New Day


Expose and Depose

Lord God, there is so much hate and violence, 
so many lies, 
and so much corruption in this world, 
and so much of it
so well financed and organized. 

Expose it all, Lord. 
Depose the corrupt. 
Deliver us from evil, 
in Jesus' name, amen. 

(photo illustration by Will Porada via

Happy Birthday, Robin


Abba, you have granted me the loveliest bride,
the perfect woman for me, and I am grateful.
Bless her abundantly, extravagantly, today, on her birthday.
As your beauty and grace lives in her and exudes from her,
let her feel your approval in every way
on this day and in all the days to come.
Smile on her. Rejoice over her. Thrill her and fill her
with the awareness of your pleasure
and the rich appreciation of her husband, family, and many friends, in Jesus' name, amen.

Ours and Yours



Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Lord, have mercy on me, a husband.

Lord, have mercy on me, a father.

Lord, have mercy on me, a grandfather.

Lord, have mercy on me, a son.

Lord, have mercy on me, a brother.

Lord, have mercy on me, a writer.

Lord, have mercy on me, a friend.

Lord, have mercy on me, a man.

Lord, have mercy on me, your child.

(photo by Hassan Saleh via

Yet You Hold Me

I do nothing, I give you
nothing. Yet you hold me

minute by minute
from falling.
Lord, You provide.

(excerpt from "Psalm Fragments (Schnittke String Trio)," by Denise Levertov, The Stream and the Sapphire, p. 23).

Highest Good

God, You are the highest good of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of You is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied.

To go to heaven fully to enjoy You is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here.

Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows. But the enjoyment of You is the substance.

These are but scattered beams, but You are the sun.

These are but streams, but You are the fountain.

These are but drops, but You are the ocean.


(from God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse by James Weldon Johnson, by way of the Daily Prayer blog)

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

To Overcome

Lord, please teach me
and teach my world
not to return evil for evil
but to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21),
darkness with light,
ugliness with beauty,
hatred with love,
anger with understanding,
grief with comfort,
frustration with faith,
and despair with hope,
in Jesus' strong name, amen.

America's Birthday

Lord my God,
I worship you today,
on this 248th birthday of this nation,
these wonderful United States of America
in which I live.

I thank you for the freedom
to worship you publicly...
even as I ask you
to show kindness and mercy
to those who lack that freedom
because they live elsewhere.

Thank you for all those
who have sacrificed for my freedom,
for those who risked
(and many who gave) their lives
to make this a free and independent nation,
for those in my nation's armed services, past and present,
and for all who have served the cause of liberty in other ways...
even as I pray for those who even now
are in harm's way,
far from home,
in this nation's service.
Please meet their needs,
watch over them and their loved ones,
and grant them your favor in every way.

And, Father, on this Independence Day 2024,
I pray for the people in this land
and every land
who have not yet discovered the freedom
that is offered to them in your Son, Jesus Christ.
Draw them to you,
set them free
from sin and sadness and strife,
and grant them the eternal freedom
that is found only in trusting you,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo by Free-Photos via

For Your Constancy and Perseverance

Abba, I give you praise today;
for your constancy and perseverance in all things,
from the rotation of the earth
to your faithfulness to me;
for your justice,
from your laws and decrees
to your discipline of me;
for your mercy,
from your care for the birds of the air
to your kind mercy toward me,
shown even now in the mercy of a new day,
of my latest breath.

I give you praise, Abba;
if I could praise you enough,
it would take all my breath for all of eternity,
and still would not be enough.

By the Wind of the 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 the Spirit,
in Jesus' name, amen.

On the Scale


Lord, give me grace to accept the first reading on the bathroom scale each morning...

The Willingness and Ability to Work Hard

This prayer, abundantly answered for my children, I now pray once a month for my grandchildren (from the iPhone/iPad app, "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids," available in the iTunes app store, here):

Hör Mein Bitten

Hear my prayer, O God, incline Thine ear!
Thyself from my petition do not hide.
Take heed to me! Hear how in prayer I mourn to Thee,
Without Thee all is dark, I have no guide.

The enemy shouteth, The godless come fast!
Iniquity, hatred, up on me they cast!
The wicked oppress me, Ah where shall I fly?
Perplexed and bewildered, O God, hear my cry!

My heart is sorely pained, within my breast,
my soul with deathly terror is oppressed,
trembling and fearfulness up on me fall,
with horror overwhelmed, Lord, hear me call.

O for the wings, for the wings of a dove!
Far away, far away would I rove!
In the wilderness build me a nest,
and remain there forever at rest."

(anthem for soprano solo, chorus and organ or orchestra written by Felix Mendelssohn in Germany in 1844. The text, originally in English, written by William Bartholomew, is derived from Psalm 55' image 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)


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

Too Beautiful

God, I fear

You’ve made the World too beautiful this year.

(a prayer by Edna St. Vincent Millay; photo by Lynn McCane)

My New Book


Lord, it's release day for my new book! Look how beautiful it is! 

Please shower your favor on it. 
Let it be a blessing to many. 
Use it to make children smile 
and feel secure in the knowledge of your love
and the love of their families. 
Use it to draw families closer
and help adults express their hopes and dreams for the children they love, and turn those hopes and dreams into focused, purposeful prayers. 

Thank you for granting me the honor of writing it
and seeing it published...and, I hope, purchased, 
in Jesus' name, amen. 

O God, My Help

O God, my help in ages past,
My hope for years to come,
My shelter from the stormy blast,
And my eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And my defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

O God, my help in ages past,
My hope for years to come,
My shelter from the stormy blast,
And my eternal home.


Lord, I would clasp your hand in mine,
And never murmur or repine,
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since it is your hand leading me.

(from the hymn, He Leadeth Me, by Joseph Henry Gilmore, slightly updated)

True Humanness

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

Fearless as the Sun

Lord, I pray today
that I would be
"like the sun when it rises
in its strength" (Judges 5:31b).
May I bring light in a dark world;
may I show people the way.
Help me to bring warmth and energy,
and to be strong, bold and fearless as the sun.

(a prayer of @nickygumbel; photo via

Apples of Gold

Father, let my speaking today
be like apples of gold 
in settings of silver, 
in Jesus' name, 

(based on Proverbs 25:11)


Dear God,

Sometimes my desires are so strong that they keep me from thinking straight. Like Samson in the Bible, I can become so obsessed with what I want that I forget to ask for your guidance and wisdom. Help me to know whether the objects of my desire are consistent with your will.

(an excerpt from the book, 365 Pocket Prayers, by Ron Beers)

On Miles's Birthday

Lord, the mind reels. 
The heart swells.

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

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.

Day of Travel

Father God, 
please grant me and the lovely Robin 
safe and successful travel today. 

Make smooth paths 
(and flight schedules) for our feet. 
Grant safe and timely travel to the airport. 
Help us to make our flights 
and safely reach our destination. 
Protect us from coach cabin and airport terminal infections. 

Guide our steps, 
guard our thoughts, 
and give us sweet communion with you and
pleasant interactions with others. 
Make us alert to any opportunity to be the means of blessing
to our fellow travelers,
or those who serve them,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Prayer for My Kids and Grandkids

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

I Come Quietly to Your Door

Gracious One, I come quietly to your door needing to receive from your hands the nourishment that gives life.

Amen and Amen.

(a prayer of Bernard of Clairvaux)

Good Morning, Lord

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

(photo by Danish Upadhyay via

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-seven years of marriage, 
and fifty--FIFTY!--years as a couple.

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.

Las Vegas


isn't it strange that I live in Las Vegas? 
I would never have guessed. 
And yet here I am, and the lovely Robin. 
I love our comfy home here, 
our neighbors,
our church family, 
the hikes, 
and the trips to see our kids and grandkids.
Thank you for where we live, 
how we live, 
that we live, 
in Jesus' name, amen. 

(photo by julianpaefgen via


Thank you, God, that 
"There is no price set on the lavish summer, 
And June may be had by the poorest comer." 

(from "The Vision of Sir Launfal" by James Russell Lowell)

You Struck the Rivers

Lord, I praise you
because you struck the rivers
and parted the sea;
you sent your chariots of salvation for your people.

You commanded your weapons of power!
You split open the earth with flowing rivers!
The mighty deep cried out, lifting its hands to you.
You are mighty, and worthy of praise!

(from Habakkuk 3:8-10)

Heavenly Wisdom

O God of the ages, grant that I, who am the heir of all the ages, may not fail to profit by the heavenly wisdom which in time past Thou didst grant to Thy servants.

A wise man wrote,
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.

O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise man wrote,
Our wills are ours to make them Thine.
O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise king said,
Nothing for me is too early or too late which is in due time for Thee.
O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise man said,
Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.
O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise man said,
In His Will is our peace.
O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise woman said,
The divine moment is the present moment.
O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise woman said,
He asks too much to whom God is not sufficient.
O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise man prayed,
Give what Thou commandest, and command what Thou wilt.
O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

A wise man wrote,
My past life hide; my future guide.
(Quod vixi tege, quod vivam rege.)

O God, give me grace to profit by this word.

Grant, O Father, that I may go about this day's business with an ever-present remembrance of the great traditions wherein I stand and the great cloud of witnesses which at all times surround me, that thereby I may be kept from evil ways and inspired to high endeavor. So keep me until evening in the might of Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

(a prayer of John Baillie, from the book A Diary of Private Prayer; photo via

Whether Friendly or Adverse

Purify my soul,
make my eyes keen and watchful,
in order that I may discern your purpose
at every turning of the way.

Help me to hallow all my circumstances
whether they appear friendly or adverse,
and may I subdue them all to my King's will.

(from J. H. Jowett, The Whole Armour of God, p. 152; photo via

A Memorial Day Prayer

In the quiet sanctuaries of our own hearts, 
let each of us name and call on 
the One whose power over us
is great and gentle, 
firm and forgiving, 
holy and healing…

You who created us, 
who sustain us,
who call us to live in peace,
hear our prayer this day.

Hear our prayer for all who have died,
whose hearts and hopes are known to you alone…

Hear our prayer for those who put the welfare of others
ahead of their own
and give us hearts as generous as theirs…

Hear our prayer for those who gave their lives
in the service of others,
and accept the gift of their sacrifice…

Help us to shape and make a world
where we will lay down the arms of war
and turn our swords into ploughshares
for a harvest of justice and peace…

Comfort those who grieve the loss of their loved ones
and let your healing be the hope in our hearts...

Hear our prayer this day
and in your mercy answer us
in the name of all that is holy.


(from the Concord Pastor blog)

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.

Dread Warrior

Dread Warrior,
please defend us
and mend us
and superintend us,
in Jesus' name,

(based on Jeremiah 20:11, ESV;
photo by mamjodh via

Showers and Streams

Lord God Adonai,
please send to me and mine
showers of blessing
and streams of refreshing
in Jesus' name, amen.