For Skin

For Mercy Over Judgment

Abba, Father,
how I thank you for your rebukes and warnings.
I repent,
and bow before you in submission
and great gratitude that you have once again chosen
mercy over judgment,
and kindness instead of humiliation for me.
Now, please, set my feet on higher ground,
and grant that I may serve you in newness of life,
now and forevermore, in Jesus' name, amen.

(image is a detail of James Tissot's "The Pharisee and the Publican")


On this day of great rejoicing,
Lord Jesus Christ,
when we welcome You as our King and Savior,
we also walk in the shadow
of Your cross.
Hosanna! we cry.
Blessed are You
who come in God’s name to save us.
Strengthen our faith
on this Palm Sunday
so that when the time comes
to carry the cross
we might still call out to You
with heartfelt praise.
Give us the grace and the courage
to follow You this Holy Week
from death to resurrection,
from darkness to the fullness of light.
We need You, Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Praise From a Tiny Soul

I praise you, Blessed God, King of the universe,
who grants me breath and life and health,
who lifts me up when I am down,
who shows infinitely more mercy to this wretched sinner than I deserve,
who holds me and my family in the palm of your hand,
who has given me a meaningful and rewarding vocation (or two),
who forgives, forbears,
understands, undergirds,
upholds, uplifts,
refines, refreshes,
overwhelms, and overflows
my poor, tiny, undeserving soul.

I praise you, Blessed God, King of the universe.


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

For the Nevers

Never deployed an airbag.
Never spent a night in jail.
Never bailed a kid out of jail.
Never been robbed at gunpoint.
Never thrown up on a plane.
Never been drunk.
Never been high (chemically, at least).
Never had a kidney stone.
Never lost a million bucks.
Never been foreclosed.
Never forsaken
or forgotten
by you.
Thank you.

Another Psalm 17

Let my cause be just, O Lord.
Let my actions please you.
Let this prayer that I pray reflect your agenda, not mine.

I face a decision.
I am preparing to open my mouth.
Let my words come from You;
Let Your eyes inspect and test
my heart and mind.
You have visited me in the night;
You have thrown up no stop signs that I can see.
Let me not sin with my mouth--
or with my typing fingers.
Keep me from being made a fool by the destroyer.
Guide my every step,
Keep my feet from stumbling.

I call. You hear.
I ask. You answer.
You know my need.
I trust in you.

Keep me as the apple of Your eye.
Hide me under the shadow of Your wings.

Let me stand for what is right,
not just for what I want.
Make me humble but strong,
gracious but firm.
Save me from the fear of man.
Deliver me from the need to be nice.
Align me with You.
Shut my mouth before I say something wrong,
and shut my mouth when I have said enough.

Let me reflect Your likeness
in what I do and say.

Unnecessary Things

O God, teach me how to dispense with unnecessary things.

(a prayer of Toyohiko Kagawa)

A Prayer from Home

Lord God, I thank you that I am home.

Thank you that I have no flight to catch today,
that I have no distance to drive,
that I will sleep in my own bed tonight,
that I will be here to kiss my wife goodnight.

Thank you that I have no worries about
traffic jams,
and luggage.

Thank you that I will not spend $2 for bottled water,
$5 for a "value meal,"
and $10 to park my car.

Thank you for days like these,
when I am a non-traveler.

Nearer, My God, to Thee

Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E'en though it be a cross that raiseth me;
Still all my song shall be nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down,
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone;
Yet in my dreams I'd be nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

There let the way appear steps unto heav'n;
All that Thou sendest me in mercy giv'n;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

(a prayer by Sarah Adams; music by Bethany and Lowell Mason)

A Prayer for Preparation

This is a prayer of preparation, because I want to be ready for whatever you have in store for me.

First, please prepare me to make wise decisions at a moment's notice. Help me to develop wisdom over time so that when a difficult situation comes, I will have accumulated the spiritual depth to know the right thing to do. May I be ready to act swiftly and decisively because I have a wellspring of wisdom to draw upon.

Second, please prepare me for temptation so that when I meet it face-to-face, I will recognize it and know how to combat it. Train me in quiet times so I will have the spiritual wisdom, strength and commitment to honor you in the face of intense desires and testing.

Third, please prepare me for worship by showing me how to get my heart right with you.

Fourth, please prepare me to explain my faith and why it is important. Teach me the great truths from your Word.

And finally, please prepare me to defend my faith. When attacks come, may I have already developed the skill to hear the Holy Spirit, who will help me speak with authority and courage. Please prepare me, Lord, so I can be all you want me to be for your service.

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

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A Prayer on the First Day of Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

(by Robert Frost, from A Boy's Will)

Another Psalm 16

Shelter me, Lord God,
for you are my windbreak,
my storm cellar,
my bunker.

How many times have I said to you,
“You are my Master;
everything good in my life
has come from you.
There isn't anything
I haven't been given."

I want to live in that awareness,
like the saints who are my heroes.

Save me from the stupidity
of those who reject your goodness,
your grace.
Steer me clear of them.

You alone are my portion, my gift, my blessing.
You uphold me and mine.
You have put me where I am,
and it is a good place,
sweet surroundings.

I will bless you, Lord, for guiding me;
I will sing nightsongs to you from my heart.
I will keep my eyes on you.
I will stay in step with you.
I will be glad, and I will rejoice.
I will rest in your arms.
I will trust you to in the dark
and follow you through the valley.
For you are the way
your presence is life,
your favor is my joy.

Perseverance Prayer

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

St. Patrick's Breastplate

Today I put on
a terrible strength
invoking the Trinity
confessing the Three
with faith in the One
as I face my Maker.

Today I put on the power
of Christ's birth and baptism,
of his hanging and burial,
His resurrection, ascension,
and descent at the Judgement.

Today I put on the power
of the order of the Cherubim,
angels' obedience,
archangels' attendance,
in hope of ascending
to my reward;
patriarchs' prayers,
prophets' predictions,
apostles precepts,
confessors' testimony,
holy virgins' innocence
and the deeds of true men.

Today I put on
the power of Heaven,
the light of the Sun,
the radiance of the Moon,
the splendour of fire,
the fierceness of lightning,
the swiftness of wind,
the depth of the sea,
the firmness of earth
and the hardness of rock.

Today I put on
God's strenghth to steer me,
God's power to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye for my vision,
God's ear for my hearing,
God's word for my speech,
God's hand to protect me,
God's pathway before me,
God's shield for my shelter,
God's angels to guard me
from ambush of devils,
from vice's allurements,
from traps of the flesh,
from all who wish ill,
whether distant or close,
alone or in hosts.

I summon these powers today
to take my part against every implacable power
that attacks my body and soul,
the chants of false prophets,
dark laws of the pagans,
false heretics' laws,
entrapments of idols,
enchantments of women
or smiths or druids,
and all knowledge that poisons
man's body or soul.

Christ guard me today
from poison, from burning,
from drowning, from hurt,
that I have my reward.

Christ beside me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,

Christ within me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me.

Christ on my right hand,
Christ on my left,

Christ where I lie,
Christ where I sit,
Christ where I rise.

Christ in the hearts of all who think of me,
Christ in the mouths of all who speak to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Today I put on
a terrible strength,
invoking the Trinity,
confessing the Three,
with faith in the One
as I face my Maker.

Yourself And Nothing Less

God, give me yourself--nothing less than
your salvation,
your holiness,
your mercy,
your kindness,
your magnanimity,
your love,
your goodness,
your purity,
your integrity,
your grace,
your glory will do for me.

I confess, Lord, that I sin,
and in so doing
I say that you are not enough for me,
that you can't be trusted,
that I must have something other than you...
but that's a lie,
and I beg your forgiveness for how often I tell it,
in Jesus' name, amen.

For Syria

Father God,
in unity with the suffering Christians of Syria,
I pray, "Enough! Enough! Enough of war in Syria."

In agreement with Gregorios III,
Melkite Greek Patriarch of Antioch and Bishop of Damascus,
I pray for peace in Syria.
I ask for comfort and strength
for those who grieve
the more than 220,000 dead.
I beg for provision and sustenance
for the 3.8 million Syrian refugees in nearby countries,
and the estimated 8 million Syrians who have been displaced within Syria.
I plead for food, medicine, medical care, beds, heat, electricity,
and other needs to be provided.

I pray for strife to cease
and peace to return.
I pray for hatred and oppression
to be overcome by love and cooperation.
I pray for my Christian brothers and sisters
(in the words of the patriarch) to be patient, strong,
always to hope and to hang on to hope and faith.
I pray for the brave and faithful pastors
who stay and serve; protect and strengthen them, Lord.
I pray for supernatural protection of churches and Christian communities in Syria.
I pray for the church around the world to awaken to their need.
I pray for leaders of the world's nations to heed the cries of the Syrian people.
Oh Lord, hear my prayer.

(a response to Patriarch Gregorios's call to prayer; photo credit: Carole AlFarah/Aid to the Church in Need)

From the Greyness of Our Apathy

O Christ, our Morning Star,
Splendour of Light Eternal,
shining with the glory of the rainbow,
come and waken us
from the greyness of our apathy,
and renew in us your gift of hope.

(a prayer of Bede the Venerable, by way of the Daily Prayer Blog)

Silently Now

Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit divine!

(a prayer of Clara H. Scott; photo via

Sum and Source

Adonai, I praise you with my lips
and with my mind,
and ask that you bring my heart along,
so that I can praise you with my whole self.

I praise you for your majesty,
evident in the skies;
your artistry
evident in the clouds;
your power
evident in the storm;
your gentleness
evident in the breeze;
your beauty
evident in the trees;
your grace
evident in the fawn that feeds by the treeline;
your strength
evident in the firmness of the earth beneath it all.

I praise you Lord, Adonai,
for your greatness and your goodness,
for all splendor and majesty,
glory and power belongs to you,
and you are the sum
and the source
of all that is good, amen.

Today and Every Day

You are the peace of all things calm.
You are the place to hide from harm.
You are the light that shines in dark.
You are the heart's eternal spark.
You are the door that's open wide.
You are the guest who waits inside.
You are the stranger at the door.
You are the calling of the poor.
You are my Lord and with me still.
You are my love, keep me from ill.
You are the light, the truth, the way.
You are my Saviour this very day.

(an ancient Celtic prayer)

Round Us Everywhere

O Lord, seek us, O Lord, find us
In Thy patient care;
Be Thy Love before, behind us,
Round us, everywhere:

Lest the god of this world blind us,
Lest he speak us fair,
Lest he forge a chain to bind us,
Lest he bait a snare.

Turn not from us, call to mind us,
Find, embrace us, bear;
Be thy love before, behind us,
Round us everywhere. Amen.
(a prayer of Christina Rossetti)

A Prayer at Noon

For the brightness of the sun,
for the daily route it runs,
for the warming rays it brings
and the hope of coming Spring,
I give you thanks.

(photo via


Abba, thank you for memory. Thank you that I can remember my way home. My wife’s name. My kids and grandkids. Thank you that I can remember yesterday...and years ago. Thank you that I can remember to pay my bills. Thank you that I remember most of my passwords. Thank you for all the things I remember without trying—so much that I don’t even realize how blessed I am to remember them. Thank you that I can remember to give you thanks. Amen.

Against Scams and Cons

God, I pray against all the scams and cons
that are employed against trusting souls,
especially those that target
and prey on senior citizens.
Stop them, Lord.
Frustrate them.
May their efforts fail
and may they repay a hundredfold
what they have stolen and wheedled
out of their victims.
And Lord, please turn to those victims,
and restore their resources
until like Job their latter state
is better than ever, in Jesus' name, amen.

For All I Need

I come
to this day, Lord,
and lift
my empty cup
to the overflowing fountain
of your strength
and sufficiency.
You are
more than enough
for all I need
this day. Amen.

Give Me the Lowest Place

Give me the lowest place: not that I dare
Ask for that lowest place, but Thou hast died
That I might live and share
Thy glory by Thy side.

Give me the lowest place: or if for me
That lowest place too high, make one more low
Where I may sit and see
My God and love Thee so.

(a prayer by Christina Rossetti)

You Give Me Rest

Lord, your promise is true.
You give me rest.
You lift my burdens,
and carry me through.

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8, NIV).

In hope I will rise up again,
for you alone lift my head in hope.

In strength will I walk through this day,
for you alone are my shield and my buckler,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Heavenly Father,
We pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering for Your Name's sake -
for those who have lost homes and possessions, family and friends simply because they profess faith in your Son, Jesus.

We pray for those who have been arrested, beaten, imprisoned, tortured beyond what we can even imagine, for the sake of Christ and the Gospel,
for the multitude of Christians who are in prison even now as we gather in the comfort of our church sanctuary.

Grant these Your grace that they may endure,
grant them courage that their faith would not waver;
may they remain true to the One who suffered and died for them.

Give them the assurance that the sufferings of this present time
are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Give them love for their enemies that they might bless and not curse them,
that, in their suffering, they might testify of the love of Jesus for sinners.

May they rejoice that they are considered worthy to suffer for His name.
Give them joy in spite of their suffering,
and peace in spite of their pain,
knowing that a great reward awaits them.

We pray for their families,
that You would meet all their needs,
that they would not lose hope,
that their faith in You would remain strong.

We do pray for the release of these, Your children,
but until that day, may Your grace prevail and the
name of Jesus be glorified.

We ask this in the name of Your Son Jesus,
Who suffered and died for us. Amen.

(a prayer by monkatheart; photo by chidsey via