To the Holy Spirit

Breathe in me,
O Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.

Act in me,
O Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.

Draw my heart,
O Holy Spirit,
that I love only what is holy.

Strengthen me,
O Holy Spirit,
to defend all that is holy.

Guard me, then,
O Holy Spirit,
that I may always be holy.


(a prayer of Augustine of Hippo, H/T the Daily Prayer blog; photo via

To Write Like Me

It's tempting, Lord,
to ask for the grace
of being able to write
like Annie Dillard
or Frederick Buechner
or Eugene Peterson.
Or even,
throwing caution to the wind,
like Paul
or John
or Isaiah
or David.
But I will ask instead,
humbly but wholeheartedly:
Please let me write
like Me,
the best Me of all possible Mes,
in Jesus' name, amen.

I Speak Today

No speaker is saved by the quality of his material;
no preacher succeeds by the multitude of his gifts.
Relying on man's approval is a vain hope, a stupid goal;
despite all its allure it cannot save.
My hope is on your unfailing love, Lord;
I hope for your deliverance.

(based on Psalm 33:16-17)

For Servant Hearts

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

My Psalm 140

Save me, LORD,
from dark hearts,
protect me
from graceless men and women,
who devise evil plans in their hearts
and are utterly blind to the darkness of their own ways.

They speak out of both sides
of their mouths,
and spread poison
wherever they go.

Keep me, O LORD, out of the hands of the wicked;
protect me from people who find fault so freely with others
and have no insight into the deceit and hypocrisy of their own actions.

People are constantly trying to trap me,
criticizing every step I make
as though they always knew so much better...
though they said nothing,
and offer no wisdom when asked.

O LORD, I say to you, "You are my God."
Hear, O LORD, my cry for mercy.

O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer,
who shields my head in the day of battle-

do not grant the wicked their desires, O LORD;
do not let their plans succeed,
for the sake of your people,
for the sake of your righteousness,
for the sake of your reputation.

Let the heads of those who convene to condemn me
and slander your servants
be slandered by their own hypocrisy.

Let them taste their own medicine;
let their own judgment be meted back to them.

Let slanderers not be established in the land;
may disaster hunt down men and women who wreak havoc.

I know that you secure justice for the poor
and uphold the cause of the needy;
do it now,
do it here,
do it, please,
that the righteous may praise your name
and the upright will live before you.

Against Contempt for Thy Love

Preserve me, Lord, from the sin which I fear so much: contempt for thy love. May I never sin against the Holy Spirit who is love and union, harmony and peace. May I never be separated from thy Spirit, from the unity of thy peace, by committing the sin which can never be forgiven, neither here nor in the world to come. Keep me, O Lord, among my brothers and kinsfolk that I may proclaim thy peace. Keep me among those who preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

(a twelfth-century prayer of Archbishop Baldwin)


thank you
that there are still
people who are
naive enough
or kind enough
to listen to me

Forget Not Me

(a prayer of Christina Rossetti; photo courtesy of

To Persevere

Lord God,
teach me please
to hang on
when things
heat up
when others
give in
when I alone


Save me
from this infernal attachment
to things.

Incline My Heart

O Thou whose eternal presence is hid behind the veil of nature, informs the mind of man, and was made flesh in Jesus Christ our Lord, I thank Thee that He has left me an example that I should follow in His steps.

Jesus Christ said, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.

Jesus Christ said, Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.

Jesus Christ said, Do good and lend, hoping for nothing again. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.

Jesus Christ said, Love your enemies. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.

Jesus Christ said, Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.

Jesus Christ said, Fear not, only believe. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.

Jesus Christ said, Except ye turn again and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.

Jesus Christ said, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. O God, incline my heart to follow in this way.


(a prayer of John Baillie in A Diary of Private Prayer; photo via

This Very 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 Savior this very day.

Lover of My Soul

Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last.

Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed, all my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing.

Wilt Thou not regard my call? Wilt Thou not accept my prayer?
Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall—Lo! on Thee I cast my care;
Reach me out Thy gracious hand! While I of Thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand, dying, and behold, I live.

Thou, O Christ, art all I want, more than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy Name, I am all unrighteousness;
False and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace.

Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart; rise to all eternity.

(a prayer of Charles Wesley)

Multiple Blessings

Lord God, I don't deserve
this life you've given me,
much less the affluence
you allow me to enjoy.

I have multiples of things
many of your children
on this earth go without.

I have multiple children and grandchildren,
friends and loved ones.

I have multiple pairs of shoes.
Multiple shirts, pants,
and other clothes,
some of which I seldom wear;
multiple bank accounts,
multiple rooms in my home,
multiple cars,
plates to eat from,
cups to drink from,
chairs to sit on,
and inkpens.

I have multiple pleasures,
multiple luxuries,
multiple memories,
all, all, all from your hand,
for out of your store of infinite treasure,
you have given, and given, and given again.
Thank you, Lord,
my God and my King,

On Ash Wednesday

Grant, Lord, that during this season of Lent, I may
fast from discontent and feast on gratitude;
fast from anger and feast on patience;
fast from bitterness and feast on forgiveness;
fast from self-concern and feast on compassion;
fast from discouragement and feast on hope;
fast from laziness and feast on commitment;
fast from complaining and feast on acceptance;
fast from lust and feast on respect;
fast from prejudice and feast on understanding;
fast from resentment and feast on reconciliation;
fast from lies and feast on the truth;
fast from wasted time and feast on honest work;
fast from grimness and feast on joy;
fast from suspicion and feast on trust;
fast from idle talk and feast on prayer and silence;
fast from guilt and feast on the mercy of God.

(based on lines attributed to William Arthur Ward)

Prayer In An Election Year

Lord God, as the election approaches,
we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city/state/country,
and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community.
We ask for eyes that are free from blindness
so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters,
one and equal in dignity,
especially those who are victims of abuse and violence, deceit and poverty.
We ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn and those abandoned,
Men and women oppressed because of race or creed, religion or gender.
We ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voice of leaders who will bring us closer to your Kingdom.

We pray for discernment
so that we may choose leaders who hear your Word,
live your love,
and keep in the ways of your truth
as they follow in the steps of Jesus and his Apostles
and guide us to your Kingdom of justice and peace.

We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

(a prayer of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)


Please keep me from measuring myself by the wrong standards.

How I compare to others isn't important.
The only thing that matters--and the only way to avoid my insecurities--
is to find my value as a creation of almighty God.

When I reflect on how much you love me, I find the courage to be myself,
and I realize I might be more valuable than I give myself credit for.

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

A Life 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.

From a Hill I Know

When shall I come unto the healing waters?
Lifting my heart, I cry to Thee my prayer.
Spirit of peace, my Comforter and Healer,
In whom my springs are found, let my soul meet Thee there.

From a hill I know,
Healing waters flow;
O rise, Emmanuel's tide,
And my soul overflow.

Wash from my hands the dust of earthly striving,
Take from my mind the stress of secret fear;
Cleanse Thou the wounds from all but Thee far hidden,
And when the waters flow let my healing appear.

Light, life and love are in that healing fountain;
All I require to cleanse me and restore;
Flow through my soul, redeem its desert places,
And make a garden there for the Lord I adore.

(A hymn of General Albert Orsborn)

Glad to Belong to You

You speak words of promise,
and we answer.
A thousand times we answer,
in a thousand tongues--
we answer in hymns of praise,
we answer in songs of thanksgiving,
we answer in lyrics of gladness,
we answer in candor about hurt,
we answer in abrasive anger,
we answer in deep abandonment.

We answer and draw close to you.
And in answering we are changed:
given freedom,
come to truth,
bound in obedience.

We answer and are yours, all yours,
not our own,
yours, and
glad that we belong to
you our faithful savior.

(a prayer by Walter Brueggemann, from his book, Prayers for a Privileged People, p. 169)