That We May Not Give Up (A Pastor's Prayer)

God of all,
we know you sent us out to do your work,
to face rejection,
to spread the good news of the Kingdom of God,
to have people turn their backs on us,
to be your prophets,
to be laughed at,
to heal the sick,
to be dismissed,
to travel light,
sometimes broke and sometimes penniless,
and sometimes rich and wealthy.

We are reminded to shake off the dust from our shoes
when we are not welcome and not listened to.
We are reminded that in our weakness you are strong.
We are reminded that in all of this, Jesus too was rejected and a scandal to many.

Lord, today some of us step into pulpits as your prophets
in places where we have been treated less than kind,
and sometimes outright rejected.
Lord, pour your healing salve into the wounds we carry.

Today, some of us are so wounded from the attacks
that it is hard to lift our feet to shake the dust off our shoes.
Pour your healing grace over us that makes Christ's power perfect in our weakness.

Today, some of us feel like total failures and like giving up.
Pour your steadfast love into us that we may see ourselves as you see us,
and not give up as you yourself did not give up. Amen.

(From Rev Abi's Long and Winding Road blog; cross-posted from The photo--of the pulpit in Worms Cathedral, Worms, Germany--was taken by me).

Help Me Find Me

Oh, Eternal One, it would be easier for me to pray if I were clear and of a single mind and a pure heart; if I could be done hiding from myself and from you, even in my prayers. But, I am who I am, mixture of motives and excuses, blur of memories, quiver of hopes, knot of fear, tangle of confusion, and restless with love, for love. I wander somewhere between gratitude and grievance, wonder and routine, high resolve and undone dreams, generous impulses and unpaid bills. Come, find me, Lord. Be with me exactly as I am. Help me find me, Lord. Help me accept what I am, so I can begin to be yours. Make of me something small enough to snuggle, young enough to question, simple enough to giggle, old enough to forget, foolish enough to act for peace, skeptical enough to doubt the sufficiency of anything but you, and attentive enough to listen as you call me out of the tomb of my timidity into the chancy glory of my possibilities and the power of your presence. Amen.

(a prayer from Ted Loder's Guerrillas of Grace)

Not So Little Things

Thank you for the weight I've lost,
The perspective I've gained,
Things enjoyed at no cost,
Strength to walk without pain,
Ears to hear a lovely song,
Eyes to see a precious sight,
Grace to choose not to do wrong,
Peace to sleep unburdened all night.

In This Bundle of Life

O God, you have bound us together in this bundle of life:
give us grace to understand how our lives depend upon the courage,
the industry, the honesty and the integrity of others;
that we may be mindful of their needs,
grateful for their faithfulness,
and faithful in our responsibilities to them.

(a prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr; photo via

A Prayer for Understanding

Oh, Lord,
please don't let me be misunderstood.

(a prayer by lyricist Bennie Benjamin; photo courtesy of

Deliver Us

Deliver us from evil, Lord.
Deliver us from debt.
Deliver us from self-reliance.
Deliver us from deceitful people.
Deliver us from judgmental people.
Deliver us from perfectionism.
Deliver us from people-pleasing.
Deliver us from greed.
Deliver us from materialism.
Deliver us from schism.
Deliver us from arrogance.
Deliver us from self-deception.
Deliver us from favoritism.
Deliver us from faithlessness.
Deliver us from the fruits of our own stupidity.
Deliver us, in Jesus' name, amen.

Pour Into My Heart

Give me, O Lord, I beseech thee,
firm faith, unwavering hope, perfect charity.
Pour into my heart the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and spiritual strength,
the Spirit of knowledge and true godliness,
and the Spirit of thy holy fear.

Light eternal, shine in my heart.
Power eternal, deliver me from evil.
Wisdom eternal, scatter the darkness of my ignorance.
Might eternal, pity me.
Grant that I may ever seek thy face with all my heart and soul and strength; and, in thine infinite mercy, bring me at last to thy holy presence, where I shall behold thy glory and possess thy promised joys. Amen.

(a prayer of Alcuin of York)

That They May Learn Responsibility

My prayer today for my kids and my grandkids, from the "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids" app for iPhone and iPad (available exclusively on iTunes):

Shine Into Our Hearts

Eternal Light, shine into our hearts;
Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil;
Eternal Power, be our support;
Eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance;
Eternal Pity, have mercy on us—
So that with all our heart and mind and soul and strength we may seek your face and be brought by your infinite mercy into your holy presence,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(a prayer of Alcuin of York; photo via


Father, let the seeds I have sown over the years,
no matter where they landed
or how long they have waited
find receptive soil at last
and bear fruit
and yield blessing
and lead to eternal life
for all I have known,
in Jesus' name,

To Live This Day

Dear Lord, help me to live this day,
quietly, easily,
To lean upon thy great strength--
trust fully, restfully
To wait for the unfolding of thy will,
patiently, serenely.
To meet others--
peacefully, joyously;
To face tomorrow--
confidently, courageously
with Jesus help, amen.

(author unknown)

A Vacation Prayer

Gracious God,
thank you that our vacation is finally here!
Thank you for a week to spend with my wife
and some of my family.
Give us all safe travel to and from our destination.
Steer us away from dangers, traffic jams, and speeding tickets.
Deliver us from car problems and health problems.
Give the grandkids grace to travel well, sleep well, travel well.
Protect them from infections.
Give their parents a respite from work and weariness.
May gas, grocery, and restaurant prices not be too high,
crowds not too large,
temperatures not too extreme,
and rain not too frequent.
Help us all to enjoy each other,
the lovely surroundings,
and the time to play and make memories.
Go with us.
Keep us aware of you,
and of your kindness and generosity,
and grant that we may return home safely and refreshed,
in body, mind, soul, and spirit,
in Jesus' name, amen. 
(photo by Grafixar, courtesy of


God, let the tracks I leave behind be such as will guide and empower and bless all I leave behind. Amen.


Thank you for pain.
For the pain that is a siren warning of injury,
a sign of disease,
and even for that pain that is
a signal that I’m doing or have done too much.

(photo via

Strong and Courageous

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

Spring Canticle

Sun and cloud, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Flower and weed, bless the Lord.
Breeze and bird, bless the Lord.
Mist and meadow, bless the Lord.
Sunrise and sunset, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.

She Walks in Beauty

Abba, Father,
I know I don't have to tell you how blessed I am
by the wife you've given to me,
and the kind of mother she has been--
and is--
to our children,
and grandmother to our grandchildren.

To quote Byron,
she walks in beauty, like the night
of cloudless climes and starry skies.

She showers blessing, like August rain,
on every dry and needy place.

She denies herself, like the pelican of legend,
feeding her loved ones with her own lifeblood.

She fights with passion, like a badger,
to defend and protect her home and family.

What a gift she is to me and to this family.
Lift her up in our love,
encourage her with our gratitude,
and let her feel your favor
flowing through ours,
in Jesus' name, amen.

For Today's Great Strides Walk

Lord God, I plead for your help today in our Great Strides walk through Oxford to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
I pray for good weather,
for safety for all,
and enthusiasm.
I pray for you to crown our efforts
with success.
Pour out a blessing
in smiles
and participants
and in dollars raised.
Give us a morning to be remembered,
a celebration of hope and help
for all those who suffer from cystic fibrosis
and all those who love them,
in Jesus' name, amen.


Thank you, Lord, even for dandelions...
when they come like this.

Your Name: Quick Prayer at Dusk

G-d of Old,
Your name is Peace.
Your name is Justice.
Your name is Mercy.

G-d of Life,
Your name is Compassion.
Your name is Love.
Your name is Hope.

G-d of Blessing,
Your name is Truth.
Your name is Wisdom.
Your name is Righteousness.

G-d of our fathers,
G-d of our mothers,
Your name is in my heart
And before my eyes.

Blessed are You Adonai,
Your name shines throughout creation.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved (photo is of the author, courtesy of the author).

A Crappaw's Thanks

Father, thank you so much for this past weekend. 
Thank you for the time I got to spend with my grandkids. 
Thank you that I got to go to their school carnival with them. 
Thank you that I got to buy them a snow cone and cotton candy. 
Thank you that I got to read to them. 
Thank you that I got to play Sorry! with them.
Thank you that I got to help them with their homework. 
Thank you that I got to show Mia how to peel an orange. 
Thank you that I got to toss with them. 
Thank you that I got to see Miles play a baseball game. 
Thank you that I got to see him get a hit. 
Thank you that I got to treat them to ice cream. 
Thank you that I got to walk the dog with Mia. 
Thank you that I got to fix them pancakes. 
Thank you that I got to go to church with them 
(and be led in worship by their parents). 
Thank you that I got to watch them run in the park and chase the pigeons. 
Thank you that I got to ride a cable car with them. 
Thank you that I got to buy them souvenirs. 
Thank you that I got to take Miles to school. 
Thank you for all the hugs and kisses I got. 
Thank you for the note Miles wrote for me and Mimi, 
and for the pictures he and Mia drew for us. 

Thank you for every moment, every minute, every second of it. 
Thank you. 


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Michelangelo's Confession

I wish I'd want what I don't want, Lord, at all.
Between this heart and Your fire an icy screen,
invisible, damps it down, so these routine
words falsify what I do; the pages lie.
Tongue says it loves You, but the heart's reply
is chilling: there's no love there. Nor can I know
which way to let grace enter, immerse it so
hard-hearted pride is hell-bent for a fall.
You be the one, Lord! Rend it! ramming through
closure that saw Your beauty dim and dwindle,
once light of the world's one sun, now cold as stone.
Send now the promised light that's one day due
to come to Your comely bride on earth! Oh then I'll kindle
the fire within, doubt-free, feeling You alone.

(a prayer of Michelangelo, from The Complete Poems of Michelangelo, John Frederick Nims, translator; photo illustration of Florence, Italy, via

Return Trip Prayer

please grant me and the lovely Robin
safe and successful travel today.
Comfort us as we say goodbye to our loved ones.
Make smooth paths (and flight schedules) for our feet.
Protect us from coach cabin infections.
Give us safety, even sleep, as we fly,
and a timely arrival
and safe drive to our home,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Lives of Love

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

Before Ever

Meister Eckhart said, "Blessed are the pure in heart who leave everything to God now as they did before they ever existed."

Lord, before ever I was conceived,
you set the stars in the sky,
and the planets in their orbits.

Before ever I was born,
you kept this earth spinning through eons of time,
and never forgot or skipped a single season.

Before ever I opened my eyes,
your eyes were on your servants.
Before ever I could speak,
you spoke.
Before ever I could walk,
you walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the Garden.
Before ever I had accomplished a thing,
you accomplished the "impossible."

So, Lord, I leave it all to you.
I surrender my stupid sense that I am in control,
that I need to make things happen,
that "if it's going to be, it's up to me."

I pray, "Thy will be done."
I pray, "Be it unto me according to Thy word."
I pray, "have Thine own way,"
in me and mine,
in this day and the next,
in what I succeed in accomplishing
and in what I fail to accomplish.

I leave everything to you, Sovereign King,
as I did before I ever existed,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo courtesy of

On A Day of Travel

Lord, be with me and the lovely Robin
as we spend this day traveling.
Go before us, please.
Come behind us.
Ride with us.
Keep us alert
for any dangerous situations
and make us responsive
to your whispers and shouts
so that we might arrive at our destination unharmed
and secure in the knowledge that,
on this trip and when our trip is over,
You are there
and will be there.