Thank you for fathers

Dear Father in heaven,

Thank you for creating fatherhood
and for men who are courageous and sacrificial while they do it.
Praise God for men that take on the challenge of fatherhood,
who grow into it,
adapt to it,
love it.

Thank you for my dad,
even though I have no significant memories of him.
Even though he died at 33,
he left a legacy.
He had already started building something that would last.

He left big shoes to fill
and a wife determined to fill them.
Thank you for my mother.
For their marriage.
For their commitment to you.

Thank you for all parents
who love their children
and raise them to be responsible,
caring, giving, and God-honoring.
You leave your legacy on all of us.

What a tribute a good father is to you,
the greatest of all fathers,
the one and only.

I praise and thank you for who you are.

A scary prayer for grace


I need some grace in my life.
Not for me--I know I already have that in excess.
You lavish your grace and mercy on me,
when, of course, I don't deserve it.
Thank you for that.
It's truly incomprehensible.

I must not be living in consciousness of your grace all the time
because I am often ungracious towards other people.
Me, who's highly flawed,
finds time and energy to judge other people who are also highly flawed.

I get annoyed,

I know that makes me human.
Your grace has told me you understand my frailties
and you love me anyway.
(Once again, thank you.)

If your power is made perfect in weakness,
why do I rebel against my own weakness
and criticize other people's weaknesses.
It's so hypocritical.

I want your power to flow through me,
yet I pretend and fight against the weaknesses that make
your power visible.

I think the antidote to gracelessness is humility.
My flaws should do the trick there,
but I guess I cover them up and pre…

Confessing my country's sins

Lord of heaven and earth,

You know what's going on in my country.
You know our sins are enormous.

We exploit the naive, the weak, the old, the poor, and the traumatized.
We kill babies, no matter what their size.
We decide who has a chance to live and what life should look like.
We devalue human identity and created purpose, confusing our children and adults about who they are and how you created them.
We ignore the handicapped unless they do something amazing that fully-functioning people don't do.
We execute criminals, whether they've had a fair trial or not, and we say "Good riddance."
We waste our natural resources.
We mass-murder our own countrymen and look for someone to blame for it.
We desecrate our healthy bodies through dangerous lifestyles, immorality, substance abuse, and food addictions. We call it our personal right to do so.
We waste our time. Oh, such a valuable commodity. We act as if it will neve…

A quick prayer for busy people


Give me energy.
I have a lot to do.

Help me prioritize.
I have a lot to do.

Give me awareness of my surroundings.
I have a lot to do,
which means I may ignore
or accidentally hurt people.

Keep me from hurting people
in my quest to do good.
(You know I have a lot to do.)

Soften my spirit.
The things I have to do
are not nearly as important
as the people I'll pass along the way.

Give me compassion while I'm busy.
You know I want to get things done,
but I want to help people, too.

Okay, you can have my day.
I'll only do what you tell me
and help the people you bring to mind.

I was going to do a lot today.
But now I guess I'll focus on the kingdom of heaven instead.

You can't check that off a list,
but it's good stuff, anyway.

In Jesus' name,

"Keep yourself in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some, have compassion, making a difference."--Jude 1:21-22

How to pray when you're overwhelmed with loss or sadness

A day like Memorial Day stirs emotions for military families. (Read my personal blog about Memorial Day here.)

Perhaps it even affects regular families who sit with an empty chair at every dinner table.

Grief is stirred both by remembering and by trying to forget. (Read about remembering grief here.)

What should you do when you're overwhelmed with loss or sadness?

You should lament.

Just complain, vent, rage, mourn, grieve, cry, blubber. To God. Ask rhetorical questions. Make accusations. Just do it with a dependance and faith on God's love for you. Do it with the awareness that you are not and cannot see the whole picture of your life. Understand that grief and loss always blur reality.

With or without immediate answers, when you lament, you must choose to trust in the unseen. That is faith, after all.

For more about the lament, read my recent full Guideposts blog on lamentation here. A brief excerpt is below:

Here are a few things you can include in a lament: How you feel—why…

A prayer over the graduate

Dear Father,

Thank you for the privilege of raising this child
who is now an adult,
graduating onto new and bigger things.

I ask your blessing and protection over my graduate.
I ask for your Spirit to hover over him and around him,
to speak truth into his mind and courage into heart.
Please give him divine appointments with professors,
and a future spouse.
Help him to meet the right people at the right time
with a heart that's right and ready to obey your will.

Give him a life of impact and purpose.
Happiness and joy.
Lord, help him to see the positive
and fight the negative
and to be an accurate reflection of your love and grace
to everyone he meets.

He will make mistakes.
He will fail.
He will grieve and have heartache.
But I pray for him to cling to you--
to always lean on you and look to you
for guidance, comfort, and direction.
Remind him to be courageous and try again.
To get back up.
To confess, forgive, believe, and give.

Thank you for allowin…

I really messed up this week: a prayer of awareness and repentance

Well, Lord,

I messed up this week.
I got upset about an injustice that was done to one of my kids--
which of course, felt like an injustice to me--
and I went all Mama-Bear on some well-intentioned people
who, however unintentional their behavior was, hurt my child.

So I messed up right back at them.
I was nice about it,
but I hurt them with my well-crafted phrases.
I feel terribly convicted,
even though what I said and how I said it may not have been so terrible.

I don't know anymore.
I just know I didn't leave this at your feet.
I didn't turn the other cheek.
(It's my kid, after all!)--
but I guess you know about that better than I do!
I took the bait.
I was less than Jesus about the whole thing.
I lacked grace and wisdom.

Please forgive me for not representing you well.
I've reached out to those I've offended--
I've affirmed them and explained myself--
but I guess I need to boldly ask their forgiveness,
with more groveling and more humility.

Maybe this wh…