Things That Go Bump In the Night

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

(traditional Scottish prayer; photo via

Saturday Psalm #1

Oh, Lord God, grant me the joys of those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with scoffers.

Let me delight in doing everything you want;
help me think about your law day and night.

Help me become like a tree
planted along the  riverbank,
bearing fruit each season without fail.
Let my leaf—my spiritual vitality—never wither,
and in all I do,
let me know the prosperity that comes from you.

Deliver me, Lord, from the fate of the wicked.
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.

For I know that you, O LORD, watch over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

Let me walk the path of the godly, Lord. Amen.

Come and Dwell

Sovereign Lord, I come to you with my will, my affection, my very self, and ask you to cleanse me from every evil temper, from every selfish wish, from every secret doubt, and to come and dwell in my heart and keep me pure, and use me for your own glory, in Jesus' name, amen.

(suggested by lines from Helps to Holiness by Samuel Logan Brengle, chapter 19; now revised and updated for modern readers)

The Joys of the Secret Place

Gracious, loving Father
who sees and hears in secret,
disclose to me the joys of the secret place.
Teach me to pray there,
and stay there,
and go again from there in confidence.
Grant me the rewards of the secret place,
first and foremost, the knowledge that I have been with you,
and you have met with me,
in Jesus’ name, amen.

(from The Red Letter Prayer Life, p. 32; photo by "tinyfroglet" via

Your Consolations

That One Tree

God, make me like a tree,
that one tree,
that changes early
and easily
and willingly
and beautifully
when the season of change
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via

For Aleppo and Syria

G-d of All,
Protector and Redeemer,
Watch over the people of Syria
As they endure a prolonged and brutal civil war.
May a world of justice, righteousness and mercy
Come decisively to their aid.
Grant physical and emotional safety to
Citizens and residents,
And all who dwell there,
During this time of struggle and strife.

Grant deliverance to the residents of Aleppo,
The children and the beleaguered,
Torn apart by unrelenting bombardment,
Surrounded by violence,
Enduring as food and electricity run low.
Let relief reach them quickly.
Bless all of the Syrian refugees
With safety and security. 
End this campaign of terror
And set the people of Syria on the course
To a peaceful and prosperous future.
Grant them new leaders with courage and wisdom,
Rebuilding the land,
Creating a haven of justice and freedom for all. 
Source and Shelter,
Grant peace to all nations,
So that truth and harmony resound
From the four corners of the earth. 
Blessed are You, G-d of All,
Forging nations and peoples
In the crucible of history. 
© 2016 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.
Photo: © Maysun/EPA/The Guardian.

For My Kids and Grandkids

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

No Other Answer But Thanks

Every good gift comes from your hand, Lord!

Help me to count my blessings this day
and to be grateful to you from whom they flow...

I thank you for the blessing of family and friends,
those with me still and those gone home to you...

I thank you for my eyes and ears,
for finding the beauty of your presence all around me...

I thank you for nature's seasons and all I learn
in their coming and going, year in and year out...

I thank you for the blessing of a sunrise
and the blessing of the same sun's setting...

I thank you for the company of others
and good times shared with them...

I thank you for silence, for solitude
and for times of peace and quiet with you...

I thank you for your mercy and forgiveness,
for your pardon of my faults and sins...

I thank you for correction that helps me grow
and for reprimands that keep me honest...

I thank you for the healing grace of forgiving others
and of others forgiving me...

I thank you for anticipation's joy
and for disappointment's healing...

I thank you for a good night's sleep
and the blessing of sweet dreams...

I thank you for the gift of each new day,
one day at a time...

I thank you for steady work, for satisfying work,
for work that serves the needs of others...

I thank you for the gift of those who help me
and for the opportunity to be of help to others...

I thank you for the works of grace and faith
that shape us as your people...

I thank you for a child's birth,
the promise new life brings...

I thank you for the gift a peaceful death can be
for those who've lost a loved one...

I thank you for the life that's mine
and your promise of a life that never ends...

I thank you for the ordinary, the routine
the unexpected, the surprise...
I thank you for cleansing tears
and for healing laughter...

I thank you for my faith when I'm confused;
for the gift of hope when trust's in short supply;
for the blessing of your love when I'm alone...
In the quiet of my prayer, Lord,
help me count my blessings before I list my problems,
before I whine and whimper,
before I turn to pity for myself...

Every good gift comes from your hand, Lord,
and you're more generous than I'm sometimes willing to notice,
to see, to acknowledge, to remember
and to hold in my heart as gift and grace...

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord,
show me the peace, the grace, the healing
of your blessings in my life:
the ones I often miss, the ones that I've forgotten,
and the blessings will come my way today...


(graphic and prayer from A Concord Pastor Comments)

Lord, Protect My Child

Susan Tedeschi performs "Lord Protect My Child,” written by Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan.

On My Daughter's Birthday

Today is my favorite daughter's birthday, Lord,
and I still can't fathom,
can't even process,
that she is all she is.

How kindly and fully--
generously, in fact--
you have answered my prayers for her
and her mother's prayers for her.
You have made her faithful like Ruth and regal like Esther,  
fierce like Deborah and brilliant like Abigail,
industrious like Lydia and a leader like Junia.

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 is,
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 her children continue to grow in happiness, health, and holiness.
Let Calleigh's and Ryder's healing appear, soon, please.
Reward Aubrey's love and faithfulness and diligence as a mom
with beauty and grace, charm and wisdom,
health and wholeness, integrity and strength in her 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.

Shining to the Perfect Day

Christ, Whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true, the only Light,
Sun of Righteousness, arise,
Triumph o’er the shades of night;
Dayspring from on high be near;
Day-star, in my heart appear.

Visit now this soul of mine,
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
Fill me, Radiancy divine,
Scatter all my unbelief;
More and more Yourself display,
Shining to the perfect day.

(from a hymn by Charles Wesley; photo via


grant that I will be
so acquainted with Scripture
that I will be made
wise for salvation
through faith in Christ Jesus. Amen.

(based on 1 Timothy 3:15; photo via

Too Many Goodbyes

I don't want to, Lord.
Why do I have to say goodbye again?
It's too hard.
The time we had together was too short
and the time between visits is too long.
I want more.
I want more story times,
more laughter,
more hugs,
more kisses,
more smiles,
even more whines and wiggles and whys.
I know You go with them,
and I know You fill the too-great distance between us and them as well as the time between visits. But still. I never wanted to be a long-distance dad and a long-distance grandpa. I want to be a there-all-the-time dad and showing-up-everywhere grandpa. Is that too much to ask? Somehow? Please?

A Place Called Enough

Lord, let me live in a place called Enough.
At peace and unfettered.

On Rosh Hashanah

Let us now relate the power of this day's holiness, for it is awesome and frightening. On it Your Kingship will be exalted; Your throne will be firmed with kindness and You will sit upon it in truth. It is true that You alone are the One Who judges, proves, knows, and bears witness; Who writes and seats, (counts and calculates); Who remembers all that was forgotten. You will open the Book of Chronicles - it will read itself, and everyone's signature is in it. The great shofar will be sounded and a still, thin sound will be heard. Angels will hasten, a trembling and terror will seize them - and they will say, 'Behold, it is the Day of Judgment, to muster the heavenly host for judgment!'- for they cannot be vindicated in Your eyes in judgment.

All mankind will pass before You like members of the flock. Like a shepherd pasturing his flock, making sheep pass under his staff, so shall You cause to pass, count, calculate, and consider the soul of all the living; and You shall apportion the fixed needs of all Your creatures and inscribe their verdict.

On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquillity and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted.

But repentance, prayer, and charity avert the severity of the decree.

(photo via

In the Grace and Knowledge

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

Murmuring "Thou"

He whom I bow to only knows to whom I bow
When I attempt the ineffable Name, murmuring Thou,
And dream of Pheidian fancies and embrace in heart
Symbols (I know) which cannot be the thing thou art.
Thus always, taken at their word, all prayers blaspheme
Worshiping with frail images a folk-lore dream,
And all men in their praying, self-deceived, address
The coinage of their own unquiet thoughts, unless
Thou in magnetic mercy to thyself divert
Our arrows aimed unskillfully, beyond desert;
And all men are idolaters, crying unheard
To a deaf idol, if thou take them at their word.

Take not, O Lord, our literal sense. Lord, in thy great,
Unbroken speech our limping metaphor translate.

(a prayer by C.S. Lewis; photo by zsbenko via