Saturday Psalm #104

I praise you, Lord, from my heart!
O Lord my God,
you are beyond description!
You are berobed with honor
and majesty--
you dress yourself in light,
you make the starry heavens
your accessories.

You make the stratosphere
your vaulted ceiling,
the clouds your chariot,
the winds your skateboard.

You make the wind currents do your bidding,
you turn flames of fire into your servants.

You poured the foundations of the earth,
firm and immovable.

You filled the oceans
until the water submerged mountains.

You told the mighty deep where to go
and the crashing waves obeyed your commands.

The mountains rose, the valleys sank
each one to the exact place You appointed.

You tell the waters where they must stop
and they turn back when you say.

You send forth springs into the valleys;
you send waters skipping down the mountainside;
they refresh every wild beast;
the wild donkeys drink their fill.
Birds of every kind nest by their banks;
they sing in the overhanging branches.

You water the mountains from celestial springs;
the earth is rejuvenated,
vegetation sprouts,
gardens grow,
pastures produce,
and vineyards bear their happy fruit,
and gladden the hearts of men.

You take care of the forest trees,
you cause them to bring forth sap,
you watch birds make their nests
and storks their homes in the fir trees.
You cause the wild goats to leap,
and the conies and badgers to burrow underground.

You measure the seasons with the moon,
the days by the setting sun.

You make darkness
to bless the nocturnal creatures.
You make the young lions roar for their supper,
and slumber when the sun shines.

You give man the light of day
to bless his work
and the night to sleep.

O Lord, what a varied world you have made!
In wisdom have you made it all;
the earth overflows with your incredible riches:
the sea, great and wide,
brimming with innumerable creatures,
both weird and wonderful,
both small and great.

Ships sail your waters like a highway,
and fearful giants use them like a playground.

All these rely on you,
as I need to do,
for their daily bread,
their very life.
They don't worry or stress.
They take what you provide,
and are filled with good things.
If not for you,
they would wither and die,
and sink to the ocean floor.
But you supply their needs
like flowers that flourish in the field.

Make me like them, Lord.
happy to serve your purpose:
your glory.

Your glory is never-ending.
Your works bring you praise.
You are just to enjoy your creation.
You are worthy of my absolute devotion.

I will sing your praise, Lord, as long as I live;
I will exalt my God while I draw breath.
Let my meditation be sweet to your ears;
let my rejoicing in you bring you joy.

Let sinners disappear completely,
absorbed into the throngs of the redeemed,
by your great grace and mighty power,
and so increase the company
of those who praise you.

I praise you.
I praise you from my heart!

For Prudent Behavior

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

Showers of Blessing

Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need.
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.

(from a hymn by D. W. Whittle; image via pixabay.com)

Growing Older

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 pixabay.com)


Lord God Adonai,
I'm sorry that I have so often
approached your Word
and combed your Word
and misused your Word
as a repository of rules and formulas
for me--and, especially, others--to obey,
rather than as a means of relationship,
a love note,
a sometimes whispered,
sometimes shouted,
always gracious
invitation to enter into communion with you.

Summer Prayer

Good morning, good God!

It’s summer, Lord:
the days are warm and the nights, too...

It’s a time to be grateful for the AC
everywhere, cooling to comfort
the places where we live and work
and play and rest and pray…

But some days, some nights,
I run from the heat,
from how the sun soaks in
and seeps its way through my pores,
through muscle to bone,
through bone to the marrow of my soul,
warming me through and through
until, from the inside out,
I’m baked in a light from light years away…

Draw me out from the shade and shadows
and warm me with your love
as with your summer sun...

Blaze a path into my soul:
pass through all that shields me
from the brilliance of your light,
the heat of your presence,
the burn of your desire…

Bake me in your love
until I sweat from every pore
the moist anointing of your presence…

Bathe me in the warmth of your grace
‘til I am burnished within and without
by your light touch…

Warm my heart’s desire for you, Lord,
and let no cool shade keep me from the peace
your heart burns to give…

I offer you my praise for summer days
when all creation warms to know
the light no darkness can extinguish...

And in the heat of the noonday sun
keep me mindful, Lord, of others
whose thirst I might quench,
whose shade I might provide...

So comes my prayer this morning, Lord,
as the sun rises to its noon day height
until it sets at this day's end, until tomorrow
when your sun will rise again,
upon a brand new day...


(from A Concord Pastor Comments)

Saturday Psalm #103

I praise you, LORD, from the bottom of my heart;
I praise your holy name from deep inside.

I praise you, LORD, from the bottom of my heart,
for all the blessings you have showered on me,

You work righteousness
and justice for all who are lowly and oppressed.
You revealed your ways to Moses
and performed mighty deeds for your people, Israel.
You will do no differently for me and mine.
You are compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, overflowing with love.
You are utterly holy
and yet you never fly off the handle.
You show me infinite mercy, in spite of my sin,
and treat me far better than I could ever deserve.

Your love is as great as the heavens are high above the earth;
the twenty-four trillion miles between here and Proxima Centauri,
the closest star,
is too small a distance to compare to your great love,
and to the space you've put between me and my sins!

I praise you for your Father's heart,
filled with compassion for your children,
though we are dust,
our days are like grass,
our lifetimes are each a flash in the pan.

But your love reaches from everlasting to everlasting,
your love reaches through the vastness of the universe,
and your blessings find me,
and my children,
and even my children's children.

I praise you because you are more than faithful
to those who keep your covenant,
place their trust in you,
and learn to walk in your ways.

I praise you because you, LORD,
have established your throne in heaven,
and your kingdom rules over all.

I praise you, LORD,
in unison with your angels,
in harmony with your mighty ones who do your bidding,
who obey your word.

I praise you, LORD, with the heavenly hosts,
I praise you from earth
and join with all who praise you in heaven.

For My Needs

Abba, Father, your Word promises the supply of all my needs according to my riches in Christ Jesus. So I pray, first, teach me what my needs are and help me be wise enough not to confuse my needs with my wants, my desires, my compulsions, and my lusts. Then, I pray, teach me to ask you boldly, faith-fully, for my needs, and to experience your provision, in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo by mac8oppo via pixabay.com)

To God My Help

O God, my help in ages past,
My hope for years to come,
My shelter from the stormy blast,
And my eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And my defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

O God, my help in ages past,
My hope for years to come,
My shelter from the stormy blast,
And my eternal home.


Father God,
please grant me and the lovely Robin
safe and successful travel today.
Make smooth paths
(and flight schedules) for our feet.
Grant safe and timely travel to the airport.
Help us to make our flights
safely reach our destination.
Protect us from coach cabin infections.
Guide our steps,
guard our thoughts,
and give us sweet communion with you
pleasant interactions with others,
and a joyful reunion with our kids and grandkids.
Make us alert to any opportunity to be the means of blessing
to our fellow travelers,
or those who serve them,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Saturday Psalm #102

Lord, are you listening?
Can you hear me?

Please bend your ear
and come to me
in my great need.
Tune to my wavelength,
and answer me asap.

For my days pass far too fast
and I'm feeling mighty old these days.
I've lost a step--or twenty!
But worse than my age these days
are my unreliable moods.
I stress too easily.
I get discouraged much too often.
I deprive myself of sleep
and my Enemy steals my peace.
And my joy.

I care far too much what people think.
And I've almost forgotten what joy feels like.
What's the deal?
What's wrong with me?
I tell myself it's part of the aging process.
But I know there's more to it than that.

Help me figure it out, Lord.
Speak to me through your Word,
through wise counselors,
and through my loving wife and kids and friends.

Until then, I know this:
You are still in control.
You are still worthy of praise.
You will arise and have mercy on me and mine.
You will send help in time of need.
You will never abandon your people.
You will be glorified among the nations.
Your radiance will awe the kings of the earth.
You will rebuild all the Enemy tears down,
you will restore all he steals.
You hear the prayers of the most needy.
You will not reject their pleas.

When I am tempted to be discouraged
or to indulge in self pity,
I will remember that you have looked down on me
from your holy heights
and blessed me beyond my wildest imagining!

You hear the groans of the prisoners,
You free those condemned to die.
Your fame is rightly celebrated in Zion,
and by your grace I will yet sing your praises in Jerusalem,
both in this life and the next.

So what if I'm old?
So what if I could be healthier and more vigorous?
My God, who lives forever,
has granted me a long and wonderful life!

More importantly, you who laid the foundation of the earth
and made the heavens with your hands
will be mine forever!
This body of mine will wear out like old clothing.
You will someday even discard the heavens and the earth
and replace them like an outdated suit of clothes.
But you are always the same;
you will live forever.
And you are mine forever.
And all me and mine--we are yours.
Thank you!

(photo art via pixabay.com)


God, I fear

You’ve made the World too beautiful this year.

(a prayer by Edna St. Vincent Millay; photo by Lynn McCane)

You Lead Me

You lead me: O blessed thought!
O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whate'er I do, where'er I be,
Still it's Your hand that leads me.

You lead me, You lead me;
By Your own hand You lead me:
Your faithful follower I will be,
As by Your hand You lead me.

Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden's flowers bloom,
By waters calm, o'er troubled sea,
Still it's Your hand that leads me.

Lord, I would clasp Your hand in mine,
And never murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since I know my God is leading me.

And when my task on earth is done,
When, by Your grace, the victory's won,
Even death's cold wave I will not flee,
Since You through Jordan are leading me.

(a hymn by Joseph Gilmore, slightly revised; photo via pixabay.com)

Saturday Psalm #101

Lord, let the soundtrack of my life
be filled with songs about your love and justice;
let my theme song be filled with your praise.

By your grace, make me careful to lead a blameless life.
Make me patient in waiting for you to show yourself.
Let my housecoat be a blameless heart.

By your grace, help me shield my eyes from anything vile.
Help me steer clear of faithless friends
and corrupting companions.

By your grace, I will have nothing to do with evil.
I will not listen to gossip and slander;
I will not excuse arrogance.

By your grace, I will look for godly companions and counselors
to walk with me
and minister to me.

By your grace, I will learn to recognize
and avoid all those who traffic in lies
and stir up conflict and dissension.

By your grace, I will turn a deaf ear to wickedness
and live and lead without their interference.

(based on Psalm 101; the illustration is Psalms 101 and 102 from a 13th century Psalter created by monks in France)

A Good Prayer

Be praised, O Lord, for the renewal of life.

My Master, I have sinned before You.

May it be Your will, O Lord my God, to grant me a good heart, a good portion, a good inclination, a good friend, a good name, a good eye, a good soul, a lowly disposition, and a humble spirit.

(A prayer from the Talmud, Tractate Berakhot; photo by Bubamara via everystockphoto.com).

Rest and Rule

let your Spirit,
who rested on Jesus the Branch—
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord—
rest on me and rule in my life today,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(based on Isaiah 11:1-2; photo by "hickory hardscrabble" via everystockphoto.com)

A Variation on a Hymn

We’re in your hands,
We’re in your hands,
Whate’er the future holds,
We’re in your hands.
The days we cannot see
Are not a mystery;
You’ve planned them perfectly.
We’re in

(variation on a hymn by Stanley Ditmer; pronouns and lines 5-7 revised; photo by comfreak via pixabay.com)

On Our Anniversary

O Lord my God,
how can I possibly thank you
for my bride,
my wife,
and these forty-two years of marriage,
and forty-five 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 sorrows we have faced together;
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.

Saturday Psalm #100

I shout for joy to you, LORD;
I'm so happy to be your child.

I'm so happy to worship you;
I'm delighted to sing songs to you.

I'm thrilled to know and say that you are God,
you are my Creator, and I am yours.
I'm happy to be your child, the sheep of your pasture.

I'm grateful to enter your gates,
it is my privilege to come into your courts with praise;
I am honored to give thanks to you and praise your name.

For you, LORD, are good,
and your love endures forever;
your faithfulness never ends.


(photo by paularps via everystockphoto.com)