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)

Another Psalm 19

The heavens show just how great you are, God;
horizon to horizon,
one day after another,
night after night.
They speak in a celestial tongue
that transcends language!
Their proclamation extends from pole to pole,
from east to west,
from the moment the sun leaps out of bed
until it kisses the moon goodnight.

As you speak in Creation,
you speak in the perfection of your Word,
which refreshes the soul as a mountain stream slakes a hiker's thirst.
Your utterances bring clarity,
like first light drawing shapes out of shadows.
Your precepts are as welcome
as raindrops on drooping leaves.
Your commands make perfect sense,
as rising temperatures chase the fog.
Your whispers refresh the soul
like an afternoon breeze in summer.
Every sentence and syllable you speak
is sure and sweet,
more pleasing than an autumn day
or flowers in spring,
and sweeter than the juiciest watermelon,
fresh from the vine.
Your words teach and guide,
and help and bless.

You even speak in the human heart,
to cajole and convict,
to cleanse and recreate.
Speak to me in my innermost parts,
and root out the worst parts of me.
Let my voice sound like yours,
let my life speak of you,
my Lord, my rock, and my redeemer.

The Word I Need

O Holy One,
I hear and say so many words,
yet yours is the word I need.

Speak now,
and help me listen;
and, if what I hear is silence,
let it quiet me,
let it disturb me,
let it touch my need,
let it break my pride,
let it shrink my certainties,
let it enlarge my wonder.

(a prayer from Ted Loder's Guerrillas of Grace; photo via

A Chaos of Uncalculating Love

It was your custom,
to go to the temple,
to the noisome temple
sometime to the scandalised temple
listening to the mumbo jumbo,
but it was your custom to go.
Give us grace in our changing day
to stand by the temple that is the present church,
the noisome temple
the sometime scandalised temple that is the present church,
listening sometime to what again seems mumbo jumbo.
Make it our custom to go
till the new outline of your Body for our day
becomes visible in our midst.

(from George MacLeod, The Whole Earth Shall Cry Glory, p. 39)

For Prevenient Grace

Thank you, Lord, for your prevenient grace.
You are always previous, always before, always ahead.
"Christ is risen, and he has gone before" me.
Thank you for drawing me, not once, but ever.
Thank you for suffering me again to come to you.
Thank you for the grace to thank you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

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)

Fill Me Up


Lord God Adonai,
teach me please not to be blown around
on the waves of circumstances,
but to sail solely
by the wind
of your Spirit,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Like a Tree

Lord, make me like a tree
planted by streams of living water.

Let my roots go down deep into you,
your love and kindness.

Let me grow stronger and taller
and give shade to many,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(based on Psalm 1:1-3 and Jeremiah 17:8)


Lord God, Adonai,
kill in me
the need to control
and manage
and manipulate.
Kill my tendency
to think I am in control
(when I never am)
and that you are not in control
(when you always are).
Kill my unbelief,
my ignorance
and waywardness,
my prayerlessness
and haste,
in Jesus' name,

For the Virtue of Compassion

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


Lord, where shall I find you?
High and hidden is your place.
And where shall I not find you?
The world is full of your glory.
I have sought your nearness,
with all my heart I called you
And in going out to meet you
I found you coming in to meet me.

(a prayer of Judah Halevi)


Lord, I praise you for the absence of things:
for hunger, because by it I know the blessing of fulness;
for silence, for by it I know the blessing of sound;
for want, for it teaches me gratitude when wants are supplied;
for darkness, because by it I learn to love light;
for sickness,
for emptiness, idleness, helplessness,
for by all such things you teach me gratitude and remind me that all good and perfect gifts come down to me from your hand, by your grace, in Jesus' name, amen.

On My Daughter's Birthday

She's all grown up, Lord, and has been for quite a while now.

Today is her birthday,
and I still can't process
that she is all she is.
You have answered my prayers for her
and her mother's prayers for her
with such kindness and generosity.
You have made her faithful like Ruth and regal like Esther,  
fierce like Deborah and brilliant like Abigail.

I give you so much praise and thanks
for my only daughter,
my firstborn, my Blossom;
for the child you gave me,
the woman she grew into,
the love we share,
the pride and joy I feel in her,
the blessings you've given her,
and the blessings you've given me through her.

Please bless her abundantly today
and in all the days to come.
Keep her safe and well.
Keep her marriage strong and beautiful.
Prosper her and her husband,
answer their prayers,
supply their needs,
fulfill their dreams.

Let their children's healing appear, soon, please,
and reward their love and faithfulness and diligence as parents
with beauty and grace, charm and wisdom,
health and wholeness, integrity and strength in their children
as you have done for me in mine.

Show her every kindness,
grant her your favor,
use her,
bless her,
hold her,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Prayer of a Lazy Writer

God, save me
from laziness as a writer.
Save me from the error of thinking my first  draft is good enough.
Save me from settling for second best.
Save me from low standards,
pedestrian thoughts,
stale words,
and pat answers.

Grant me the grace to reread
and rewrite
with diligence and insight.

Grant me the stamina to edit
and revise
with patience and perseverance.

Grant me the wisdom to be utterly unsatisfied
until every piece,
every page,
every paragraph and sentence
shines in such a way as to delight
both the reader
and you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of Praise

You are holy, Lord, the only God,
and Your deeds are wonderful.

You are strong.
You are great.
You are the Most High.
You are Almighty.

You, Holy Father are King of heaven and earth.
You are Three and One, Lord God, all Good.
You are Good, all Good, supreme Good,
Lord God, living and true.

You are love. You are wisdom.
You are humility. You are endurance.
You are rest. You are peace.
You are joy and gladness.
You are justice and moderation.
You are all our riches, and You suffice for us.

You are beauty.
You are gentleness.
You are our protector.
You are our guardian and defender.

You are our courage. You are our haven and our hope.
You are our faith, our great consolation.
You are our eternal life, Great and Wonderful Lord,
God Almighty, Merciful Saviour.


(a prayer of St. Francis Of Assisi, by way of the Daily Prayer blog)

To My Mad Lover

O eternal, infinite God!
O mad lover!
And you have need of your creature?

It seems so to me,
for you act as if you could not live without [me],
in spite of the fact that you are Life itself,
and everything has life from you and nothing can have life without you.
Why then are you so mad?
Because you have fallen in love with what you have made?...
You clothed yourself in our humanity,
and nearer than that you could not have come.

(a prayer of Catherine of Siena)

My Fountain

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom,
you know my necessities before I ask
and my ignorance in asking:
Have compassion on my weakness,
and mercifully give me those things which
for my unworthiness I dare not,
and for my blindness I cannot ask;
through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ my Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.


Lord God, make my life a prayer to you.
Make my words a hymn.
Make my actions and attitudes a carillon
that calls those around me to worship you,
in Jesus' name, amen.


water running down the airplane window
like tears
people walking with umbrellas
for shelter

I need

heal the wounds
of those I have wounded
and my wounds

lead me
walk beside me
follow me

let forgiveness
take my arms
and hope
invite my feet

shelter us all
toward a

(a prayer by poet Robert Raines, author of A Faithing Oak)

For Self-Control

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

Against Idiocy

Lord God,
please save us
from the posturing
and policies
of idiots.