a preacher’s prayer at sunrise on Sunday


Father, who will give attention to you this morning? And should you allow me the privilege once more to speak of you, who, I ask, will hear you through my feeble, fumbling words? Will it be those who have heard many times before? Let them not be indifferent or complacent through familiarity. Will it be some who have never heard you before? Do not allow any of us to not encounter you. Work out my words, work through my words, work despite my words this morning – just work what you will in the moment, Father.

Give us your attention, Lord, even as we ask your help in our giving you our own; give us audience as we seek you. Take us by our hands to the Father and plead our need with your outstretched hands. Open our minds and break open our hearts, shining all you are on all that we are that we might change more into the likeness of you. Let us be all about you – entralled and enraptured with you, adoring you and freshly committing ourselves to emulating you.

Spirit holy, your ways and words are beyond our grasp, and yet, it is your words and words that must touch us, stir us, trouble us, settle us, and teach us. And so, I pray you will handle us and hold us this morning, working into each spirit present things far beyond what any of us can see and hear with our eyes and ears. As you have arranged for this time and place, our providential meeting with you in the presence of others, do walk among us and talk to us.

Begin this work with me, I pray. Where I need to tremble afresh, make me tremble. Where I need to rest confident in you, please plant me there. In all things today, work through me for the blessing of others and so bless me to that end.

In the name of my Savior, with trust, I come asking.


prayer for a small child in surgery


Great Physician you have healed and raised little ones. You help those who hurt and you defeat disease. As you are the same yesterday, today, and forever, you will not rest until all that is unhealthy for your creation is taken away.

And so, as you encourage the little children to come to you, hear me as I ask this of you – go to this one. Stand beside Little Javie. Use every person and instrument you would in your kindness and care to bring him through this surgery well. Recover him and bring him through to a complete recovery.

Then let his newfound wellness be a strong, unquestionable testimony to your love and power.


prayer in a jury selection pool


Lord, I don’t want to be here! But, here I am. Did you have something to do with that? What am I to learn? To see and be? To show? Couldn’t that happen elsewhere?

What’s that, Lord? I can learn to wait? Well, I’m tempted to say “re-learn,” but no, you’re right. I mean, have I ever really learned to wait well? Ha!

Thank you, Lord. Thank you for slowing me down by what I think is a “disruption” or “interruption” to what I thought would be best for me this day.

Yes, Lord? I can show interest in where I am and come to be more present in this moment? Oh, every moment. Really aware and in tune and not wander in thought or long for distraction, wishing for elsewhere to be?

Thank you, Lord. Yes, if I’m here, I really ought to “be here;” fully here.

What’s that, Lord? There’s more? You say I can grow in being aware of the shoes that others wear? You mean like the defendant’s shoes? The shoes of the judge? The prosecutor? The defense attorney? The bailiff? The clerk? The dozens who wait with me in shoes somewhat like my own, but all different?

Hmmmm? Say again? All these shoes have a body, soul, and spirit? A heart? A life? They’re dear to you? Precious?

Yes. Why yes, they do; they surely are.

Thank you, Lord. Thank you for helping me to see people a bit more clearly, not just “life,” but beings. Thank you for helping me to remember that everyone isn’t just like me. Doesn’t think like me. Doesn’t come from where I came or start with what I started. Doesn’t assume what I assume or necessarily value what I value. Why, look at all the “differents” in this room, Lord! It is a sea of white, and yet now I see all kinds of “colors.” And they all matter mightily to you! Thank you, Lord; thank you for opening my eyes a bit more.

Show what, Lord? Show I care? Care by showing interest and care for others? Show that by what my expression communicates to the defendants as they turn and scan the crowd, looking to see who it is who judges them and determines their fate? Show it to the judge as his eyes scan the room searchingly for just one face turned toward him and not given to returning his search with a vacant stare? Show it to the bailiff, to whom hardly no one speaks? Show it by refusing to join in with the mumbling and grumbling of those nearby over having to be here? Show it when I leave by expressing gratitude to all who serve our society in work that must be done, but is often gut-wrenching?

Yes, Lord – I can do that. Help me to that end, please.

Oh, and thank you, Lord. Yes, truly – thank you for this place and time.


prayer on the 2nd day of school


Father, I pray with thanksgiving for every child who had a good first day of school yesterday. Thank you for your grace, your love, your care. You bless and bless and bless, over and over again.

However, today, Father, I pray for all of those who did not have a good first-day experience. Today I pray:

  • for those who are disrespected, used, or bullied … and for those who have disrespect, use, or bully others;
  • for those who are overly anxious, truly fearful, intimidated, or shut down;
  • for those who feel alone, overlooked, shunned, or pushed off to the side;
  • for those who feel drawn to hang with fellow students who, nevertheless, chip away at and erode their faith or values;
  • for those who have a teacher or staff member that is working them misery, not serving with the student’s best interest in view;
  • for those who carry with them trouble from their home life that clouds and burdens their experience at school;
  • for those who are sick or struggling with some physical ailment, whether temporary or chronic;
  • for those who act up and act out, unaware of the link between stress factors beyond their control and not of their own creation, and their disruptive ways;
  • for those who simply don’t want to be at school and yearn to be home;
  • and for those who wish school could last longer and that they didn’t have to go back home.

Father, in Christ’s name, I ask that you bless these with what they need. May their day not just go better today, or their week, but their year.


prayer at the start of a school year


Father God, you are the Great Teacher and we are your students. You alone know how to shape us right in mind and actions. You alone are true knowledge and wisdom. Your matchless care for even the smallest and least of us, the youngest or weakest of us, is unlike any other. You are the Loving Guide and Good to each and every one of us. Praise be to you forever for who you are!

And so, Father, we lift up to you the children that you have given us. And, we hold up to you, for your blessing, every person who is a guide and teacher, a source of wisdom and knowledge, and a model of unbiased care and good to our children, and the children of all others.

Grant to both those who learn and to those who teach, minds and hearts ever more full of what you have them to become and share. Put into their spirits all that is humility and confidence, inquisitiveness and discernment, strength and courage, hope and joy. Bind these, and these qualities, all the more together in love of you and for each other.

For your glory, Father, not our own, we ask. All praise be to you forever, in the name of your Son, Jesus.


By preachersmith Posted in Links