Restore

 


For Our Current and Future Financial Needs


Lord, help us to trust you completely with our current and future financial needs. We have tried to be good and responsible stewards of everything you have given us, and you have blessed our lives in so many ways. Help us not cling to money or material possessions but to hold our hands wide open to you as we acknowledge you as the giver of everything. We love you, and we trust you. Give us the continued grace to honor you by giving you our moments of fear. 

(a prayer of Michele Howe, from her book, Strength for All Seasons: A Prayer Devotional; photo illustration by icame via pixabay.com)

As the Deer Longs


English translation: "As the deer longs for running water, so longs my soul for you, O God" (Psalm 42:1). 

At Minimum

Lord,
by your great mercy,
by your wonder-working power,
let me not
disappoint you,
frustrate my loved ones,
embarrass the angels,
or vindicate those who expect the worst from me,
in anything I do today,
in Jesus' name,
amen.

On Level Ground

 


As Flowers Blossom

We give you everlasting thanks, O God,
For the marvels of your great creation.

As the flowers blossom and bloom around us
We lift our hearts in joy and celebration.
Amen.

(by Joyce Blakney Duerr, in Graces, by June Cotner, 1994, Harper San Francisco; photo taken by Bob Hostetler at the Abbey of Gethsemani) 

As for Me

As for me, I trust in you, Lord.

As for me, I will listen to your voice.

As for me, I will bow down to you.

As for me, I will believe you are looking out for me 
and taking care of me.

As for me, I will rely on you and on your timing. 

As for me, I trust in you (Psalm 55:23). 

She Walks in Beauty

Abba, Father, 
I don't have to tell you how blessed I am 
by the wife you've given to me, 
and the kind of mother she has been--
and is--
to our children. 

She walks in beauty, like the night 
of cloudless climes and starry skies 
(to quote Byron). 

She showers blessing, like August rain,  
on every dry and needy place. 

She denies herself, like the pelican of myth, 
feeding her loved ones with her own lifeblood. 

She fights with passion, like a badger, 
to defend and protect her home and family. 

What a gift she is to me and to this family. 
Lift her up in our love, 
encourage her with our gratitude, 
and let her feel your favor 
flowing through ours, 

in Jesus' name, amen. 

A Prayer to Begin the Workday


Summoned my labor to renew, 
And glad to act my part, 
Lord, in Thy name my work I do, 
And with a single heart. 

End of my every action Thou, 
In all things Thee I see; 
Accept my offered labor now. 
I do it unto Thee.

(from a hymn by Charles Wesley)



Nothing Else

O Jesus, Light of Eternal Glory, comfort my wandering soul....Please come to me and make this poor, humble soul glad. Please put out your hand and deliver me from every trap. Please come, for without you there is no joyful day or hour. You are my joy, and without you my heart is empty....

Let others seek pleasures instead of you, but for me nothing else pleases me except you. You are my God, my hope, and my eternal salvation. 

(excerpt from The Imitation of Christ: Classic Devotions in Today's Language, by Thomas à Kempis, compiled and edited by James N. Watkins; photo by Tama66 via pixabay.com)

Best Above All Things


Grant me, most sweet and loving Jesus, to rest in you above every person, above all health and beauty, above all glory and honor, above all authority and dignity, above all knowledge and skillfulness, above all riches and arts, above all joy and exaltation, above all fame and praise, above all delights and comfort, above all hope and promise, above all merit and desire, above all gifts and rewards which you give and pour out, and above all joy and jubilation which my mind is able to receive and feel. You reign above angels and archangels, above the army of heaven, above all things visible and invisible, and above everything which you, O my God, are not. 

For you, O Lord, my God, are the best above all things; you alone are the most high; you alone are the Almighty and all-comforting; you alone are completely lovely and loving; you alone are the most exalted and most glorious above all things, in whom all things are and were and forever will be, altogether and all-perfect. Everything you give me falls short and is insufficient without you. Whatever you reveal or promise me that is not revealed yet or fully possessed, is not sufficient. Truly my heart cannot truly rest and be content unless it rests in you. You satisfy beyond all gifts and anything people can offer. 

(excerpt from The Imitation of Christ: Classic Devotions in Today's Language, by Thomas à Kempis, compiled and edited by James N. Watkins; photo by johnhain via pixabay.com)

Desert Oak


Lord, for me and mine I fervently pray: Grant the strength and tenacity of a desert oak, that our roots may go down deep and spread wide in the soil of your gracious, life-giving love, in Jesus' name, amen. 

To Continue in Thy Presence

O my God, since Thou art with me,
and I must now,
in obedience to Thy commands,
apply my mind to these outward things,
I beseech Thee to grant me
the grace to continue in Thy Presence;
and to this end do Thou prosper me with Thy assistance,
receive all my works,
and possess all my affections. 

(a prayer of Brother Lawrence; photo via Pixabay.com)

I Sing More Praise

 

O most sublime, 
O most gracious, 
O first thinker, 
O first speaker, 
O from everlasting to everlasting, 
O mighty defender, 
O strength giver, 
O lover of souls, 
O captain of hosts, 
O kinsman redeemer, 
O hearer of prayers, 
O gentle shepherd, 
O twister of oaks, 
O lifter of my head, 
O lily of the valley, 
O rose of sharon, 
O king of angels, 
O great and awesome, 
O suffering servant, 
O willing sacrifice, 
O name above all names, 
the humblest you created
sings your praise,
Amen.

(suggested by a prayer of Mechtid of Magdeburg)

I Sing Your Praise

 

O creator of all,
O ancient of days,
O garden walker,
O night wrestler,
O consuming fire,
O sea splitter,
O mountain thunderer,
O gentle whisperer,
O song giver,
O holiest in the height,
O water walker,
O heart healer,
O dead raiser,
O sin forgiver,
O beauty beyond description,
O glory of the humble,
O strength of the weak,
O hope of the hopeless and Father of the fatherless,
O coming King,
the humblest you created
sings your praise,
Amen.

(suggested by a prayer of Mechtid of Magdeburg)

To My Capable God

Good morning, Lord.

Thank you for the good rest of this night just past, 
for the new promise of this fresh morning, 
and for all the possibility this day holds. 

Somehow, while I slept, 
you kept all things under your control 
and held all things together 
while I rested under the shadow of your wing. 

Remind me often 
that you are as capable in the day 
as in the night, 
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo by 6689062 via pixabay.com)
 

Your Happy Willingness


Thank you, Lord, 
for your "happy willingness" to create, 
as Tozer phrased it. 

Thank you that you were pleased 
to form the heavens and the earth, 
night and day, 
Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. 

Thank you that you lovingly and laughingly created 
the otter and the eel, 
the hawk and the hippopotamus, 
roses and orchids, 
blacked-eyed Susans and black-eyed peas.

Thank you that you delivered Israel out of Egypt 
and me out of sin and condemnation.
Thank you that you made me whole 
and gave me new life and fellowship with you, amen.

(photo by shucke via pixabay.com)

The Trees

Oh, Lord, how we are all for invention and advancement!

But I think 

it would do us good if we would think about 

these brothers and sisters, quietly and deeply. 


The trees, the trees, just holding on 

to the old, holy ways. 


(excerpted from Mary Oliver's poem, "The Trees," found in her book Evidence)

O Gladsome Light

Be unto me, O Lord, 
always thy mighty hand for defence: 
thy mercy in Christ for salvation: 
thine all true word for instruction: 
the grace of thy life-bringing Spirit 
for comfort until the end and in the end. 

I commend unto Thee, 
O Lord, 
my soul and my body,
my mind and my thoughts,
my words and my deeds,
my hands, feet and eyes,
my life and my death.

O Gladsome Light of the holy glory of the immortal Father, heavenly holy, blest, O Jesus Christ, being come to the going down of the sun, seeing the evening light, we hymn the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit of God. Worthy art Thou at all times to be hymned with holy voices, Son of God, which givest life: therefore the world doth glorify Thee.

(a prayer of Lancelot Andrewes; photo by Paul_Henri via pixabay.com)

Winds and Waves

Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. 

Save me from the winds and waves that impede my efforts to get closer to you. 

Steer me away from temptation, even as you remind me that temptation isn't sin —and may even be more intense as I draw closer to you. 

I know that Satan would sift me like wheat and draw me into sin, and therefore farther from you, so please make humility, repentance, and obedience my daily diet. 

Deliver me from fear, whether reasonable and unreasonable, that prevent me from drawing near to you with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings.

Protect me from legalistic pride, arrogance, and judgmentalism; make me quick to recognize and confess my own sin, and gracious and kind toward others whose temptations and struggles look different from mine. 

Draw me, step by step, and—storm or no storm, boat or no boat—take my hand and keep me from sinking.
 
(from Closer to God by Bob Hostetler, p. 87-88; photo by Free-Photos via pixabay.com)

Flow


God, please help me to live in ... “flow.” Teach me to be a giver rather than a taker, to freely share the mercy, grace, and blessings that you have given to me—not for the purpose of gaining more, but with the understanding that you are constantly generous, giving more of yourself to those who give more of themselves. Make me like you, in this and in every respect, in Jesus’s name, amen. 

(from Closer to God by Bob Hostetler, p. 118; photo of Lake Kinnereth by Bob Hostetler)

We Render to Caesar

On this day of internal revenue
some of us are paid up,
some of us owe,
some of us await a refund,
some of us have no income to tax.

But all of us are taxed,
by war,
by violence,
by anxiety,
by deathliness.

And Caesar never gives any deep tax relief.

We render to Caesar . . .
to some it feels like a grab,
to some it is clearly a war tax,
to some – some few –
it is a way to contribute to the common good.

In any case we are haunted
by what we render to Caesar,
by what we might render to you,
by the way we invest our wealth and our lives,
when what you ask is an “easy yoke”:
to do justice
to love mercy
to walk humbly with you.

Give us courage for your easy burden, so to live untaxed lives. Amen.

(a prayer by Walter Brueggemann, from his book, Prayers for a Privileged People; photo by Shutterbug75 via pixabay.com)

For Catalytic Friendships

Jesus, thank you for the vivid example you provided of circles of constructive relationships that foster spiritual vitality. 

Please make me alert to people who share my personality, purpose, values, and goals. Point me to them, and them to me. 

And please grant me wisdom and sensitivity to cultivate friendships—especially close friendships—that will be catalytic in my quest to draw closer to you, amen. 

(from Closer to God by Bob Hostetler, p. 99; photo by StockSnap via pixabay.com)

Deliver

Lord God Almighty, deliver us from evil.

King of heaven, deliver us from evil.

Ruler of all, deliver us from evil.

Deliver us from doing evil, from the evil that “lies close at hand.” Let the righteousness of Christ triumph over the wretchedness of our all-too-human hearts.

Deliver us from evil men and women, from evil affections, companions, and neighbors. Deliver us from dangers near and far, from liars, gossips, and thieves. From malpractice and injustice. From bad bosses and bad employees. From addictions and obsessions. Deliver us from every trick and technique of our enemy, the devil, who “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Deliver also those around us who need deliverance from evil. Deliver our suffering family and friends. Deliver those affected by crime or corruption, those who have been hurt or made homeless by earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes. Deliver from joblessness, poverty, hunger, and disease.

Deliver us from evil, in Jesus’ name, amen. 

(from The Red Letter Prayer Life, pp. 170-171)

Let My Comfort Come


Be with me, Lord Jesus, always and everywhere. 

Let my comfort come from giving up human comfort. And if I don't feel your comfort, let your will and righteous approval be my highest comfort. 

(excerpt from The Imitation of Christ: Classic Devotions in Today's Language, by Thomas à Kempis, compiled and edited by James N. Watkins; photo by Kranich17 via pixabay.com)

To Take a Faith Adventure


Lord, 
Sometimes it seems that my faith centers on warnings to avoid things: the "thou shalt nots." But I long to do something positive for you--to take a faith adventure and learn to trust you more. I want to keep growing, and to do that, I need to leave behind my timidity and take a chance on you. Lord, give me faith to risk everything for you. 

(an excerpt from the book, 365 Pocket Prayers, by Ron Beers; photo by Pexels via everystockphoto.com)

As Their Father is Merciful


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

That I May Behold Him

O God, 
whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples 
in the breaking of bread: 
Open the eyes of my faith, 
that I may behold him in all his redeeming work; 
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, 
now and forever, 
amen.

Alert and Self-Controlled

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

On Resurrection Sunday

It is only right,
with all the powers of our heart and mind,
to praise You Father
and Your Only-begotten Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ:
Dear Father, by Your wondrous
condescension of loving-kindness toward us,
Your servants, You gave up Your Son.
Dear Jesus You paid the debt of Adam
for us to the Eternal Father by
Your Blood poured forth in loving-kindness.
You cleared away the darkness of sin
By Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection.
You broke the bonds of death
and rose from the grave as a Conqueror.
You reconciled heaven and earth.
Our life had no hope of eternal happiness
before You redeemed us.
Your Resurrection has washed away our sins,
restored our innocence and brought us joy.
How inestimable is the tenderness
of Your love!

(Saint Gregory the Great's Easter Prayer)

On Silent Saturday



Rest you well, beloved Jesus,  
Caesar’s Lord and Israel’s King,  
In the brooding of the Spirit,  
In the darkness of the spring. 

On Good Friday


Am I a stone, and not a sheep,
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,
To number drop by drop Thy blood's slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon--
I, only I.

Yet give not o'er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

(by Christina Rossetti)

On Maundy Thursday

Lord,
wash,
not my feet only,
but also
my hands
and
my head.
And
my heart.
And
my mind.
And
my life.
Amen.

(based on John 13:9).

On Holy Wednesday

Lord Jesus, gracious Savior, I come to you in this sacred week to ponder your great and wondrous love; love that led you to the cross that my sin might be blotted out and that I might be reconciled to my heavenly Father. O Christ, give me strength and grace to crucify my sinful desires and dedicate myself anew to you, who has loved me with an everlasting love and brought to me eternal salvation.

I confess to You my sins. They are many, and You know them all. For each and every one of them you suffered the agony of the cross and shed your precious blood that I may be cleansed and made acceptable in your sight. Thank you for the forgiveness and cleansing that is mine. Thank you that none of the sins of yesterday cling to me. Humbly I come, grateful for your mercy. Daily let me fulfill the tasks and duties to which You have called me with joy, confessing you as my Lord and Savior, and being of service to my neighbor.

Grant that your suffering and death, proclaimed for the salvation of mankind, may by the power of the Holy Spirit awaken in many a deeper love to You. O Lord, have mercy upon me and all sinful mankind, and create in me and all that seek you a clean heart, holy desires, and an undying love. Hear my prayer, gracious Redeemer. Amen.

(borrowed and revised from http://scotkinnaman.com)

On Holy Tuesday

Lord Jesus,
it was on a Tuesday that you
spoke out against
abuse of power, collaboration with oppressors,
misuse of authority.
So today we pray,
Comforter of the abused,
strengthen those burdened by corrupted rule
or injustice;
rescue the overwhelmed;
be present to those who call on your name,
to those we name on our lips,
and in the silence of our hearts,
those whose concerns are known only to you, 
amen.
(illustration: Woe to you hypocrites by James Tissot).

On Holy Monday

God of love,
My prayer is simple:
Your son, Jesus, suffered and died for me.

I know only
that I cannot have real strength
unless I rely on you.

I cannot feel protected
from my many weaknesses
until I turn to you
for forgiveness and your unalterable love.

Help me to share this
strength, protection and love with others.

(from One Prayer a Day for Lent)

On This Day of Great Rejoicing

On this day of great rejoicing,
Lord Jesus Christ,
when we welcome You as our King and Savior,
we also walk in the shadow of Your cross.
Hosanna! we cry.
Blessed are You
who come in God’s name to save us.
Hosanna!
Strengthen our faith
on this Palm Sunday
so that when the time comes
to carry the cross
we might still call out to You
with heartfelt praise.
Give us the grace and the courage
to follow You this Holy Week
from death to resurrection,
from darkness to the fullness of light.
We need You, Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Hosanna! Amen.

Lent is Sacrifice; Lent is Spring

Lent is sacrifice, but Lent is spring.

So we do thank thee, Father in heaven, for reining the sun up this way again; for making these warming days as long as the starry nights with the growing moon. 

Would our Lord have need of our colt today? 

Before the very stones cry out, we wave branches and shout, "Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." 

But must our righteous King be crucified? 

Must our viable seed be buried in the dark earth? 

Thy will be done. 

Amen.

(excerpt from the book, The Farmer Gives Thanks; photo by Katzenfee50 via pixabay.com)

No Smooth Path


Lord, 
like all people, 
I am born to trouble 
as surely as 
the sparks fly upward (Job 5:7). 

Help me not to expect 
a smooth path through life, 
as though I deserve comfort, 
even luxury. 

Help me to greet adversity as opportunity, 
and to trust you and glorify
whether my way is easy or hard, 
stormy or smooth, 
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo by Sternenvogelreisen via pixabay.com)

May Thy Strong Hand

May Thy strong hand, 
O Lord, 
be ever my defence; 
Thy mercy in Christ 
my salvation; 
Thy all‑veritable word, 
my instructor; 
the grace of Thy life‑bringing Spirit, 
my consolation, 
all along, and at last.


The Soul of Christ hallow me,
and the Body strengthen me,
and the Blood ransom me,
and the Water wash me,
and the Bruises heal me,
and the Sweat refresh me,
and the Wound hide me.

The peace of God
which passeth all understanding,
keep my heart and thoughts
in the knowledge and the love
of God.

(a prayer of Lancelot Andrewes, from The Private Devotions of Lancelot Andrewes, “Prayer for Grace” for the Sixth Day; photo illustration by 4317940 via pixabay.com)