Night

Father in heaven,
__here in the stillness of night
__I come to You.
I have lived a spotty life today—
__full of ups and downs.
Forgive me for my sin;
__cleanse me from its stain guilt,
__and from its stain,
__and give me rest this night.
Thank You for strength to serve You
__in other things,
__and for growth experienced.
Much has been left undone,
__partially done,
__imperfectly done;
__but some things
__have been done well.
Relationships have been strained,
__others, deepened.
But from it all, in Your sovereign grace,
__may Christ be honored,
__may others be blessed,
__may I learn for tomorrow.
Now, Lord, this night
__protect and bless
__both my loved ones and me
__with healthful sleep,
__to awaken tomorrow
__unstained and refreshed,
__anxious and able to live for You
__more consistently
__than today,
_______________to His honor,
__________________Amen.

Morning

Lord, when I awaken to the dawn
__of a freshly scrubbed day,
__I recognize my potential
__for good or evil.
Help me not to lose
__the opportunities
__You so graciously offer.
Give me strength to exploit each one
__for Your glory,
__and a heart willing to do so.
I am weak and sinful;
__all too readily I turn
__from You and my neighbor
__to self interest.
Forgive me, therefore,
__and scrub me clean!
Make my heart fit
__to pursue Your concerns
__and to walk with You
__throughout this day.
_______________In Jesus name,
__________________Amen.

Ministry

Lord, today there may be someone
__who needs me
__as an arm to lift life’s load,
__an eye to lead the lost,
__a mind to learn Love’s law.
May my arm not be slack,
__my eye not grow dim
__nor my mind fail to comprehend.
Rather, make me strong,
__give me discernment,
__fill me with truth.
Lord, I don’t want to be
__unprepared, unsteady, unsure
__when his need is made known.
So, help me and use me
__to bless my neighbor
__according to Your will
_____________and in Your Name,
_________________Amen

Love

I have said the words
__“I love you”
__to You and to my neighbor—
but do I really love?
Do I really put first
__others or self?
Am I patient and kind?
Or am I jealous, proud, ugly,
__irritable, bitter?
Have I yet learned
__not to be happy about injustice
__but to stand firmly with truth,
__to cover a multitude of sins,
__in hope and faith
__to give others the benefit of all doubt,
__to willingly endure suffering?
Lord, You know how short of such love
__my feeble love now falls.
You know too
__that it is because You first loved me
__that I love at all
__and that I want to love
__as I have been loved.
Fan the flickering flame
__in my heart
__so that in all I do
__I may reflect
__the measureless, endless,
__unspeakable love
__of Jesus Christ,
______________in Whose Name I pray,
_____________________Amen.

Light

Light at last!
__The darkness has past
__and the day has dawned
__in splendor!
Thank You God
__that You spoke the word
__and there was light!
Death, doubt, destruction, despair—
__the ways and wages of sin—
__all these, and more,
__belong to the kingdom of darkness.
But I don’t.
Far too many years I stumbled about
__in the land of perpetual night
__before the Sun of righteousness arose within.
How refreshing, how warm, how beautiful
__was the Light
__when it beamed
__upon my cold, ignorant, rebellious heart!
How glad I was—to see!
Now I have been lately floundering
__along paths—old paths—
__outside the pale of light.
Thank You Lord
__for reawakening me to my sin,
__for reminding me of warmth and gladness
__left behind.
Thank You for returning this son of Light
__to the Source of light.
__Keep me from straying Lord,
__________I ask, for Christ’s sake,
________________Amen

God

O God, I have stood
__in the shadow of mountains,
__at the brink of oceans,
__under the spread of clouds,
__by the foot of redwoods—
And I have learned of Your greatness.
O Lord, I have touched
__baby fingers,
__feathers of a canary,
__petals of a rose,
__lather from soap—
And I have been reminded of Your gentleness.
O Father, I have known
__true friendship,
__joys of love,
__concerned care,
__unrestricted consideration—
And I have thought of your goodness.
O great, gentle good God,
__do some good, gentle great thing
__today
__through me,
__that others too may know
__more of You,
________________I pray,
___________in Christ’s Name,
________________Amen.

Fear

I am so afraid
__that I am almost shivering;
__I dread
__what may happen next.
Lord, that is because
__in sin
__I have been looking
__away from Your face
__and at the stormy waves.
Forgive me.
White water and calm
__are the same to You;
__You are the Lord of the sea.
If it be Your will,
__speak peace to the splashing waves
__that they may cease.
But if it be not Your will
__at least speak peace
__to the whitecaps in my heart.
Teach me to fear You, Lord,
__so that I need never fear
__what waves—
__or wavemakers—
__can do to me.
____________In Your Name,
________________Amen

Faith

My faith is small, Lord:
__I didn’t really expect
__You to do it—
__but You did;
Your answer to my prayer
__far exceeded
__what I asked or dreamed.
How can I thank You?
__I ask forgiveness
__for lack of faith,
__I shall testify to others
__about Your faithfulness,
__and, in the future,
__I shall remember how You responded
__—and believe
__(Help my unbelief).
Thank You Lord
__for Your great goodness to me.
_______________In Christ,
________________Amen

Speaking of Common Expressions . . .

How often have you heard it said (or said it yourself) that

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS

You’ve even seen it on billboards along the highway—right?

“Yeah. I’ve seen it—so what?”

Well, do you believe it?

“Don’t know; haven’t thought about it that much”

How about thinking about it right now? Let me help.

“Sure—go ahead”

Here is another—a biblical word to place alongside of it:

The effectual, fervent, prayer of a righteous man availeth much”

Continue reading

Down

I feel
__like I’ve been kicked in the teeth,
__like I’ve been pounded with a baseball bat.
I don’t feel
__like giving thanks for tribulation,
__like rejoicing in trial
__or even like praying.
Lord, I’m down!
But that’s just why
__I come to you—
I need You.
Pick me up.
Forgive me for sinful attitudes.
Strengthen me.
Instruct me from Your Word.
Teach me
__how to respond,
__what to do and say,
__what my responsibilities are.
And enable me to assume them
__so that
__even in this, my God,
__I may honor Your Son,
__________in Whose Name I pray,
_________________Amen