When You Speak

Hiding in You


Benedic, Anima Mea

(from the book David's Crown: Sounding the Psalms by Malcolm Guite) 

What My Heart's Already Singing


(from the book David's Crown: Sounding the Psalms by Malcolm Guite) 

Strength in My Weakness

Lord Jesus Christ,
you have power over life and death.

You know what is uncertain and obscure,
and our thoughts and feelings
are no secret from you.

Cleanse me from my hidden faults,
for I have done evil and you have seen it.

Day by day my life draws nearer to its end.
You know how frail I am, in soul and in body.

Give me strength, Lord, in my weakness
and uphold me in my sufferings.


(a prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian; photo by visuals via unsplash.com)

What is That Love

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; photo by Augustine Wong via unsplash.com)


Lord, thank you for 
winds of refreshing, 
showers of blessing, 
streams of mercy, 
and peace like an ocean. 

Now, Lord, please unleash 
a monsoon of your glory; 
deluge me and mine, 
in Jesus' name, amen.


Jesus, breathe Thy Spirit on me, 
Teach me how to breathe Thee in, 
Help me pour into Thy bosom 
All my life of self and sin. 

I am breathing out my own life, 
That I may be filled with Thine; 
Letting go my strength and weakness, 
Breathing in Thy life divine. 

Breathing out my sinful nature, 
Thou hast borne it all for me; 
Breathing in Thy cleansing fullness, 
Finding all my life in Thee. 

I am breathing out my sorrow, 
On Thy kind and gentle breast; 
Breathing in Thy joy and comfort, 
Breathing in Thy peace and rest. 

I am breathing out my longings, 
In Thy list’ning loving ear, 
I am breathing in Thy answers, 
Stilling every doubt and fear. 

I am breathing every moment, 
Drawing all my life from Thee; 
Breath by breath I live upon Thee, 
Blessed Spirit, breathe in me. 

(a prayer of A. B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance; photo by @averieclaire via Unsplash.com)

I Recline

O Lord and Savior, I recline
On that eternal love of Thine.
Thou art my rest, and Thou alone
Remainest when all else is gone.

(from a hymn by Mrs. G. Helyar, slightly revised) 

Birthday Prayer for Robin

Abba, you have granted me the loveliest bride,
the perfect woman for me, and I am grateful.
Bless her abundantly, extravagantly, today, on her birthday.
As your beauty and grace lives in her
and exudes from her,
let her feel your approval in every way
on this day and in all the days to come.
Smile on her. Rejoice over her. 
Thrill her and fill her with the awareness of your pleasure
and the rich appreciation of her husband, family, and many friends,
in Jesus' name, amen.

The Gift of Little Lives

O my God, 
Thou hast permitted us 
through the gift of little lives such as these 
to discern spiritual truths which thou hast hid 
from the wise and prudent 
and revealed unto babes, 
that so we might enter into the Kingdom of Heaven as little children. 
Grant unto me this, O my Father, 
that I shall hold so fast to Thine Hand 
that the journey that would otherwise be impossible 
shall be possible for me, 
and the task that would have been too great 
may be accomplished through thy strength. 
For I can do all things through Him that strengtheneth me 
and if I hold Thy Hand 
I can run and not be weary, 
and walk and not faint. 

(a prayer by William E. Barton, in the book, Safed and Keturah)

Help Me Never to Expect Any Happiness from the World

O Lord,
help me never to expect any happiness
from the world, but only in Thee.
Let me not think that I shall be more happy
by living to myself,
for I can only be happy if employed for Thee,
and if I desire to live in this world
only to do and suffer what Thou dost allot me.

Teach me
that if I do not live a life that satisfies Thee,
I shall not live a life that will satisfy myself.

Help me to desire the spirit and temper of angels
who willingly come down to this lower world
to perform Thy will,
though their desires are heavenly,
and not set in the least upon earthly things;
then I shall be of that temper I ought to have.

Help me not to think of living to Thee
in my own strength,
but always to look and rely on Thee
for assistance.

Teach me that there is no greater truth than this,
that I can do nothing of myself.
Lord, this is the life that no unconverted man
can live,
yet it is an end that every godly soul
presses after;

Let it be then my concern to devote myself
and all to Thee.
Make me more fruitful and more spiritual,
for barrenness is my daily affliction and load.
How precious is time, and how painful to see it fly
with little done to good purpose!

I need Thy help:
O may my soul sensibly depend upon Thee
for all sanctification,
and every accomplishment of Thy purposes
for me, for the world,
and for Thy kingdom.

(from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers, edited by Arthur Bennett)

The Myth of More

God, I confess my desire to acquire and repent of my consumerism. I confess that I sometimes believe that having more things will make me happier, more important, or more secure. Please teach me to be grateful for what I have instead of always wanting something new or something more. Teach me to defy the myth of more and set my mind and heart on eternal things instead of material things. Teach me to keep my life free from the love of money and possessions and be content with what I have, in Jesus’ name, amen. 

 (the prayer that closes chapter two, "The eBay Attitude," in my book, American Idols)

I Lift My Empty Cup

I come to this day, Lord,
and lift my empty cup
to the overflowing fountain
of your strength
and sufficiency.

You are more than enough
for all I need this day.


Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom,
you know my necessities before I ask
and my ignorance in asking:
Have compassion on my weakness,
and mercifully give me those things which
for my unworthiness I dare not,
and for my blindness I cannot ask;
through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ my Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.

(from the morning office; photo by dennis von westburg via unsplash.com)

July 4th Prayer

Lord my God,
I worship you today,
on this 246th birthday of this nation,
these wonderful United States of America
in which I live.

I thank you for the freedom
to worship you publicly...
even as I ask you to show kindness and mercy
to those who lack that freedom
because they live elsewhere.

Thank you for all those
who have sacrificed for my freedom,
for those who risked
(and some who gave) their lives
to make this a free and independent nation,
for those in my nation's armed services, past and present,
and for all who have served the cause of liberty in other ways...
even as I pray for those who even now
are in harm's way,
far from home,
in this nation's service.
Please meet their needs,
watch over them and their loved ones,
and grant them your favor in every way.

And, Father, on this Independence Day 2022,
I pray for the people in this land
and every land
who have not yet discovered the freedom
that is offered to them in your Son, Jesus Christ.
Draw them to you,
set them free
from sin and sadness and strife,
and grant them the eternal freedom
that is found only in trusting you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Hear, O Hear My Prayer

Unto thee will I cry,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
Poor and needy am I,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
Deep is calling unto deep,
Rugged are the heights, and steep:
Guide my steps and keep;
Hear, O hear my prayer!
Hear, O hear my prayer!

Where the tempest is loud,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
'Mid the darkness and cloud,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
Let me hear thy voice afar,
Coming with the morning star,
Hear, O hear my prayer!
Hear, O hear my prayer!

Let the foe not prevail,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
My resources would fail,
Shepherd, hear my prayer!
Order all my steps aright,
Carry me from height to height;
Yonder shines the light!
Shepherd, lead me there!
Lead me safely there!

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


Grant to all who mourn a sure confidence in your fatherly care, that, casting all their grief on you, they may fully know the consolation of your love.

(revised slightly from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer)