Still Thankful

We thank Thee, then, O Father, for all things bright and good,
The seed time and the harvest, our life, our health, and food;
No gifts have we to offer, for all Thy love imparts,
But that which Thou desirest, our humble, thankful hearts

(from a hymn by Matthias Claudius, tr. Jane Montgomery Campbell; photo via

To Cling Passionately

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

Saturday Psalm #36

Lord, I know sin persuades the wicked
deep in their hearts;
there is no fear of God
before their eyes.

Let me not be like them, who flatter themselves
and are too blind to recognize their sinfulness.
All they say is malicious and deceitful,
and they turn his from wisdom.

Let me not be like them, who devise wicked schemes
even in their sleep;
and whose evil snowballs,
increasing in volume and velocity.

Yahweh, your faithful love stretches from earth to sky,
your constancy reaches to the clouds,
your saving justice towers like mighty mountain peaks,
your judgments are deep as the ocean’s trenches.

Yahweh, you look on humans and animals;
how precious is your faithful love, Lord.
With all the children of Adam,
I find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

I feast on the bounty of your house,
I drink from your sparkling streams;
you are my source of life,
my light.

Maintain your faithful love to me, Lord, for I acknowledge you;
preserve your saving justice to me, for I am sincere.
Do not let the arrogant gain on me, much less overtake me,
nor let the wicked succeed against me.

Bring down the evil-doers, Lord God, Adonai,
fling them down, never to rise again, amen.

(photo via

Give One Thing More

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more–-a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.

Our Fervent Thanks

Our Father in Heaven,

If ever we had a cause to offer unto Thee our fervent thanks, surely it is now, on the Eve of our Thanksgiving Day, when we, the people of this Nation, are comfortable, well fed, well clad, and blessed with good things beyond our deserving. May gratitude, the rarest of all virtues, be the spirit of our observance.

Let not feasting, football, and festivity end in forgetfulness of God. May the desperate need of the rest of the world, and our own glorious heritage, remind us of the God who led our Fathers every step of the way by which they advanced to the character of an independent nation.

May the faith and conviction of George Washington be renewed in us as we remember his words:
...there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exits in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained...
For if we do not have the grace to thank Thee for all that we have and enjoy, how can we have the effrontery to seek Thy further blessings? God, give us grateful hearts.

For Jesus' sake.


(a prayer from the Senate of the United States, November 26, 1947, by Rev. Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain)

May We So Break Our Bread

For you, who fed the hungry,
May we so break our bread
In constant, costly giving
That others may be fed. Amen.

(by Lillian Cox; photo via

Disturb Us

Disturb us, Lord,
when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
when our dreams have come true
because we have dreamed too little,
when we arrived safely
because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord,
when with the abundance of things we possess
we have lost our thirst for the waters of life;
having fallen in love with life,
we have ceased to dream of eternity,
and in our efforts to build a new earth,
we have allowed our vision
of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord,
to dare more boldly,
to venture on wider seas
where storms will show your mastery;
where losing sight of land,
we shall find the stars.

We ask You to push back
the horizons of our hopes;
and to push into the future
in strength, courage, hope, and love.

(attributed to Sir Francis Drake)

Saturday Psalm #35

Lord, battle those who oppose me.
Fight those who fight me.
Pick up your shield and armor.
Rise up and help me.
Lift up your spears, your holy arsenal,
against those who would hurt me.
Say to me, "I’ve got this.”

Whatever forces array against me,
disgrace them.
Whatever powers seek my harm,
turn them to retreat.
With your mighty breath,
blow them away.
Scatter them so completely
that they will never threaten me again.
Discover and destroy ever booby trap
they set for me.
Ruin them utterly,
cut off their retreat,
let them not survive to fight another day.
And I will rejoice in you, Lord;
I will dance with joy because of your salvation.
My heart and soul will cry out,
"Lord, who is like you?
You save the weak from the strong,
the small from the powerful."

I know there are still those who say unkind things about me.
I know there are those who think they know what I am like.
They believe what others say without giving me a chance at defending myself.
I know, and it makes me sad.
I can’t control them, Lord, but by your grace, I can be who you call me to be;
when they are in trouble, I will help however I can;
when they call, I will answer.
I will pray for them to be blessed,
and will seek their good as if they were my own flesh.
Sure, I would like it if they would stop talking about me,
judging me,
insulting me.
I would like it if they stopped avoiding me
and treating me like a leper.

But, Lord, I long ago abandoned my cause to you.
I still trust you to save me,
and leave my reputation in your sovereign hand.
Whatever others may do,
I will praise you in public,
I will speak your praise among crowds of people.
If others laugh at me,
or hate me for no reason,
or judge me unfairly
or repeat gossip about me,
and assume they know me,
and think, "We know all about what you did!"
I know you are watching,
and you will not leave me defenseless.

Arise, Lord, and be my champion.
My Lord and my God, do all my fighting for me!
Defend me with your justice.
Protect me with your righteousness.
Don’t let your blessings on me
or your victory on my behalf
ever be defamed or diminished.
Let them be ashamed and embarrassed,
who would be happy to see me hurt.
Show them the shame and disgrace
of their own imaginations.
But let my faithful friends sing and shout for joy.
Let them praise your greatness,
you who love to see your servants do well.
By your grace, in your strength,
I will tell of your goodness
and will praise you every day, in Jesus’ name, amen.

That They May Learn Perseverance

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

In Your Awesome Serenity

Lord, I praise you for your immutability.
You never lose anything of who you are.
You never suffer a diminution of yourself,
your abilities,
or your plans.
You are never caught off guard,
you never have to reassess
or revise
or retreat from
your good plans. 
Help me, Lord, to rest in your awesome serenity,
in your ability to bring good--even best--out of evil,
and in your ability to keep that which I have committed to you
against that day when Jesus returns, in Jesus' name, amen.

Careful to Watch

You, O Lord, have called us to watch and pray.
Therefore, whatever may be the sin against which we pray,
make us careful to watch against it,
and so have reason to expect that our prayers will be answered.
In order to perform this duty aright,
grant us grace to preserve a sober, equal temper,
and sincerity to pray for your assistance. Amen.

(a prayer of Susanna Wesley)

Smart Enough

God, please make me smart enough to know 
the extent of my intelligence and the limits of my own wisdom. 

Saturday Psalm #34

Adonai, I will bless you at all times;
your praise will flow unceasingly from my mouth.

Bless the Lord, says my heart, my soul;
let the least and lowest hear my praises and be glad.

Glorify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name in unison.

Desperately I seek you, Lord, and you heard me,
and delivered me from all my fears.

Help me to fix my eyes on you, that my countenance will be lightened
and my face not ashamed.

Out of my poverty, I cried to you,
and you heard me, Lord, and saved me out of all my troubles.

Surround me and mine with your angel host,
and let them protect and deliver us.

I have tasted, Lord, and I know that you are good;
feed me again with your wonderful presence, renew my trust in you.

I bless you, Lord, with all your saints;
let neither me nor mine, my staff nor my church suffer want.
Prove your goodness and generosity;
though the young lions go hungry, let us who seek you enjoy your abundance.

Empower me to teach your children the fear of the Lord.
Enable me to impart to all who desire real life and true prosperity
the good you have stored up for your children.

Keep my tongue from evil, and my lips from deceit.
Deliver me from evil, and let me do good;
help me seek peace, and pursue it.

Let your eyes be on me, Lord, and open your ears to my cry.
Turn your face against those who do evil,
who spread discord,
who lash out and falsely accuse your servants.
Frustrate them, Lord.

Hear the cries of the righteous, and deliver us out of all our troubles.
Be close to me, Lord, in my weariness;
save, for I am running on empty.

However many troubles lie ahead, deliver me from them all.
Let none of them even “break the skin.”
Let the evil of the wicked be their own undoing;
totally thwart those who frustrate your righteous servants.

Redeem my soul, Lord, moment by moment.
I trust in you. Let me not be disappointed. Amen.

O Man of Galilee

O Man of Galilee,
Stay with and strengthen me;
Walk Thou through life with me,
O Man of Galilee.

(a prayer of Robert Hoggard)

This Yearning

This yearning deep within me
reaches out to you;
Your joy of oil for mourning
soaks me, makes me new,
And I will go
to your secret place,
Bow my knee
to your glorious throne.
Have your way
in my heart, O Lord,
have your way.
I need you, Holy Spirit,
fire to my soul;
Consume my total being.
Jesus, take control.

(by Darlene Zschech, Hillsong Publishing, 1998)

As Your Foot Soldier

Lord God Adonai,
you thunder
at the head of your army;
your forces are beyond number,
and mighty is the army that obeys your command.

I submit to you today as your foot soldier;
help me to faithfully and effectively follow your orders.

(based on Joel 2:11)

Sun of Righteousness, Arise

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.

(by Charles Wesley)

Weary with Reading and Hearing Many Things

O God my Truth,
make me one with You in eternal love.

Often I become weary with reading and hearing many things.
You are all I want and desire.

Let all teachers be mute and creation keep silence before You.
Speak to me, You, and You alone.


(a prayer of Thomas à Kempis, from The Imitation of Christ)

Saturday Psalm #33

Lord, I rejoice in you
with all your righteous ones,
those whom your praise adorns.
How I wish I could praise you on a harp,
and accompany your praise with a guitar.
But even so,
I will sing songs to you, new songs;
I will sing loud and long,
with laughter in my heart,
for your word, Lord, is wonderful,
and everything you do is excellent.

You love righteousness and justice;
the earth abounds with your goodness.
Your word painted the canvas of heaven,
and your breath spoke galaxies into existence.
You herd the waves of the sea like a shepherd,
and tell the mighty oceans to “Stay!”—and they do!

The whole earth should worship you,
and everyone with half a brain should revere you,
for you speak and it happens;
you say so and it is so.

You trip up the mightiest generals on earth,
and throw armies into chaos.
But your plans cannot be thwarted,
and when you design something, it will be done.

Blessed is the nation that acknowledges you, Lord.
Blessed are the people who are called by your Name.

You look down from your heavenly throne
and see every soul on earth—all six billion of them!
Nothing escapes your gaze
as you sit on your throne.
You know every heart, and you know mine;
you oversee every deed, and you see mine.
No king is protected by his great army.
No soldier is saved by his own strength.
No amount of air power or ground strength
is sufficient to save.
You alone, Lord, are the hope of the wise,
the banner of victory for all who trust in your love for them.
You alone can deliver me today.
You alone can spare me from defeat and discouragement.
I wait for your deliverance, Lord.
You are my help and shield.
My heart will rejoice in you,
and call my victory what it is—your victory—
because I trust in your holy name.

Lord, please show us your kindness,
because you are our only hope.
You are all we seek.

(photo via

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.

On All Saints Day

Father, All-Powerful and ever-living God,
you have knit together your elect
in one communion and fellowship
in the mystical body
of Your Son, Christ our Lord,
and kindled the flame of your love
in the hearts of the saints.
I praise you for the holy men and women
you have raised up
in every time and place.
Give me grace so to follow their example
in devotion and godliness
that I may come
to those ineffable joys
that you have prepared for those
who unfeignedly love you,
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

(updated and modernized from the Catholic Liturgy of the Hours, the Gothic Missal, and The Book of Common Prayer, 1979)