Saturday Psalm #95

I sing for joy to you, LORD;
I shout aloud to you, the Rock of my salvation,
the foundation of all my joys,
the only source of any righteousness I have.

I come to you this morning with thanksgiving
and sing your praises from my heart.

For you, LORD, are the great God,
the great King above all gods.

You hold the Mariana Trench in your hand,
and balance the peak of Everest on your fingertip.

The whole sea is your plaything, for you made it,
just like you made the continents of the earth.

I bow before you;
I bend the knee,
I press my face to the ground in worship,
for you are the LORD my Maker;
you are my God
and I am your wayward lamb,
one of the flock under your care.

I hear you, Shepherd King.
I hear your voice.
Though I have strayed from you many times,
I am not straying now.
I crave your favor,
your touch,
your rest.

Come anew to my heart, Lord Jesus,
there is room in my heart for Thee.

In Returning and Rest

You have taught us
that in returning and rest
we shall be saved,
in quietness and confidence
we shall be strengthened.
By your Spirit
lift us to your presence
where we may be still
and know that you are God.

(from the Book of Common Prayer)

Hör Mein Bitten

Hear my prayer, O God, incline Thine ear!
Thyself from my petition do not hide.
Take heed to me! Hear how in prayer I mourn to Thee,
Without Thee all is dark, I have no guide.

The enemy shouteth, The godless come fast!
Iniquity, hatred, up on me they cast!
The wicked oppress me, Ah where shall I fly?
Perplexed and bewildered, O God, hear my cry!

My heart is sorely pained, within my breast,
my soul with deathly terror is oppressed,
trembling and fearfulness up on me fall,
with horror overwhelmed, Lord, hear me call.

O for the wings, for the wings of a dove!
Far away, far away would I rove!
In the wilderness build me a nest,
and remain there forever at rest."

(Anthem for soprano solo, chorus and organ or orchestra written by Felix Mendelssohn in Germany in 1844. The text, originally in English, written by William Bartholomew, is derived from Psalm 55)

Morning Glory

All the Better Part of Me

O how thy worth with manners may I sing,
When thou art all the better part of me?
What can mine own praise to mine own self bring?
And what is but mine own when I praise thee?

(William Shakespeare, Sonnet 39, lines 1-4)

My Choice

I choose to be Your failure
before anyone else's success.
Keep me from reneging
on my choice.


(excerpted from "A Psalm Requesting Faith," in Psalms of My Life by Joseph Bayly)

Easter Prayer

It is only right,
with all the powers of our heart and mind,
to praise You Father
and Your Only-begotten Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ:
Dear Father, by Your wondrous
condescension of loving-kindness toward us,
Your servants, You gave up Your Son.
Dear Jesus You paid the debt of Adam
for us to the Eternal Father by
Your Blood poured
fourth in loving-kindness.
You cleared away the darkness of sin
By Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection.
You broke the bonds of death
and rose from the grave as a Conqueror.
You reconciled heaven and earth.
Our life had no hope of eternal happiness
before You redeemed us.
Your Resurrection has washed away our sins,
restored our innocence and brought us joy.
How inestimable is the tenderness
of Your love!

(Saint Gregory the Great's Easter Prayer)

On Silent Saturday

Rest you well, beloved Jesus,  
Caesar’s Lord and Israel’s King,  
In the brooding of the Spirit,  
In the darkness of the spring. 

On Good Friday

Am I a stone, and not a sheep,
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,
To number drop by drop Thy blood's slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon--
I, only I.

Yet give not o'er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

(by Christina Rosetti)

On Maundy Thursday

not my feet only,
but also
my hands
my head.
my heart.
my mind.
my life.

(based on John 13:9).

On Holy Wednesday

Lord Jesus, gracious Savior, I come to you in this sacred week to ponder your great and wondrous love; love that led you to the cross that my sin might be blotted out and that I might be reconciled to my heavenly Father. O Christ, give me strength and grace to crucify my sinful desires and dedicate myself anew to you, who has loved me with an everlasting love and brought to me eternal salvation.

I confess to You my sins. They are many, and You know them all. For each and every one of them you suffered the agony of the cross and shed your precious blood that I may be cleansed and made acceptable in your sight. Thank you for the forgiveness and cleansing that is mine. Thank you that none of the sins of yesterday cling to me. Humbly I come, grateful for your mercy. Daily let me fulfill the tasks and duties to which You have called me with joy, confessing you as my Lord and Savior, and being of service to my neighbor.

Grant that your suffering and death, proclaimed for the salvation of mankind, may by the power of the Holy Spirit awaken in many a deeper love to You. O Lord, have mercy upon me and all sinful mankind, and create in me and all that seek you a clean heart, holy desires, and an undying love. Hear my prayer, gracious Redeemer. Amen.

(borrowed and revised from

To Do What Leads to Peace

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

On Tax Day

On this day of internal revenue
some of us are paid up,
some of us owe,
some of us await a refund,
some of us have no income to tax.

But all of us are taxed,
by war,
by violence,
by anxiety,
by deathliness.

And Caesar never gives any deep tax relief.

We render to Caesar . . .
to some it feels like a grab,
to some it is clearly a war tax,
to some – some few –
it is a way to contribute to the common good.

In any case we are haunted
by what we render to Caesar,
by what we might render to you,
by the way we invest our wealth and our lives,
when what you ask is an “easy yoke”:
to do justice
to love mercy
to walk humbly with you.

Give us courage for your easy burden, so to live untaxed lives. Amen.

(a prayer by Walter Brueggemann, from his book, Prayers for a Privileged People, Abingdon, 2008; photo via

Ride On in Majesty

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
Hear all the tribes hosanna cry;
O Savior meek, pursue Your road
with palms and scattered garments stroked.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die.
O Christ, Your triumphs now begin
o’er captive death and conquered sin.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
The hosts of angels in the sky
look down with sad and wond'ring eyes
to see th' approaching Sacrifice.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
Your last and fiercest strife is nigh.
The Father on His sapphire throne
awaits His own anointed Son.

Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die,
bow Your meek head to mortal pain,
then take, O Christ, Your pow'r and reign.

Saturday Psalm #94

O LORD, my God,
God who avenges,
shine your light.

Stand up, Judge of all the earth;
and give the proud
what they deserve.

I'm so tired of seeing the wicked
have their fun
and wreak their havoc
while so many good people
suffer at their hands.

They make evil assumptions,
spread rumors,
tell lies,
and never once reflect on their own arrogance
and spitefulness.

They enrage me
and they crush your people, LORD,
and hamstring the church.

They don't stop to think that you see--
and why should they,
for it looks for all the world
like you intend to let them get away with it all.

Give me patience
to wait for you
and trust your justice
and your timing.

You formed the ear; you hear everything.
You fashioned the eye; you see all.
You discipline whole nations,
and you are adequate to teach puny haters
a lesson.

You know the thoughts of man, LORD.
You know that they are futile.

Let me be the man you discipline, O LORD,
let me be the man you teach from your law;
grant me relief from the machinations of petty people,
and surround your people with protection.

I know you will not reject your people;
you will not forsake the flock
nor let them be ravaged by wolves in sheeps' clothing.

You yourself will rise up against the wicked.
You yourself will stand against evildoers.

How many times would I have been lost
if you, LORD, had not given me help?
How many times, when my foot was slipping,
did your loving hand reach out to me and find me
and lift me to safety?

When depression dragged me down,
your consolation brought joy to my soul.

I entrust to you
all those who band together against the righteous
and condemn your redeemed.

You are my fortress,
and the rock that shelters me from harm.
I trust you to save me
and your flock
from all who seek our destruction,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via

To Our Blessed Landlord

That we have meat and can eat, we thank thee, God.

And, O blessed Landlord, we who are let to work this bit of holy earth, do pray thee to walk beside us as we sow.

Watch over us, our Father, to be good tenants, and worthy of this partnership which we seal with our toil.

We thank thee, Lord, for all these flowers; all this green stuff for the silo too.

Bless the shearing, Good Shepherd; and as we tie the fleece, strain the milk, and replenish the self-feeder, help us to remember the least of these, thy brethren.

(from the book, The Farmer Gives Thanks; photo by MonikaP via

To Joyfully Set Out

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.

Saturday Psalm #93

You reign, LORD!
Your very robes are majesty,
lined with power and might!

You laid the foundations of the world
and it cannot be moved.

Your throne is ancient,
and you are everlasting.

The seas roar with your praise,
their mighty waves thunder applause.
But you, LORD, are mightier still,
mightier than their crashing waves.

Your statutes are like pillars,
your holiness like a beautifully decorated frieze
adorning your house


(photo by Roger Mosley, via

Long (A Birthday Prayer)

Long have I loved you,
But not nearly as much
As your great love deserves.
Each day I have left
Let me love and serve you
With more passion and zeal
Than the 22,000-plus
that have gone before.

To Yahweh Yireh

Abba, Father, Yahweh Yireh,
you sent manna in the wilderness,
dispatched ravens to feed Elijah,
replenished the widow's flour and oil,
fed bread and water to Elijah at Horeb,
and multiplied the loaves and fishes by the lake.
You have done as much for me, time after time.
Do it again, Lord, please, in Jesus' name, amen.

When All Is Darkness

O Christ Jesus,
when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength.

Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love
and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You,
we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose,
Your will through all things.

(a prayer of Ignatius of Loyola; photo via

A Prayer on April 1

O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

No pity, Lord,
could change the heart
From red with wrong
to white as wool;
The rod must heal
the sin: but Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

'Tis not by guilt the onward sweep
Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
‘Tis by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.

These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart-strings of a friend.

The ill-timed truth we might have kept–
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
The word we had not sense to say–
Who knows how grandly it had rung!

Our faults no tenderness should ask.
The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;
But for our blunders — oh, in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

(from a poem by Edward Rowland Sill)