A Tree in Autumn

Change me, oh God,
Into a tree in autumn
And let my dying
Be a blaze of glory!

Drape me in a
Crimson, leafy gown,
And deck my soul
In dancing flakes of gold!

And then when Death
Comes by, and with his hands
Strips off my rustling garment
Let me stand

Before him, proud and naked,
Unashamed, uncaring,
All the strength in me revealed
Against the sky!

Oh, God
Make me an autumn tree
If I must die!

(a prayer of Esther Pope, 1896-1958)

For Persevering Prayer

O Lord, when I compare my feeble attempts at prayer with the standards for effective prayer, I confess that I do not pray to you but simply play at prayer. Forgive me for taking the blessings that are wrought from prayer so lightly that I have not been willing to persevere as I should, but have so soon given up and have turned the matter too quickly to you. Fill me now with the Spirit and the desire for persevering prayer.

(from Principles of Prayer, by Charles G. Finney)

This Wondrous Life of Never-Ceasing Prayer

O my Father, with my whole heart do I praise Thee for this wondrous life of never-ceasing prayer, never-ceasing fellowship, never-ceasing answers, and never-ceasing experience of my oneness with Him who ever lives to pray.

O my God! Keep me ever so dwelling and walking in the presence of Thy glory, that prayer may be the spontaneous expression of my life with Thee.

(a prayer of Andrew Murray, from With Christ in the School of Prayerphoto by David Paul Ohmer via everystockphoto.com)

A Short Prayer of T. S. Eliot

O Lord, deliver me from the man of excellent intention and impure heart: for the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.

It Goes So Fast

Oh, my Lord, it goes so fast. For them, for their parents, and for their grandparents, I pray: slow it down from time to time. Grant wisdom in the midst of busyness and exhaustion to mark the moments and enjoy it all, in Jesus' name, amen.