To Be Clothed with Compassion

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

Fresh Flowers

Come, O Lord my God;
my soul invites you earnestly,
and waits for you eagerly.

Come to me, O Jesus, my well beloved,
and plant fresh flowers in my garden,
such as I see blooming
in such perfection
in your matchless character!

Come, O my Father,
who is the Husbandman,
and deal with me in your tenderness and prudence!

Come, O Holy Spirit,
and bedew my whole nature,
as the herbs are now moistened with the evening dews.

Oh, that you would speak to me!
Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.
Oh, that you would walk with me;
I am ready to give up my whole heart and mind to you.

I am only asking what you delight to give.

(a prayer of Charles H. Spurgeon, slightly revised)

Hide

Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
Till the storm of life is past.

(from "Jesus, Lover of My Soul," a hymn by Charles Wesley)

Wanderer's Prayer

Lord God, Lover of my soul, you have done so much for me. You have made known to me the path of life and filled me with joy in your presence (Psalm 16:11). Yet, I confess that I am prone to wander, prone to leave the God I love. Please have mercy on my feeble and fickle heart, and help me to be properly warned by your Word. Help me not to tolerate even the slightest distance from you and, if I do wander, to turn quickly back to you, the source of all my blessing and joy. Make me and keep me wholly and always devoted to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

(from Falling in Love with God)

Taxed

On this day of internal revenue
some of us are paid up,
some of us owe,
some of us await a refund,
some of us have no income to tax.

But all of us are taxed,
by war,
by violence,
by anxiety,
by deathliness.

And Caesar never gives any deep tax relief.

We render to Caesar . . .
to some it feels like a grab,
to some it is clearly a war tax,
to some – some few –
it is a way to contribute to the common good.

In any case we are haunted
by what we render to Caesar,
by what we might render to you,
by the way we invest our wealth and our lives,
when what you ask is an “easy yoke”:
to do justice
to love mercy
to walk humbly with you.

Give us courage for your easy burden, so to live untaxed lives. Amen.

(a prayer by Walter Brueggemann, from his book, Prayers for a Privileged People; photo by Shutterbug75 via pixabay.com)

Come Jesus

Disturb Us


Disturb us, Lord,
when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
when our dreams have come true
because we have dreamed too little,
when we arrived safely
because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord,
when with the abundance of things we possess
we have lost our thirst for the waters of life;
having fallen in love with life,
we have ceased to dream of eternity,
and in our efforts to build a new earth,
we have allowed our vision
of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord,
to dare more boldly,
to venture on wider seas
where storms will show your mastery;
where losing sight of land,
we shall find the stars.

We ask You to push back
the horizons of our hopes;
and to push into the future
in strength, courage, hope, and love.

(attributed to Sir Francis Drake; photo by ross_savchyn via unsplash.com)

Kill

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,
amen.

(photo illustration by marcuslofvenberg via unsplash.com)

Resurrection Deliverance


Risen Christ,
your resurrection saves me from the fear of dying.
Let it also free me from the fear of living,
Amen.

(photo by Fuu J via unsplash.com)

One Into a Thousand

Savior, I know you are
In every age the same;
Now, Lord, in mine exert
The virtue of your name,
And daily, through your Word, increase
Your blood-besprinkled witnesses.

Your people, saved below
From every sinful stain,
Let multiply and grow
If you, Lord, but ordain,
And one into a thousand rise
And spread your praise through earth and skies.

In every soul--and mine--
You have displayed your power;
Now to your people join
Ten thousand thousand more,
Saved from the guilt and strength of sin
In life and heart entirely clean.
Amen.

(a prayer of Charles Wesley, slightly updated; photo by aaronburden via unsplash.com)

On My Birthday


Long have I loved you,
But not nearly as long or as much
As your great love deserves.
Each day I have left
Let me love and serve you
With more passion and zeal
Than the 24,106 (or so)
that have gone before.
Amen.

Lives of Love


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

From a Thief's Prayer

Lord, remember me.
Remember me when you feel like blessing someone.
Remember me when you're handing out strength for the day,
rest for the night,
hope for tomorrow.
Remember me when I forget you are near.
Remember me when the crowd presses in on me.
Remember me when others find fault,
and demand what I cannot give.
Remember when I'm stricken with fear,
and peace eludes me,
and I forget that you are in control.
Remember me, too, when cloudy skies clear,
and all seems well with the world.
Remember me, Lord.
Remember me, in Jesus' name, amen.

Be Merciful to Me, a Fool

O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

No pity, Lord,
could change the heart
From red with wrong
to white as wool;
The rod must heal
the sin: but Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

'Tis not by guilt the onward sweep
Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
‘Tis by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.

These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart-strings of a friend.

The ill-timed truth we might have kept–
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
The word we had not sense to say–
Who knows how grandly it had rung!

Our faults no tenderness should ask.
The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;
But for our blunders — oh, in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

(from a poem by Edward Rowland Sill)

Resurrection Prayer

 


Risen Christ,
raise me up
and renew my life.
Amen.

(photo by Tim Wildsmith via Unsplash.com)

Silent Saturday Prayer



Rest you well, beloved Jesus,  
Caesar’s Lord and Israel’s King,  
In the brooding of the Spirit,  
In the darkness of the spring. 

Good Friday Prayer


Am I a stone, and not a sheep,
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,
To number drop by drop Thy blood's slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon--
I, only I.

Yet give not o'er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

(by Christina Rossetti)

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.
Amen.

Maundy Thursday Prayer

Lord,
wash,
not my feet only,
but also
my hands
and
my head.
And
my heart.
And
my mind.
And
my life.
Amen.

(based on John 13:9).

Holy Wednesday Prayer

Lord Jesus, gracious Savior, I come to you in this sacred week to ponder your great and wondrous love; love that led you to the cross that my sin might be blotted out and that I might be reconciled to my heavenly Father. O Christ, give me strength and grace to crucify my sinful desires and dedicate myself anew to you, who has loved me with an everlasting love and brought to me eternal salvation. 

I confess to You my sins. They are many, and You know them all. For each and every one of them you suffered the agony of the cross and shed your precious blood that I may be cleansed and made acceptable in your sight. Thank you for the forgiveness and cleansing that is mine. Thank you that none of the sins of yesterday cling to me. Humbly I come, grateful for your mercy. Daily let me fulfill the tasks and duties to which You have called me with joy, confessing you as my Lord and Savior, and being of service to my neighbor.

Grant that your suffering and death, proclaimed for the salvation of mankind, may by the power of the Holy Spirit awaken in many a deeper love to You. O Lord, have mercy upon me and all sinful mankind, and create in me and all that seek you a clean heart, holy desires, and an undying love. Hear my prayer, gracious Redeemer. Amen.

(borrowed and revised from http://scotkinnaman.com; photo of Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona, Arizona, by Josh Ekstein)

Holy Tuesday Prayer

Lord Jesus,
it was on a Tuesday that you
spoke out against
abuse of power, collaboration with oppressors,
misuse of authority.
So today we pray,
Comforter of the abused,
strengthen those burdened by corrupted rule
or injustice;
rescue the overwhelmed;
be present to those who call on your name,
to those we name on our lips,
and in the silence of our hearts,
those whose concerns are known only to you, 
amen.
(illustration: Woe to you hypocrites by James Tissot).

Holy Monday Prayer

God of love,
My prayer is simple:
Your son, Jesus, suffered and died for me.

I know only
that I cannot have real strength
unless I rely on you.

I cannot feel protected
from my many weaknesses
until I turn to you
for forgiveness and your unalterable love.

Help me to share this
strength, protection and love with others.

(from One Prayer a Day for Lent)

Palm Sunday Prayer

On this day of great rejoicing,
Lord Jesus Christ,
when we welcome You as our King and Savior,
we also walk in the shadow of Your cross.
Hosanna! we cry.
Blessed are You
who come in God’s name to save us.
Hosanna!
Strengthen our faith
on this Palm Sunday
so that when the time comes
to carry the cross
we might still call out to You
with heartfelt praise.
Give us the grace and the courage
to follow You this Holy Week
from death to resurrection,
from darkness to the fullness of light.
We need You, Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Hosanna! Amen.

Run Wild

God, give room in my life for good things to run wild.

(based on words by G. K. Chesterton; photo by Capture Queen™ via everystockphoto.com)

Springing of the Year

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

(by Robert Frost, from A Boy's Will)

Amazing Day

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

(by e. e. cummings)

Spring Canticle

Sun and cloud, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Flower and weed, bless the Lord.
Breeze and bird, bless the Lord.
Mist and meadow, bless the Lord.
Sunrise and sunset, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.

Springtime Prayer

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 pixabay.com)

Aaron



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.

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.

Lorica

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.

(attributed to St. Patrick, called The Lorica, or Breastplate of St. Patrick: photo via everystockphoto.com)

Kneeling in Penitence

Kneeling in penitence I make my prayer,
Owning my weaknesses and my despair;
Failure I cannot hide,
Broken my selfish pride,
Pardon thou dost provide,
Pardon declare.

Nothing can I achieve, nothing attain;
He that without thee builds, labors in vain;
Shatter my own design,
Shaping a plan divine,
Come to this heart of mine,
Saviour, again.

Though few the gifts I have that thou canst use,
Make thy demands on me; I'll not refuse;
Take all there is of me,
Take what I hope to be;
Thy way at last I see,
Thy way I choose.

(a lyric by the late General John Gowans of The Salvation Army)

That Peace of Yours

 


O God the Father, Origin of divinity,
good beyond all that is good,
fair beyond all that is fair,
in whom is calmness, peace, and concord;
make up the dissensions
which divide us from each other,
and bring us back into a unity of love,
which may bear some likeness to your divine nature.

And as you are above all things,
make us one by the unanimity of a good mind,
that through the embrace of charity
and the bonds of affection,
we may be spiritually one,
as well in ourselves as in each other;
through that peace of yours
that makes all things peaceful,
and through the grace, mercy, and tenderness
of your Son, Jesus Christ, amen.

(a prayer of Dionysius the Great; photo by jjacobs15 via unsplash.com)


Purity of Heart


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

Pretty Small Package

God, of grace and glory, thank You for the rest of the night and the fresh energy to begin a new day. As the brightness breaks through the clouds of the morning sky, illuminate my heart with Your own darkness-dispelling presence. Drive away the clouds of doubt that question Your faithfulness in trying circumstances and the clouds of fear that make me cautious when I need to be courageous.

I know I can make a pretty small package when I get all wrapped up in myself. Set me free from self-concern so that I may focus on others. Renew my assurance that I am loved and forgiven by You so that I may be a communicator cator of Your grace to the people around me. Remind me that grace is kept only if it is given away. All You have taught me on the mountaintops of victory or the valleys of trials has been to help me say to others, "I know what you're going through-I've been there!" Help me see life as a school of grace equipping me for a ministry of sharing.

Thank You, Lord, for what I will learn today that will enable me to help someone who will need just what I've discovered.

(from Quiet Moments with God by Lloyd John Ogilvie; photo via everystockphoto.com)

Plant Me Deep

Holy spirit, I surrender,
Take me where you want to go;
Plant me by your living water,
Plant me deep so I can grow.

(a prayer by Keith Green; photo via everystockphoto.com)

Exult in You

 

Let all who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice,
Let them ever sing for joy;
Because You cover and shelter them,
Let those who love Your name be joyful and exult in You.
(Psalm 5:11 AMP; photo illustration by Blake Cheek via unsplash.com)

Both Privilege and Pain

I give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. I give praise and thanks to you for the privilege that is mine to witness to your kindness, to your beauty, to your great salvation. I confess that it is both privilege and pain to me—-sweet and bitter. I ask you, please, to make me faithful to speak at your urging and to refrain at your prompting. Light my lamp, and keep it burning. Make my witness bold and unconquerable, reminding me that by your grace and in your strength I can have a greater impact than that of earthquakes and armies. Amen.

(a prayer from the upcoming book, How to Survive the End of the World)

Unconquerable Hearts

Give us, O Lord,
a steadfast heart,
which no unworthy affection may drag downwards;
give us an unconquered heart,
which no tribulation can wear out;
give us an upright heart,
which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside.

Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God,
understanding to know you,
diligence to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(a prayer by Ignatius of Loyola; photo via everystockphoto.com)

I Praise You Because











Mighty God, I praise you
because you walk on the high places of the earth;
they melt beneath your feet
and flow into the valleys like wax in a fire,
like water pouring down a hill.

Let Me Recount

Dear Lord, let me recount to Thee
Some of the great things thou hast done
For me, even me
Thy little one.

It was not I that cared for Thee,--
But Thou didst set Thy heart upon
Me, even me
Thy little one.

And therefore was it sweet to Thee
To leave Thy Majesty and Throne,
And grow like me
A Little One,

A swaddled Baby on the knee
Of a dear Mother of Thine own,
Quite weak like me
Thy little one.

Thou didst assume my misery,
And reap the harvest I had sown,
Comforting me
Thy little one.

Jerusalem and Galilee,--
Thy love embraced not those alone,
But also me
Thy little one.

Thy unblemished Body on the Tree
Was bared and broken to atone
For me, for me
Thy little one.

Thou lovedst me upon the Tree,--
Still me, hid by the ponderous stone,--
Me always,--me
Thy little one.

And love of me arose with Thee
When death and hell lay overthrown:
Thou lovedst me
Thy little one.

And love of me went up with Thee
To sit upon Thy Father's Throne:
Thou lovest me
Thy little one.

Lord, as Thou me, so would I Thee
Love in pure love's communion,
For Thou lov'st me
Thy little one:

Which love of me brings back with Thee
To Judgment when the Trump is blown,
Still loving me
Thy little one.

(a prayer by Christina Rossetti)

Wean Me

Father, wean me from sin, my pet sins, my most grievous sins. I know that in me dwells no good thing, but I also know that you are able to keep me from falling. I know that when I sin, not only that moment is defiled, but my hunger for sin and its empty promises is fed, and my strength to resist and please you more is doubly diminished like an athlete who not only skips a workout but spends the workout hour in strength-sapping activity. So, Lord, please change me, strengthen me, wean me from pride, lust, greed, self-centeredness, faithlessness, laziness, and all such things, that I may build up the muscles of my character and be the man I want to be instead of the man it's easy to be, in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo by Zach Dischner)

Sun-Like Strength

O greater Maker of this Thy great sun,
Give me the strength this one day's race to run,
Fill me with light, fill me with sun-like strength,
Fill me with joy to rob the day its length.
Light from within, light that will outward shine,
Strength to make strong some weaker heart than mine,
Joy to make glad each soul that feels its touch;
Great Father of the sun, I ask this much.

(a prayer by James Weldon Johnson)

On My Mother's Birthday

Abba,
thank you for my mother,
for the forty-nine years of life you gave her,
and the fourteen years you gave me
with her.

Thank you for the heritage of love,
grace,
faith,
music,
laughter,
humility,
faithfulness,
diligence,
hope,
and submission
you gave me through her.

Thank you for the ways she yet speaks,
and for the unseen ways
she is still a part of my life.

Have mercy, Lord, on all those
in this great, wide world
who are missing their mothers,
grieving them,
or needing them,
in Jesus' name, amen.