The Sin I Fear So Much

Preserve me, Lord, from the sin which I fear so much: contempt for your love. May I never sin against the Holy Spirit who is love and union, harmony and peace. May I never be separated from your Spirit, from the unity of your peace, by committing the sin which can never be forgiven, neither here nor in the world to come. Keep me, O Lord, among my brothers and kinsfolk that I may proclaim your peace. Keep me among those who preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 

(a twelfth-century prayer of Archbishop Baldwin, updated slightly; photo by Jeffrey Erhunse via 

I'll Follow


Hide Me


It's Summer, Lord

Good morning, good God!

It’s summer, Lord:
the days are warm and the nights, too...

It’s a time to be grateful for the AC
everywhere, cooling to comfort
the places where we live and work
and play and rest and pray…

But some days, some nights,
I run from the heat,
from how the sun soaks in
and seeps its way through my pores,
through muscle to bone,
through bone to the marrow of my soul,
warming me through and through
until, from the inside out,
I’m baked in a light from light years away…

Draw me out from the shade and shadows
and warm me with your love
as with your summer sun...

Blaze a path into my soul:
pass through all that shields me
from the brilliance of your light,
the heat of your presence,
the burn of your desire…

Bake me in your love
until I sweat from every pore
the moist anointing of your presence…

Bathe me in the warmth of your grace
‘til I am burnished within and without
by your light touch…

Warm my heart’s desire for you, Lord,
and let no cool shade keep me from the peace
your heart burns to give…

I offer you my praise for summer days
when all creation warms to know
the light no darkness can extinguish...

And in the heat of the noonday sun
keep me mindful, Lord, of others
whose thirst I might quench,
whose shade I might provide...

So comes my prayer this morning, Lord,
as the sun rises to its noon day height
until it sets at this day's end, until tomorrow
when your sun will rise again,
upon a brand new day...


(from A Concord Pastor Comments; photo by ralppie via

Summer With Me

I offer you these months, Lord,
my heart's July and August days...

Come summer with me, Lord;
summer deep down in my soul;
restore my faith in summer’s time,
in rest, in joy, in play, in you...

Summer in my heart, Lord,
and dwell there
as if time would never end,
as if all time were children's time, eternal time
when school is always out and joy is ever in…

And let others summer in my shade, Lord,
and share whatever summer’s peace is mine to give,
whatever summer’s light is mine to shed,
whatever summer's warmth is mine to share...

Good God of every season and every day this week,
come summer with me, Lord, and let the child in my heart
spend this summer in your love...


(excerpted from a prayer on the Concord Pastor Comments blog)

I Enter

I enter the place of prayer, dear God,
to listen to what you have to say.
I have been shouted at, accused, and threatened 
from the newspaper, radio, and television.
Now I want to hear the syllables of hope
that come in the still small voice of your Spirit
and establish you as Lord in my heart
as well as "Most High over all the earth" (Psalm 83:18). Amen.

 (a prayer of Eugene Peterson, in his book, Praying with the Psalms, June 19)

Fathers Day

Abba, Father,
thank you for being such a good, good father to me:
patient, wise, loving, constant, and strong.

Thank you for my father and father-in-law,
for the many years you gave them on this earth,
for the example they showed me
and the things they taught me.

Thank you for the kind of father
my son and son-in-law are
to my grandchildren:
patient, wise, loving, constant, and strong.

You have blessed me many times over
with the fathers in my life and family,
in Jesus' name, amen.

You Are My Hiding Place

A Morning Haiku

The sun is risen; 
Me too. Birds are on the wing. 
My spirit takes flight. 

(photo by Danish Upadhyay via


Raindrops striking leaves,
Making them tremble and wave.
Such beauty. Thank you!

(photo courtesy of

Save Us from These Comforts

Save us from these comforts. 
Break us of our need for the familiar. 
Spare us any joy that’s not of you, 
And we will worship you. 
(a Puritan prayer; photo by Matthias Speicher via

Like You

Make me more and more like you, Lord.
Make me a servant, like you.
Make me a lover of souls, like you.
Make me a shepherd, like you.
Make me a rod in your hand,
a cedar of Lebanon,
a man of integrity.
Make me a mighty man of valor.
Make me a healer of hurts,
a dispenser of grace,
a fount of compassion,
like you.

Whose Hand

Almighty Keeper of the seasons, whose hand but thine could have banked the earth so skillfully or again ridden the sun from Capricorn to Cancer without a bobble, bringing us so glorious a summer? 

This grass and hay, we would graze with better beasts and harvest with willing hands, so that all thy children might have milk and meat. 

Help us, O Lord, to blast the pests and the weeds as the devil and his plagues. 

Bless the brides. 

The graduates too. 

Thanks be to thee for decorating the world with all these roses. 

For them, and for us, 


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

Do Not Pass Me By


Savior, Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

(from the hymn by Fanny Crosby; art by James Tissot)

For Miles

Lord, how is it even possible that my first grandchild, my oldest grandson, this young man after my own heart, Miles Jacob Hostetler, turns sixteen today?

The mind reels. 
And the heart swells.

Thank you for all you have made him to be:
healthy, strong, charming, sweet, sensitive, smart, wonderful.

Thank you for all you have given him:
caring, wise, attentive, loving parents,
a sister who loves him and even says so,
a family that loves to be around him and spend time with him,
an active and brilliant mind,
a fascination with bugs and beasts and birds,
and a warm home, good school, and lovely church.

Thank you that he's so great as to make missing him so hard.
Thank you that he's growing so fast and learning so much 
as to make me insanely jealous of those who get to watch it happen day by day and week by week.
Thank you that for the earliest years of his life I got to see him so often, almost daily at times.
And thank you that even with the physical distance between us, we still enjoy a closeness that brings tears to my eyes. 

Please bless him mightily on his birthday, and on every day that follows it.
Please shine on him, smile on him, and slather him with your favor.
Please preserve his sweetness even as he grows up.
Please give him a great summer this year, and a blessed rest-of-the-year.
Please grant that he may grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
Give him backbone, confidence, solidity, centeredness, and a feeling of comfort in his own skin.
Please draw him and keep him close to you, 
grant his every need 
and make even his biggest, boldest dreams come true, 
in Jesus' name, amen.


My prayer today for my kids and my grandkids, from the "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids" app for iPhone and iPad.

My Anniversary Prayer

O Lord God, 
with each passing year it becomes more amazing to me 
how long--
and how high and wide and deep--
you have blessed me with my bride, 
my wife, the lovely Robin:  
through forty-six years of marriage, 
and forty-nine years together.

Thank you for yet another year of life together.
Thank you, thank you for her faithful,
constant heart.

Thank you for all
the happiness we've known together;
the sorrows we've faced,
the struggles we've survived,
the children we raised,
and the grandchildren we've been so wonderfully given.

Thank you for our home, 
hopes and dreams,
our yet-unfinished plans,
and our small accomplishments.

Thank you that she has stuck with me, never wavering in her support.
Thank you that I can still make her laugh, usually.
Thank you that she grows more beautiful every day.
Thank you for all of her perfections,
and all of my improvements.

Spare us another year to walk together,
and grant that for us it may be true
that the best is yet to be,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Your Watchful Eye

Lord, I know there are millions of travelers on the roads and rails, on the seas and in the skies today, 
and you love and care for them all. 
But please keep a watchful eye on me and the lovely Robin, 
in Jesus' name, amen.