(image by StockSnap via Pixabay.com)

For Seeds I Have Sown

let the seeds I have sown over the years,
no matter where they landed
or how long they have waited
find receptive soil at last
and bear fruit,
yield blessing,
and lead to eternal life
for all I have known,
in Jesus' name,

Make Them Prayerful

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

Each New Day

Farmer Thanks

Captain of the eternal guard, on these acres of black drill ground we are all present or accounted for.

Those caissons which go rolling along up and down the corn rows are panoplied with plows and not with powder.

We put up hay, make grass silage, seed sweet Sudan, that every one in thy image may have milk and meat enough.

So for those heavy lambs, healthful heifers, pink-combed pullets, and pigs well weaned we would give thee our farmer thanks.

Make us just as glad to share our blessings as to glory in our work.


(excerpt from the book, The Farmer Gives Thanks; photo by klimkin via pixabay.com)

Saturday Psalm #148

I praise you, Lord.

I praise you under the night sky,
I praise you while driving into the sun.

I praise you for the faculty to praise you.

I praise you that my brain works (mostly),
that my tongue moves,
that my heart resounds with your praise.

I praise you for the sun you created,
and for the moon and stars you hung in place.

I praise you for the unfathomable expanse of the universe,
and for the mysteries of deep space.

I praise you for signing your work,
and making it reasonable for us to praise it.

I praise you for this clockwork solar system
and the ancient and future splendor of the skies.

I praise you for this earth,
its resiliency,
and energy.

I praise you for the sheer numbers in your Creation:
20,000 species of fish,
6,000 species of reptiles,
9,000 birds,
1,000 amphibians,
15,000 species of mammals
and over a million insect species...that we know of!

I praise you for lightning and hail,
snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do your bidding,
for Kilimanjaro and the Piedmont,
for almond trees and pomegranate,
for wild horses and curious marmots,
tiny hummingbirds and great egrets,
for fall plumage and winter blankets,
for the strength of young men,
the beauty of young maids,
the wisdom of the old
and the patience of the aged.

I praise you, Lord,
for the joy of praising your name,
for the grace of beholding your splendor
in earth and sky.

I praise you, Champion of your people,
the praise of all your saints,
the joy of people close to your heart.

I praise you.

(photo via Pixabay.com)

Baseball is Back

Thank you, God, that baseball is back.
Thank you for outfields of green
and the crack of the ball on a wooden bat.
For pitchers with eccentric windups,
for stolen bases
and diving catches.
For double plays
and double steals,
bunts and brushbacks,
squeeze plays and home runs.
For "cold beer here!" and ballpark franks.
For the seventh inning stretch.
For day games and night games.
For OBPs and ERAs,
pickoff plays and headfirst slides,
for opening days (even really late ones) and hope springing eternal.

An Invocation Before Writing

O for a muse of fire
that would ascend
the brightest heaven of invention
(Henry V, Prologue, 1).

Come, King of Grace

Come, King of Grace, and fill me with your grace in this life, just as you will fill me in heaven with your eternal glory. Reign over me in the gracious kingdom of your Holy Spirit; yes, prepare your kingdom in me, which is justice, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Enlighten my heart, rule my life, and sanctify my thoughts so that they all may be reverent and pleasing to you. Surround me with your grace, that I may never be removed from it.

Come to me, Holy Trinity! Make me your dwelling and your temple. Spark in me the light of your knowledge, faith, hope, humility, patience, prayer, perseverance, and reverence. Amen.

(from Amish Prayers, compiled by Beverly Lewis)

Praise Belongs to You

Praise belongs to you, Lord,
Mighty God,
and Just.
I praise you for being a mighty fortress,
a kind, forgiving Father,
a gentle, nursing mother,
a friend,
a king,
a warrior,
a shepherd,
a rose of Sharon,
a morning star,
a sun, and shield, a shelter,
all that I need, and all I aspire to be.

(image by Emmie_Norfolk via pixabay.com)

Saturday Psalm #147

I praise you, Lord!

How I love to sing praises to you, my God,
how pleasant and fitting it is to praise you!

Build up your people, Lord;
gather them from exile and exclusion.

Heal the brokenhearted
and bind up their wounds.

You know the number of the stars,
you call each one by name.

You are so great, Lord, and mighty in power;
your understanding is infinite.

You sustain the humble,
but cast the wicked to the ground.

I sing to you, LORD, with thanksgiving;
I love to worship you in song,
especially among your gathered saints,
and especially in four-part harmony!

You cover the sky with clouds;
supply the earth with rain
and make grass grow on the hills.

You provide food for cattle
and for the young ravens when they call.

Your greatest pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor in human ingenuity...
you delight in those who fear you,
who put their hope in your unfailing love.

Extol the LORD, O people of God;
praise your God, you saints,
for he is your protector
and your reward.

He gives peace
and nourishment.

He sends his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.

He spreads the snow like cake icing
and scatters the frost like glitter.

He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
Who can withstand his icy blast?

But then He sends his word and melts them all;
he stirs up his breezes, and the spring waters flow.

When he can do all that,
do you doubt that he can speak his word to your heart?
Can you seriously worry
that he will not be faithful to you--
you whom he has chosen,
you whom he has favored?

Praise the LORD.

(photo by AlexasFotos via pixabay.com)

Like a Shepherd

Savior, like a shepherd lead me, much much much I need your tender care;
In your pleasant pastures feed me, for my use your folds prepare.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! You have bought me, I am yours.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! You have bought me, I am yours.

I am yours, my Friend and Helper, be the Guardian of my way;
Keep me safely in your favor, seek me when I go astray.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Hear, O hear me when we pray.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Hear, O hear me when we pray.

You have been so gracious, Gentle Shepherd, saved my soul and set me free;
You have led me into spacious pasture, daily shown your face to me.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! I will serve you all my days.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! I will serve you all my days.

(from the hymn, Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us, revised and updated)

Through Weakness

Lord, your gracious favor is all I need.
Your power works best in my weakness.
Let the power of Christ work in me
through weakness
by your gracious favor.

(based on 2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT; photo by Veri997 via pixabay.com)

You Turn Tables

Our mothers and fathers
have long spoken of you.
And we have their spokenness in our hands,
in these old texts.
We propose now to study you,
to weigh and test,
to examine and assess,
to make you our "object"
and so to get a grade.
In your strangeness,
you are studied only temporarily
object only penultimately,
weighed and tested only at the outset.
But then - as always -
You turn tables,
You become subject who addresses,
sovereign who commands,
mother who loves,
warrior who defends,
And we find ourselves turned in our study to praise and adoration.
So we ask for freedom to love you with our minds,
that we may know a little as we are known,
and in knowing may love and adore,
and in loving and adoring, may obey...
to your praise,
and our joy, Amen.

(from Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: The Prayers of Walter Brueggemann, by way of the Daily Prayer blog. The background of the photo is explained here, on the Hither & Yon blog)

On Her Birthday

Abba, you have granted me
the loveliest bride,
the perfect woman for me,
and I am grateful.
Thank you
for hearing my heart's cry 46 years ago
and thank you
for giving her in marriage to me 43 years ago.
And thank you
for every day with her since then,
in Jesus' name, amen.

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. Amen.

(illustration by jplenio via pixabay.com)

Saturday Psalm #146

Oh, how I praise you, LORD.
I praise you with my whole heart!

I praise you with my life;
your praise will live in me as long as life lives in me!

I have learned the folly of putting my trust in people,
of expecting constancy and faithfulness from mere humans.

We are all so faithless and so fleeting,
and even the best among us fall so far short.

That's why it makes sense to look only to you for help, God of Jacob.
That's why my hope is in you alone,
maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
Yahweh, Adonai, El Shaddai, the Faithful One forever.

You uphold the cause of the oppressed
and defend the defenseless.
You give food to the hungry
and set prisoners free.
You give sight to the blind,
lift up those who are bowed down.

You give yourself to those who give themselves to you,
you watch over the alien
and sustain the fatherless and the widow,
while frustrating the ways of the wicked.

Why do I forget all this, Lord?
Why do I so easily forget your faithfulness?
Why do I stress,
get worked up,
as if you weren't on the job?

Yet I have seen you
vindicate the righteous
and humble the proud.
I have seen you
prove yourself faithful to those whose hope is in you.
I have seen little, vindictive, unforgiving people
wither and waste
like untended vines.

You reign forever,
God of Zion,
God of me,
for all generations.

Oh, how I praise you!

To Know Who They Are

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

Grant Me These Good Things

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. Amen.

(from the Talmud, Tractate Berakhot)

Until Respondent Voices Rend the Air

Omnipotent God, whom through the worship of my heart alone I know, to the wicked unknown, yet known to every devout soul, you are without beginning and without end, more ancient than time past and time to come; your fashion and extent no mind can ever grasp, no tongue express....

Son of the All-highest, bringer of salvation to the human race, you to whom your Begetter has committed all the powers of his Fatherhood, keeping none back in envy, but giving freely, open a way for my prayers and safely convey them to your Father's ears.

Grant me a heart, O Father, to hold out against all deeds of wrong, and deliver me from the serpent's deadly venom, sin....

Prepare a road that I, being freed from the fetters of this frail body, may be led up on high, where in the clear heaven the Milky Way stretches above the wandering clouds of the wind-vexed moon--that road by which the holy men of old departed from the earth; by which Elias, being caught up in the chariot, once made his ways alive above our lower air; and Enoch, too, who went before his end without change of body.

Grant me, O Father, the effluence of everlasting light for which I yearn, and bring to your altar the offering of a stainless life.

Grant me your pardon, Father, and relieve my anguished breast...and when the hour of my last day shall come, grant that the conscience of a life well spent cause me not to fear death, nor yet long for it. When, through your mercy, I appear cleansed from my secret faults, let me despise all else, and let my one delight be to await in hope your judgment. And if that day delays, keep me far from that fierce tempter, the serpent, with his false allurements.

Claim these prayers as your own before the eternal Father, Son of God to whom I pray, Savior, God and Lord, Mind, Glory, Word and Son, very God of very God, Light of Light, who remains with the eternal Father, reigning throughout all ages, whose praise the harmonious songs of tuneful David echo forth, until respondent voices rend the air with "Amen."

(a prayer by Ausonius, shortened and updated slightly)

That Inner Gift

Lord, I would share,
But first possess,
That inner gift, serenity.
Then, comforted, blessed, free from unrest,
Serve you nonetheless,
But with tranquility.

(from Abundant Living, by E. Stanley Jones, p. 155; slightly revised)

It Pales

All that is here within these bones
All that is future and unknown
All that the world would sell--it pales compared to you.
All that is in us hears your call
Mountains of doubt before you fall
All that we could not give before--abandoned now.

(by Frederick Booth-Tucker;
photo via everystockphoto.com)

An Independence Day Prayer

Lord my God,
I worship you today,
on this 244th 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 2020,
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.

To Feel the Music of Living

Giver of life, creator of all that is lovely,
Teach me to sing the words to your song;
I want to feel the music of living
And not fear the sad songs
But from them make new songs
Composed of both laughter and tears.

Teach me to dance to the sounds of your world and your people,
I want to move in rhythm with your plan,
Help me to try to follow your leading
To risk even falling
To rise and keep trying
Because you are leading the dance.

(author unknown)

Ready to Give Us Pardon

Grant, Almighty God, that since we are at this day as guilty before you as were the Israelites of old, who were so rebellious against your prophets, and that as you have often tried sweetly to allure us to yourself without any success, and as we have not hitherto ceased, by our continual obstinacy, to provoke your wrath--O, grant that, being moved at least by the warnings you give us, we may prostrate ourselves before your face, and not wait until you put forth your hand to destroy us, but, on the contrary, strive to anticipate your judgment; and that being at the same time surely convinced that you are ready to be reconciled to us in Christ, we may flee to Him as our Mediator; and that relying on his intercession, we may not doubt but that you are ready to give us pardon, until having at length put away all sins, we come to that blessed state of glory which has been obtained for us by the blood of your Son. Amen.

(a prayer of John Calvin, in his Commentary on Hosea, translated into English in 1846 and updated by me into modern English; photo illustration by fancycrave1 via pixabay.com)