Saturday Psalm #114

When Israel came out of Egypt,
the house of Jacob from a people of foreign tongue,
Judah became your sanctuary,
Israel your dominion.
The sea looked and fled,
the Jordan turned back;
the mountains skipped like rams,
the hills like lambs.

How often have you provided me
with such deliverance,
and established me
with such kindness,
and I have quickly moved on
to my next need,
my next request,
my next demand,
and have not trembled at the presence of the Lord,
nor given appropriate thanks
to the One who turned the rock
into a pool,
the hard rock
into springs of water?

After Chrysostom

Lord God Adonai,
as St. John Chrysostom prayed,
"Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions
as may be best for us,"
for you always know what is best,
and we seldom do.
Forgive us for trying to inform you
in what is best for us,
and teach us to submit to your wisdom,
and kindness,
in our praying
and in our living,

Unmixed Faith

Save me, God,
from a mixed faith:
a faith in you...
and in me.
I believe;
help my unbelief.
I long to believe only--
and therefore fully--
in you,
in Jesus' name, amen.



Abba, Father, thank you for family. For adult children we can be proud of and want to spend time with--and who seem to enjoy (mostly) spending time with us. For well-mannered, loving grandkids we can be proud of and want to spend time with--and who seem to enjoy (mostly) spending time with us. For extended family who are so loving and accepting and so deeply loved that, far from being "extended family," are immediate to our hearts. For kids, siblings, grandkids, nieces, nephews, and cousins who accept each other, love each other, and get along with each other so well. For laughter and tears, joking and teasing, talking and listening, hugging and holding, watching and eavesdropping, fighting over dinner checks, and working together to make meals and memories, in Jesus' name, amen. 

Change the Pressure Rating

This cardboard box
see it says
Bursting limit
100 lbs. per square inch.
The box maker knew
how much strain
the box would take
what weight
would crush it.
You are wiser
than the box maker
maker of my spirit
my mind
my body.
Does the box know
when pressure increases close to
the limit?
It knows nothing.
But I know
when my breaking point
Is near.
And so I pray
Maker of my soul
Determiner of the pressure
Stop it
lest I be broken
Or else
change the pressure rating
of this fragile container
of your grace
so that I may bear more.

(A prayer of Joseph Bayly from Psalms of My LIfe)

Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

Saturday Psalm #113

I praise you, LORD.
Your humblest servant,
I praise your very name, LORD,
both now and forevermore.

I will praise your name
from the rising of the sun
to the place where it sets.

I will exalt you, LORD,
wherever I am,
I will sing of your glory
at the top of my lungs.

Who is like you, LORD my God,
you who sit enthroned on high,
who are so exalted you must stoop
to consider the heavens...
and yet you even stoop so far
as to watch over me here on earth!

You raise the poor from the dust
and lift the needy from the trash heap;
you seat them with princes,
and even make them princes themselves.

You grant children to the barren,
families to the lonely,
community to the outcast,
because you are good,
and utterly, infinitely worthy
of praise.

No Blot Upon My Shield

My Lord, I stand ready on the threshold of this new day,
to go forth, armed with your power,
seeking adventure on the high road,
to right wrong,
to overcome evil,
to suffer wounds and endure pain if need be,
but in all things,
to serve you bravely, faithfully, joyfully,
that at the end of the day’s labor,
kneeling for your blessing,
you may find no blot upon my shield.

This I ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with God the Father, in union with the Holy Ghost, for all ages of ages. Amen.

(a prayer reportedly said often by medieval knights; photo via

What Shall I Fear?

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
The Lord is my vanguard and rearguard—
what should inspire fear in me? 
The Lord is my strong defender, my dread warrior—
why should I worry or fret? 
The Lord is my provider and sustainer—
how can I toss and turn and lose sleep? 
The Lord is at my right hand—
what shall I fear? 
The Lord is with me—
of what shall I be afraid? 

(based on and expanded from Psalm 27:1-2; photo via

Replace the Lamp

O Lord, please light the fire
That once burned bright and clear.
Replace the lamp of my first love,
That burns with holy fear.

(from O Lord, You're Beautiful, by Keith Green)

Clothed with Compassion

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

Saturday Psalm #112

I praise you, LORD.
I have been so blessed
by men and women who fear you
and find great delight in your commands.

I am blessed to be among them now,
to be one of those who fears you
and loves your Word.

Oh, Lord, please
make my children mighty in the land;
let the next generation
and the next
be blessed
beyond my wildest dreams.

Grant them true wealth
and enduring riches;
let the walls of their homes be adorned
with righteousness.

Let your light dawn in their lives,
and dispel all darkness for them.
Make them gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Make them generous and anxious to give.
Make them just in all their affairs.

Let them never be shaken;
give them a sterling reputation.
Save them from rumor and gossip.
Make their hearts steadfast, always trusting in you.
Make them confident and fearless.
Give them victory over every enemy, every obstacle.
Bless their efforts on behalf of the poor
and needy
and sick.
And give them influence and honor,
for your name's sake.

Let the wicked look at them and be vexed,
wondering at the blessings of the righteous,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(based on Psalm 112)

Enlarge My Heart

Lord, "I will run in the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart" (Psalm 119:32, KJV).

Oh, enlarge my heart, please. Increase my capacity for you. Flood every valve and ventricle, every corner and cubbyhole of my heart and spirit with your gracious presence and sovereign control. I need you, I want you, I will not let go unless you bless me with more, more, more of yourself.

Let me be satisfied in you today, as with the richest of foods, in Jesus' name, amen.

(illustration "My heart," Acrylic on canvas - 36" x 36" -by Anne Laures,

Wayward Child

Lord, I know
I have no right to ask of you the things I do, for I am a wayward child.

But I ask anyway, for I am your wayward child.

Saturday Psalm #111

LORD, my God, I praise you.
I extol you with all my heart,
wherever I may be,
in the midst of your people
or among those who don't yet know you.

Your works are great, Lord.
The more I think on them,
the more I delight in them.

Everything you do is glorious and majestic,
and your righteousness never ends.

You cause your wonders to be remembered:
you repeat them day after day,
in my life and in the world around me.

You are gracious and compassionate.
You provide food for those who fear you;
you keep all your promises.

You give your people plenty of reasons to acknowledge your works.
You have given us far more than we ever deserved.

Your works are faithful and just;
your precepts are trustworthy.

They remain true for ever and ever,
proven over and over again.

You have redeemed me, Lord,
for which I can never stop praising you.
You have kept your covenant with me,
and with all who trust you.
Holy and awesome is your name.

Submission to you is the beginning of wisdom;
following you is Health 101.
To you belong eternal praise.

I Have More

Wilt Thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
But swear by Thyself, that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
And having done that, Thou hast done;
I fear no more.

(a prayer of John Donne)


Grant, Almighty God, that as you no longer appear to us in shadows and types, as formerly to the holy fathers, but clearly and plainly in your only-begotten Son--O, grant that we may be wholly given to the contemplation of your image, which thus shines before us; and that we may in such a manner be transformed into it, as to make increasing advances, until at length, having put off all the filth of our flesh, we be fully conformed to that pure and perfect holiness which dwells in Christ, as in him dwells the fulness of all blessings and thus obtain at last a participation of that glory which our Lord has procured for us by his resurrection. Amen.

(a prayer of John Calvin, in his Commentary on Hosea, translated into English in 1846 and updated by me into modern English; image by Pexels via

Saturday Psalm #110

O God my praise,
please don't stay silent.
Stick up for me when the wicked
wag their lying tongues against me.

Defend me
when I am not around to defend myself.
Actually, defend me, please, even then.

I don't know why
people whom I embrace
act like my enemy.

I don't want to know.
why people repay me evil for good,
and hatred for my friendship.

I don't need to know.
I will simply try to be a man of prayer,
and turn to you for comfort
and vindication.

It is yours and yours alone to judge.
I thank you that I wish them no harm.

Let them taste your forgiveness.
Let them discover the beauty of peacemaking.
Let them learn submission to you.
Let their children prosper
and learn your ways better than they have.
Preserve their marriages.
Bless their homes.
Restore their integrity
and bring them into the unity of the Spirit
in the bond of peace.

May this be your payment to my accusers,
to those who speak evil of me.

For you, O Sovereign LORD,
deal well with me for your name's sake;
out of the goodness of your love, you deliver me.

I am poor and needy,
and though my heart has been wounded within me,
and I have nearly faded away like an evening shadow,
you have been my help, O LORD my God;
you save me in accordance with your love.

Let everyone know that it is your hand,
that you, O LORD, have done it.
Let everyone know that I am nothing,
and you are everything.
Let everyone know that all I am
and all I have
and all I will ever be
is due to you and your kindness to me.

With my mouth I will greatly extol you, LORD;
I will not fail to praise you wherever I go,
for you stand at the right hand of this needy one,
to save my life from those who accuse me.


Passably Smart

Abba, Father, I thank you
that you have made me passably smart.
I ask also:
please make me miraculously wise,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo by rottonara via


For more than two thousand miles of travel,
ten states in ten days, 
and no flat tires,
no breakdowns,
no accidents,
no detours,
no standstills,
no speeding tickets,
no carsickness, 
for time with family,
time as a couple, 
breathtaking vistas, 
and the kindness of many, 
we give you thanks. 

(photo via