Laudate Pueri Dominum

I praise you, LORD.
I have been so blessed 
by men and women who fear you 
and find great delight in your commands.

I am blessed to be among them now, 
to be one of those who fears you 
and loves your Word. 

Oh, Lord, please 
make my children and grandchildren mighty in the land; 
let these next generations be blessed 
beyond my wildest dreams.

Grant them true wealth 
and enduring riches; 
let the walls of their homes be adorned 
with righteousness.

Let your light dawn in their lives, 
and dispel all darkness for them. 
Make them gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Make them generous and anxious to give. 
Make them just in all their affairs.

Let them never be shaken; 
give them a sterling reputation.
Save them from rumor and gossip. 
Make their hearts steadfast, always trusting in you.
Make them confident and fearless.
Give them victory over every enemy, every obstacle.
Bless their efforts on behalf of the poor 
and needy 
and sick. 
And give them influence and honor,
for your name's sake. 

Let the wicked look at them and be vexed, 
wondering at the blessings of the righteous, 
in Jesus' name, amen.

(based on Psalm 112)

Grace to Understand and Endure


 (a prayer of John Baillie in A Diary of Private Prayer)

For More Than I Can Do

Oh that mine eyes might clos├Ęd be 
To what becomes me not to see; 
That deafness might possess mine ear, 
To what concerns me not to hear; 
That Truth my tongue might always tie, 
From ever speaking foolishly; 
That no vain thought might ever rest, 
Or be conveived in my breast;
That by each word, each deed, each thought,
Glory may to my God be brought.

But what are wishes! Lord, mine eye
On thee is fix'd, to thee I cry;
Oh purge out all my dross, my tin,
Make me more white than snow within;
Wash Lord, and purify my heart,
And make it clean in every part;
And when 'tis clean, Lord keep it too,
For that is more than I can do.

(a prayer of Thomas Elwood)

In Which I am Blessed to Speak

O Lord, 
I place myself in Your hands. 
I will be tempted, 
on this day in which I am blessed to speak to others, 
to do so in my own strength, 
as though I have any word to say, 
and wisdom to offer, 
anything of my own. 
Forgive me now, Lord, 
and forgive me then, 
and turn me quickly 
to remember you and rely on you, 
my only Source, 
my only Word, 
my only wisdom, 
my all, 
in Jesus' name, amen.

The Great Parade of Livestock and of Life

For meat to eat, we thank thee. 

For tasseled corn and purple grapes, for bluegrass green again and pullets laying, for mellow hides and silken hair, for our proper place in the great parade of livestock and of life, we praise thee. 

Beloved Ringmaster, planets and protons alike march in array at thy gentle command. 

May we, thy children, walk humbly, our hand in thine, do justly, love mercy evermore, our Father. 

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

In the Autumn

Good and generous Lord, You have once more brought the year full circle, through planting and growing and ripening to harvest time, and autumn.

We thank You for the sun and the wind, the rain and the dew, the minerals of the earth and all the plants that grow and all the beasts and birds of farm and field. We marvel at Your wonderful ways of bringing food from the earth for man’s good.

Dear God, help us to use Your rich gifts as You want us to. Teach us to share them with our neighbor when he is in need. Make us see, in the marvelous succession of seasons, and in the growth and ripening of our crops, the merciful, generous hand of Your divine providence.

Help us to realize, too, that if we keep Your commandments and live according to the inspirations of Your grace, we shall also reap a plentiful harvest in the autumn of our lifetime: a harvest that we will be able to enjoy for ever and ever, where no rust can destroy, nor blight spoil any least part of it. Amen.

(from the National Catholic Rural Life Conference; photo by jbom411 via pixabay.com)

So Blessed

Lord God,
thank you
that neither my children 
nor my grandchildren 
have yet known
the horrors of war, 
the deprivation of poverty, 
or the ache of true hunger, 
in Jesus' name, 
amen.

The Door of My Heart


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

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

Entrance


O God, if still the holy place 
Is found of those in prayer, 
By all the promises of grace 
I claim an entrance there. 

Give me a self-denying soul, 
Enlarged and unconfined; 
Abide within me, and control 
The wanderings of the mind. 

Give me the strength of faith that dares 
To die to self each day, 
That bravely takes the cross, nor cares 
To find an easier way. 

Help me to make more sacrifice, 
To walk where Christ would lead, 
That in my life He may arise 
To hallow every deed. 

Amen.

(a prayer of General Albert Orsborn of The Salvation Army)

Before


Before I wound a single soul today, 
before I get in someone's way, 
before I lead a soul astray, 
dear Lord, stop me cold. 

Constructive Relationships


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. 

For Good and Honest Work

O God, creator of the world,
of sun and moon and stars,
you chose to fashion us, your own,
your handiwork of love.

Indeed, we are your hands’ own work
and yet into our hands
you give the care
of every living thing.

In more ways than we can count
our work builds up
or tears apart what came
from your own hand.

Keep us faithful in preserving
all you’ve given
lest we harm the smallest part
of all you’ve made.

Give us good and honest work to do
and rest at each day’s end.
Give a fair and good day’s wage
for a good day’s work well done.

Give us work that nurtures and sustains
the ones who serve and those they serve.
Let those who labor work in peace,
in freedom without fear.

Give those in need a job to do
and to the tired well earned rest.
Let all our work and toil, Lord,
give glory to your name.

Amen.

(From A Concord Pastor Comments blog; photo by skeeze via pixabay.com)

Family


God, I don't deserve this family, but thank you. 

Remember, Lord, Your Church


Remember, Lord, your church. 
Deliver it from all evil and make it perfect in your love, 
and gather it from the four winds sanctified for your kingdom which you have prepared for it. 
For Yours is the power and the glory forever.

(a prayer from the Didache, one of the earliest Christian writings)