For Battened Barn and Heated Home

For battened barn and heated home, for oaten straw and hickory wood, for silage sweet and turnip greens, for soybean meal and fowl fit to eat, we do thank thee, Great Provider.

Though the days be short, our evenings are long. 

Though the month be short, our plans are long. 

Only three phases of the snow moon, but there's no blood upon it now, thanks be to God. 

That both peace and plenty do come from thee, we lisp like children, glad and grateful. 

Bless then this meat to our use, our selves to thy service, here and beyond, now and forever. 


(excerpt from the book, The Farmer Gives Thanks by Samuel R. Guard; photo by Marcus Zymmer via

Every Hour

The Service of a Watchful Heart


To Laugh at the Storm

Snowdrifts! Scudding clouds! The harsh wind!

But we mind them not, dear Lord. 

Snow will have filled the stock pond. 

Harsh wind will have planted flower seeds in the fence row. 

Help us, our Father, in twenty and [nine] days to do the work of thirty-one, and to catch up on our reading too. 

O Great Shepherd, bless the dumb creatures hereabouts as they multiply, that we may have more meat for our strength--we who go striding out, so well-booted and so well-bundled from their substance, to encounter the gale and laugh at the storm. 

For health and plenty and hickory wood, we thank thee. 

With humble hearts. 

But big plans! 


(excerpt from the book, The Farmer Gives Thanks by Samuel R. Guard; photo by Ciprian Pard─âu via


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


O God, if still the holy place
Is found of those in prayer,
By all the promises of grace
I claim an entrance there.

Give me a self-denying soul,
Enlarged and unconfined;
Abide within me, and control
The wanderings of the mind.

Give me the strength of faith that dares
To die to self each day,
That bravely takes the cross, nor cares
To find an easier way.

Help me to make more sacrifice,
To walk where Christ would lead,
That in my life He may arise
To hallow every deed.


(a prayer of General Albert Orsborn; photo of St. Paul's London via

Be Thou My Sun

Be Thou my Sun, my selfishness destroy, 
Thy atmosphere of Love be all my joy; 
Thy Presence be my sunshine ever bright, 
My soul the little mote that lives but in Thy light. 

(a prayer by Gerhard Tersteegen; photo by Ivana Cajina via


Lord, lift me up 
and let me stand 
by faith 
on heaven's tableland-- 
a higher plane than I have found; 
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground. 

(from the hymn by Johnson Oatman, Jr.; photo by julensan09 via

This Day's Grace

O God the author of all good, I come to Thee for the grace another day will require for its duties and events. I step out into a wicked world; I carry about with me an evil heart. I know that without Thee I can do nothing, that everything with which I shall be concerned, however harmless in itself, may prove an occasion of sin or folly, unless I am kept by Thy power. Hold Thou me up and I shall be safe.

Preserve my understanding from subtilty of error, my affections from love of idols, my character from stain of vice, my profession from every form of evil. May I engage in nothing in which I cannot implore Thy blessing, and in which I cannot invite Thy inspection. Prosper me in all lawful undertakings, or prepare me for disappointments. Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with food convenient for me, lest I be full and deny Thee and say, Who is the Lord? or be poor, and steal, and take Thy name in vain.

May every creature be made good to me by prayer and Thy will. Teach me how to use the world and not abuse it, to improve my talents, to redeem my time, to walk in wisdom toward those without, and in kindness to those within, to do good to all men, and especially to my fellow Christians. And to Thee be the glory.


(from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers, edited by Arthur Bennett)

Redeem My Mistakes

Merciful God,
How amazing that you can redeem my mistakes. I never want to take that for granted or use it as an excuse to sin. Still, the wonder of grace is that you can use my worst failures to strengthen my faith and enable me to better comfort and help others. Thank you, Lord.

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

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Water to Wine

My Lord Jesus,
you have turned my water to wine,
whenever I lift my cup to you.

But the water jars in Cana were no cups,
but great stone cisterns
of twenty or more gallons in capacity--each.
And there were six of them.
A hundred gallons.
Maybe close to two hundred.

So I pray a Cana prayer today, Lord,
a hundred-gallon-prayer,
for you to pour into me and mine
a surfeit of Spirit,
of sweetness,
of wine,
for the manifestation of your glory, amen.

For a Patient, Victorious, Obedient Mind

A patient, a victorious mind, 
That life and all things casts behind, 
Springs forth obedient to Thy call; 
A heart that no desire can move, 
But still to adore, believe, and love, 
Give me, my Lord, my Life, my All. 

(a prayer by P. Gerhard, 
photo by Ashley Joseph via

Shine into Our Hearts

Almighty and everlasting God, who has made known the incarnation of your Son by the bright shining of a star, which, when the wise men beheld, they presented costly gifts and adored your majesty; grant that the star of your righteousness may always shine into our hearts; and that, as our treasure, we may give ourselves and all we possess to your service, through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen. 

 (from the Gelasian Sacramentary; image by Pancho_2323chivas via


(adapted from a hymn by Fanny Crosby; photo via

On the Unknown Waters of this Year

O Lord,

Length of days does not profit me except the days are passed in thy presence, in thy service, to thy glory.

Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides, sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from thee,
but may rely on thy Spirit,
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth thy praise,
testify thy love,
advance thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with thee, O Father, as my harbour,
thee, O Son, at my helm,
thee O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.

Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.

Give me grace to sanctify me,
thy comforts to cheer,
thy wisdom to watch,
thy right hand to guide,
thy counsel to instruct,
thy law to judge,
thy presence to stabilize.

May thy fear be my awe,
thy triumphs my joy.

(from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers, edited by Arthur Bennett)