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

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,
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.

You Lead, I'll Follow

Jesus, today you lead, and I will follow. 

Whatever I have to do today in my relationships, my body, my health, and my finances are in your hands. 

I won't try to figure out the rest of my life. 
I won't try to solve every day. 
Just today. 
You lead. 
I'll follow. 

(a prayer of John Ortberg, from The Me I Want to Be)

For Things Important to a Writer

Abba, Father, Lord God,
thank you that I can type so fast,
that the internet makes research relatively easy (if dangerous),
that I can work at home or in a coffee shop.

Thank you that I can send manuscripts and galleys via email,
that I can quickly search a document,
that I can access, order, and download books online.

Thank you that I can choose between screen and paper,
digital or analog,
old ways and new ways.

Thank you for the quiet of my home office,
and for the vast choices of music I can tap into
to accompany and enliven my writing hours.

Thank you for the ability to scan and print,
to edit in hard copy or onscreen,
to sit or stand as I write.

Thank you for the "Do Not Disturb" function on my phone,
for the "Reminders" I can set,
and for the layers of Time Machine backups,
in Jesus' name, amen.

Speak Through

Lord, please speak through me. 
If you don't speak, it won't matter what I say. 
But if you do speak, it won't matter what I say.


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.

On Mia's Day

Lord, watch over 
my amazing, wonderful granddaughter, Mia, 
especially today on her 15th birthday.
Bless and guide her wherever she is,
everywhere she goes, 
keeping her as lovely and kind as she is today 
even as you increase her in wisdom, learning, and skill. 
Continue to make her strong in faith and conduct. 
Comfort her when she's sad or discouraged. 
Lift her when she stumbles. 
Surround her with friends and family
who respect, value, and love her. 
And may the peace that passes understanding 
and joy unspeakable 
fill her heart and her days, 
both now and ever more, 
in Jesus' name, amen.

Equal and Unequal

Lord, your ways are equal (Ezekiel 18:25),
and my ways are unequal.
And you are without equal,
and I praise you also for that.

In your mercy and kindness, Lord,
consider me.
Show me your ways, that I might know you.
Teach me,
guide me,
uphold me,
protect me,
and enlarge my capacity for you
and for doing your will,
in Jesus' name, amen.

(Photo by Tobias Tullius via Unsplash.com) 

While We Tarry

Oil lamp @ Nazareth Village_0696

Keep us, O Lord,
while we tarry on this earth,
in a serious seeking after you,
and in an affectionate walking with you,
every day of our lives;
that when you come,
we may be found not hiding our talent,
nor serving the flesh,
nor yet asleep with our lamp unfurnished,
but waiting and longing for our Lord,
our glorious God forever,

(a prayer of Richard Baxter)


Lord, your light has shined
into my life,
by grace through faith.

Let light shine out
of my life,
by grace through faith.

In Jesus' name, amen.

So Much Madness Everywhere Prevailing

Grant, Almighty God, that since the rule of your true and lawful worship is sufficiently known to us, and you continue to exhort us to persevere in our course and abide in that pure and simple worship which you have fully approved--O, grant that we may, in true obedience of faith, respond to you. And, though we now see the whole world carried here and there, and all places full of the awful examples of apostasy, and so much madness everywhere prevailing, that men become more and more hardened daily--O, grant that, being fortified by invincible faith against these many temptations, we may persevere in true religion, and never at any time turn aside form the teaching of your Word, until we be at length gathered to Christ our King, under whom, as our head, you have promised that we shall ever be safe, and until we attain that happy life which is laid up for us in heaven, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 
(a prayer of John Calvin, in his Commentary on Hosea, translated into English in 1846 and updated by me into modern English; photo by Amber Kipp via Unsplash.com)


Like summer snow
floating from a sun-filled sky,
draping airy-white on flowered fields,
Your love astonished me.

No frilly show,
no assorted-chocolate pledge,
no candy hearts or silver kisses
disclosed your care for me;

But unsparing,
thorn-wearing love
that opened hands and feet and side
to spill your heart for me,

To recreate, 
inundate my longing soul
with giving, holding, accepting,
enfolding love for me.

(photo by stux via pixabay.com)

Safe in Your Hands

I know, O God,
that wherever I travel,
you will be with me,
and with my lovely bride,
who travels with me.
There is nowhere we can go,
no situation we can face,
which is outside your love and strength;
and so I commit us both
into your care and keeping on this journey,
knowing that we are always safe in your hands. Amen.

For Nina

Lord, thank you for the wonderful wife you gave to my son, 
the mother you gave to my grandchildren Miles and Mia, 
the daughter-in-law you gave to me and Robin, 
the blessing you gave this world in bringing Nina into it. 
Grant that she may rest in the knowledge that she is loved, 
she is yours, 
she is enough, 
she is blessed and a blessing. 
Shower on her every blessing today on her birthday 
and every day that is to come, 
in Jesus' name, amen. 


Abba, you know I don't like the pruning process. I want uninterrupted, straight-line growth...
but I confess that as arrogance and ambition. I open my heart to your pruning process, confident in your loving nature, and good, wise plans for me. Do what you will with me, amen.

(photo via pixabay.com)

A Teetotaler's Thanks

Lord, thank you
that I've never been drunk,
never suffered a hangover,
never blacked out,
never embarrassed myself or my loved ones
by high or drunken behavior,
never hurt myself or others
while under the influence,
and never made life-changing alcohol- or drug-induced decisions to later, deep regret.
Thank you that through no special effort or particular credit of mine
I've enjoyed the blessings of being a teetotaler all of my life, in Jesus' name, amen.

(photo via pixabay.com)

Ragged Edges

Give us patience and steadfastness as we 
process the ragged edges of our lives. 

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

Not Much

I have not much to give Thee, Lord, 
For that great love which made Thee mine; 
I have not much to give Thee, Lord, 
But all I have is Thine. 

(a prayer of Richard Slater; photo by dev_irl via unsplash.com)

Not Just

Not for some promised crown, 
Nor for your kindness shown; 
Not for the things you've done, 
Nor even the victories won; 
I love you, Lord, I just love you
And not just what you do.

(photo illustration by worshae via unsplash.com)