Ultimate Provider



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)

Though Dark Be My Way

Though dark be my way,
Since you are my guide,
'Tis mine to obey,
And yours to provide;
Though cisterns be broken
And creatures all fail,
The word you have spoken
Will surely prevail.

(a prayer of John Newton, excerpted and revised from the hymn, "Begone, Unbelief," photo by Sander Mathlener via Unsplash.com)

No Words


There are no words 
but thanks
and thanks
and more thanks.

In the Quiet

I'm starting to think
you prefer to speak
after I have managed to shut up.

Pity My Unsettled Soul

Jesus, Shepherd of the sheep,
Pity my unsettled soul;
Guide and nourish me and keep,
Till Thy love shall make me whole.
Give me perfect soundness, give;
Make me steadfastly believe.

I am never at one stay,
Changing every hour I am;
But Thou art, as yesterday,
Now and evermore the same.
Constancy to me impart,
Stablish with Thy Grace my heart.

Give me faith to hold me up,
Walking over life's rough sea;
Holy, purifying hope,
Still my soul's sure anchor be.
That I may be always Thine,
Perfect me in love divine.

(Charles Wesley)

Forgive My Little Efforts

Father God Almighty, 
you inspired Moses, Samuel, and others 
to write when their best tools 
were papyrus and parchment, 
reed styli and ink made from crushed berries and plants.

For millennia, 
your servants have recorded 
stirring and soaring works 
in caves and cells, 
dusty rooms and mud huts, 
by lamplight and candlelight. 

So many have written so well 
in such circumstances 
as to shame my little efforts 
and shoddy craftsmanship.

So forgive me, Lord, 
when I let tiny obstacles
and minor inconveniences 
compromise my praying and writing. 
Forgive all those times when I could do better 
and make them less and less frequent 
until they sink forever beneath the waves of creativity
and productivity,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via unsplash.com)


Your word is a lamp to my feet,
A light to my way,
A balm to my pain,
A comfort to my soul,
A guide in confusion,
A whisper in the night,
A spur to my spirit,
A melody of hope,
A correction, 
A plumbline,
A delight,
A friend,
A solace,
A shelter.

Into My Heart

Give me, O Lord, I beseech thee,
firm faith, unwavering hope, perfect charity.
Pour into my heart the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and spiritual strength,
the Spirit of knowledge and true godliness,
and the Spirit of thy holy fear.

Light eternal, shine in my heart.
Power eternal, deliver me from evil.
Wisdom eternal, scatter the darkness of my ignorance.
Might eternal, pity me. 

Grant that I may ever seek thy face with all my heart and soul and strength; and, in thine infinite mercy, bring me at last to thy holy presence, where I shall behold thy glory and possess thy promised joys. Amen.

(a prayer of Alcuin of York)

Bundle of Life

O God, you have bound us together in this bundle of life:
give us grace to understand how our lives depend upon the courage,
the industry, the honesty and the integrity of others;
that we may be mindful of their needs,
grateful for their faithfulness,
and faithful in our responsibilities to them.

(a prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr; photo via everystockphoto.com)

The Word I Need

O Holy One, I hear and say so many words, yet yours is the word I need. Speak now, and help me listen; and, if what I hear is silence, let it quiet me, let it disturb me, let it touch my need, let it break my pride, let it shrink my certainties, let it enlarge my wonder. 

(a prayer from Ted Loder's Guerrillas of Grace; photo by Fa Barboza via unsplash.com)


Lord God, let the tracks I leave behind be such as will guide and empower and bless all who come after me. Amen.


Lord, make Calvary real to me.  
Lord, make Calvary real to me. 
Open mine eyes to see victory in Christ for me; 
Lord, make Calvary real to me.

(photo by Mateus Campos Felipe via unsplash.com)

To Rejoice in Your Mysterious Companionship

O Holy Spirit of God, abide with me;
inspire all my thoughts;
pervade my imagination;
suggest all my decisions;
order all my doings.

Be with me in my silence and in my speech,
in my haste and in my leisure,
in company and in solitude,
in the freshness of the morning and
in the weariness of the evening;
and give me grace at all times humbly to rejoice
in your mysterious companionship,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(a prayer of John Baillie, revised slightly from A Diary of Private Prayer)

Before Speaking

Lord, please speak through me. 
If you don't speak, it won't matter what I say. 
But if you do speak, it won't matter what I say.

Troparia of Thanksgiving

Now that the day has come to a close, I thank thee, O Lord, and I ask that the evening with the night may be sinless; grant this to me, O Saviour, and save me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Now that the day hath passed, I glorify thee, O Master, and I ask that the evening, with the night may be without offence; grant this to me, O Saviour, and save me.

Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Now that the day hath run its course, I praise thee, O Holy One, and I ask that the evening with the night may be undisturbed; grant this to me, O Saviour, and save me.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

For Their Mother

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.

For All in Present Need

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 Paul Einerhand via unsplash.com)

Thy Goodness Show

While I speak to Thee, 
Lord, Thy goodness show: 
Am I what I ought to be? 
Oh, Savior, let me know.

(photo by Amaury Gutierrez via unsplash.com)

To Seek, to Find

Lord, have mercy.

Have mercy on my darkness,
my weakness,
my confusion.

Have mercy on my infidelity,
my cowardice,
my turning about in circles,
my wandering,
my evasions.

I do not ask for anything but such mercy,
in everything,

My life here – a little solidity and very much ashes.
Almost everything is ashes. What I have prized most is ashes.
What I have attended to least is, perhaps…
a little solid.

Lord, have mercy.
Guide me,
make me want again to be holy,
to be a man of God, 
even though in desperateness and confusion.

I do not necessarily ask for clarity, a plain way, 
but only to go according to your love,
to follow your mercy, to trust your mercy.

I want to seek nothing at all, if this is possible.
But only to be led without looking and without seeking.
For thus to seek is to find.

(A prayer by Thomas Merton, Journals, August 2, 1960, IV.28; photo by Jamie Street via unsplash.com)

When I Love You

What is that love when I love you, my God?
It is a certain light that I love
and melody and fragrance and embrace
that I love when I love you--
a light, melody, fragrance, food,
embrace of the God-within,
where, for my soul,
that shines which space does not contain;
that sounds which time does not sweep away;
that is fragrant which the breeze does not dispel;
and that tastes sweet which, fed upon, is not diminished;
and that clings close which no satiety disparts--
that is what I love when I love you, my God.

(from The Confessions of St. Augustine, slightly reworded)

Shepherd of the Stars

You are Shepherd of the Stars.
Whole galaxies form your royal train.
The countless host of heaven,
blazing suns,
mighty planets,
dappled moons,
comets, asteroids, vapors, black holes,
all follow after you like so many ducks behind their mother.
And yet, Lord, my immmense, mind-boggling, Star-Shepherd,
you condescend to me,
to sit with me,
whisper to me,
commune with me.
Such thoughts are too marvelous for me,
I cannot attain unto them!
But I praise you and thank you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo by skeeze via pixabay.com)