Saturday Psalm #58

Lord, let me not be fooled by whisperers,
workers of intrigue,
people who smile to my face but talk behind my back,
by those who leave broken relationships in their wake,
and lie about me to others
and to me about others.

Let me not fall prey to their poison tongues,
let me not expect them to change their ways
if I find the right words and say the right things.

Break them yourself, O Lord.
Save me from taking your work
into my own hands.

Let them learn to avoid me
because they know they won’t get anywhere,
because they know their intrigues and gossip
will land on deaf ears if they speak them to me.

Let my conduct,
the righteousness of Christ in me,
be a discouragement to those who do and speak evil,
so that others will say,
“It’s worth it to act uprightly;
God is watching what happens on earth.”

Good Thanks

O my Lord, my Lord,
I thank Thee for that I am, that I am alive, that I am rational:
for nurture, preservation, governance: for education, citizenship, religion:
for Thy gifts of grace, nature, estate:
for redemption, regeneration, instruction:
for calling, recalling, further calling manifold:
for forbearance, longsuffering, long longsuffering towards me,
many times, many years, until now:
for all good offices I have received, good speed I have gotten:
for any good thing done:
for the use of things present, thy promise and my hope touching the fruition of the good things to come:
for my parents honest and good,
teachers gentle,
benefactors always to be had in remembrance,
colleagues likeminded,
hearers attentive,
friends sincere,
retainers faithful:
for all who have stood me in good stead by their writings, their sermons, conversations, prayers, examples, rebukes, wrongs:
for these things and all other, which I wot of, which I wot not of,
open and secret,
things I remember, things I have forgotten withal,
things done to me after my will or yet against my will,
I confess to Thee and bless Thee and give thanks unto Thee,
and I will confess and bless and give thanks to Thee all the days of my life.
What thanks can I render to God again for all the benefits that He hath done unto me?

(a prayer of Lancelot Andrewes)

What's to Be Done?

My heart is full,
My joy complete,
My life is rich,
My prayers are sweet.
And I know how this came to be:
It's all of you, and none of me.

So what's to be done
With a blessed life like mine?
Lord, use it up,
Like oil and wine.
Then touch me again, my cup overflow,
And grant me once more
Your favor to know.

(with apologies to Keith Green)

For Things I Take for Granted

Thank you, Lord,
for the things I too often take for granted,
things too numerous to mention.
Thank you that my wife loves me.
Thank you that I slept
through the night last night.
Thank you that my joints don't ache.
Thank you that I can hold down food.
Thank you that I can see, hear, smell,
taste, and feel.
Thank you for my clothes.
Thank you for the ability to digest and metabolize food.
Thank you for hot showers.
Thank you for the many people who overlook my faults.
Thank you for the love and respect of my children.
Thank you for the people my children married.
Thank you for the ability--and many reasons--to smile.
Thank you for my salvation.
Thank you for prayer.
Thank you for the grace to thank you.
Thank you for you.

(photo via


Saturday Psalm #57

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me;
David had his cave to hide in.
I need a cave.
You are my cave.
You are my refuge.
I will hide in the shadow of your wings
until this current wave of trouble has passed.

I cry out to you, God Most High:
I beg you to fulfill your purpose for me,
sooner rather than later.
Send your hosts from heaven and save me,
scattering those who march against me.
Send your love and faithfulness,
breaking through the ring of beasts
that surround me:
though they are human,
they snarl and claw like ravenous beasts—
and they can’t even see their own faces,
the contorted expressions they wear.

Just do your thing, God;
show your strength and glory.

It’s so much harder
when my friends are used by my enemies.
It’s easier to fight back
when an attack comes from evil people,
rather than well-meaning friends.

But my heart is steadfast, O God;
I’m not going anywhere.
I will sing and make music,
I will praise you so loud
and serve you so passionately
that I will keep the day awake
and prevent the night from getting any sleep.

I will praise you, O Lord, no matter what;
I will serve you to my last breath.
For your love stretches all the way to the heavens;
your faithfulness extends from where I am
to the outermost reaches of the universe.

Just do your thing, God;
show your strength and glory.


Father, Creator of all,
thank You for summer!

Thank You for the warmth of the sun and the increased daylight.

Thank You for the beauty I see all around me and for the opportunity to be outside and enjoy Your creation.

Thank You for the increased time I have to be with my friends and family,
and for the more casual pace
of the summer season.

Draw me closer to You this summer.

Teach me how I can pray no matter
where I am or what I am doing.

Warm my soul with the awareness of
Your presence and light my path with
Your Word and Counsel.

As I enjoy Your creation, create in
me a pure heart and a hunger
and a thirst for You.

(author unknown)

Send My Roots Rain

Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend
With Thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.
Why do sinners' ways prosper? and why must
Disappointment all I endeavor end?
Wert thou my enemy, O thou my friend,
How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost
Defeat, thwart me? Oh, the sots and thralls of lust
Do in spare hours more thrive than I that spend,
Sir, life upon thy cause. See, banks and brakes
Now, leaved how thick! laced they are again
With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes
Them; birds bild--but not I build; no, but strain,
Time's eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes.
Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.

(a prayer and poem of Gerard Manley Hopkins; photo via

Lord, Protect My Child

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

Saturday Psalm #56

Please be merciful to me, O God,
for I get scared so easily.
I’m scared right now.

Save me from myself,
and from all who would attack me
to make themselves feel or look better.

Remind me when I am afraid
to trust in you—
you, whose word I hold dear.
I will try to trust you
rather than fear what others might do to me.

Don't let others--
those who would harm me or my testimony,
sneaky, spying souls
who want to trip me up
and gloat over me--
twist my words.

Defend me from them, Lord God;
trip them up.

I know I’m complaining, but hear me anyway;
take note of my tears
and wipe them away.

Turn my enemies,
come to my assistance when I call for help.
I know that you are for me—
you, whose word I hold dear.
I will try to trust you
rather than fear what men might do to me.

I am beholden to you, O God;
I owe you infinitely more
than my thanks can convey,
for you have delivered me time and again,
you have caught me when I stumbled,
that I may walk before you
in the light of life. Amen.

(image via

Who Compares

Who then, my Lord, compares to you?
The Watcher slept,
the Great was small,
the Pure baptized,
the Life who died,
the King abased to honor all:
praised be your glory.

(a prayer of the fourth century's Ephrem (or Ephraim) of Edessa, translated by John Howard Rhys. It is the final verse of a hymn as it appears in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982)

On a Day When I Will Speak

No speaker is saved by the quality of his material;
no preacher succeeds by the multitude of his gifts.
Relying on man's approval is a vain hope, a stupid goal;
despite all its allure it cannot save.
My hope is on your unfailing love, Lord;
I hope for your deliverance.

(based on Psalm 33:16-17)

A Pocket Prayer

O Lord,
In this fallen world, help me to have realistic expectations about my earthly home. Prepare me for troubles that are sure to come. Remind me that I can accept my circumstances without liking them. Help me to be heaven-minded so that I can grow through adversity, knowing that these difficulties will end with this earthly life. I accept whatever comes from your hand, and I trust your wisdom.

(an excerpt from the book, 365 Pocket Prayers, by Ron Beers)

Saturday Psalm #55

Hear my prayer, O God,
please listen.
Please answer me.
My thoughts run away with me again
and I am perturbed at the work of the enemy,
at the roadblocks thrown in my way,
for the silliness
and stupidity that swirls around me.
You know how often I get like this, Lord,
how easily I let circumstances get the better of me,
how much I let fear and worry beset me
and even overwhelm me.

It sure would be nice to have wings like a dove!
I could fly away and find a sheltered crag.
I could soar to a place of solitude
and hide there, alone with you.
I could go anytime to my place of shelter,
and retreat from the tempest and storm.
But even as I say that, Lord,
you remind me: I can do that anyway,
you are my shelter, whether I have wings or not.
You are my hiding place, not some physical retreat.
Confuse the wicked, O Lord,
and frustrate their plans
who try to oppose you and your work in our midst.
Oppose them!
Tear down their malicious efforts.
Protect me--protect all your people--
from all destructive forces at work in the city;
save us from all witchcraft, threats, and lies.

Save us from enemies
who masquerade as friends;
protect us from those who smile and nod
while they curse under their breath
and try to hurt us when no one sees.
Save us from lies,
and gossip,
and intrigue.
I call to you, God,
and you save me.

At all times of the day,
I cry out to you,
and you hear my voice.

You ransom me, unharmed,
from every battle waged against me,
no matter how many oppose me.

God, who is enthroned forever,
hears and saves me
from all those who have turned from you,
from all who think they are doing right
by hurting others,
whose words are more soothing than oil,
but sharper than swords when my back is turned.

I cast my cares on you, LORD;
I know you will sustain me;
you have never let me down yet,
though I deserve none of your favor.
I leave it to you to decide who is wicked
and who needs a comeuppance;
I just know, as for me, I trust in you. Amen. 
(photo via


for every person who prays today--
even begs--
for any of the many things
I take for granted,
please hear their prayers
and answer this prayer
by answering theirs,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via

For My Kids and Grandkids Today

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

On 41

O Lord my God,
how can I possibly thank you enough
for my bride,
my wife,
and these forty-one years of marriage,
and forty-four 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 challenges we have overcome,
the sorrows we have faced,
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.

The Very Thought

"Jesus, The Very Thought of Thee," arr. Paul Satre, sung by the Trinity International University Choir from Deerfield, IL.

Saturday Psalm #54

Save me, O God, by your name;
vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God;
listen to these words of mine.
My Enemy is ruthless,
always attacking;
he works through this person one day,
and that circumstance the next.
But you are my help;
you alone are the one who sustains me.
Make my Enemy’s strategies backfire;
defend me, destroy him.
I will continue to bring you
my willing sacrifices.
I will praise your name, O LORD,
for it is good.
You have delivered me from all kinds of troubles.
My eyes have looked triumphantly on my foes.

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)