From a Hill I Know

When shall I come unto the healing waters? 
Lifting my heart, I cry to Thee my prayer.
Spirit of peace, my Comforter and Healer,
In whom my springs are found, let my soul meet Thee there.

From a hill I know,
Healing waters flow;
O rise, Emmanuel's tide,
And my soul overflow.

Wash from my hands the dust of earthly striving,
Take from my mind the stress of secret fear;
Cleanse Thou the wounds from all but Thee far hidden,
And when the waters flow let my healing appear.

Light, life and love are in that healing fountain;
All I require to cleanse me and restore;
Flow through my soul, redeem its desert places, 
And make a garden there for the Lord I adore.

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

For Baseball

Thank you, God, for baseball:
for outfields of green
and the crack of the ball on a wooden bat.
For pitchers with eccentric windups,
for stolen bases
and diving catches.
For double plays
and double steals,
bunts and brushbacks,
squeeze plays and home runs.
For "cold beer here!" and ballpark franks.
For the seventh inning stretch.
For day games and night games.
For OBPs and ERAs,
pickoff plays and headfirst slides,
for opening days and hope springing eternal.

My Soul Waits

My soul waits on you, Lord. I wait on you, as a servant waits to be called, as a dog looks to the master. I wait on you, to hear your voice, to be guided by your will even in what I pray, to follow in step with you. Please guide my praying, my thinking, my sleeping, my waking, my planning, my writing, my speaking, my reading, my eating and drinking, and direct me in all I do to the fulfilling of your purpose, for you are all and in all, in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo by Ulysse Pointcheval via

Sighs Too Deep

Holy Spirit, thank you that
when my heart is overwhelmed, 
when I have no words, 
you intercede on my behalf with sighs too deep for words.

(photo by Noah Silliman, via


Adonai, I praise you and thank you
that the Son has set me free;
I am free indeed.

I am free to laugh,
free to dance,
free to sing,
free to follow you,
free to walk in the light,
free to say no,
free to say yes,
free to go,
free to stay,
free to say "I'm sorry," 
free to say "I love you,"
free to forgive,
free to trust,
free to work,
free to rest,
free to relax,
free indeed.

Thank you, in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo by Sammie Chaffin via

Show Me Where to Walk


Beneath Your Cross

Beneath your cross, Lord Jesus, I pledge to take my stand—
The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day.

O safe and happy shelter! O refuge tried and sweet!
O trysting place where Heaven’s love and Heaven’s justice meet!
As to the exiled patriarch that wondrous dream was giv’n,
So seems your cross, O Lord, to me— a ladder up to Heav’n.

Not so, O Lord, not this the boon I ask from you;
But for your strength to do the work you've given me to do. 
No faithful servant one who seeks for rest before,
Who faints before the day is done, and the evening work is o’er.

I ask a living faith within me to abide;
I ask you for a holy heart, and a spirit purified;
Two willing hands to serve, a patient mind to bear,
And hallowed, earnest lips to speak for you, Lord, everywhere.

(from the hymn, "Beneath the Cross of Jesus," by Elizabeth Cecilia Clephane, slightly revised and updated; photo by Jametlene Reskp via


In Sore Need of Bright Courage and Stout Faith

Thy children are fussing again, our Father, and we who are left on this patch of black earth here are in sore need of bright courage and stout faith.

Strengthen us for any struggle, Lord. 

Temper this wind to the lamb that is shorn.

If the crocus bloom, can Johnny-jump-up be far behind?

Make us patient, but well-prepared.


(from the book, The Farmer Gives Thanks; photo by Mission Pilot via

Winds of March

Who shall rebuke the winds of March or calm the raging snow waters?

Who but Thee, O Lord, who slept in the hinder part of the ship and commanded us to be not fearful.

And told the storm: be still.

Give us that same great faith, O God, as we come into the new spring.

Bless our plows, and our harrows too.

Let our grass seed fall on good ground, rot naturally in the moist earth, and live again in the warmth of the sun.

Bless every suckling on this place, our Father.

Strengthen the mothers, and spread their tender spirit of love and sacrifice into the hearts of men the world around.

We saw the wild geese in echelon flying, O God, and we are thankful.


(from the book, The Farmer Gives Thanks; photo via

For Spring

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!

For blue of stream and blue of sky;
For pleasant shade of branches high;
For fragrant air and cooling breeze;
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!

(by Ralph Waldo Emerson; photo by ROverhate via

For My Son on His Birthday

Oh, Lord, my God,
gone are the days  
when my little boy  
could climb into my lap 
and melt my heart with a smile. 
Gone--long gone!--are the nights 
when I could read him a book 
and smile with joy 
at his plea for more
or sing him a lullaby 
without knowing he could do it far better. 

But oh, what a son he still is today.
Oh, Lord, how you've blessed me,
not only with a son,
but with such a son,
such a husband,
such a father,
and such a friend as he is.

And though I know it is selfish
to ask more when you have given so much already,
I ask.
Lord, I ask.

Please make his every dream come true.

Please continue making him like Enoch, who walked with you,
like Noah, who found grace in your sight,
like Abraham, who walked by faith,
like Joseph, a dreamer and doer,
like Moses, who walked on holy ground,
like his namesake Aaron, who led your people into your presence,
like Caleb and Joshua, who saw with eyes of faith,
like Elijah, who received food from your hand,
like Elisha, who was given a double portion,
like David, who danced before you, a man after your own heart,
like Jehoshaphat, who trusted in you,
like Hosea, who forgave largely,
like John, a beloved disciple,
like Barnabas, a mentor and encourager.
Make him more than anything, like Jesus, lover of souls.

Bless him, Lord, on his birthday,
and every day to come,
as you have so blessed me with him,
in Jesus' name, amen.


Today I put on
a terrible strength
invoking the Trinity
confessing the Three
with faith in the One
as I face my Maker.

Today I put on the power
of Christ's birth and baptism,
of his hanging and burial,
His resurrection, ascension,
and descent at the Judgement.

Today I put on the power
of the order of the Cherubim,
angels' obedience,
archangels' attendance,
in hope of ascending
to my reward;
patriarchs' prayers,
prophets' predictions,
apostles precepts,
confessors' testimony,
holy virgins' innocence
and the deeds of true men.

Today I put on
the power of Heaven,
the light of the Sun,
the radiance of the Moon,
the splendour of fire,
the fierceness of lightning,
the swiftness of wind,
the depth of the sea,
the firmness of earth
and the hardness of rock.

Today I put on
God's strenghth to steer me,
God's power to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye for my vision,
God's ear for my hearing,
God's word for my speech,
God's hand to protect me,
God's pathway before me,
God's shield for my shelter,
God's angels to guard me
from ambush of devils,
from vice's allurements,
from traps of the flesh,
from all who wish ill,
whether distant or close,
alone or in hosts.

I summon these powers today
to take my part against every implacable power
that attacks my body and soul,
the chants of false prophets,
dark laws of the pagans,
false heretics' laws,
entrapments of idols,
enchantments of women
or smiths or druids,
and all knowledge that poisons
man's body or soul.

Christ guard me today
from poison, from burning,
from drowning, from hurt,
that I have my reward.

Christ beside me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ within me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me.
Christ on my right hand,
Christ on my left,
Christ where I lie,
Christ where I sit,
Christ where I rise.
Christ in the hearts of all who think of me,
Christ in the mouths of all who speak to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Today I put on 
a terrible strength,
invoking the Trinity,
confessing the Three,
with faith in the One
as I face my Maker.

(a prayer attributed to St. Patrick; photo by rgohery via

For Women Who Have Taught, Pastored, Inspired, and Led Me

Gracious God, thank you so much for the many brilliant women who have taught, pastored, inspired, and led me, including my mom (Millie Hostetler), Mrs. Reed, Mrs. Hall, Helen Bender, Arvilla Hostetler, Sue Wright, the lovely Robin, Freda Ditmer, Alice Baxendale, Eva Shannon, June Rader, Barbara Bicknell, Sharon Berry, Dorothy Breen, Mariruth Montemurro, Aubrey McCane, Nina Hostetler, Dorothy Sayers, Flora Larsson, Madge Unsworth, Eudora Welty, Yvonne Lehman, Catherine Marshall, Ellen G. Traylor, Hannah W. Smith, Annie Dillard, Margaret Feinberg, Denise Muir Kjesbo, Linda Belleville, Taryn Souders, Phyllis Tickle, Mary W. Tileston, Barbara Brown Taylor, Cindy Sproles, Mary Oliver, Eva Marie Everson, Bonnie Friedman, Edwina Perkins, Tamela Hancock Murray, Alice Mills, Lysa Terkeurst, Lauren Winner, Anne Lamott, Susan Cain, Lisa Barnes, Jennifer Bearchell...and so many more, including maybe even the author of Hebrews! How poor would my life have been without them, and how deep is my debt. 

(photo by Belinda Fewings via

I Renew

By the love that never ceased to hold me, 
By the blood which Thou didst shed for me,
Whilst Thy presence and Thy power enfold me,
I renew my covenant with Thee.

(a prayer by Salvationist hymnwriter Will Brand; photo by Samuel Martins via

From an Autograph

Lord, thank you for instructing me and teaching me in the way which I should go. Please continue to keep your eye on me (drawn from Psalm 32:8). 

Dull Imaginings

God forgive us
that we have imagined true humanness,
after the Enlightenment model,
to mean being successful,
having it all together,
knowing all the answers,
never making mistakes,
striding through the world as though we owned it.

(a prayer of N. T. Wright, from The Challenge of Jesus, p. 193; photo by Amazos7 via

Teach Me

Teach me your ways, Lord. 
Teach me your Word. 
Teach me your wit.
Teach me your winsomeness.
Teach me your wiles. 
Teach me your will. 
Teach me your wealth of creativity,
and beauty.
Teach me your wonders, 
in Jesus' name, amen.

Praise Belongs to You

Praise belongs to you, Lord,
Mighty God, 
and Just.
I praise you for being a mighty fortress,
a kind, forgiving Father, 
a gentle, nursing mother,
a friend,
a king,
a warrior,
a shepherd,
a rose of Sharon,
a morning star,
a sun, and shield, a shelter,
all that I need, and all I aspire to be.

(photo by Damian Markutt via

The Canaan of Your Perfect Love

God of all power and truth and grace,
Which shall from age to age endure,
Whose word, when Heaven and earth shall pass,
Remains and stands forever sure,

That I your mercy may proclaim,
That all humanity truth may see,
Hallow your great and glorious name,
And perfect holiness in me.

Purge from me every sinful blot;
My idols all be cast aside;
Cleanse me from every sinful thought,
From all the filth of self and pride.

Give me a new, a perfect heart,
From doubt and fear and sorrow free;
The mind that is in Christ impart
And let my thoughts unblemished be.

O that I now, from sin released,
Your word may to the utmost prove,
Enter into your promised rest,
The Canaan of your perfect love. Amen.

(a hymn by Charles Wesley, slightly revised; photo by Dyana Wing So via

Mozart's Laudate Dominum

English translation: 

Praise the Lord, all nations;
Praise Him, all people.
For He has bestowed
His mercy upon us,
And the truth of the Lord endures forever.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and forever,
and for generations of generations.

Love and Hate

Grant me, Lord, to know what I ought to know, 
to love what I ought to love, 
to praise what delights you most, 
to value what is precious in your sight, 
and to hate what is offensive to you. Amen. 

(a prayer by Thomas à Kempis; photo illustration by Brett Jordan via