From Ghoulies and Ghosties

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

(traditional Scottish prayer;
photo via

Sun of Righteousness, Arise

Christ, Whose glory fills the skies,
Christ, the true, the only Light,
Sun of Righteousness, arise,
Triumph o’er the shades of night;
Dayspring from on high be near;
Day-star, in my heart appear.

Visit now this soul of mine,
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
Fill me, Radiancy divine,
Scatter all my unbelief;
More and more Yourself display,
Shining to the perfect day.

(by Charles Wesley)


Jesus, Jesus, lily of the valley,
Bloom in all thy beauty in the garden of my heart.

(from a hymn by Sidney Cox; photo by Erda Estremera via

Sweep Away My Clutter

Most glorious God, 
God of compassion, 
God of forgiveness, 
I need your presence. 
Great Physician, I need healing. 
I am spiritually lukewarm 
and unbelief mars my confidence 
in trusting you--
brokenness and repeated failures 
occupy my attention. 
It astounds me that I continually try to battle life's issues on my own.
Sin makes me forget you. 
Too long I have neglected the closet of prayer...
Too long I have forsaken the refreshment of your Word...
The cobwebs of indifference and the dust of life's cares choke my soul. 
Broken relationships and shattered trust have prevented the health and healing of your Word. 

But now--this moment, 
I turn from absenteeism to the mercy seat. 
I praise you for permission to approach the throne of grace. 
Here, I pour out my confession of sin: 
foolishly questioning your providence. 
Divinely sweep away my soul's clutter. 
Pour down upon me streams of needful grace. 
Engage my heart to live more faithfully for you. 
Your presence alone can make me holy, 
I praise you for forgiveness--
Accomplish in me your eternal purposes, through Jesus Christ, my only hope, my only Savior.

("Prayer Number Thirty-Seven" from A Pastor Prays for His People (A Collection of Wise and Loving Prayers to Help You through Life's Journey) by pastor Dr. Wendell C. Hawley; photo by MabelAmber via


Lord, thank you for blessed obscurity--
that my high school transcripts are not on the internet,
that my first sermon is not on YouTube,
that my off-the-cuff comments don't make the news,
and that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me from all sin.

All Our Secret Places

Father, you know us in secret, 
and you know all our secret places. 
What we do to benefit your kingdom 
will not be lost if it is not seen by others, 
for you see and you reward 
according to your grace and mercy. 
Strengthen us to do good works, 
visibly or invisibly, 
always in your name.

(a prayer of G. K. Chesterton).


Lord, I'm amazed by you,
by the things you do,
the way you time things,
rhyme things,
one with another,
to whisper to me
that I can never be
so unmindful of you
to make you unmindful of me.
Thank you.

(photo by Nicola Abrescia via

For the Absence of Things

Lord, I praise you for the absence of things:
for hunger, because by it I know the blessing of fulness;
for silence, for by it I know the blessing of sound;
for want, for it teaches me gratitude when wants are supplied;
for darkness, because by it I learn to love light;
for sickness,
for emptiness, idleness, helplessness,
for by all such things you teach me gratitude and remind me that all good and perfect gifts come down to me from your hand, by your grace, in Jesus' name, amen.

Going Out, Coming In

Lord, where shall I find you?
High and hidden is your place.
And where shall I not find you?
The world is full of your glory.
I have sought your nearness,
with all my heart I called you
And in going out to meet you
I found you coming in to meet me.

(a prayer of Judah Halevi)

Kill in Me

Lord God, Adonai,
kill in me
the need to control
and manage
and manipulate.
Kill my tendency
to think I am in control
(when I never am)
and that you are not in control
(when you always are).
Kill my unbelief,
my ignorance
and waywardness,
my prayerlessness
and haste,
in Jesus' name,

By the Wind of Your Spirit

Lord God Adonai,
teach me please not to be blown around
on the waves of circumstances,
but to sail solely
by the wind
of your Spirit,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Fill My Cup

Fill my cup, Lord;
I lift it up, Lord.
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.

(photo by anitapeppers via morguefile)

In Clean Pinafores

Lord Jesus,
we come to Thee now as little children.
Dress us again in clean pinafores;
make us tidy once more
with the tidiness of true remorse and confession.
O, wash our hearts, that they may be clean again.
Make us to know
the strengthening joys of the Spirit,
and the newness of life which only Thou can give.

(a prayer of Peter Marshall)

Which I Do Not Now

God, you are my God, 
and I seek you this morning;
let my prayers rise before you 
like the morning sacrifice.

Please grant that I may seek you wholeheartedly,
which I confess I do not now.

Grant that I may seek you only,
which I do not now.

Grant that I may seek you moment-by-moment,
consistently, and constantly,
which I do not now,
for I need you constantly and completely
and only, amen. 

On Aubrey's Birthday

It's my favorite daughter's birthday, Lord. 
I still can't fathom, 
can't even process, 
that she is all she is. 

I'm still and always amazed 
at how kindly, fully, and generously 
you've answered my prayers 
and her mother's prayers 
for her. 

You have made her faithful like Ruth and regal like Esther, 
fierce like Deborah and brilliant like Abigail,
industrious like Lydia and a leader like Junia.

I give you so much praise and thanks
for my only daughter, 
my firstborn, my Blossom; 
for the child you gave me, 
the woman she is, 
the love we share, 
the pride and joy I feel in her, 
the blessings you've given her, 
and the blessings you've given me through her.

Please bless her abundantly today 
and in all the days to come. 
Keep her safe and well. 
Keep her marriage strong and beautiful. 
Prosper her and her husband, 
answer their prayers, 
supply their needs,
fulfill their dreams.

Let her children continue to grow in happiness, health, and holiness.
Reward Aubrey's love and faithfulness and diligence as a mom
with beauty and grace, 
charm and wisdom,
health and wholeness, 
integrity and strength in each of her children 
as you have done for me in mine.

Show her every kindness, 
grant her your favor, 
use her,
bless her,
hold her,
in Jesus' name, amen.

A Prayer of C. S. Lewis

He whom I bow to only knows to whom I bow
When I attempt the ineffable Name, murmuring Thou,
And dream of Pheidian fancies and embrace in heart
Symbols (I know) which cannot be the thing thou art.
Thus always, taken at their word, all prayers blaspheme
Worshiping with frail images a folk-lore dream,
And all men in their praying, self-deceived, address
The coinage of their own unquiet thoughts, unless
Thou in magnetic mercy to thyself divert
Our arrows aimed unskillfully, beyond desert;
And all men are idolaters, crying unheard
To a deaf idol, if thou take them at their word.

Take not, O Lord, our literal sense. Lord, in thy great,
Unbroken speech our limping metaphor translate.

(a prayer by C.S. Lewis; photo by zsbenko via

Protect My Child

Susan Tedeschi performs "Lord Protect My Child,” written by Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan.


Lord God Adonai, 
as your word says,
I pray for the peace of Jerusalem 
and with it all of Israel.
Let those who love her be secure.
Let there be peace within her walls
and security within her citadels.

For the sake of brothers and sisters and friends,
let there be peace within her.

For the sake of your name
and your heritage,
grant safety, healing, and recovery
and restore peace
in the city of our God,
the mountain of your holiness.

(based on Psalm 122, Psalm 48)

Deign to Put Within


Wise for Salvation

grant that I may be
so acquainted with Scripture
that I will be made
wise for salvation
through faith in Christ Jesus. Amen.

(based on 1 Timothy 3:15; photo via

A Place Called Enough

Lord, let me live in a place called Enough.
At peace and unfettered.

All My Springs

All my springs are in you (Psalm 87:7, ESV).
All my hopes are in you.
All my joy is in you.
All my strength is in you.
All my comfort is in you.
All my energy,
in you.