From Ghoulies and Ghosties

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

Keep Me Reasonably Sweet

Lord, Thou knowest better than I myself
that I am growing older and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something
on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs.
Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy.
With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all;
but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details;
give me wings to get to the point.
Seal my lips on my aches and pains;
they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them
is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

I dare not ask for improved memory,
but for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness
when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson
that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet,
for a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.
Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places
and talents in unexpected people;
and give, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.


(author unknown; photo via

Throw Open the Windows of My Soul

Father, my soul gets so cluttered:
old hopes,
broken dreams,
dusty determinations,
stored-up hurts and resentments,
good intentions waiting to be pulled out
at just the right time,
undone tasks,
unkempt thoughts,
unrepented sins.

Come to my heart, Lord God,
throw open the windows of my soul,
sweep through its dusty confines,
clean out its musty places,
go through, blow through, flow through,
clear it,
clean it,
rearrange it,
and make it your own,
like a bride moving into a bachelor pad,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

Saturday Psalm #73

Surely, God, you are good to your people,
to those who are pure in heart,
and even to me, though my feet are prone to slip,
and I am frequently on the edge.

I admit my envy of the arrogant
and my frustration at the easy lives of the wicked.

They seem to have no struggles;
they sow bitterness and reap sweetness.

They seem free from the burdens I bear;
they don't have to put up with the crap I do.

They adorn themselves with pride
and clothe themselves with discord.

They expect perfection from others
while they are blind to the darkness of their own hearts.

They treat others with ungrace and unforgiveness,
while they condemn the best intentions of others.

They talk as if they are wise
and everyone else is stupid.

And of course people listen to them,
lapping up their lies and distortions like thirsty dogs.

Do they really believe you don't see,
that you, the Most High, lack knowledge?

They must: and not without reason, apparently,
for you seem happy to let them prosper.

It all makes me feel at times like I have kept my heart pure for no good reason,
like I have devoted myself to your will and work in vain.

I am besieged by complainers and critics.
Every morning someone says "we need to meet."

I can't even be honest with them, Lord,
for that would simply add offense to offense
and cause them to call me defensive or recalcitrant.

No matter how hard I try to get a godly perspective on all this,
it oppresses me,
until I turn my eyes on you
and focus on "this one thing I do."

I'm not here for the approval of others, Lord,
and I know enough to assume there will be opposition and misunderstanding.

As a dream when one awakes,
so when you arise in my heart and mind, O Lord.

You alone can assuage my loneliness;
your presence is a balm to my hurting heart.

Therefore I turn to you once more;
hold me by my right hand.

Guide me with your counsel,
and show me your glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And I desire nothing on earth besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but you are the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Those who are far from you
are your problem, not mine.
Those who taunt and attack your servants
will be called before your court.

But as for me, I will focus on staying near you, God.
I will make the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will boast only in you.

(photo via

Fly to You

Jesus, lover of my soul,
I fly to you,
I receive from you,
my Friend,
my Provider,
my Savior,
my Protector,
my Lord and my God,

(photo via


(Psalm 138:1, NKJV)

Spirit of God, Descend

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth, through all its pulses move.
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as you are,
And make me love you as I ought to love. 
Teach me to feel that you are always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear,
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh;
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer. 
Teach me to love you as your angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The baptism of the Heaven-descended Dove,
My heart an altar and your love the flame. 
(from a hymn of George Croly, slightly revised; photo via

Saturday Psalm #72

Endow this writer with your wisdom, O God,
your servant and son with your guidance.
Help me to conduct my daily affairs in righteousness,
and write and speak with compassion.

Bring prosperity to my little tribe;
let our lives reflect your nature
as surely as the earth and sky around us.

Defend the afflicted among us and save the poor and needy; crush those who try to oppose and oppress us.

Grant that I may live and serve you as long as I am useful,
and then anoint those who carry on after me.
Let your hand be upon me like rain falling on a field of fresh-mown hay,
like showers refreshing the soil.
Make the righteous flourish, O Lord;
send prosperity that lasts until the moon disappears.
Exert your rule from throughout our diaspora,
and show yourself strong on our behalf.

Let your foes fall down before you;
press your Enemy’s face into the dust.
Let the powers of this earth,
the mighty and the moneyed,
bring you tribute and present you gifts.
Let the best and brightest bow down to you,
and all nations and tongues serve you,
because you rescue the needy who cry out,
the afflicted who have no help.
You take pity on the weak and the poor
and save the destitute.
You rescue them from oppression and violence,
for you watch over them with care and concern.

Lord, strengthen this poor writer and speaker,
your servant and son.
Keep me faithful in praying for my tribe,
and them for me.
Protect, preserve, and prosper us;
cause us to flourish like Lebanon;
cause us to thrive like the Shephelah.

May our efforts for you endure forever;
may they continue as long as the sun.
May all nations be blessed through us,
and may the names of your saints live on.

Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel,
for you alone do marvelous deeds.
Praise be to your glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with your glory.
Amen and Amen.

Let It Be

Lord, here's a prayer
I know you'll always answer:
Let it be to me according to your will.

I pray it today,

(based on Luke 1:38; photo via

Promised Peace

You promise peace to your people, your faithful servants. But let me not turn to folly. Amen.
(based on Psalm 85:8)

As the Bunch of Wild Flowers

Blessed Jesus, thou dost receive with favor the smallest sincere token of affection! Thou dost receive our poor forget-me-nots and lovetokens, as though they were intrinsically precious, though indeed they are but as the bunch of wild flowers which the child brings to its mother. We will give thee the first fruits of our increase, and pay thee tithes of all, and then we will confess "of thine own have we given thee."

(a prayer of Charles H. Spurgeon; photo via


Today, on my favorite daughter's birthday, Lord,
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.
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 each of 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.

Saturday Psalm #71

O Lord, I run into your arms;
don’t let me be discouraged.
Save me and rescue me in this low place,
for you do what is right.
Put your ear close to my heart
and hear the murmurs I can’t put into words.
Be my mountain fortress,
my crag of safety.
Command my deliverance,
for you are my Mighty Rescuer.

O God, save me from this recurring depression;
I am so tired of being in the line of fire,
of shouldering the problems of others
(as if mine aren’t enough!).
I’m sick of being second-guessed,
and of others who think they have the answers,
without even seeking to understand the question.
O Lord, you alone are my hope.
You’ve had my heart from childhood.
You’ve guided me from birth;
year after year you have been my shelter.
No wonder I am always praising you!

Make my life an example to many,

an encouragement to others to find strength and protection in you.

Even in my depression, I can’t stop praising you;

I declare your glory with my whole heart, all day long.
Now that I am old, don’t set me aside.

My stamina may be gone, but let my experience count for something.
Answer those who whisper against me.

Defend me against those who think I’m stupid.
Save me from those who nurse resentment against me.

O God, don’t be coy.
My God, please hurry to help me.

Bring disgrace and destruction on my Enemy.

Humiliate and shame him and his divisive plans.
I will keep on hoping for your help;

I will praise you no matter what others do.
I will faithfully tell everyone about your righteousness;
I will preach the Word, season after season.
I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign Lord.

I will do all I can to lead others to you.

O God, you’ve had my heart from childhood.
I will trust you and follow you for the rest of my days.
Let me proclaim your power to a new generation,
your mighty miracles to all who come after me.

Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens.
You have done wonders.
Who can compare with you?

Who can even come close to you?

I know I bring much hardship on myself,
and you let me suffer through it,
but you will restore me to life again 
and lift me up from the depths of the earth.

You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.
Then I will praise you with songs in the sanctuary,
I will lift up your praise in the midst of your people,
I will stand up against every foe,
because you are faithful to your promises, O my God,
you have ransomed me,
and you lift me higher than I have any right to be,
higher than I have any reason to expect.

I Choose Not to Be Busy

Lord, help me to do each day
what I choose today:
I choose not to be busy.
I choose not be hurried or harried.
I choose to trust you to help me get done
all the work you have planned for me to do.
The rest will have to wait.
But I will walk through today in shalom,
with your help, in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via


Blessèd Lord, in you is refuge,
Safety for my trembling soul;
Pow’r to lift my head when drooping
’Midst the angry billows’ roll.
I will trust you;
All my life you shall control.

In the past too unbelieving
’Midst the tempest I have been,
And my heart has slowly trusted
What my eyes have never seen.
Blessèd Jesus,
Teach me on your arm to lean.

Give me trust that brings the triumph
When defeat seems strangely near;
Grant me faith that changes fighting
Into vict’ry’s ringing cheer!
Faith triumphant,
Knowing not defeat nor fear,

(a prayer of Herbert Booth, slightly revised; photo via

Monday Prayer

Lord, feed me like Elijah,
raise me up like Lazarus,
restore my soul as you did David's,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Saturday Psalm #70

O God, hasten to deliver me;
O LORD, race to my side.

Let those who seek my harm
be thwarted entirely.
Let every adversary of my soul
be utterly frustrated.
Let those who would gloat over my defeat
be defeated themselves.
But let all who seek you and long for you
and rejoice to see your will accomplished
dance and jump and sing for joy.
Let all who love your salvation
continually say, "Praise God!"

I am lowly in heart. I need you badly.
Run to my side, O God!
You are the help I need, the one who saves me;
O LORD, hurry please.

(photo via

Like a Tree

Lord, make me like a tree
planted by streams of living water.

Let my roots go down deep into you,
your love and kindness.

Let me grow stronger and taller
and give shade to many,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via

O Living Flame of Love

O Living Flame of Love....
How gently and lovingly
you wake in my heart,
where in secret you dwell alone;
and in your sweet breathing,
filled with good and glory,
how tenderly you swell my heart
with love.

(a prayer of St. John of the Cross)

To Joyfully Set Out On This New Day

Almighty God,
creator of a good and beautiful world,
may we joyfully set out on this day
in your name,
and fill it with acts of love
for you and our brethren.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.