Into Your Chamber

Draw me completely into yourself,
So that I might completely melt in your love.

Lay upon me, stamp upon me,
So that my stubborn pride might be destroyed.

Embrace me, kiss me,
So that my spiritual ugliness may turn to beauty.

Lock me into your chamber,
So that I might never stray 
from your presence.

(a prayer by Johann Freylinghausen; photo by truk via

For a Serious Seeking

Keep me O Lord, while I tarry on this earth, 
in a serious seeking after you, 
and in an affectionate walking with you, 
every day of my life; 
that when you come, I may be found 
not hiding my talent, 
nor serving the flesh, 
nor yet asleep with my lamp unfurnished, 
but waiting and longing for you.

 (a prayer by Richard Baxter; photo by Pexels via

You Speak Words of Promise and We Answer

You speak words of promise, 
and we answer. 
A thousand times we answer, 
in a thousand tongues-- 
we answer in hymns of praise, 
we answer in songs of thanksgiving, 
we answer in lyrics of gladness, 
we answer in candor about hurt, 
we answer in abrasive anger, 
we answer in deep abandonment. 

We answer and draw close to you. 
And in answering we are changed: 
given freedom, 
come to truth, 
bound in obedience. 

We answer and are yours, all yours, 
not our own, 
yours, and 
glad that we belong to 
you our faithful savior. 

(a prayer by Walter Brueggemann, from his book, Prayers for a Privileged People, p. 169)

On Thanksgiving

Our Father in Heaven, 

If ever we had a cause to offer unto Thee our fervent thanks, surely it is now, on the Eve of our Thanksgiving Day, when we, the people of this Nation, are comfortable, well fed, well clad, and blessed with good things beyond our deserving. May gratitude, the rarest of all virtues, be the spirit of our observance. 

Let not feasting, football, and festivity end in forgetfulness of God. May the desperate need of the rest of the world, and our own glorious heritage, remind us of the God who led our Fathers every step of the way by which they advanced to the character of an independent nation.

May the faith and conviction of George Washington be renewed in us as we remember his words:

...there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exits in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained...

For if we do not have the grace to thank Thee for all that we have and enjoy, how can we have the effrontery to seek Thy further blessings? God, give us grateful hearts. 

For Jesus' sake.


(a prayer from the Senate of the United States, November 26, 1947, by Rev. Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain)

On Calleigh's Birthday

Abba, Father, Most Blessed, Most High, 
this girl. 

Isn't she precious? 
Thank you for giving to our family 
the gift of Calleigh,
this precious young woman, 
this beautiful granddaughter, 
this wonderful Calleigh. 

Thank you for preserving her 
through every trial and challenge.
Thank you for her health, 
and intricacy. 

Thank you for entrusting her to the care of such wonderful parents. 

Gentle Shepherd, 
continue as you've begun, 
adding more health, 
more strength, 
more happiness, 
more brilliance, 
more love, 
and delight
to her life and to our life through hers, 
in Jesus' name, amen. 

For Your Mercies on Me

O my God,
let me, with thanksgiving,
remember, and confess unto you
your mercies on me.

Let my bones be soaked with your love,
and let them say unto you,
Who is like you, O Lord?

You have broken my chains in pieces.
I will offer unto you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
And how you have broken them, I will declare;
and all who worship you, when they hear this, will say:
Blessed is the Lord in heaven and in earth!
Great and wonderful is his name!

(a prayer of St. Augustine; illustration by avi_acl via

My Little Vessel is Full

O My God, 
Thou fairest, greatest, 
first of all objects, 
my heart admires, 
loves thee, 
for my little vessel 
is as full as it can be, 
and I would pour out 
all that fullness before thee 
in ceaseless flow. 

When I think upon and converse with thee 
ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up, 
ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed, 
ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart, 
crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created, 
for adorning it, for sanctifying it, 
though it is fixed in barren soil; 
for the body thou hast given me, 
for preserving its strength and vigour, 
for providing senses to enjoy delights, 
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express, 
for what thou art to thy creatures.

Increase my love, O my God, 
through time and eternity. 

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

Flowers in the Desert

As flowers grow 
in the 
please bring fruit
of my heart. 

This Family

you have given me everything 
in giving me this wife, 
this daughter, 
this son, 
this son-in-law, 
this daughter-in-law, 
these grandkids. 
Thank you. 

Times and Seasons

Thank you, Lord, that the seasons of my life 
have included so many births, and so few deaths; 
more times to plant, than times of plucking up that which is planted; 
No times to kill, and many times to heal; 
infrequent times to break down, and frequent times to build up; 
Fewer times to weep than times to laugh; 
Fewer times to mourn than times to dance. 

Thank you for those times to cast away stones, and times of gathering stones together; 
thank you for times of embracing, and times to refrain from embracing; 
Thank you for so many times to get, and so few times to lose, 
so many times to keep, and so few times to cast away.

Make me wise to recognize times to rend, and times to sew; 
times to keep silence, and times to speak; 
times to love, and times to hate; 
times of war, and times of peace,
in Jesus' name, amen 

(based on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, KJV; photo via

Just One Single Day

Thank you, Lord, 
for today, just one single day, 
you have given me grace to pray, 
coffee to drink, 
food to eat, 
clothes to wear. 

You allowed me 
to wake in my own bed, 
in health, 
and in (mostly) my right mind.

I have hope of meaningful work, 
innumerable comforts, 
and a happy conclusion to this day. 

By your grace, I can see, hear, touch, taste, feel.
By your grace, I know love and companionship. 
By your grace, I have the means to buy, and abundance to give. 
By your grace, I am forgiven and forgiving. 

For this and more, 
just one day's worth, 
I give you my most heartfelt thanks! 


(photo by RachelScottYoga via

Unquestioning Acceptance

Gracious God, 
please make me more like the birds and the lilies, 
who (in Bonhoeffer's words) "glorify their Creator, 
not by their industry, toil or care, 
but by a daily 
acceptance of his gifts." 

(photo by Auzz33 via 

I Claim an Entrance

O God, if still the holy place 
Is found of those in prayer, 
By all the promises of grace 
I claim an entrance there. 

Give me a self-denying soul, 
Enlarged and unconfined; 
Abide within me, and control 
The wanderings of the mind. 

Give me the strength of faith that dares 
To die to self each day, 
That bravely takes the cross, nor cares 
To find an easier way. 

Help me to make more sacrifice, 
To walk where Christ would lead, 
That in my life He may arise 
To hallow every deed. 


(a prayer of General Albert Orsborn of The Salvation Army)

That Hoping in Thee We May Do Good

O Lord, in Whom is our hope, 
remove far from us, 
we pray Thee, 
empty hopes and presumptuous confidence. 

Make our hearts so right 
with Thy most holy and loving heart, 
that hoping in Thee we may do good; 
until that day 
when faith and hope shall be abolished 
by sight and possession, 
and love shall be all in all.


(a prayer by Christina Rossetti; photo by Lars_Nissen via


Lord, please grant me the desires 
of YOUR heart. 

(photo via

Flower and Sun

We are the flower, Thou the sun! 
Forgive us if, as days decline, 
We nearer steal to Thee....

(lines 7-9 of Emile Dickinson's "The Daisy Follows Soft the Sun"; 
photo illustration by Kathas_Fotos via

On Veterans' Day

God of peace,
we pray for those
who have served our nation
and who laid down their lives
to protect and defend our freedom.

We pray for those who have fought, 
whose spirits and bodies 
are scarred by war, 
whose nights are haunted by memories  
too painful for the light of day. 

We pray for those who serve us now,
especially for those in harm's way:
shield them from danger
and bring them home.

Turn the hearts and minds
of our leaders and our enemies
to the work of justice and a harvest of peace.

Spare the poor, Lord, spare the poor!

May the peace you left us,
the peace you gave us,
be the peace that sustains,
the peace that saves us.

Christ Jesus, hear us!
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer!


(from A Concord Pastor Comments blog; photo by KaraSuva via

Quietness and Confidence

Lord God Adonai, 
you said,
"In quietness and confidence 
is your strength" 
(Isaiah 30:15, NLT).
Make it so in me.
Help me to prove it, here and now, 
in Jesus' name, amen.


Lord, King and Father unbegotten, True Essence of the Godhead, 
have mercy on me. 
Lord, Fount of light and Creator of all things, 
have mercy on me. 
Lord, Thou who hast signed me with the seal of Thine image, 
have mercy on me. 
Christ, True God and True Man, 
have mercy on me. 
Christ, Rising Sun, through whom are all things, 
have mercy on me. 
Christ, Perfection of Wisdom, 
have mercy on me. 
Lord, vivifying Spirit and power of life, 
have mercy on me. 
Lord, Breath of the Father and the Son, in Whom are all things, 
have mercy on me. 
Lord, Purger of sin and Almoner of grace, 
I beseech Thee abandon me not because of my sins, 
O Consoler of the sorrowing soul, 
have mercy on me.

(photo by jplenio via

Post-Election-Day Prayer

Praise be to your name, God, for ever and ever; 
    wisdom and power are yours. 
You change times and seasons; 
    you depose kings and raise up others.
You give wisdom to the wise 
    and knowledge to the discerning.
You reveal deep and hidden things;
    you know what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with you. 
Praise be to your name, God, for ever and ever.

(based on Daniel 2:20-22; photo via

Election Day Prayer

Sovereign and Most High God, your Word says that you control the course of world events; you remove and exalt rulers (Daniel 2:21). So I pray, exert your control over the events of this election; remove and install leaders according to your “good, perfect, and pleasing” plan (Romans 12:2, NIV).

I pray for every candidate for every office, and the people who love them: God, be merciful to them and bless them; look on them with kindness (Psalm 67:1), whether they win or lose, and accomplish what is best for them, their loved ones, and their constituents.

I pray Isaiah 11:2 for every voter: Holy Spirit, speak to every person who votes in this election. Send the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD on everyone who casts a ballot.

I pray for justice to roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream, through my neighborhood, city, state, and nation (Amos 5:24).

I pray for your people to participate in this election and respond to the results not in a spirit of fear and timidity, but in a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).

As Jesus prayed, I ask for your will rather than mine (Matthew 26:39). Dispel suspicion and hatred, heal divisions, repair the damage to and by your church, and restore the unity of our nation. 

And, finally, Father, I ask for the faith to see your hand in the results of this election, even as I remember those people around the world who have no voice and no vote. Let my reaction to this election reveal my faith in You and my awareness of my privilege and responsibility as a citizen, in Jesus’ name, amen.

On All Saints' Day

Father, All-Powerful and ever-living God, 
you have knit together your elect 
in one communion and fellowship 
in the mystical body 
of Your Son, Christ our Lord, 
and kindled the flame of your love 
in the hearts of the saints. 
I praise you for the holy men and women 
you have raised up 
in every time and place. 
Give me grace so to follow their example
in devotion and godliness 
that I may come
to those ineffable joys
that you have prepared for those
who unfeignedly love you, 
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, 
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, 
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen. 

(updated and modernized from the Catholic Liturgy of the Hours, the Gothic Missal, and The Book of Common Prayer, 1979)