Prayer of Psalm 139


(After reading Psalm 139)


There is no greater place to be

than in the presence of the Lord.

There is no more fearful place to be

than in the presence of the Lord.

There is no more comforting place to be

than in the presence of the Lord.

And because I know

That God never changes

the difference has to be

In me.


O God! What do I bring

when I come into Your presence?

Prayer – In the Time of Despair

You can read scripture just as well as I can, but let me direct you today to Psalm 6. I was planning on studying Psalm 6 yesterday, but God (in His Grace) directed me another way yesterday morning. Then coming to it today I found that this Word would not have spoken to me yesterday as it did this morning. I needed to hear it fresh today.

The weight seemed a little heavier this morning in praying for others, and I began to wonder if I was (like a friend says) “just worrying before the Lord” instead of really praying. Is it naivety to simply say, “You handle it Lord”? Am I just hiding my head in the sand and pretending the troubles don’t exist, if I hand them over to God? What part am I supposed to be playing in all of this?

After batting this around for a while (without coming to any real peace, but simply surrendering it) I opened my Bible to Psalm 6, and God spoke to my heart, then said, “Share this, this morning. Someone else needs to hear it, too.”

First is the Psalm (to speak to you) and them the Psalm as I prayed it.


Psalm 6

O LORD, don’t rebuke me in Your anger or discipline me in Your rage.

Have compassion on me, LORD, for I am weak. Heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.

I am sick at heart. How long, O LORD, until You restore me?

Return, O LORD, and rescue me. Save me because of Your unfailing love.

For the dead do not remember You. Who can praise You from the grave?

I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears.

My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.

Go away, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping.

The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD will answer my prayer.

May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified. May they suddenly turn back in shame.


Prayer of Psalm 6

O LORD [please] don’t rebuke me in Your anger or discipline me in Your rage [although You have every reason to.]

[Please] Have compassion on me, LORD, for I am weak.

[Please] Heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony [I am literally aching, and]

I am sick at heart [and so confused].

How long, O LORD, until You restore me [and give me some peace of mind]?

Return, O LORD, and rescue me [from this feeling of despair].

Save me [I pray] because of Your unfailing love [I have no right to ask, other than Your hesed.].

For the dead do not remember You. Who can praise You from the grave?

I am worn out from sobbing. [Oh God… I am so tired]

All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears. [There are even nights that I too, cry myself to sleep]

My vision is blurred by grief; [I can’t see any way out] my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies [there is just so much to contend with!]

            [But then! A breakthrough, and a sense of peace rushes over me, and I cry out]

Go away, all you who do evil, for the LORD HAS HEARD my weeping!!!

The LORD HAS HEARD my plea; the LORD WILL ANSWER my prayer.

            [Praise the Name of the Lord!]

May all my enemies [and every situation] be [as] disgraced and terrified [as I was]

May they suddenly turn back in shame [and as they do, my problems will be insignificant when compared to the Greatness of my God!]


O Father, I lift up to You those in despair this morning. We seem to do this over and over, Lord. Why can’t we simply “let go, and let God…”? Or, do we feel that that is too “simplistic”? Help us, Lord, for we are weak, and too blind at times to see Your presence. Open our eyes, as you did the servant of Elisha’s, to see Your mighty host surrounding us, and to know that You hold us in the palm of Your hand. In Jesus’ Name – Amen.

This meditation was written in December 2005, just a few weeks before my Daddy passed away, but in caring for both my in-laws as well as my parents – I’ve had many meals (including one Thanksgiving Dinner) in hospital cafeterias…


Hospital Cafeteria Prayer

Sitting in a cafeteria affords a view of a range of people.

Sitting in a hospital cafeteria affords a view of a wide range of people. And there are all kinds of people here…

In a regular cafeteria or restaurant, most people are there because they want to be. A hospital cafeteria brings people together out of far different circumstances…

There are hospital employees who, on their lunch hours, or breaks, enjoy the respite from their stressful work with friends and associates. How do they do, what they do, day in and day out? As in any profession, some just have “jobs” but most are dedicated professionals – whether they are the maintenance people or the head doctors – they take their tasks seriously, and they deserve our prayers.

There are parents, whose small children have a toy of some sort or a coloring book to pass the time, and I have to wonder what “loved one” of theirs are they here for; a grandparent, a parent, or heaven forbid, a sibling? What will they remember about this in the years to come?

I see elderly people. Many of them look like they need to be patients themselves rather than visitors! How I hurt for them. How much sickness and death have they seen in their years?

There are those with trays full of food and those with a meager cornbread muffin and a carton of milk. Hospital food is expensive, you know… And there are many who dash in and out with carry-out boxes and a sense of urgency etched on their faces. I wonder how difficult it will be for them to even eat the food they’ve bought.

And then, there are those who, I figure, look much like myself; tired, haggard, with dark circles under their eyes from lack of sleep and too much worry.

After a while the food all begins to taste the same, and the choices, which at first seemed so plentiful, after several weeks just seem repetitive and bland.

But today, I am thankful for a “fill-in” that allows me a moment to sit here in the corner with my ice cream bar and enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet. (I’ll relegate the worry to the “back burner” for a while.)

And as I look around I realize, there are many, many, people in far greater need than I, and I lift them up and pray for the God of Grace to hear their prayers. And for those who can’t or won’t pray – well, I pray for them, too. And maybe for them especially, in this hospital cafeteria, when nobody really wants to be here…

This devotional opens a new door on my book journey by asking the question “When and where should I pray”. I hope you’ve enjoyed these pieces. My next step is to publish them in a book of meditations and prayers from the farm. Please let me know what you think.


Prayer Preface

As the morning begins and I have dishes to do, I think, “This is a good time to pray…”

And so I begin…

O Lord, I must begin with worship; not because You need my worship, but that I need to say it. I need to affirm it…

Because, as I’ve said many times, O Lord, there is no hurt that I can feel, that You have not already felt.

There is no question I can have, that You don’t already know the answer to; and there is no fear that I can fear that You are not bigger than… because You are God.

You are God, and You know everything – You are Omniscient.

You are all powerful – You are Omnipotent.

You are everywhere – You are Omnipresent.

And, You are GOD!

(And I am so overwhelmed with the idea that the dishes will just have to wait, because I need to write this down…)

I just have to affirm that worship. I just have to drink that into my very being.

“Be still…” the Psalmist said, “And know that I Am God.” But what he/He really said was, “Cease striving…” “Don’t kick against the pricks; don’t kick against the goads…”

And I immediately ask, “Lord! What in the world does that mean?” And in looking it up I find it means “to offer vain and rash resistance which is a proverbial expression alluding to unruly oxen and applied to those who by unruly rage hurt themselves.”

And I cry out, “Oh God! I do do that, don’t I?” In my case (at least at this age) it’s not so much rage or anger anymore, as it is fear, and discouragement, and an ache in my heart for those I love… but still, it is a “vain and rash resistance…” to being still and knowing that You are God.

Help me, O Lord. Help me.

Even in my praise; even in my worship; remind me O Lord, that I am Your child, and You love me.

As I lift up, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty. You are Holy, O my Saviour, my Redeemer! You are Worthy to be Praised… and I will praise You, Most Holy One.”

And now, Father… “Abba”, let me crawl upon Your lap, lay my head on Your shoulder, and feel Your arms around me while I now pray…


Words of Regret

Yesterday’s devotional finished the book section of “How to Pray”. I thought I’d share this new piece before we head into the next step of my book journey…

Words of Regret

Have you ever said something that you later regretted or made an accusation that you wish you could take back? I’m sure we all have.

I thought about that as I was reading a scripture from John 7 this morning. This scripture text takes place somewhere around the late September or early October time-frame during the last year of Jesus’ ministry. It is the Jewish month of Tisheri and the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles is coming up. The atmosphere is tense for Jesus and His disciples. In another six months Jesus would come to the last Passover of His earthly life, but for now He continued to preach, teach and heal, albeit mostly through the northern area of Galilee for fear of the Jews (see John 7:1).

But this Feast of Booths was coming up. There were three feasts that each Jewish man was to keep by going up to Jerusalem (and Jesus kept ALL the Law). These three feasts were the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Pentecost, and the Feast of Booths. You can read about the Feast of Booths in Leviticus 23. This feast celebrated the time of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt when they lived in “booths” (or tents) during the wilderness wanderings.

In John 7:3 Jesus’ brothers were sort of making fun of Him and said (verses 3-5 NLT) “Leave here and go to Judea, where Your followers can see Your miracles! You can’t become famous if You hide like this! If You can do such wonderful things, show Yourself to the world!” For even His brothers didn’t believe in Him.

As I read that I thought about a Bible study I’ve taught before from the book of James and one I’m preparing now from the book of Jude… You see – James and Jude were brothers of Jesus…

I wonder if those words from John 7 ever wandered into their minds at unsuspecting times. I wonder if they still carried the guilt of those words. No, they didn’t believe in Him at first. And yes, they had come to be ardent followers – with James even becoming the head of the Church at Jerusalem. They both referred to themselves as “bond-servants of Jesus Christ”, and yes, they had been forgiven – but still… they must have often thought about those awful words… and were just sick at the thought. Just because we have been forgiven doesn’t mean that the memory of our past sins leave our minds – they will be gone in eternity – for here and now – they pop up whenever Satan wants to drag us down and tell us that we’re no good…

If you’re anything like me – you have memories of words, and perhaps deeds, but especially words that you wish you could take back – that you wish you’d never said… But we can’t. We simply have to let them stand, and then rise above them. We must ask for forgiveness (and we know He forgives) and press on.

I don’t know about you – but I’m just glad my words aren’t preserved in scripture for all the world to read!


Holy Father, I cling to the words of the Psalmist when he said, (Psalm 141:3) “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” And all I can say is, Amen.

How to Pray for Others (Ephesians and Colossians)

A friend of mine shared that she often prays for people she knows by inserting their name into Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21. Then I remembered Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1:9-14, and saw that it worked well, too. So, I used the New Living Translation version of the scripture as a guide to create these prayers.

(By the way… it works pretty good for praying for yourself as well. Just sayin…)

Ephesians 3:14-21

When I think of all God’s gifts and blessings, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,

The Creator of everything in heaven and on earth…

I pray Father, that from Your glorious, unlimited resources You will empower ____ with inner strength through Your Holy Spirit. I pray that Christ will make His home in _____ heart as ____ trusts in Him more and more. I pray that ______ roots will grow down deep into Your love and that that will keep _____ strong.

And Father, may _____ have the power to understand, as all Your people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Your precious love is. May _____ experience the love of Christ, even though it is too great to fully understand. And then Lord, _____ will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from You.

Now all glory to You Father, who are able, through Your mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ever ask or even think. Glory to You in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! For it is in His Holy Name I pray – Amen.


Colossians 1:9-14

From the first time I met* you, I have continued to pray for you, and this is what I pray.

Dear Father, I pray that You will give ____ a complete knowledge of Your Holy Will, and also give ____ spiritual wisdom and understanding. Give ____ this Lord so that the way that ___ lives will always honor and please You, and that ____ life will produce every kind of “good fruit.”  I know Lord, that this will cause ____ to grow as ____ learns to know You better and better.

I also pray that ____ will be strengthened with all Your glorious power so that ____ will have all the endurance and patience that ____ needs. May ____ be filled with joy, always thanking You. You, dear Father, have enabled ____ (and all of us) to share in the inheritance that belongs to Your people, who live in the light. Because You have rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and sin, and transferred us to the Kingdom of Your blessed Son, Jesus Christ, Who has purchased our freedom with His blood, and has forgiven our sins, and it is in His name that we lift ____ up as we pray – Amen.


*The actual scripture says “Since the first time I heard about you.” Paul had never been to Colosse, but he had heard of their love and great faith.

How to make it Through the Night

In Acts 27 Paul is finally on his way (in chains) to Rome when he is involved in a horrible storm at sea. After 14 days of being battered on all sides by wind, rain, (and probably sleet and snow) the ship has finally come upon land, but neither the pilot, nor anyone else, has a clue as to where they are. It is midnight and pitch black, and they don’t know if they are near sheer rock cliffs, rocky shoals or sandy beaches. So they must wait until daylight. Acts 27:29 tells us “Fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come.”

What is it about night that makes the problem bigger? There’s just something about night. It’s a proven fact that a fever increases at night. Pain is worse at night. Fear is stronger at night. When I’ve stayed with someone in the hospital at night, the hardest time is between 2 and 5 am. It seems it will never pass! “They dropped their anchors and prayed for daybreak.” So, how do we make it through the night?

First the scripture says that “they let down four anchors…” What are these four anchors? What is it that anchors you? Perhaps our first anchor should be faith”. You’ve just got to have faith. How? Start by praying the “Names of God”.

Now, God doesn’t need to hear all His names – but we do.

  • Jehovah Jireh – God sees and will provide what I need (Genesis 22:14)
  • Jehovah Rapha – The Lord that heals you (Exodus 15:26)
  • Jehovah Nissi – The Lord is my banner or the flag that goes before me (Exodus 17:15)
  • Jehovah Shalom – The Lord sends peace in time of fear (Judges 6:24)
  • Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is there, always (Ezekiel 48:35)
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord our righteousness is always right; is always just (Jeremiah 23:6 and 33:16)

There are many more, but you get the picture. If we have a problem – God has/God IS the answer.

The next anchor would be to surrender “the night” to God. We may be reaching out to God, but usually we are holding tightly to the problem with the other hand. My Mother used to say that she didn’t have any problem taking her troubles to the altar; it was just that she’d pick them back up when she left there. What I usually do is to ask “Is there anything I can do about this right now? Will worrying about it make it better? Will not worrying about it make it worse?” If the answer is no, then I quit worrying. It was the only way I could sleep during one dark time when our older son was in intensive care.

The third anchor must be hope, and remember hope is not wishful thinking – Biblical hope is a certainty. It’s not just believing that God will act, but that He will act on time, in time, and with the perfect outcome. What God has done for Paul (each step of the way) He will do for you. We think of the song “Be Not Dismayed” – “Be not dismayed what ere betide

God will take care of you…” I am not a singer, but I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sung that at night. One of our sons had nightmares, seems like forever! And I would sing that at night for him. We also had Psalms 4:8 on a sheet of paper on the ceiling over his bed. It read, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me to dwell in safety”. (Don’t we all memorize in the KJV?)

And finally, the last anchor would be thanksgiving. When we thank the Lord before the solution comes, it breaks the chains of worry.

Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Or as the NLT puts it – (and the way I have it on my refrigerator) “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”

And then the scripture says, “and [they] prayed for day to come.”

The following is a prayer I wrote based on Psalm 9:9-10 (which reads “The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble; And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.”)

When I read these verses years ago I immediately thought of an anchor, and so I titled this prayer, “The Anchor.”

Loving and Gracious God, You are my “cleft in the rock”, You are my “shelter in the storm” and You are my “life raft in the shipwreck”. And I “know” You Lord – or better yet, I am known by You. I have cried out seeking, searching, and You have not ever left me alone – not ever! And I thank You and praise You, in Jesus’ Name – Amen.

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