The pride which leads me
to trust in myself
and not in you,
O Lord, forgive.

(based on a plaque in Coventry Cathedral)

Not Just

Not for some promised crown,
Nor for your kindness shown;
Not for the things you've done,
Nor even the victories won;
I love you, Lord,I just love you,
And not just what you do.



Lord, I'm amazed by you,
by the things you do,
the way you time things,
rhyme things,
one with another,
to whisper to me
that I can never be
so unmindful of you
to make you unmindful of me.
Thank you.

Actiones Nostras

We beg You, O Lord, to initiate and anticipate our actions,
and help us in them and follow up on them,
so that our every service always flows from You,
and all we begin is brought to conclusion through You.


(From the Gregorian Sacramentary; photo via

Prepare a Road

Omnipotent God, whom through the worship of my heart alone I know, to the wicked unknown, yet known to every devout soul, you are without beginning and without end, more ancient than time past and time to come; your fashion and extent no mind can ever grasp, no tongue express....

Son of the All-highest, bringer of salvation to the human race, you to whom your Begetter has committed all the powers of his Fatherhood, keeping none back in envy, but giving freely, open a way for my prayers and safely convey them to your Father's ears.

Grant me a heart, O Father, to hold out against all deeds of wrong, and deliver me from the serpent's deadly venom, sin....

Prepare a road that I, being freed from the fetters of this frail body, may be led up on high, where in the clear heaven the Milky Way stretches above the wandering clouds of the wind-vexed moon--that road by which the holy men of old departed from the earth; by which Elias, being caught up in the chariot, once made his ways alive above our lower air; and Enoch, too, who went before his end without change of body.

Grant me, O Father, the effluence of everlasting light for which I yearn, and bring to your altar the offering of a stainless life.

Grant me your pardon, Father, and relieve my anguished breast...and when the hour of my last day shall come, grant that the conscience of a life well spent cause me not to fear death, nor yet long for it. When, through your mercy, I appear cleansed from my secret faults, let me despise all else, and let my one delight be to await in hope your judgment. And if that day delays, keep me far from that fierce tempter, the serpent, with his false allurements.

Claim these prayers as your own before the eternal Father, Son of God to whom I pray, Savior, God and Lord, Mind, Glory, Word and Son, very God of very God, Light of Light, who remains with the eternal Father, reigning throughout all ages, whose praise the harmonious songs of tuneful David echo forth, until respondent voices rend the air with "Amen."

(a prayer by Ausonius, shortened and updated slightly; photo via

Thou To Whom I Owe the Gift of This Day's Grace

O Thou to whom I owe the gift of this day's grace, give to me also, I beseech Thee, the spirit to use it as I ought. Forbid that I should stain the brightness of the morning with any evil thought or darken the noontide with any shameful deed. Let Thy Holy Spirit breathe into my heart to-day all pure and heavenly desires. Let Thy truth inform my mind. Let Thy justice and righteousness make a throne within me and rule my errant will. Let Christ be formed in me, and let me learn of Him all lowliness of heart, all gentleness of bearing, all modesty of speech, all helpfulness of action, and promptness in the doing of my Father's will.


(a prayer of John Baillie in A Diary of Private Prayer)

For Summer

Abba, thank you for summer,
for green grass
and honeysuckle,
leafy trees
running streams
bare feet
balmy days
singing birds
laughing children
baseball games
clear skies
the smell after the rain
and fecundity
I turn.

A Prayer of Thanks on Father's Day

Abba, Father,
thank you for being such a good, good father to me:
patient, wise, loving, constant, and strong.

Thank you for my father,
for the many years you gave him on this earth,
for the example he showed me
and the things he taught me.

Thank you for the kind of father
my son and son-in-law are
to my grandchildren:
patient, wise, loving, constant, and strong.

Let this Father's Day be a blessing to you
and to the fathers in my life and family,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Praise for Being Always What You Are

Lord, I praise you for your constancy,
for being the same yesterday,
and forever.
I praise your immutability,
for being always what you are:
loving and compassionate toward all you have made,
merciful and good to all,
just and omnipotent and almighty and lovely.
I praise you.

(photo via

Order All My Doings

O Holy Spirit of God, abide with me;
inspire all my thoughts;
pervade my imagination;
suggest all my decisions;
order all my doings.

Be with me in my silence and in my speech,
in my haste and in my leisure,
in company and in solitude,
in the freshness of the morning and
in the weariness of the evening;
and give me grace at all times humbly to rejoice
in your mysterious companionship,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(a prayer of John Baillie, revised slightly; photo via



I pray for our current medical system. It seems to require people, often poor and suffering people, to be charged more money than they can possibly pay to recover their health and prolong their lives. I do not know the solution to this, only that the traditional solutions are falling apart. Therefore, I pray that You might act to heal our medical system. Protect and help those who are put in difficult or impossible positions due to it. Work it out so that those who suffer may not suffer twice from the bills involved.

In Jesus' Name,

(from the Daily Prayer Blog; illustration via


Lord, save us
from haters
and baiters
and instigators,
in Jesus' name,

To Love Itself

who are love itself,
give me
the grace of love,
give me
so that all my days
may finally empty
into the one day
of your eternal life.

(a prayer of Karl Rahner, author of Encounters With Silence)

Thin Place

O God,
make of my heart,
and of my marriage,
and of my family,
and of my home,
and of my church,
a thin place.

(Based on an incident related to Evelyn Underhill by a friend who had been to the Isle of Iona and there heard a local gardener say, “Iona is a very thin place.” She asked, “What do you mean?” The gardener, a Scotsman, said, “It's a thin place, because there is not much between Iona and the Lord”)

Waiting for the Fire

In full and glad surrender,
I give myself to Thee,
Thine utterly and only
And evermore to be.

My all is on the altar,
I'm waiting for the fire,
Waiting, waiting, waiting,
I'm waiting for the fire. 

(a prayer of Mary Dagworthy James)

That Food

"I have food to eat that you know nothing about" (John 4:32).

Give me that food, Lord,
the nourishment your first disciples knew nothing about;
give it to me daily,
that sustenance that comes from communion with the Father,
and extending life to others,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via

Before a Writers Conference

as you know,
this week I'll be speaking to
and meeting with hundreds of writers.

Help me to instruct,
and guide
with wisdom
and effectiveness.

Grant more energy,
focus, and
than I could ever possess
or relay
on my own.

Let your Spirit rest on me
and work in me
and through me,
according to your good pleasure
and perfect will,
in Jesus' name, amen.


Abba, Father,
you open doors that no one can shut (Revelation 3:8),
and shut doors that no one can open.

I am waiting.
I am watching.
I am ready.

Just please don't let me try to do your job
instead of mine,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Anniversary Prayer

O Lord my God,
how can I possibly thank you
for my bride,
my wife,
and these thirty-nine years of marriage,
and forty-two years of love
you have given me
with the lovely Robin?

Thank you for yet another year of life together.
Thank you for her faithful,
constant heart.

Thank you for all
the happiness we have known together;
the sorrows we have faced together;
the children we have raised
and the grandchildren we have been given.

Thank you for our home,
our health,
our laughter,
our hopes and dreams,
our unfinished plans,
and our small accomplishments.

Thank you that she has stuck with me, never wavering in her support.
Thank you that she still laughs at (some of) my jokes.
Thank you that she grows more beautiful every day.
Thank you for all her perfections,
and all my improvements.

Spare us another year to walk together,
and grant that for us it may be true
that the best is yet to be,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

My Death Wish

Let me die, working.
Still tackling plans unfinished,
tasks undone!
Clean to its end, swift may my race be run.
No laggard steps, no faltering
No shirking;
Let me die, working!

Let me die, thinking.
Let me fare forth with
An open mind, fresh secrets
To unfold, new truths to find,
My soul undimmed, alert,
No question blinking,
Let me die, thinking!

Let me die, laughing.
No sighing o'er past sins;
They are forgiven. Spilled on
This earth are all the joys of heaven
The wine of life
The cup of mirth quaffing
Let me die, laughing.

(a prayer by Dr. S. Hall Young, h/t to my friend James N. Watkins for sharing it)

In Your Hands

O Lord,
I place myself in Your hands
and dedicate myself to You.

I pledge myself to do Your will in all things:
To love the Lord God with all my heart,
all my soul,
all my strength.
Not to kill,
not to steal,
not to covet,
not to bear false witness,
to honor all persons.
Not to do to another what I should not want done to myself.
Not to seek after pleasures.

To love fasting.
To relieve the poor.
To clothe the naked.
To visit the sick.

To bury the dead.
To help those in trouble.
To console the sorrowing.
To hold myself aloof from worldly ways.
To prefer nothing to the love of Christ.

Not to give way to anger.
Not to foster a desire for revenge.
Not to entertain deceit in the heart.
Not to make a false peace.

Not to forsake charity.
Not to swear, lest I swear falsely.
To speak the truth with heart and tongue.
Not to return evil for evil

To do no injury, indeed,
even to bear patiently any injury done to me.
To love my enemies.
Not to curse those who curse me but rather to bless them.
To bear persecution for justice's sake.

Not to be proud.
Not to be given to intoxicating drink.
Not to be an overeater.
Not to be lazy.
Not to be slothful
Not to be a detractor.

To put my trust in God.
To refer the good I see in myself to God.
To refer any evil I see in myself to myself
To fear the day of judgment.
To be in dread of hell.

To desire eternal life with spiritual longing.
To keep death before my eyes daily.
To keep constant watch over my actions.
To remember that God sees me everywhere.

To call upon Christ for defense
against evil thoughts that arise in my heart.
To guard my tongue against wicked speech.
To avoid much speaking.
To avoid idle talk.

Not to seek to appear clever.
To read only what is good to read.
To pray often.
To ask forgiveness daily for my sins,
and to seek ways to amend my life.

To obey my superiors in all things rightful.
Not to desire to be thought holy, but to seek holiness.
To fulfill the commandments of God by good works.

To love chastity.
To hate no one.
Not be jealous or envious of anyone.
Not to love strife.
Not to love pride.

To honor the aged.
To pray for my enemies.
To make peace after a quarrel,
before the setting of the sun.
Never to despair of your mercy, O God of mercy.

(a prayer of St. Benedict)

A Prayer on June 1

Thank you, God, that 
"There is no price set on the lavish summer, 
And June may be had by the poorest comer." 

(from "The Vision of Sir Launfal" by James Russell Lowell)