A Memorial Day Prayer

In the quiet sanctuaries of our own hearts, 
let each of us name and call on 
the One whose power over us
is great and gentle, 
firm and forgiving, 
holy and healing…

You who created us, 
who sustain us,
who call us to live in peace,
hear our prayer this day.

Hear our prayer for all who have died,
whose hearts and hopes are known to you alone…

Hear our prayer for those who put the welfare of others
ahead of their own
and give us hearts as generous as theirs…

Hear our prayer for those who gave their lives
in the service of others,
and accept the gift of their sacrifice…

Help us to shape and make a world
where we will lay down the arms of war
and turn our swords into ploughshares
for a harvest of justice and peace…

Comfort those who grieve the loss of their loved ones
and let your healing be the hope in our hearts...

Hear our prayer this day
and in your mercy answer us
in the name of all that is holy.


(from the Concord Pastor blog)

Disturb Us

Disturb us, Lord,
when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
when our dreams have come true
because we have dreamed too little,
when we arrived safely
because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord,
when with the abundance of things we possess
we have lost our thirst for the waters of life;
having fallen in love with life,
we have ceased to dream of eternity,
and in our efforts to build a new earth,
we have allowed our vision
of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord,
to dare more boldly,
to venture on wider seas
where storms will show your mastery;
where losing sight of land,
we shall find the stars.

We ask You to push back
the horizons of our hopes;
and to push into the future
in strength, courage, hope, and love.

(attributed to Sir Francis Drake; John Glover painting of Isle of Wight via pixabay.com)

Water and Fire

I praise you today, Lord, 
that you walk with me through the waters, 
and dance with me in the fire. 

I praise you for your presence, 
for your faithfulness. 
I thank you for this day that you have made, 
and all the blessings that fill it, 
in Jesus' name, amen.

From a Church Door

O God, make the door 
wide enough to receive all who need human love and fellowship; 
narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride, and strife. 

 (a prayer from St. Stephen's Walbrook in London)

Still So Thankful


Be Near

We bring before You, 
O God:
the cries of the weary,
the pains of the distressed,
the tears of the tragedies of life,
the anxious hours of the insecure,
the restlessness of the refugees,
the hunger of the oppressed.

Dear God, 
be near to each.

Helper of the helpless,
Hope of the homeless,
The Strength of those tossed with tempests,
The Haven of those who sail:
Be all to all.

Be within us, to strengthen us;
without us, to keep us;
above us, to inspire us;
beneath us, to uphold us;
before us, to direct us;
behind us , to propel us;
around us, to sustain us.
Be all to all in present need.

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

Creator Praise

Praise to you, Most Holy, Most High; praise and glory to your name. 

I praise you for bestowing life on your Creation; for granting reason to humankind, for making us a little lower than you, higher than the animals, for bestowing on us your likeness.

Thank you and praise to you for creating us as volitional creatures, though by that volition we fell.

Thank you for creating us as sensate beings, though in our sinfulness we serve our senses and sensation more than you.

I praise you for making us rational creatures, though our thoughts and imaginings are clouded by sin.

I praise you that you made us feeling, emotional beings, though we do not love you as we ought.

In all your works you are good and great, most excellent and most worthy of praise, which I offer you imperfectly, incompletely, but sincerely, in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo illustration by Glavo via pixabay.com)

Utmost Height

My heart has no desire to stay 
Where doubts arise and fears dismay; 
Though some may dwell where those abound, 
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground. 

I want to live above the world, 
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled; 
For faith has caught the joyful sound, 
The song of saints on higher ground. 

I want to scale the utmost height 
And catch a gleam of glory bright; 
But still I’ll pray till heav’n I’ve found, 
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” 

Lord, lift me up and let me stand, 
By faith, on Heaven’s tableland, 
A higher plane than I have found; 
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground. 


(From the hymn by Johnson Oatman, Jr; photo by Free-Photos via pixabay.com)

My Choice

I choose today, Lord,
to believe in you
and in your good plans for me.
I choose to walk in faith, 
not to hurry or panic,
not to fear, not to stress,
but to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord (Exodus 14:13).

(photo via pixabay.com)

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

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,

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.

(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.