Fearfully and Wonderfully

(via @youversion)

From One of Little Strength

I've little strength to call my own,
And what I've done, before your throne,
I here confess, is small;
But on your strength, O God, I lean,
And through the Blood that keeps me clean,
You are my all in all.

(from a song by Herbert Booth, slightly revised; photo via everystockphoto.com)

Hope, Stay, and Guide

(from lines by William Shakespeare in Henry VI, Part II, II, 3, 1068]

Hope and Stay

A Disciple's 25-Word Prayer

Our Father above,
Exalt Your name,
Bring Your kingdom,
Have Your way.
Help us to forgive,
for all is Yours.

Then Sings My Soul

(from the hymn, “How Great Thou Art,” by Carl Gustav Boberg, trans. Stuart K. Hine; public domain)


the crow picks at death 
like the unforgiving heart; 
help me to forgive

(photo via everystockphoto.com)


Abba, Father, the trees are ablaze with your glory.
The seasons change, but you never do.
You are always beautiful,
in the green and freshness of Spring
as in the golds and reds and chills of Autumn.
Make me like you.
Let my life reflect your beauty,
season after season,
as the calendar of my life turns and turns and turns.

The trees are letting go of this year's foliage.
Help me let go of both blessings and burdens,
and surrender them both to your loving care.

Fallen leaves pattern the ground with variety.
So design my own fallings and failings
into whatever design will please you most.

In Jesus' name, I pray,

(excerpted from the blog post, "Four Prayers for Autumn," on A Thousand Ways to Pray)

An End-of-Summer Confession

God of grace,
forgive my frantic pace,
my failure to find
a “summer place”
amid the traffic of my days,
the stubbornness of settled ways,
and too-cluttered mind,
I let this summer get away.

(excerpted from the blog post, "Five Prayers for the End of Summer," on A Thousand Ways to Pray; photo via everystockphoto.com)

To Love You With Our Minds

Our mothers and fathers
have long spoken of you.
And we have their spokenness in our hands,
in these old texts.
We propose now to study you,
to weigh and test,
to examine and assess,
to make you our "object"
and so to get a grade.
In your strangeness,
you are studied only temporarily
object only penultimately,
weighed and tested only at the outset.
But then - as always -
You turn tables,
You become subject who addresses,
sovereign who commands,
mother who loves,
warrior who defends,
And we find ourselves turned in our study to praise and adoration.
So we ask for freedom to love you with our minds,
that we may know a little as we are known,
and in knowing may love and adore,
and in loving and adoring, may obey...
to your praise,
and our joy, Amen.

(from Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: The Prayers of Walter Brueggemann, by way of the Daily Prayer blog. The background of the photo is explained here, on the Hither & Yon blog)

My Coward Heart

I want to know Thee,
but my coward heart fears to give up its toys.
I cannot part with them
without inward bleeding,
and I do not try to hide from Thee
the terror of the parting.
I come trembling, but I do come.
Please root from my heart all Those things
which I have cherished so long
and which have become
a very part of my living self,
so that Thou mayest enter
and dwell there without a rival.
Then shalt Thou make
the place of Thy feet glorious.
Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it,
for Thyself wilt be the light of it,
and there shall be no night there.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

(a prayer by A.W Tozer in The Pursuit of God; photo detail of "Cowardice" from the full-size model for the Wellington Monument by Alfred Stevens in St. Paul's Cathedral, London, via everystockphoto.com)

Stay With Me

Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have
You present so that I do not forget You.
You know how easily I abandon You.

Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak
and I need Your strength,
that I may not fall so often.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life,
and without You, I am without fervor.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light,
and without You, I am in darkness.
Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.
Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice
and follow You. 
Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You
very much, and always be in Your company.
Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.
Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is,
I want it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of love.... 
Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by communion, at least by grace and love.
Stay with me, Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation, because I do not merit it, but the gift of Your Presence, oh yes, I ask this of You! 
Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for, Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more. 
With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen.

(a prayer of St. (Padre) Pio of Pietrelcina, shortened slightly; photo via everystockphoto.com)

The Coming Day

O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace. 
Help me in all things to rely upon thy holy will. 
In every hour of the day reveal thy will to me. 
Bless my dealings with all who surround me. 
Teach me to treat all that comes to me 
throughout the day with peace of soul, 
and with the firm conviction that thy will governs all. 
In all my deeds and words 
guide my thoughts and feelings. 
In unforeseen events, 
let me not forget that all are sent by thee. 
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, 
without embittering and embarrassing others. 
Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day 
and all that it shall bring. 
Direct my will, teach me to pray, 
pray thou thyself in me. Amen. 

(a prayer of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow; photo courtesy of everystockphoto.com)

Pure Hearts

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

Despise Me Not

Essence beyond essence, Nature increate,
Framer of the world,
I set thee, Lord, before me,
and unto Thee do I lift up my soul.
I worship Thee on my knees,
and humble myself under Thy mighty hand.
I stretch forth my hands unto Thee:
my soul thirsteth after Thee, as a thirsty land.

I smite upon my breast,
and say, with the publican,
God be merciful to me a sinner,
the chief of sinners;
to the sinner above the publican
be merciful, as to the publican.
Father of mercies, I beseech Thy fatherly pity,
despise me not,
an unclean worm, a dead dog, a body of death;
despise not Thou the work of Thine own hands;
despise not Thine own image,
though bearing the brands of sin.
Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.
Lord, speak the word only, and I shall be healed.

And Thou, my Saviour Christ,
Christ my Saviour,
Saviour of sinners, of whom I am chief,
despise me not; despise me not, O Lord,
who am purchased with Thy blood,
called by Thy name;
but look on me with those eyes
with which Thou didst look upon
Magdalene at the feast,
Peter in the hall,
the thief on the cross:
that with the thief I may entreat Thee humbly,
Lord, remember me when Thou comest
into Thy kingdom;
that with Peter I may weep bitterly and say,
O that mine eyes were a fountain of tears,
that I might weep day and night;
that with Magdalene I may hear Thee say,
Thy sins are forgiven thee,
and with her may love much,
for my sins, which are many and manifold,
are forgiven.

And Thou, all-holy, good, and life-giving Spirit,
despise me not, Thy breath,
despise not Thine own holy things;
but return, O Lord; how long?
and let it repent Thee concerning Thy servant.

(a prayer of Lancelot Andrewes, from Lancelot Andrewes and His Private Devotions)

Little Prayer

It's just me, Lord, 
I've little to say. 
I just ask for you 
to walk with me today. 


All my springs are in you (Psalm 87:7, ESV).
All my hopes are in you.
All my joy is in you.
All my strength is in you.
All my comfort is in you.
All my energy,
in you.

Grant Me a Happy Life

Grant me a happy life
in all godliness and gravity,
in all purity and nobleness,
in cheerfulness, in health, in good report,
in contentment, in safety, in freedom, in tranquillity,
a happy death, a deathless happiness.

(a prayer of Lancelot Andrewes, from Lancelot Andrewes and His Private Devotions)

All Our Work and Toil

O God, creator of the world,
of sun and moon and stars,
you chose to fashion us, your own,
your handiwork of love.

Indeed, we are your hands’ own work
and yet into our hands
you give the care
of every living thing.

In more ways than we can count
our work builds up
or tears apart what came
as gift from you.

Keep us faithful in preserving
all you’ve given
lest we harm the smallest part
of all you’ve made.

Give us good and honest work to do
and rest at each day’s end.
Let a fair and good day’s wage be paid
for a good day’s work well done.

Give us work that nurtures and sustains
the ones who serve and those they serve.
Let those who labor work in peace,
in freedom, without fear.

Give those in need a job to do
and to the tired well earned rest.
Let all our work and toil, Lord,
give glory to your name.


(from A Concord Pastor Comments)

We Praise Thee

(Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Baritone, and St.Petersburg Chamber Choir)