Prayer Before a Keynote

Lord, please speak through me. 
If you don't speak,
it won't matter what I say.
But if you do speak,
it won't matter what I say.

Down the Unknown Corridor

Guide us, we pray, down the unknown corridor of this day and every day. Lead us, each one, to the one door of all the many doors that thou wouldst . . . open. Give us courage to speak there the word that thou wouldst have us speak of love and healing. Give us ears to hear thee speak at every turning of the way—to listen, to listen, to hear, and to obey, even when the heart within us faints. Help us to live this day as though it were the first of all our days or the last of all our days. Amen.

(a prayer by Frederick Buechner, from his book, The Hungering Dark)

Into a Unity of Love

O God the Father, Origin of divinity, 
good beyond all that is good, 
fair beyond all that is fair, 
in whom is calmness, peace, and concord; 
make up the dissensions  
which divide us from each other, 
and bring us back into a unity of love, 
which may bear some likeness 
to your divine nature. 

And as you are above all things, 
make us one by the unanimity of a good mind, 
that through the embrace of charity
and the bonds of affection,
we may be spiritually one,
as well in ourselves as in each other;
through that peace of yours 
that makes all things peaceful,
and through the grace, mercy, and tenderness
of your Son, Jesus Christ, amen.

(a prayer of Dionysius the Great; photo by pasja100 via

On a Day of Travel

Father God, 
please grant me and the lovely Robin 
safe and successful travel today. 

Make smooth paths 
(and flight schedules) for our feet. 
Grant safe and timely travel to the airport. 
Help us to make our flights 
and safely reach our destination. 
Protect us from coach cabin and airport terminal infections. 

Guide our steps, 
guard our thoughts, 
and give us sweet communion with you and
pleasant interactions with others. 
Make us alert to any opportunity to be the means of blessing
to our fellow travelers,
or those who serve them,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Happy in You

I beg of You, my God, 
let me know You and love You 
so that I may be happy in You. 
And though I cannot do this fully in this life, 
yet let me improve from day to day 
till I may do so to the full.
Let me know You more and more in this life, 
that I may know You perfectly in heaven.
Let me know You more and more here, 
so that I may love you perfectly there,
so that my joy may be great in itself here, 
and complete in heaven with You.
O Truthful God, let me receive the happiness of heaven 
which You promise so that my joy may be full.
In the meantime,
let my mind think of it,
let my tongue talk of it,
let my heart long for it,
let my mouth speak of it,
let my soul hunger after it,
let my flesh thirst after it,
let my whole being desire it,
until such time as I may enter through death into the joy of my Lord,
there to continue forever, world without end.

(a prayer of St. Augustine; photo via

On Mia's Birthday

Lord, watch over my sweet, wonderful granddaughter, Mia, 
As her days increase; 
Bless and guide her wherever she is,
everywhere she goes, 
Keeping her as lovely and kind as she is today 
even as you increase her in wisdom, learning, and skill. 
Continue to make her strong in faith and conduct. 
Comfort her when she's sad or discouraged. 
Lift her when she stumbles. 
Surround her with friends and family
who respect, value, and love her. 
And may the peace that passes understanding 
and joy unspeakable 
fill her heart and her days, 
both now and ever more, 
in Jesus' name, amen.


If you, Lord, go with me,  
I’ll go anywhere! 
’Tis heaven to me, 
Where’er I may be, 
If you are there! 
I count it a privilege here 
Your cross to bear; 
If you, Lord, go with me,  
I’ll go anywhere! 

(slightly revised from the hymn, "It May be in the Valley, Where Countless Dangers Hide," by C. Austin Miles)

We Submit Our Ashen Way to You

On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —
you Easter parade of newness.
Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;
Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.
Come here and Easter our Wednesday with
mercy and justice and peace and generosity.

We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon.

(excerpted from Prayers for a Privileged People by Walter Brueggemann; photo by Amplitudy via


Like summer snow
floating from a sun-filled sky,
draping airy-white on flowered fields,
Your love astonished me.

No frilly show,
no assorted-chocolate pledge,
no candy hearts or silver kisses
disclosed your care for me;

But unsparing,
thorn-wearing love
that opened hands and feet and side
to spill your heart for me,

To recreate, 
inundate my longing soul
with giving, holding, accepting,
enfolding love for me.

(photo by stux via

Ave Verum Corpus

English translation:  
Hail, true body, 
Born of the virgin Mary; 
Who has truly suffered, slaughtered 
On the Cross for humanity. 
Whose side was pierced, 
Pouring out water and blood. 
Be a foretaste for us 
During our ordeal of death. 
O sweet, o holy, 
O Jesus Son of Mary, 
Have mercy on me. Amen. 

My Feeble Shoots

Thou who didst hang upon a barren tree, 
My God, for me; 
Though I till now be barren, now at length, 
Lord, give me strength 
To bring forth fruit to Thee. 

Thou who didst bear for me the crown of thorn, 
Spitting and scorn; 
Though I till now have put forth thorns, yet now 
Strengthen me Thou 
That better fruit be borne. 

Thou Rose of Sharon, Cedar of broad roots 
Vine of sweet fruits, 
Thou Lily of the vale with fadeless leaf, 
Of thousands Chief, 
Feed Thou My feeble shoots. 

(a prayer of Christina Rossetti; photo by MarillaLina via

On Nina's Birthday

Lord, thank you for the wonderful wife you gave to my son, 
the mother you gave to my grandchildren Miles and Mia, 
the daughter-in-law you gave to me and Robin, 
the blessing you gave this world in bringing Nina into it. 

Bless her today on her birthday 
and every day that is to come, 
in Jesus' name, amen. 

I Fly to You

Jesus, lover of my soul, 
I fly to you, 
I lay my head on your chest,  
my Friend,  
my Brother, 
my Lord and my God,  
my Savior, 
my Stronghold.

(photo by Free-Photos via

Your Ways are Equal

Lord, your ways are equal (Ezekiel 18:25), 
and my ways are unequal. 
And you are without equal, 
and I praise you also for that. 

In your mercy and kindness, Lord, 
consider me. 
Show me your ways, that I might know you. 
Teach me, 
guide me, 
uphold me, 
protect me, 
and enlarge my capacity for you 
and for doing your will, 
in Jesus' name, amen. 

(photo by Moshehar via

Lowest Place

Give me the lowest place: not that I dare 
Ask for that lowest place, but Thou hast died
That I might live and share
Thy glory by Thy side.

Give me the lowest place: or if for me
That lowest place too high, make one more low
Where I may sit and see
My God and love Thee so.

(a prayer by Christina Rossetti)

Full of Beauty, Delight, and Joy

O my God, if your creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy are you yourself, Creator of all!

(a prayer of Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain, slightly revised; photo by timokefoto via


Gracious God and Father of all humanity, 
thank you for granting me the grace 
to show grace. Amen.

(photo by lauraelatimer via

Like a Gentle Rain

Almighty God my King,
please let me feel
the warmth of your smile
on all I do today;
let your favor refresh my heart
like a gentle rain. Amen.

(based on Proverbs 16:15)

To Walk Lovingly with My Great Redeemer

O God of grace,
I bewail my cold,
heartless prayers;
their poverty adds sin to my sin.
If my hope were in them
I should be undone,
But the worth of Jesus
perfumes my feeble breathings,
and wins their acceptance.

Deepen my contrition of heart,
Confirm my faith in the blood
that washes from all sin.
May I walk lovingly with my great Redeemer.
Flood my soul with true repentance
that my heart may be broken for sin and unto sin.
Let me be as slow to forgive myself
as thou art ready to forgive me.
Gazing on the glories of thy grace
may I be cast into the lowest depths of shame.
and walk with downcast head now thou art pacified towards me.

O my great High Priest,
pour down upon me streams of needful grace,
bless me in all my undertakings,
in every thought of my mind,
every word of my lips,
every step of my feet,
every deed of my hands.
Thou didst live to bless,
die to bless,
rise to bless,
ascend to bless,
take thy throne to bless,
and now thou dost reign to bless.

O give sincerity to my desires,
earnestness to my supplications,
fervour to my love.

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


Lord, I would clasp your hand in mine,
And never murmur or repine, 
Content, whatever lot I see, 
Since it is your hand leading me. 

(from the hymn "He Leadeth Me" by Joseph Henry Gilmore, slightly revised; photo by DamiWurtz via