A Heart for Missions

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.

Prayer for Enlargement

Lord, your ways are equal (Ezekiel 18:25),
and my ways are unequal.
And you are without equal,
and I praise you also for that.

In your mercy and kindness, Lord,
consider me.
Show me your ways, that I might know you.
Teach me,
guide me,
uphold me,
protect me,
and enlarge my capacity for you
and for doing your will,
in Jesus' name, amen.

For My Speaking Today

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

Streams of Needful Grace

O God of grace,
I bewail my cold,
heartless prayers;
their poverty adds sin to my sin.
If my hope were in them
I should be undone,
But the worth of Jesus
perfumes my feeble breathings,
and wins their acceptance.

Deepen my contrition of heart,
Confirm my faith in the blood
that washes from all sin.
May I walk lovingly with my great Redeemer.
Flood my soul with true repentance
that my heart may be broken for sin and unto sin.
Let me be as slow to forgive myself
as thou art ready to forgive me.
Gazing on the glories of thy grace
may I be cast into the lowest depths of shame.
and walk with downcast head now thou art pacified towards me.

O my great High Priest,
pour down upon me streams of needful grace,
bless me in all my undertakings,
in every thought of my mind,
every word of my lips,
every step of my feet,
every deed of my hands.
Thou didst live to bless,
die to bless,
rise to bless,
ascend to bless,
take thy throne to bless,
and now thou dost reign to bless.

O give sincerity to my desires,
earnestness to my supplications,
fervour to my love.

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

Another Psalm 15

Lord, I want to live where you dwell.
I want to stay forever on your holy hill.
I ask you for the blameless walk
and the right actions
and the heart honesty that will make that happen.
I ask you to keep slander out of my mouth
and evil from my heart
nor betrayal far, far from me.
I ask you for wisdom to shun the vile,
hobnob with the holy,
walk uprightly whichever way the wind blows.
Make me a giver instead of a taker
and a defender--not offender--of the innocent,
knowing that the one who does these things shall never be moved.

See Me Safely, Purely Through

Be pleased to keep me, Lord, this day
Without committing sin,
And let me not one moment stray
From a prayerful mode within.

You can from every sin secure;
I know it is your will
To preserve your servant pure
From every touch of ill.

So, Lord, I bow before you now,
My soul on you depends,
To see me safely, purely through
Until this day shall end.

(based on a Charles Wesley hymn)


Whose Bounty Fills My Cup

O Thou whose bounty fills my cup,
With every blessing meet!
I give Thee thanks for every drop—
The bitter and the sweet.

I praise Thee for the desert road,
And for the riverside;
For all Thy goodness hath bestowed,
And all Thy grace denied.

I thank Thee for both smile and frown,
And for the gain and loss;
I praise Thee for the future crown
And for the present cross.

I thank Thee for both wings of love
Which stirred my worldly nest;
And for the stormy clouds which drove
Me, trembling, to Thy breast.

I bless Thee for the glad increase,
And for the waning joy;
And for this strange, this settled peace
Which nothing can destroy.

(a prayer of Jane Crewdson)

Why You Utter No Answer

I know now, Lord,
why you utter no answer.
You are yourself the answer.
Before your face questions die away.
What other answer would suffice?

(C. S. Lewis, in his book, Till We Have Faces; illustration is a detail from the book cover)


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.

For Nigeria

Lord, have mercy on the people of Nigeria.
Have mercy on your church.
Have mercy on all innocents,
all those victimized and terrorized by violence,
all those who are losing their families, homes, churches, businesses, and more.

Please bring their plight to the world's attention.
Stir up your church and mobilize the nations to help.
Bring about justice.
Defeat evil.

Stop the slaughter.
Stop the bloodshed.
Stop the tears.
in Jesus' name, amen.

You Didn't Have to Do It

Lord God Adonai,
you didn't have to give me life but you did.
You didn't have to give me a good upbringing but you did.
You didn't have to bless me with such a wife as I have,
such children as I have,
such grandchildren,
but you did.

You didn't have to give me a fairly sound mind,
a consistently healthy body,
a long life,
but you did.

You didn't have to show me mercy upon mercy,
grace upon grace,
blessing upon blessing,
but you did.

All I have needed your hand has provided,
and then some.
You didn't have to,
but you did.

Thank you.

A Prayer of Martin Luther King, Jr.

God remove all bitterness from my heart 
and give me the strength and courage to face any disaster that comes my way.

(a prayer from "Thou, Dear God": Prayers That Open Hearts and Spirits; photo via everystockphoto.com)

For Things I Too Often Take for Granted

Thank you, Lord, for the things I too often take for granted,
things too numerous to mention.

Thank you that my wife loves me.
That you that my children seem to like me.
Thank you that my grandchildren tolerate me.

Thank you that I slept last night,
that my joints don't ache,
that I can hold down food.

Thank you that I can see, hear, smell, taste, and feel.
Thank you for my clothes.
Thank you for hot showers and clean sheets.
Thank you for coffee,
and winter sunshine.

Thank you for the many people who overlook my faults.
Thank you for the ability--and many reasons--to smile.
Thank you for my salvation.
Thank you for prayer.
Thank you for the grace to thank you.
Thank you for you.

(photo courtesy of stock.xchng)


I will not let you go unless you bless me. 

(a prayer of the patriarch Jacob, one of six such prayers mentioned in my blog post today on the "A Thousand Ways to Pray" blog; from Genesis 32:26, NIV).

One Writer's Prayer

Let my writing be a blessing.
Let my words all ring true,
and both victory and failure
bring glory, Lord, to you;

Let what I write and how I write it
reflect all you mean to me
while also giving pleasure
and changing those who read.

About Ender

I'm glad he is well fed
and well cared for
but God, I am so sorry
that he eats better
and lives better
than so many men, women, and children
in this world.
Forgive me
for so often and so cavalierly
forgetting that,
and for living and giving
as if that were not so.

Sweet Will of God

Sweet will of God,
Still fold me closer
Til I am wholly lost in Thee.

To Your Church

Lord, please let me be to your church 
what I want your church to be to me. 


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.

A Prayer in Bitter Weather

God of compassion,
your love for humanity was revealed in Jesus,
whose earthly life began in the poverty of a stable
and ended in the pain and isolation of the cross:
we hold before you those who are homeless and cold
especially in this bitter weather.

Draw near and comfort them in spirit
and bless those who work to provide them
with shelter, food and friendship.

We ask this in Jesus' name.

(a prayer from the Church of England, by way of The Daily Prayer Blog; photo courtesy of everystockphoto.com)


Lord, be it thine,
Unfaltering praise of mine!
To thee my whole heart's love be given
Of earth and Heaven Thou King divine!

Lord, be it thine,
Unfaltering praise of mine!
And, I pure prince! make clear my way
To serve and pray at thy sole shrine!

Lord, be it thine,
Unfaltering praise of mine!
O father of souls that long,
Take this my song and make it thine!

(O'Laoghaire, The Celtic Monk at Prayer, p. 134).

Hundred Gallon Prayer

My Lord Jesus,
you have turned my water to wine,
whenever I lift my cup to you.

But the water jars in Cana were no cups,
but great stone cisterns
of twenty or more gallons in capacity--each.
And there were six of them.
A hundred gallons.
Maybe close to two hundred.

So I pray a Cana prayer today, Lord,
a hundred-gallon-prayer,
for you to pour into me and mine
a surfeit of Spirit,
of sweetness,
of wine,
for the manifestation of your glory, amen.

Epiphany Prayer

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)

Full Attention

May Your voice be louder
May Your voice be clearer
Than all the others

May Your face be dearer
May Your words be sweeter
Than all the others in my life

Please keep my eyes fixed on You
Please wound my heart so deep in You
Keep me abiding, keep me abiding
Keep me abiding that I may bear fruit

May Your your presence be truer
May Your presence be nearer
Than all the others

And may Your light shine brighter
And may Your love move deeper
Than all the other my God
Than all the others in my life

Please keep my eyes fixed on You
Please wound my heart so deep in You
Keep me abiding, keep me abiding
Keep me abiding that I may bear fruit

Please keep my eyes fixed on You
Please wound my heart so deep in You
Keep me asking, keep me near
Keep me abding that I may bear fruit
Keep me close to You
Oh, right next to Your heart
Close to You

Another Psalm 14

I am not the smartest person there is—
I’m not even the smartest person I know—
But I am smart even to see the foolishness
of those who deny you, Lord,
of those who are corrupt and vile
and dismissive of you.
You see it all.
You look from sunrise to sunset—don’t you?—
for a speck of righteousness,
for a hint of holiness on this great wide earth.
You look to me, too, I know,
and see that I am as ruined by sin as the next guy.
We all are.
I have no claim on grace.
I have no place to stand.
Only to kneel.
And as I do, I find you there.
You separate yourself from evildoers
but show up in the company of the humble and broken.
You call them righteous.
You are my refuge.
My only hope.
My only good.
Send your salvation to me again, still.

As Old Age Overtakes Me

O Lord, as old age overtakes me, save me from two evils: on the one hand, the querulous, critical, fault-finding habits into which so many old people fall; and, on the other, the soft, gullible spirit. Keep my eyes wide open to the weakness, foolishness, guilefulness, and sin of men; yet keep my heart tender and sympathetic and hopeful. Help me to be firm and steadfast in my loyalty to truth, and always clear as to what truth is. Don't let me be deceived. Don't let me go astray the very least in my old age. Don't permit me to fall into even a little folly that, like a fly in a pot of ointment, will spoil the influence of a life devoted to Thee. Help me, O Lord.

(a prayer of Samuel Logan Brengle, recorded in Portrait of a Prophet by Clarence Hall; please feel free to share this prayer with others using the Twitter, Facebook, and other buttons below. You can also subscribe to this blog in your blog reader or enter your email address at top right to receive posts via email)

On the Unknown Waters of This 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)