My Lord and my God,
remove far from me
whatever keeps me
from You.

My Lord and my God,
confer upon me
whatever enables me
to reach You.

My Lord and my God,
free me from self
and make me
wholly Yours.

(a prayer of Nicholas of Flue (1447-1487))

The Right Mind

Lord God,
let me mind the things of God
and not the things of man,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(based on Matt. 16:23, photo illustration via everystockphoto.com)

The Wings of the Morning

(a prayer in bronze on black marble by Marshall Maynard Fredericks, exhibited at Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC; from Psalm 139:9-10)

A Psalm 86:5 Prayer

On Easter

It is only right,
with all the powers of our heart and mind,
to praise You Father
and Your Only-begotten Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ:
Dear Father, by Your wondrous
condescension of loving-kindness toward us,
Your servants, You gave up Your Son.
Dear Jesus You paid the debt of Adam
for us to the Eternal Father by
Your Blood poured
fourth in loving-kindness.
You cleared away the darkness of sin
By Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection.
You broke the bonds of death
and rose from the grave as a Conqueror.
You reconciled heaven and earth.
Our life had no hope of eternal happiness
before You redeemed us.
Your Resurrection has washed away our sins,
restored our innocence and brought us joy.
How inestimable is the tenderness
of Your love!

(Saint Gregory the Great's Easter Prayer)

On Silent Saturday

Rest you well, beloved Jesus,  
Caesar’s Lord and Israel’s King,  
In the brooding of the Spirit,  
In the darkness of the spring. 

On Good Friday

Am I a stone, and not a sheep,
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,
To number drop by drop Thy blood's slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon--
I, only I.

Yet give not o'er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

(by Christina Rosetti)

A Prayer on Maundy Thursday

not my feet only,
but also
my hands
my head.
my heart.
my mind.
my life.

(based on John 13:9).

On Holy Wednesday

Lord Jesus, gracious Savior, I come to you in this sacred week to ponder your great and wondrous love; love that led you to the cross that my sin might be blotted out and that I might be reconciled to my heavenly Father. O Christ, give me strength and grace to crucify my sinful desires and dedicate myself anew to you, who has loved me with an everlasting love and brought to me eternal salvation.

I confess to You my sins. They are many, and You know them all. For each and every one of them you suffered the agony of the cross and shed your precious blood that I may be cleansed and made acceptable in your sight. Thank you for the forgiveness and cleansing that is mine. Thank you that none of the sins of yesterday cling to me. Humbly I come, grateful for your mercy. Daily let me fulfill the tasks and duties to which You have called me with joy, confessing you as my Lord and Savior, and being of service to my neighbor.

Grant that your suffering and death, proclaimed for the salvation of mankind, may by the power of the Holy Spirit awaken in many a deeper love to You. O Lord, have mercy upon me and all sinful mankind, and create in me and all that seek you a clean heart, holy desires, and an undying love. Hear my prayer, gracious Redeemer. Amen.

(borrowed and revised from http://scotkinnaman.com)

On Holy Tuesday

Lord Jesus,
it was on a Tuesday that you
spoke out against
abuse of power, collaboration with oppressors,
misuse of authority.
So today we pray,
comforter of the abused,
strengthen those burdened by corrupted rule
or injustice;
rescue the overwhelmed;
be present to those who call on your name,
to those we name on our lips,
and in the silence of our hearts,
those whose concerns are known only to you;
in Jesus’ name,

On Holy Monday

God of love,
My prayer is simple:
Your son, Jesus, suffered and died for me.

I know only
that I cannot have real strength
unless I rely on you.

I cannot feel protected
from my many weaknesses
until I turn to you
for forgiveness and your unalterable love.

Help me to share this
strength, protection and love with others.

(from One Prayer a Day for Lent)

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)

A Disciple's Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
my Abba so close,
your name is great; may it be kept holy in all I pray, all I say, and all I do.
Bring your kingdom to full fruition in my life and in this world;
have your way here and now, just as you do in heaven.

Give us the things we need today.

Forgive our sins,
as we forgive those who have hurt us.

And lead us—
not into temptation—
but deliver us from evil and from the Evil One, for you are our King,
and we welcome your reign,
and we exalt you forever and ever.

(this version of the Lord's Prayer appears in The Red Letter Life)

On My Son's Birthday

            Oh, my Lord, what a gift you gave me in my son. 
            How I thank you for him,
            and for his thirty-three years of life so far.
            Today, and on every day that is to come,
            please bless him and keep him.
            Smile on him and be gracious to him.
            Show him your favor and give him your peace.
            Continue and increase the good work you've begun in him.
            Make him strong and courageous,
            Make him bold and energetic.
            Fill his heart, mind, and life with all that is true,
            honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.
            Answer his prayers.
            Fulfill his dreams.
            Supply all his needs.
            Keep his marriage strong and beautiful.
            Make his home safe and happy.
            Give him wisdom in parenting,
            blessing in his work,
            responsibility and generosity in his finances,
            sweetness in worship,
            focus in study,
            and enjoyment in his relationships.
            Reward all his love and faithfulness
            with beauty and grace,
            prosperity and plenty,
            in Jesus' name, amen.


In honor of St. Patrick's Day, here is the famous prayer attributed to St. Patrick, called The Lorica, or Breastplate of St. Patrick: 

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.
(photo via everystockphoto.com)

New Touch of Power

Send a new touch of power on my soul, Lord.
Send it now, Lord; send it now, Lord.
Touch my lips with a coal from Thine altar, Lord;
Send a new touch of power on my soul.

(a prayer by Lelia Morris; photo via everystockphoto.com)

But Here I Go

When I am following you, God, I feel a bit lost most of the time. But that makes sense. I am not leading you. You are leading me.

If I want complete certainty, I cannot expect to be led by your Spirit. I cannot know what will happen next, nor demand control. And I know that following you is the only way I can make a great and beautiful difference in the world.

I cannot control what happens outside, but by your grace I can increasingly know myself. Help me to master who I am and how I give meaning to actions and events around me. May my wealth, power, and wisdom enable others to achieve extraordinary success. I know I can give freely of myself because in the economy of the Spirit, you always replenish my jar of oil.

I know when I am listening to you because your Spirit encourages me, points to the truth, lets me decide, and holds me accountable. And somehow you always make it work out. You provide the necessary resources: wisdom, strength, time, helpers, money, skills, and all the unanticipated things that I never could have planned for anyway. More wonderfully, you redeem my mistakes. You weave beauty out of my broken, mixed-up threads, not for my reputation or ego, but for the common good....

Is there anything else you want to tell me? It is time to act. I hope this is right for everyone involved. Now it is all up to you.

I am not sure what to do, God, but here I go. Please make it all work out right.

(a prayer by Richard Kriegbaum, from Leadership Prayers, pp. 26-27)

Another Psalm 20

Adonai, answer me in my distress;
God of Jacob, protect me.
Send me help from your sanctuary
and grant me favor from your very throne.
I have given you little
and you have given me so much;
I take that as a clear signal of your gracious willingness
to answer my pleas.
Grant my heart’s desire
and prosper my plans,
that I may shout for joy
and praise your glorious name.
Fulfill my petitions.
and give victory to me
from the endless supply of your heavenly hoard,
by the matchless strength of your right hand.
I trust in you, Lord God Adonai,
not in any earthly thing,
least of all myself.
My resources are paltry and passing;
your favor is all I need.
Grant victory, Adonai!
Answer my humble cry.


Dear Lord,

May your purpose prevail in my life this week.

As I put together plans for the short-term projects I must complete at work, the talks I must give, the budget I must manage, and the business meetings and social events I will attend, let me keep your purpose always in mind. As I put together strategic plans for the future and prepare myself to serve and lead, let me remember: None of this will matter if you aren't in it.

I submit my plans to you. Shape them and change them however you want. Even more, shape and change me however you want. You are the potter; I am the clay. May your purpose and plans prevail.

I pray in the name of Christ, who always lived a purpose-driven life. Amen.


Lord, I pray for those in danger of falling away,
that they may recover their footing.
I pray for those standing firm,
that they may not be tempted to their downfall.
I pray for those who have fallen,
that they may admit the gravity of their sin
and realize that it calls for a serious remedy,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(a prayer of Cyprian of Carthage, revised)

On Ecclesiastes 3

Thank you, Lord, that the seasons of my life
have included so many births, and so few deaths;
more times to plant, than times of plucking up that which is planted;
No times to kill, and many times to heal;
infrequent times to break down, and frequent times to build up;
Fewer times to weep than times to laugh;
Fewer times to mourn than times to dance.

Thank you for those times to cast away stones, and times of gathering stones together;
thank you for times of embracing, and times to refrain from embracing;
Thank you for so many times to get, and so few times to lose,
so many times to keep, and so few times to cast away.

Make me wise to recognize times to rend, and times to sew;
times to keep silence, and times to speak;
times to love, and times to hate;
times of war, and times of peace,
in Jesus' name, amen

(based on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, KJV; photo via everystockphoto.com).



(a prayer of G. K. Chesterton; photo via everystockphoto.com)

In the Faith

Gracious God, my Father, thank you that my grandchildren are being raised "in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 1:13).

A Prayer of Someone Who Is Rich

Lord Jesus, you said "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God" (Matthew 19:24, NIV). Please remind me often that I am among the world's richest and therefore have great need of your mercy and transforming grace. Amen.

(photo of a home I visited in a Peruvian pueblo)

The Economics of Enough

Teach me God
the economics of enough.
If in greed I ask too much of you.
If in fear I ask too little.
Measure daily my bread.

(from http://twitter.com/twitturgies; photo courtesy of everystockphoto.com)