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

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,

(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,

(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

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

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

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


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

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


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

To Take a Faith Adventure

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

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, 

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

not my feet only,
but also
my hands
my head.
my heart.
my mind.
my life.

(based on John 13:9).