From Ghoulies and Ghosties

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

(traditional Scottish prayer;
photo via

Lord, You Are My Shepherd

Lord, you are my shepherd; I lack nothing that I really need. You care for me and lead me. You restore and revive me. Even in the darkest times, I don’t have to be afraid, for I know you are there with me, protecting me and comforting me. You provide my needs, you pour out on me one blessing after another. Your goodness and love—and constant presence—are all I need, now and forever. Amen.

(a prayer based on Psalm 23, from The Bible 30-Day Experience Guidebook by Bob Hostetler)

With Your Right Hand

Christ Our Lord, 
You suffered and were tempted. 
You are powerful to come to the aid 
of those who are assailed by the devil, 
for you are the support of Christian people. 

O Lord, protect with your right hand 
those who trust in your Name. 
Deliver them from the Evil One, 
and grant them everlasting joy. Amen. 

(a prayer of St. Gregory of Khandzta; photo by joojoo41 via

At My Right Hand


Savior, If My Feet Have Faltered

Savior, if my feet have faltered
on the pathway of the cross,
if my purposes have altered,
or my gold be mixed with dross.
O forbid me not your service,
keep my yet in your employ.
Pass me through a sterner cleansing,
if I may but bring you joy.

All my work is for you, Master,
you are all my heart's desire.
O, that you will count me faithful
in the day that tries by fire.

Have I worked for hireling wages?
Or as one with vows to keep,
with a heart whose love engages
life or death to save the sheep?
All is known to you, my Master,
all is known, and that is why
I can work and wait the verdict 
of your kind but searching eye.

Let me love you, let love rule me,
springing up and flowing forth 
from a childlike heart within me
or my work is nothing worth-- 
Love with passion, love with patience,
love with principle and fire,
Love with heart and mind and utterance
serving you my one desire.

In Jesus' name, amen.

(a hymn of Albert Orsborn, slightly revised; public domain image from

For a Faith Like Abraham's

Lord, I know what your word says: 
"Abraham believed God." 
Not, "Abraham believed the text."
Not, "Abraham believed a set of precepts."
Not, "Abraham believed a list of propositions."
But "Abraham believed God."

I tend to be dangerously "nominal" in my faith, as A. W. Tozer puts it. But I want a faith like Abraham's, your friend, whose faith rested on your presence, personality, and character. And I sense you drawing me into the reality of your presence. 

Help me to be your man, and not my own; 
to trust you, and not myself or my own strength;
to think your thoughts after you, not my own;
to accomplish your will, not my own.

Not my own--let that phrase characterize me and my all, in Jesus' name, amen.

(illustration by Gustav Doré, Abraham Journeying into the Land of Canaan)

For Holding Me

Thank you, Lord, for loving me and keeping me and holding me together--even in those times (especially in those times) when I don't feel held together.

Lord, I trust your sovereign wisdom and love. I know that you alone are God, and there is none like you. There is none who holds me as you hold me.

Hold me now, Lord, in these changeful days. Keep me together, Lord, in your hand, and in your will, in Jesus' name, amen.

(detail from photo by qazyamyam0 via

Best Day Ever

Lord, thank you for "the best day ever," according to Calleigh. 
Thank you for all the joys of time spent with grandkids, 
in Jesus' name, amen. 

You Have Broken My Chains in Pieces

O my God,
let me, with thanksgiving,
remember, and confess unto you
your mercies on me.

Let my bones be soaked with your love,
and let them say unto you,
Who is like you, O Lord?

You have broken my chains in pieces.
I will offer unto you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
And how you have broken them, I will declare;
and all who worship you, when they hear this, will say:
Blessed is the Lord in heaven and in earth!
Great and wonderful is his name!

(a prayer of St. Augustine; photo by shilmar via

On Aubrey's Birthday

It's my favorite daughter's birthday, Lord. 
And not just any birthday, but a big one, 
I still can't fathom, 
can't even process, 
that she is all she is. 

I'm still and always amazed 
at how kindly, fully, and generously 
you've answered my prayers 
and her mother's prayers 
for her. 

You have made her faithful like Ruth and regal like Esther, 
fierce like Deborah and brilliant like Abigail,
industrious like Lydia and a leader like Junia.

I give you so much praise and thanks
for my only daughter, 
my firstborn, my Blossom; 
for the child you gave me, 
the woman she is, 
the love we share, 
the pride and joy I feel in her, 
the blessings you've given her, 
and the blessings you've given me through her.

Please bless her abundantly today 
and in all the days to come. 
Keep her safe and well. 
Keep her marriage strong and beautiful. 
Prosper her and her husband, 
answer their prayers, 
supply their needs,
fulfill their dreams.

Let her children continue to grow in happiness, health, and holiness.
Reward Aubrey's love and faithfulness and diligence as a mom
with beauty and grace, 
charm and wisdom,
health and wholeness, 
integrity and strength in each of her children 
as you have done for me in mine.

Show her every kindness, 
grant her your favor, 
use her,
bless her,
hold her,
in Jesus' name, amen.

The Nearness of You

It's not the music that excites me, 
Nor the sermon that delights me--
Oh, no; it's just the nearness of you. 

It isn't stained glass or a big screen,
Or drum roll or fog machine--
Oh, no; it's just the nearness of you. 

When you stir my heart and draw me so close to you, 
You make all of my dreams come true.

I need no candles to enchant me
If you would only grant me the grace
To gaze in awe on your face,
And to feel just a trace
Of the nearness of you.

(a churchgoer's riff on Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness of You"; photo by jaefrench via

Another Day to Live

O, good God, good morning! 

You've given me another day to live, Lord: 
a day to shape into something beautiful, 
a day to serve others, a day to give you thanks, 
a day in the life of you and me, Lord.

How would you have me spend this day?
With whom would you have me share it? 
Along what path will your Spirit draw me? 
Close to whose heart will your heart lead me? 

What word would you have me speak today? 
What quiet time together have you planned for us to share? 
What tears might I cry today
And with what joy will you touch my soul? 

When I'm tired today give me strength, Lord.
When I'm moving too fast, slow me down. 
When I'm saying too much, let me know. 
When I need to speak, give me words to say.

Give me patience with this day's routine, Lord, 
and open my eyes to see what is fresh and new. 
Because this day comes from your hand, it's blessed 
and because I can offer it back to you, it's a gift. 

O, good God, good morning! 
Keep me safe until I say good night...

(from A Concord Pastor Comments; photo by KimDaejeung via

Steer the Ship of My Life

Steer the ship of my life, good Lord,
to your quiet harbor,
where I can be safe 
from the storms of sin and conflict.
Show me the course I should take.
Renew in me the gift of discernment,
so that I can always see
the right direction in which I should go.
And give me the strength and the courage
to choose the right course,
even when the sea is rough and the waves are high,
knowing that through enduring hardship and danger,
in your name we shall find comfort and peace. Amen.

(a prayer of Basil of Caesarea; photo by StarFlames via

Before All Else

Today, O Lord--
let me put right before interest;
let me put others before self;
let me put the things of the Spirit before the things of the body;
let me put the attainment of noble ends above the enjoyment of present pleasures;
let me put principle above reputation;
let me put Thee before all else.

(a prayer of John Baillie in A Diary of Private Prayer; photo by brenkee via

Mighty Savior

You are a mighty Savior,
Your love--it never wavers;
You will be mine forever,
And yours alone I'll be.

(slightly updated from the hymn by George S. Smith; photo detail from a photo by andreas160578 via

Who Like Me?

Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven;
Who like me your praise should sing?

(from the hymn by Henry F. Lyte, "Praise, my Soul, the King of Heaven"; photo by JillWellington via

Shining to the Perfect Day

Visit now this soul of mine,
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
Fill me, Radiancy divine,
Scatter all my unbelief;
More and more Yourself display,
Shining to the perfect day.

(from a hymn by Charles Wesley; photo via

Deliver Us

Let it be thy good pleasure to deliver us from impudent men, and from impudence: from an evil man and an evil chance; from an evil affection, an evil companion, and an evil neighbor: from Satan the destroyer, from a hard judgment, and a hard adversary.

(attributed to Rabbi Judah ben Tema; photo by NickyPe via

Till One Draws Near

The well is deep and I require 
A draught of the water of life, 
But none can quench my soul's desire 
For a draught of the water of life; 
Till One draws near who the cry will heed--
Helper of men in their time of need--
And I, believing, find indeed 
That You are the Water of Life. 

(from "Life Is a Journey; Long Is the Road," by General Albert Orsborn of The Salvation Army, slightly revised; photo by taliesin via