All the All

I love you, Lord, my Strength. 
I love you to the height 
and length and depth 
of all there is of me,
with all my aching, flawed emotion, 
all the grateful, awed devotion, 
all the all-in-all could draw from me.

Make Them Always Grateful

Today's prayer from the "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids" app for iPhone and iPad...and my prayer today for my kids and my grandkids.

Wake Me

Lord, wake me up! 
To the beating of wings and splashing of water,
the settling of fog at twilight—
the way the leaves and the childhood can slip away in the woods,
torched with the last of summer.
(based on the words of Ann Voskamp in Selections from One Thousand Gifts: Finding Joy in What Really Matters; illustration by jplenio via 

My Coward Heart

I want to know Thee, 
but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. 
I cannot part with them 
without inward bleeding, 
and I do not try to hide from Thee 
the terror of the parting. 
I come trembling, but I do come. 
Please root from my heart all Those things 
which I have cherished so long 
and which have become 
a very part of my living self, 
so that Thou mayest enter 
and dwell there without a rival. 
Then shalt Thou make 
the place of Thy feet glorious. 
Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, 
for Thyself wilt be the light of it, 
and there shall be no night there. 
In Jesus' name, Amen.

(a prayer by A.W Tozer in The Pursuit of God; photo by Simon via

We Dare Yearn for Your Word

You we name as Lord, Sovereign, King.
You we confess governor over nations, empires, and kingdoms.
You in your holiness remain hidden,
evoking our extravagant doxologies.

Your rule draws close and visible
among us
when we see new possibilities break out,
or watch the rise and fall
beyond explanation.

Your rule draws close when you
dispatch prophets, messengers, and angels,
who dare say,
"Thus saith the Lord."

You dispatch your sovereign word through
human utterers. . .
preachers, poets, artists,
various freakish dissenters
and dreamers.

We thank you for your word of governance;
we do not want to be addressed
by dreams, breaks, or possibilities.
We most certainly do not want to be
bearers of such
dreams, breaks, or possibilities,
because we are mostly agents of
steady equilibrium.

Nonetheless, we dare yearn for your
word and occasionally utter it.
We thank you that we do not live
in a world unaddressed.
We thank you that you are not a God unuttered.

So we pledge, as we are able,
to listen and to speak,
being available for your word
that is full of grace and truth.

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

You See, I Want a Lot

You see, I want a lot.
Maybe I want it all:
the darkness of each endless fall,
the shimmering light of each ascent.

So many are alive who don't seem to care.
Casual, easy, they move in the world
as though untouched.

But you take pleasure in the faces
of those who know they thirst.
You cherish those
who grip you for survival.

You are not dead yet, it's not too late
to open your depths by plunging into them
and drink in the life
that reveals itself quietly there.

(s prayer by Rainer Maria Rilke, from Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God; photo by StockSnap via

Honest Fabric

O God, please help me wash my days
And hang them on the line to dry.
Please help me scrub my months
And shake them out,
Soak my years,
And dry them in the summer sun.
Please help me wear a suit
Of honest fabric, clean and plain.

 (a prayer of Yaakov David Shulman, found in the book Bedside Prayers by June Cotner)

Kyrie for Afghanistan

For the people of Afghanistan, I pray,
Lord, have mercy.

For the Christians there, I pray,
Lord, have mercy.

For all religious minorities in Afghanistan, I pray,
Lord, have mercy.

For the women of Afghanistan, I pray,
Lord, have mercy.

For the families and children of Afghanistan, I pray,
Lord, have mercy.

For the people there who helped anti-terrorism efforts, I pray,
Lord, have mercy.

For former government officials, I pray,
Lord, have mercy.

For those the evacuation efforts leave behind, I pray,
Lord, have mercy.

For those whose grief or trauma is rekindled by news from Afghanistan, I pray,
Lord, have mercy.

For all who face reprisal, oppression, and persecution, I pray, 
Lord, have mercy.

(photo by WikiImages via

If Ever

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine; 
For Thee all the pleasures of sin I resign. 
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou; 
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now. 

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me, 
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree. 
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow; 
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now. 

I love with this heart you have purchased from sin, 
I love with a mind you've renewed from within, 
With whatever strength you may give from now on, 
My Jesus, I'll love you, my strength and my song.

(a hymn by William Featherston with a new verse (the last) by Bob Hostetler; photo by miroslavkaclik via

True Contentment

Lord, grant us true contentment ...

    Acceptance of what each day brings,
    Joy in you and not in things,
    Tranquility in storm or strife,
    Serenity in all of life;

That when you whisper, ‘Peace, be still,’

    We’ll wait upon your perfect will,
    Knowing we will soon be blessed
    By love that only wants our best.

Help us see that we are meant
To rest in you … and be content.

(a prayer of author BJ Hoff; photo by Fleedleflump via


Lord, isn't your creation wasteful? Fruits never equal the seedling's abundance. Springs scatter water. The sun gives out enormous light. May your bounty teach me greatness of heart. May your magnificence stop me being mean. Seeing you a prodigal and open-handed giver let me give unstintingly like a king's son like God's own. 

(a prayer of Archbishop Helder Camara; photo by kirttu via


With thy Spirit, fill me. 
With thy Spirit, fill me. 
Make me wholly Thine, I pray: 
With thy Spirit, fill me.

(photo by Pezibear via

The Noisome Temple

It was your custom,
to go to the temple,
to the noisome temple
sometime to the scandalised temple
listening to the mumbo jumbo,
but it was your custom to go.
Give us grace in our changing day
to stand by the temple that is the present church,
the noisome temple
the sometime scandalised temple that is the present church,
listening sometime to what again seems mumbo jumbo.
Make it our custom to go
till the new outline of your Body for our day
becomes visible in our midst.

(from George MacLeod, The Whole Earth Shall Cry Glory, p. 39)

Early in the Morning I Cry to You

O God, early in the morning I cry to you. Help me to pray and gather my thoughts to you; I cannot do it alone. In me it is dark, but with you there is light; I am lonely, but you do not desert me; My courage fails me, but with you there is help; I am restless, but with you there is peace; in me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience; I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me. Father in Heaven, praise and thanks be to you for the night’s rest, Praise and thanks be to you for the new day. Praise and thanks be to you for all your lovingkindness and faithfulness in my past life. You have shown me so much goodness; let me also accept what is hard to bear from your hand. You will not lay a heavier burden on me than I can carry. You make all things serve for the best for your children. Lord, whatever this day brings, your name be praised. 

(a prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, written in Tegel prison, Berlin)

Mountains Will Sing

Gracious Father, you know how much I love mountains of all shapes and sizes. There's just something about mountains that causes my heart to feel the greatness of your glory and grace--the weightiness of your majesty and the endlessness of your mercy. What a Creator! What a creation!

I guess it started with Boy Scout trips to the hills of western North Carolina, then on to exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains around Boone and Banner Elk, North Carolina. And I'll never forget my first sighting of the Rocky Mountains in Estes Park, Colorado--the shimmering aspen leaves against the rich blue of a humidity- and haze-free fall skyline!

But then there was the day I stepped off the train in the village of Interlaken, Switzerland, and got hammered with the holy wonder of three Alps: the Eiger, the Mönch, and the Jungfrau. I can still see, smell, feel, and taste the sensual overload of that day. Indeed, Father, the works of your hands declare your glory, loud and clear. How can I keep from singing your praise?

But, Father, these words of Isaiah envision a day when the mountains themselves will burst into song--the new song of the new creation. Though your glory is clearly revealed in the beauty of your creation, it is revealed ten thousand times more in the redemption that you freely give us in Jesus. Jesus is the Alps of your mercy, grace, and love for us!

Because of Jesus, we, your redeemed people, will go out in joy and be led forth into peace, into shalom--the perfect order, society, environment, and world of the new heaven and new earth. You have spoken, you have promised, and so shall it be! Your Word will accomplish everything you decree and all your delights. With great hope we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

(a prayer of Scotty Smith, from his book, Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faithphoto by Tamlyn Rhodes via ).