Heal Our Land

Psalm of Protest

A psalm of protest,
In memory of George Floyd,
Sung at the gates of justice,
When black men are strangled in the streets,
When power is abused and jails overflow,
When the voiceless are forgotten and minorities misused.
Open, you gates!
Open to the cries of those murdered, jailed or harassed
For being black,
For being a person of color,
For being homeless, indigent, destitute or unwanted,
The detained, the hounded,
The pursued and the persecuted,
Those who are killed while being restrained.
Open, you gates!
Let righteousness flow forth as living waters,
And truth flow forth as healing balm,
To still the hand of violence and hatred,
To cure the heart of bigotry and racism,
To herald fairness and equality,
And bring justice to this land.

(© 2019 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved; photo by cocoparisienne via pixabay.com)

Hold Thou Me Up

O God the author of all good, I come to Thee for the grace another day will require for its duties and events. I step out into a wicked world; I carry about with me an evil heart. I know that without Thee I can do nothing, that everything with which I shall be concerned, however harmless in itself, may prove an occasion of sin or folly, unless I am kept by Thy power. Hold Thou me up and I shall be safe.

Preserve my understanding from subtilty of error, my affections from love of idols, my character from stain of vice, my profession from every form of evil. May I engage in nothing in which I cannot implore Thy blessing, and in which I cannot invite Thy inspection. Prosper me in all lawful undertakings, or prepare me for disappointments. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with food convenient for me, lest I be full and deny Thee and say, Who is the Lord? or be poor, and steal, and take Thy name in vain.

May every creature be made good to me by prayer and Thy will. Teach me how to use the world and not abuse it, to improve my talents, to redeem my time, to walk in wisdom toward those without, and in kindness to those within, to do good to all men, and especially to my fellow Christians. And to Thee be the glory.


(from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers, edited by Arthur Bennett)

Your Unfailing Love

For Those Deprived of Work

Lord Christ, you said to your disciples, "My Father has worked till now, and I work": we pray for those who through no fault of their own have been deprived of the work that leads towards the fulfillment of their lives.

Inspire and guide those who bear the responsibility of finding the answer to our industrial problems.

Open their minds to the truth, that they may discern in the events of our time the direction of your will; and give them the courage to declare what they believe to be right, and the power to carry it through.

(a prayer by Basil Naylor, from The Complete Book of Christian Prayer, p. 142)

For Those Who Gave Their Lives

In the quiet sanctuaries of our own hearts,
let each of us name and call on
the One whose power over us
is great and gentle,
firm and forgiving,
holy and healing…

You who created us,
who sustain us,
who call us to live in peace,
hear our prayer this day.

Hear our prayer for all who have died,
whose hearts and hopes are known to you alone…

Hear our prayer for those who put the welfare of others
ahead of their own
and give us hearts as generous as theirs…

Hear our prayer for those who gave their lives
in the service of others,
and accept the gift of their sacrifice…

Help us to shape and make a world
where we will lay down the arms of war
and turn our swords into ploughshares
for a harvest of justice and peace…

Comfort those who grieve the loss of their loved ones
and let your healing be the hope in our hearts...

Hear our prayer this day
and in your mercy answer us
in the name of all that is holy.


(from the Concord Pastor blog)

Saturday Psalm 142

I cry aloud to you, LORD;
Listen, please.
Have mercy, please.

I complain a lot, I know,
but please be patient
while I tell you my troubles again.

As weary as I get,
I know you know my way.
You see the traps
that are hidden in my path.
You discern how, on my left and right,
are dangers and unkind people.

But there are many others, O LORD,
who love me
and seek my good.
There are many others
who will not abandon me
or stab me in the back.
There are many others
who will be faithful,
and kind,
and forgiving.

And, most importantly,
you are my refuge,
my portion while I live.

You see my desperate
and frequent need;
rescue me from false brothers,
from deceitful
and grudge-holding people.

Set me free day by day
and moment by moment
to praise your name
and worship you with my life,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Light These Idle Sticks of My Life

God, I pray,
light these idle sticks of my life
and may I burn for you.

Consume my life, my God,
for it is yours.

I seek not a long life,
but a full one, like you, Lord Jesus.

(a slightly updated prayer by Jim Elliot, martyred missionary to the indigenous people of Ecuador; photo by sagarkphotography via pixabay.com)

O Blessed Glorious Trinity

O blessed glorious Trinity,
Bones to philosophy, but milk to faith,
Which, as wise serpents, diversely
Most slipperiness, yet most entanglings hath,
As you distinguish'd, undistinct,
By power, love, knowledge be,
Give me a such self different instinct,
Of these let all me elemented be,
Of power, to love, to know you unnumbered three.

(Stanza IV of John Donne's Litany)

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:

Everyday Grace

Abba, thank you
for everyday grace:
and more.

You are always faithful,
ever giving,
and completely loving.


(photo by DeemounUS via pixabay.com)

Saturday Psalm #141

O LORD, I call to you; come.
Please come. Quickly.

Listen, not just to my voice,
but to my heart.

I pray that what I'm about to say
will be pleasing to you,
like incense offered in worship,
like a sweet-smelling sacrifice.

Send an angelic sentinel
to guard my mouth, O LORD;
keep watch over the door of my lips.

Keep my heart from being drawn to evil.
Keep wicked deeds
and wicked people
far, far from me.
I want nothing to do with them.

Surround me with the righteous, Lord.
Even if they rebuke me, it will be a kindness;
if they have to correct me, it will be oil on my head.
Such help I will not despise.
But let those who want me to fail be disappointed,
sorely, Lord.

For my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign LORD;
I take refuge in you, I find shelter in you.

Keep me from the snares of the Enemy,
from the traps set by his accomplices.

Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
while I pass by in safety.


(based on Psalm 141; photo by MarleneBitzer via pixabay.com)

So Much

Thank you for the weight I've lost,
The perspective I've gained,
Things enjoyed at no cost,
Strength to walk without pain,
Ears to hear a lovely song,
Eyes to see a precious sight,
Grace to choose not to do wrong,
Peace to sleep unburdened all night.

In the Garden of My Heart

Jesus, Jesus, lily of the valley,
bloom in all Thy beauty in the garden of my heart.

(a chorus by Sidney Cox; photo by RcktManIL via everystockphoto.com)

Saturday Psalm #140

Save me, LORD,
from dark hearts.
Distance me
from graceless men and women,
who devise evil plans in their hearts
and are utterly blind
to the darkness of their own ways.

They speak out of both sides
of their mouths,
and spread poison
wherever they go.

Keep me, O LORD, out of the hands of the wicked;
protect me from people who find fault so freely with others
and have no insight into the deceit and hypocrisy of their own actions.

People are constantly trying to trap me,
criticizing every step I make
as though they always knew so much better...
though they said nothing,
and offer no wisdom when asked.

O LORD, I say to you, "You are my God."
Hear, O LORD, my cry for mercy.

O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer,
who shields my head in the day of battle-

do not grant the wicked their desires, O LORD;
do not let their plans succeed,
for the sake of your people,
for the sake of your righteousness,
for the sake of your reputation.

Let the heads of those who convene to condemn me
be slandered by their own hypocrisy.

Let them taste their own medicine;
let their own judgment be meted back to them.

Let slanderers not be established in the land;
may disaster hunt down men and women who wreak havoc.

I know that you secure justice for the poor
and uphold the cause of the needy;
do it now,
do it here,
do it, please,
that the righteous may praise your name
and the upright will live before you.

(based on Psalm 140; photo by Daniel_Nebrada via pixabay.com)

My Memory

Lord, keep my memory green.

(a prayer of Charles Dickens; photo by GAIMARD via pixabay.com)

Daily Experience

Almighty God, my Father....
Grant me the grace of daily confession,
daily forgiveness,
and daily cleansing.
Wash from my hands the dust of earthly striving.
Make me sensitive to sin’s approach.
Make me quick to confess my sins to You.
Let me daily experience Your forgiveness and cleansing,
and let me walk in newness of life to the glory of Your name, amen.

(prayer that closes chapter 10 in The Red Letter Prayer Life; line 5 is a quote from the Albert Orsborn hymn, "From a Hill I Know")

In This Bundle of Life

O God, you have bound us together in this bundle of life:
give us grace to understand how our lives depend upon the courage,
the industry, the honesty and the integrity of others;
that we may be mindful of their needs,
grateful for their faithfulness,
and faithful in our responsibilities to them.

(a prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr; photo via everystockphoto.com)

Saturday Psalm #139

O Lord, you know me.
Better than I know myself.
You know all there is to know about me.

You know what I will do
before I do it.
And you know why, too.
You know what I'm thinking
before I think it.

You see me when I'm alone,
and you see me in a crowd.

You know what I am going to say
before I say it.
You precede me.
You follow me.
You hold my hand.

Wow. Just wow, Lord.
It's too wonderful to grasp.
Yet I know it's true.

I can go nowhere that you are not.
I can try to flee from you,
and you will still be there before I arrive.
You are never absent.
Never unaware.
Never surprised.
Never inattentive.

Wherever I go, you are there to guide me,
and your strength will be there to support me.

Even the deepest darkness won't separate me from you,
for you are light,
and you enlighten all things.

You even see into the most delicate, inner parts of my body--
my nerves,
my cells,
my capillaries and corpuscles.

From my mother’s womb,
you have seen me.

Thank you for making me so complex
and for knowing me so intimately!
Your workmanship is incredible, absolutely incredible.
You watched every moment as I was formed,
and monitored my every move in the seclusion of the womb.
You knew me then.
You know me now.
You've known me every moment in between.
Every day of my life up to now was recorded in your book.
Every moment of my future is laid out with precision.

I am amazed that you think about me, O God.
I am finite, but your thoughts toward me
are infinite.
How is that possible?
How can that be?

I don't understand you, God,
but I know you understand me.

I cannot grasp the "why" or "when" of your ways.
But you chart all my ways.

Open me like a book, O God,
examine my heart and mind.
Point to anything that displeases you
and lead me where you want me to go.

(photo by MorningbirdPhoto via pixabay.com)