In All My Troubles


Lord, I would clasp your hand in mine,
And never murmur or repine,
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since it is your hand leading me.

(from the hymn, He Leadeth Me,
by Joseph Henry Gilmore, slightly updated;
photo via

Spirit Wind

Lord God Adonai,
teach me please not to be blown around
on the waves of circumstances,
but to sail solely
by the wind
of the Spirit,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo courtesy of my friend Willa Patterson)

A Prayer for Travelers

Saturday Psalm 108

My heart is fixed, O God;
I will sing
and make melody in my heart.
I will put the sweetest songbirds
to shame today;
I will awaken the dawn.

I will glorify you, O LORD, everywhere I go;
I will sing your praise
in front of anybody,
because your love
is enormous,
greater than the expanse of the universe.

So why shouldn't your praise be likewise
lifted above the heavens?
I can't possibly give you the glory you deserve.

Save us, Lord, and help us with your right hand,
show your love by working wonders for us.

You spoke from your sanctuary;
you promised to give your people victory,
and lead us into a spacious place.

And you have certainly done so,
but we still struggle so much.
Sometimes our salvation seems so fragile,
and our deliverance so far off.

Send us help against the enemy,
for all human help is worthless.

With you, Lord, we will gain the victory,
we will do valiantly,
and you will trample on our foes!

(photo via


Blessed be Thou, most gracious God, that again Thou hast brought light out of darkness and caused the morning to appear! Blessed be Thou that Thou dost send me forth, in health and vigour, to the duties and doings of another day! Go with me, I beseech Thee, through all the sunlit hours, and so protect me from every evil way that, when evening comes, I need not hide my head in shame.

O Thou who hast so graciously called me to be Thy servant, I would hold myself in readiness to-day for Thy least word of command. Give me the spirit, I pray Thee, to keep myself in continual training for the punctual fulfillment of Thy most holy will.

Let me keep the edges of my mind keen:
Let me keep my thinking straight and true:
Let me keep my passions in control:
Let me keep my will active:
Let me keep my body fit and healthy:
Let me remember Him whose meat it was to do the will of Him that sent Him.

O Lord of the vineyard, I beg Thy blessing upon all who truly desire to serve Thee by being diligent and faithful in their several callings, bearing their due share of the world's burden, and going about their daily tasks in all simplicity and uprightness of heart.
For all who tend flocks or till the soul:
For all who work in factories or in mines:
For all who buy and sell in the market-place:
For all who labour with their brains:
For all who labour with their pens:
For all who tend the hearth:
Dear Lord, I pray.

In Thy great mercy save us all from the temptations that do severally beset us, and bring us to everlasting life, by the power of the Holy Cross. Amen.

(a prayer of John Baillie in A Diary of Private Prayer


My soul is like a house, small for you to enter, but I pray you to enlarge it. It is in ruins, but I ask you to remake it. It contains much that you will not be pleased to see: this I know and do not hide. But who is to rid it of these things? 
(A prayer of St. Augustine of Hippo, from his Confessions, Book 5.1; photo via

Holy Mountain

Lord, bring me today
to your holy mountain,
to Mount Zion,
to the city of the living God,
the heavenly Jerusalem,
to God himself,
to Jesus,
the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people,
and to the sprinkled blood,
which graciously forgives.

(based on Isaiah 66:20, Hebrews 12:22-24; painting: Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, by David Roberts in 1842, Library of Congress)

Saturday Psalm #107

I give you thanks, LORD,
for you are good, good, good;
your love goes on and on.
Let all the redeemed say so,
and say so loudly—
all those whom you redeemed
from the hand of our foes,
all those you gathered
out of the darkness,
and brought from distant places
to your side.

You have redeemed those who wandered in wastelands,
empty and alone.

You have redeemed those who were hungry and thirsty,
and feeling their lives ebbing away.

But when we cried out to you in our trouble,
you delivered us from our distress.

You have certainly led me by a straight way
to find my home in you.

I give thanks to you, LORD, for your unfailing love
and your wonderful works in my life,
for you satisfy my thirst
and fill me with good things.

Without you, I would be sitting in darkness
and deepest gloom,
a prisoner in chains of my own making,
the victim of my own rebellion,
suffering for my failure to heed the counsel of the Most High.

I deserve nothing but bitter labor,
the most severe punishment.

But I cried to you, LORD,
and you gave me light for darkness,
beauty for ashes,
joy for sorrow,
clean robes for my filthy rags.

You brought me out of darkness
and deepest gloom
and broke my chains.

I give you thanks, LORD, for you are good, good, good;
your love goes on and on,
for you burst through my prison walls
and cut through bars of iron.

Without you, I would be a fool
confounded by my own rebellious ways
and suffering because of my many sins.

I would be too sick to enjoy anything,
and would loathe my life.

But I cried to you, LORD,
and you delivered me,
you spoke your word and healed me;
you brought my life out of the grave.

I give thanks to you, LORD, for your unfailing love
and your wonderful works in my life.

I will sacrifice to you
as a way of giving thanks;
I will tell of your works
with exuberant songs.

Like others, I have been on the sea in ships;
I have seen your power
displayed in the mighty waters.

I have seen your works, LORD,
in the panoply of the heavens,
in the fecundity of the forest,
in the silence before the storm,
in the intricacy of an insect.

I have seen you work in a human soul,
in a frail human body,
in a miraculous work of grace.

I give you thanks, LORD,
for your marvelous love,
for your miraculous mercy to me.
I will lift your praises high and loud
when the people assemble,
and will praise you in the council of the elders.

You turn rivers into a desert,
flowing springs into thirsty ground,
and fruitful land into a salt waste,
because of the wickedness of men.

But you also turn the desert into pools of water
and parched ground into flowing springs
for those who wait on you
and please you.

Please tell me we've seen enough
oppression, calamity and sorrow for now.

Lift the needy out of their affliction
and increase their families like flocks.
Let the upright see and rejoice,
but all the wicked--shut their mouths!

Make us wise,
in the things that matter to you,
and show to us your great love, O Lord.

(photo via

Broke Through

Late have I loved you,
O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
late have I loved you!
You were within me, but I was outside,
and it was there that I searched for you.
In my unloveliness
I plunged into the lovely things which you created.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
Created things kept me from you;
yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all.
You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness.
You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness.
You breathed your fragrance on me;
I drew in breath and now I pant for you.
I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more.
You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

(A prayer of St. Augustine of Hippo, from his Confessions)

Right Spirit

O Lord and Master of my life,
give me not the spirit of laziness,
lust of power,
and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of sobriety,
and love
to Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King,
grant me to see my own transgressions
and not to judge my brother,
for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages. Amen.

(A prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian, 305-373)

To Be Your Failure

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)

On Robin's Birthday

Abba, you have granted me the loveliest bride,
the perfect woman for me, and I am grateful.
Bless her abundantly, extravagantly, today, on her birthday.
As your beauty and grace lives in her
and exudes from her,
let her feel your approval in every way
on this day and in all the days to come.
Smile on her. Rejoice over her. Thrill her and fill her
with the awareness of your pleasure
and the rich appreciation of her husband, family, and many friends,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Saturday Psalm #106

I praise you, Lord.
I give you thanks,
for your unending goodness,
your unceasing love.

Your works are beyond words, Lord.
No language on earth is adequate
to declare all the praise you deserve.

You give joy and satisfaction to those who do justice,
those who walk in righteousness.

Remember me, Abba, when you're in the mood
to show favor to your children;
help me when you're in a helping state of mind.
Prosper me and mine
when you're handing out your good gifts,
and send us joy unspeakable
any time you want.

I know I'm just a lowly sinner,
like my ancestors before me,
my spiritual and physical antecedents.
Like Israel in Egypt,
we have been blind to your wonderful works;
we easily forget the abundance of your steadfast love,
as they did at the Red Sea.
But you still saved them, didn't you?
You showed your power for the sake of your name.
You rebuked the Red Sea, and it rolled back, became dry;
you led them through the deep as through a desert.
You saved them from their foe,
and delivered them from their enemy,
and they responded with praise.
Do as much for me,
that I might do as much for you.
Let me not forget your works,
or fail to wait for your counsel.
Let me not put you to the test,
and invite disaster with selfish prayers.

Save me from jealousy,
like those who complained against Moses and Aaron.
Save me from factionism,
like that of Abiram.
Save me from idolatry,
like those who made a calf at Horeb
and worshipped a cast image.
They exchanged your glory
for the image of an ox that eats grass.
But I more readily forget you, my Savior,
when I put my faith in the approval of man,
the techniques of others,
in financial security,
and other such things.

Save me, Lord,
from despising your good land,
your faithfulness to fulfill your promise.

Save me from foolish idolatry like theirs,
and empty sacrifices.
Save me from going through the motions,
save me from grieving or quenching your Holy Spirit.

Teach me to stand up like Phinehas,
and root out all sin and temptation from my life
as you intended--and commanded--Israel to do.

Save me from the snares that surround me,
and from compromising with evil.

You are my deliverer,
as you were theirs.
You have never forgotten your promises to me,
and never wavered in your love.

Save me, O LORD my God;
bring me into my inheritance,
that I may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.

I praise you, LORD, God of Israel,
God of me,
from everlasting to everlasting.

Praise the Lord.


God, submerge me
in the darkness of your love,
that the consciousness
of my false, everyday self
falls away from [me]
like a soiled garment. . . .

May my 'deep self' fall into your presence . . . .
knowing you alone . . .
carried away into eternity
like a dead leaf in the November wind.

(Thomas Merton, The Ascent to Truth, p. 238)


I need Thee,
O I need Thee.
Every hour, I need Thee.
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

(photo by milivanily via

A Simple Prayer

Forgive, 0 Lord, what we have been,
Direct what we are,
And order what we shall be,
For your mercy's sake,

Up From This Misty Lowland

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune god, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

(A prayer of A. W. Tozer)

Saturday Psalm #105

Thank you, LORD!
I am thrilled to call on your name,
and blessed to be called
to make known among the nations what you have done.

Hear my song,
extolling your wonderful deeds,
glorifying your name,
rejoicing in your presence!

I look to you, LORD,
and draw my strength from your strength.
Communion with you is my life blood.

I remember the wonders you have done,
the miracles I have seen,
the moments in my life when your wise judgment has been vindicated.

Thank you, God, for making me a descendant of Abraham your servant,
a son of Jacob, your chosen ones.
Thank you for grafting me in!

You are my LORD and God;
I see your work all around me.

As you did with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
you have done with me:
you have kept all your promises,
you have fulfilled your word.

When my mood is low,
I forget.
But thank you for reminding me,
and teaching me that your faithfulness
is never dependent on my moods!

I wander;
you draw me back.

I feel attacked or oppressed;
you defend me.

I wallow;
you lift me up.

I feel sold out like Joseph;
you use everything to bring about my good!

Everything you do--
allowing gossip,
sending persecution,
performing miraculous signs,
sending darkness,
turning water to blood
or turning water to wine,
sending swarms of frogs or flies,
plagues of hail and locusts,
even death--
is intended for the deliverance of your loved ones!
And I am included in that number.

As you delivered Israel,
you deliver me.
Part the seas in my life, Lord,
Send pillars of fire and cloud ahead of me.
Feed me with manna and quail,
and open rocks to bring forth water!
Do it ALL,
so that your people will rejoice,
your chosen ones will shout with joy.
Do for your church what you did for your people of old:
give us the lands of the nations,
and make us heir to what others have toiled for
that we might show how you treat those
who love you and follow you
and walk in your ways,
in Jesus' name,

To Stand by the Noisome Temple

It was your custom,
to go to the temple,
to the noisome temple
sometime to the scandalised temple
listening to the mumbo jumbo,
but it was your custom to go.
Give us grace in our changing day
to stand by the temple that is the present church,
the noisome temple
the sometime scandalised temple that is the present church,
listening sometime to what again seems mumbo jumbo.
Make it our custom to go
till the new outline of your Body for our day
becomes visible in our midst.

(from George MacLeod, The Whole Earth Shall Cry Glory, p. 39)

On the Fourth of July

Lord my God,
I worship you today,
on this 243rd birthday of this nation,
these wonderful United States of America
in which I live.

I thank you for the freedom
to worship you publicly...
even as I ask you
to show kindness and mercy
to those who lack that freedom
because they live elsewhere.

Thank you for all those
who have sacrificed for my freedom,
for those who risked
(and some who gave) their lives
to make this a free and independent nation,
for those in my nation's armed services, past and present,
and for all who have served the cause of liberty in other ways...
even as I pray for those who even now
are in harm's way,
far from home,
in this nation's service.
Please meet their needs,
watch over them and their loved ones,
and grant them your favor in every way.

And, Father, on this Independence Day 2019,
I pray for the people in this land
and every land
who have not yet discovered the freedom
that is offered to them in your Son, Jesus Christ.
Draw them to you,
set them free
from sin and sadness and strife,
and grant them the eternal freedom
that is found only in trusting you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo art by Beverly Pack, courtesy of

Not Enough Praise

Abba, I give you praise today;
for your constancy and perseverance in all things,
from the rotation of the earth
to your faithfulness to me;
for your justice,
from your laws and decrees
to your discipline of me;
for your mercy,
from your care for the birds of the air
to your kind mercy toward me,
shown even now in the mercy of a new day,
of my latest breath.

I give you praise, Abba;
if I could praise you enough,
it would take all my breath for all of eternity,
and still would not be enough.

Summer In My Heart

I offer you these months, Lord,
my heart's July and August days...

Come summer with me, Lord;
summer deep down in my soul;
restore my faith in summer’s time,
in rest, in joy, in play, in you...

Summer in my heart, Lord,
and dwell there
as if time would never end,
as if all time were children's time, eternal time
when school is always out and joy is ever in…

And let others summer in my shade, Lord,
and share whatever summer’s peace is mine to give,
whatever summer’s light is mine to shed,
whatever summer's warmth is mine to share...

Good God of every season and every day this week,
come summer with me, Lord, and let the child in my heart
spend this summer in your love...


(excerpted from a prayer on the Concord Pastor Comments blog)