Visibly or Invisibly

Father, you know us in secret, and you know all our secret places. What we do to benefit your kingdom will not be lost if it is not seen by others, for you see and you reward according to your grace and mercy. Strengthen us to do good works, visibly or invisibly, always in your name.

(a prayer of G. K. Chesterton).

A Prayer in Sickness

Gracious Jesus, strong and wild,
Look on me, your poor, sick child;
Restore my health and energy
And close this day in victory.


A Writer's Evening Prayer

If I have failed to heed your voice today,
If I have driven any of your thoughts away,
If I have written my own willful way:
Dear Lord, forgive!

If I have written idle words or vain,
If I have worked for earthly gain,
If my words should bring one soul pain,
Dear Lord, forgive!

If I appropriated words not mine,
If I failed to give a credit line,
If I've cast my pearls before swine,
Dear Lord, forgive!

If I've failed in substance or in style,
If in anything I've stooped to guile,
If I've failed at all to win your smile,
Dear Lord, forgive!

Forgive the sins I have confessed to you,
Forgive the sins I don't know I do,
And make my writing both good and true;
All else forgive.


(based on “An Evening Prayer,” by C. Maud Battersby)


Another morning and I wake with thirst for the goodness I do not have.

Oh Lord, grant me a little more time.

(a prayer by Mary Oliver)

May We Follow You On the Pilgrim Way of Lent

Jesus, may we follow you on the pilgrim way of Lent,
May we journey with you into the wilderness,
Willing to move beyond the ordinary,
So that we can discover your unexpected sacred places.

Jesus, may we wash our hands and purify our hearts,
Learning to thirst after righteousness and hunger after justice,
May we humble ourselves before you,
Expecting to see you revealed in a new light.

Jesus, may we walk with you no matter how challenging the path,
Learning to be patient with darkness and growth,
Willing to live with not knowing,
Until your mustard seeds take root and sprout into life.

(from GodSpace)

Being There

Folks will cross my path today
and ask for my time,
seek my company,
lean on my shoulder,
tell me their story,
reach for my help,
reveal their grief,
share their joy,
request my prayer,
look for a smile,
shed a tear,
and need a friend...

May I be there for them, Lord,
as you're always there for me...


I'll meet folks today who'll offer
to give me their time,
walk by my side,
lift me up,
hear me out,
lend me a hand,
bear my grief,
share my joy,
promise their prayer,
smile upon me,
dry my tears,
and be my friend...

Open me up to their love, Lord,
as I open my heart to yours...

(a prayer from A Concord Pastor Comments; art

Make Me Discontented

O God,
make me discontented with things the way they are in the world,
and in my own life.
Make me notice the stains when people get spilled on.
Make me care about children and adults in poverty,
the misfit at work,
the people crammed into the mental hospital,
the men, women, and youth behind bars.

Jar my complacency,
expose my excuses,
get me involved in the life of my city and world.

Give me integrity once more, O God,
as we seek to be changed and transformed,
with a new understanding and awareness of
our common humanity.

(a prayer by Robert Raines, adapted; found by way of Leonard Sweet's Facebook page. Photo via

We Would Keep Lent

Lord, bring us close to your cross that we might know how you loved us and gave yourself for us.

We would keep Lent, Lord, in a way that is pleasing to you. As we follow you from the garden to Calvary, do not let us follow afar off, lest we deny you. Help us watch and pray with you that we may not fall into temptation.

Enlighten us that we may see by faith that you knelt in prayer for us, that you, the Holy One, were judged a criminal by unholy people for us, that you suffered the whiplashes of angry sinners as our sinless Savior, that you stumbled under the cross as our Suffering Servant, that you died as the Lamb of God in our stead and for our sake.

Lord Jesus, through it all help us hear in your prayer the single purpose for which you endured pain and death: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."


(from the Lutheran Book of Prayer)

Marked by Ashes

Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day . . .
This day — a gift from you.
This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.
This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.
This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home
halfway back to committees and memos,
halfway back to calls and appointments,
halfway on to next Sunday,
halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,
half turned toward you, half rather not.

This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,
but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —
we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:
of failed hope and broken promises,
of forgotten children and frightened women,
we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.

We are able to ponder our ashness with
some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes
anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.

On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —
you Easter parade of newness.
Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;
Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.
Come here and Easter our Wednesday with
mercy and justice and peace and generosity.

We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon.

(a prayer by Walter Brueggemann, from his Prayers for a Privileged People (Nashville: Abingdon, 2008), pp. 27-28)

On Fat Tuesday

Blessed are you,
Lord God of all creation,
for it is from your goodness
that we have this day
to celebrate on the threshold
of the Season of Lent.
Tomorrow we will fast
and abstain from meat.
Today we feast.

We thank you for the abundance of gifts you shower upon us.
We thank you especially
for one another.
As we give you thanks,
we are mindful of those who have so much less than we do.
As we share these wonderful gifts together,
we commit ourselves to greater generosity toward those
who need our support.

Prepare us for tomorrow.
Tasting the fullness of what we have today,
let us experience some hunger tomorrow.
May our fasting make us more alert
and may it heighten our consciousness
so that we might be ready to hear your Word
and respond to your call.

As our feasting fills us with gratitude
so may our fasting and abstinence hollow out in us
a place for deeper desires
and an attentiveness to hear the cry of the poor.
May our self-denial turn our hearts to you
and give us a new freedom for
generous service to others.

We ask you these graces
with our hearts full of delight
and stirring with readiness for the journey ahead.
We ask them with confidence
in the name of Jesus the Lord,

Ancient Prophet, Modern Prayer

I have heard all about you, LORD.
I am filled with awe by your amazing works.
In this time of our deep need,
help us again as you did in years gone by.
And in your anger with those who do evil,
remember your mercy toward those who suffer and turn to you.

(a prayer from Habakkuk 3:2, NLT, slightly amplified)


Like summer snow
floating from a sun-filled sky,
draping airy-white on flowered fields,
Your love astonished me.

No frilly show,
no assorted-chocolate pledge,
no candy hearts or silver kisses
disclosed your care for me;

But unsparing,
cross-bearing love,
that opened hands and feet and side
to spill your heart for me,

To recreate,
inundate my longing soul
with giving, holding, accepting,
enfolding love for me.

For Peace Among the Nations

O Almighty God,
the Father of all humanity,
turn, we pray, the hearts of all peoples and their rulers,
that by the power of your Holy Spirit
peace may be established among the nations
on the foundation of justice, righteousness and truth;
through him who was lifted up on the cross
to draw all people to himself,
your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

(a prayer of William Temple, by way of the Daily Prayer blog)

A Confession

Lord, I confess
that like Eve I have doubted your love and good intentions
and so have sinned;

I confess
that like Cain I have let jealousy and hatred into my heart
and so have sinned;

I confess
that like Abraham I have been impatient with your timing
and so have sinned;

I confess
that like Jacob I have stolen blessings that belong to others
and so have sinned;

I confess
that like Moses I have reverted to familiar ways when you have given a new word,
and so have sinned;

I confess
that like David I have stayed behind in comfort when I should have led the way courageously,
and so have sinned;

I confess
that like Jonah I have resisted delivering divine messages I didn't much like,
and so have sinned;

I confess
that like Peter I have denied you around the campfires of those I feared,
and so have sinned;

I confess
that like Ananias and Sapphira I have tried to make myself look better than I am,
and so have sinned;

I confess
that like Simon Magus I have coveted others' spiritual power and gifts,
and so have sinned.

I confess
that even with all that, my confession is incomplete.
But I thank you that you hear my confession and forgive my sins,
and are faithful to cleanse me from all unrighteousness.

Grant that I may serve you in newness of life
and with a clean heart and an upright spirit,
to the glory of your name,

For Mighty Calmness

O blessed Jesus,
give me stillness of soul in You.

Let Your mighty calmness reign in me.

Rule me, O King of Gentleness,
King of peace.

(a prayer of St. John of the Cross, from The Life and Prayers of St. John of the Cross)


Save me, God,
from a mixed faith:
a faith in you...
and in me.
I believe;
help my unbelief.
I long to believe only--
and therefore fully--
in you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Fenced Wall

Let your angels be a fenced wall around us against all our enemies,

(part of a prayer by Martin Luther)

To Love Justice And Act Justly

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.

Golden Moments

Thank you, Lord, for the golden moments:
hide 'n' seek,
"tickle monster,"
funny faces,
dancing together,
cuddle time,
"pink wemonade,"
"hold you,"
"baseball Reds,"
and all the things
that bring such joy,
in Jesus' name, amen.

For Pleasing and Beneficial Words

God of mercy and truth,
You gave us the ability to speak
so that we might glorify You and
encourage our brothers and sisters.

Help me to overcome my tendency to
speak unkindly about others
and to criticize those around me.
Teach me instead to praise, to encourage, to defend,
and to say only those things I myself would
want to hear from someone else.

Form within me the habit of praying for help
in overcoming those faults I observe and of
speaking respectfully to those with whom I disagree.
Please give me also the courage to accept criticism
from others by responding calmly,
while honestly considering whether their remarks
contain wisdom and truth.

May all my words be pleasing to You
and beneficial to those who hear them. Amen.

(from the book Saintly Solutions to Life's Common Problems, by Fr. Joseph Esper, by way of the Daily Prayer blog)

Who Know How to Work

Lord, thank you
that my children
know how to work
hard, long, and well,
and to make themselves valuable
to anyone who places confidence in them
and responsibility on them,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Shaper, Stirrer, and Revealer

Lord God Almighty, 

I praise you because you are the one who shaped the mountains, 
stirs up the winds, and reveals your every thought. 
You turn the light of dawn into darkness and tread the mountains under your feet.
(based on Amos 4:13)

A Prayer for Healing. Soon.

Lord God Almighty, nothing is impossible for you.

Thank you for the treatments and medications that keep my grandchildren, Ryder and Calleigh, as healthy as possible.

But please make them unnecessary. Soon. In Jesus' name, amen.

(for more information about Calleigh and Ryder and the battle they don't even know they are fighting, please click here)