, and a hard adversary.

(attributed to Rabbi Judah ben Tema)

O Most Bountiful

O Lord, refresh our sensibilities. Give us this day our daily taste. Restore to us soups that spoons will not sink in, and sauces which are never the same twice. Raise up among us stews with more gravy than we have bread to blot it with, and casseroles that put starch and substance in our limp modernity. Take away our fear of fat, and make us glad of the oil which ran upon Aaron’s beard. Give us pasta with a hundred fillings, and rice in a thousand variations. Above all, give us grace to live as true men—-to fast till we come to a refreshed sense of what we have and then to dine gratefully on all that comes to hand. Drive far from us, O Most Bountiful, all creatures of air and darkness; cast out the demons that possess us; deliver us from the fear of calories and the bondage of nutrition.

(a prayer of Robert Farrar Capon from Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection, suggested by Ray Hollenbach)


O Lord,
In this fallen world, help me to have realistic expectations about my earthly home. Prepare me for troubles that are sure to come. Remind me that I can accept my circumstances without liking them. Help me to be heaven-minded so that I can grow through adversity, knowing that these difficulties will end with this earthly life. I accept whatever comes from your hand, and I trust your wisdom.

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

Shaalu Shalom Yerushalayim

Lord God Adonai,
I pray for the peace of Jerusalem
and all its people:
Let those who love her be secure.
Let there be peace within her walls
and security within her citadels.

For the sake of brothers and sisters and friends,
let there be peace within her.

For the sake of your name
and your heritage,
grant prosperity
and restore peace
in the city of our God,
the mountain of your holiness.

(based on Psalm 122, Psalm 48)


Lord, thank you for libraries.
Thank you for the luxury of reading and referencing so many books without having to buy them.
And thank you for the added blessing of the interlibrary loan system, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Lesser Thanks

Thank you, Lord, that I am not fatter than I am,
older than I am,
homelier than I am,
and more foolish than I am.

A Tree in Autumn

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)