Bless, O God, 
bless my weather-beaten soul. 

Quiet Times

My Heart

Lord, you have my heart.
Please be careful with it.

(photo: detail of photo illustration by @kellysikkema via

The Three That Seek My Heart

Bless to me, O God,
Each thing mine eye sees;
Bless to me, O God,
Each sound mine ear hears;
Bless to me, O God,
Each odor that goes to my nostrils;
Bless to me, O God,
Each taste that goes to my lips,
Each note that goes to my song,
Each ray that guides my way, 
Each thing I pursue, 
Each lure that tempts my will,
The zeal that seeks my living soul,
The Three that seek my heart,
The zeal that seeks my living soul,
The Three that seek my heart.

(a prayer from the Carmina Gadelica, III, a compendium of Celtic Christian prayers and songs; photo by @lundbergj via

Glory in the Gray

Almighty God...
Sun behind all suns...
Soul behind all souls...
show to us in everything we touch
and in everyone we meet
the continued assurance of thy presence round us,
lest ever we should think thee absent.
In all created things thou art there.
In every friend we have
the sunshine of thy presence is shown forth.
In every enemy that seems to cross our path,
thou art there within the cloud to challenge us to love.
Show to us the glory in the grey.
Awake for us thy presence in the very storm
till all our joys are seen as thee
and all our trivial tasks emerge as priestly sacraments
in the universal temple of thy love.

(George MacLeod, The Whole Earth Shall Cry Glory, pp. 13-14; photo by Jacek Dylag via

For an Exact Faith

Give me grace, O Lord, 
to be in all things strong, prudent and just 
with a wise restraint at need. 

Grant me an exact faith, 
unshakeable trust in thee, 
and perfect charity. 

Fill me with the spirit of intelligence and wisdom. 

Let me be always thoughtful for others and courageous, 
with loyalty and reverence. 

O Light, perfect and eternal, enlighten me.

(a prayer of Alcuin of York; photo by @jacksharp_photography via

Everything to Me

Jesus, tender lover of my soul,
Pardoner of my sins, and friend indeed,
Keeper of the garden of my heart,
Jesus, thou art everything to me.

Jesus, thou art everything to me,
Jesus, thou art everything to me,
All my lasting joys are found in thee;
Jesus, thou art everything to me.

What to me are all the joys of earth?
What to me is every sight I see,
Save the sight of thee, O Friend of mine?
Jesus, thou art everything to me.

Here I lay me at thy bleeding feet,
Deepest homage now I give to thee;
Hear thy whispered love within my soul;
Jesus, thou art everything to me.

(a prayer by Edward Henry Joy (verses), Arthur Smith Arnott (chorus), The Salvation Army Song Book; photo by FuuJ via

Unnecessary Things

O God, teach me how to dispense with unnecessary things.

(a prayer of Toyohiko Kagawa)

In Restful Sincerity of Heart

Lord, I would trust you completely; I would be altogether yours; I would exalt you above all.

I desire that I may feel no sense of possessing anything outside of you.

I want constantly to be aware of your overshadowing Presence and to hear your speaking Voice.

I long to live in restful sincerity of heart.

I want to live so fully in the Spirit that all my thought may be as sweet incense ascending to you and every act of my life may be an act of worship.

Therefore I pray in the words of your great servant of old, “I beseech Thee so for to cleanse the intent of mine heart with the unspeakable gift of Thy grace, that I may perfectly love Thee and worthily praise Thee.”

And all this I confidently believe you will grant me through the merits of Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.

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

To be Remembered, and Forgiven

Beyond the gates of everlasting day, 
Up to the starry threshold of the heavens 
I lift my eyes. I lift my eyes and pray: 

I pray to be remembered, and forgiven. 
I look for you in longing and I wait 
Upon you as your servant. You have given 

Day-labour for your servant to complete, 
But nothing can be done without your grace 
Without your kindling spirit, so I wait 

Upon your mercy, till you turn your face
And bless my work. Then, let the world despise, 
And the sophisticated sneer, in my place 

However small, I have a role I prize 
As one scribe of the kingdom. I rejoice
And, with this psalmist, lift my grateful eyes. 

(a poem based on Psalm 123, from the book David's Crown: Sounding the Psalms by Malcolm Guite; photo by Alfred Aloushy (@musickid98) via

They Go Back to School Soon

Lord, they go back to school soon. 

Watch over their going out and coming back. 
Make safe and straight paths for their feet. 
Shield them from danger. Protect them from bullies and predators.
Make them wise and help them make good decisions.
Give them friends as well as kind and able teachers. 
Show them classmates they can befriend and encourage.
Help them to focus on their work. 
Broaden and deepen their knowledge and skills, as you also strengthen their character. 
Open their eyes to their value and help them to resist all who devalue them. 
Make them respectful and kind to others. 
And let this school year make them better students and better people, 
in Jesus' name, amen. 

(photo by @notethanun via

You Know I'm Growing Older

Lord, you know I'm growing older. Keep me from becoming overly talkative and possessed with the idea that I must express myself on every subject. 

Release me from the craving to straighten out everyone's affairs. 

Keep me from the recital of endless detail. Give me wings to get to the point. 

Seal my lips when I am inclined to tell of my aches and pains. They are increasing with the years and my love of speaking about them grows sweeter as the years go by.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong. Make me thoughtful but not nosey, helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom and experience it does seem a pity not to use it at all. But you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. 


(slightly revised version of "A Prayer for Those Growing Old," author unknown; photo by Nina Hill via

That We May Never Turn Here and There

Grant, Almighty God, that inasmuch as we are so disposed and inclined to all kinds of errors, to so many and so various forms of superstitions, and as Satan also ceases not to lay in wait for us, and spreads before us his many snares - O grant, that we may be so preserved in obedience to you by the teaching of your word, that we may never turn here and there, either to the right hand or to the left, but continue in that pure worship which you have prescribed, so that we may plainly testify that you are indeed our Father by continuing under the protection of your only-begotten Son, whom you have given to be our pastor and ruler to the end. Amen.

(a prayer of John Calvin, updated by me into modern English, from his Commentary on Hosea; photo by rhoda Alex via


How thou pleasest, God, dispose the day!

(William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 4, Scene 3)