For Avery

For her safe arrival, gracious God,
I give you thanks.

For all seven pounds and eleven ounces,
I give you thanks.

For ten fingers and ten toes,
clear eyes and strong lungs,
and freedom from cystic fibrosis,
I give you thanks.

For her mother's wisdom, courage, and faith,
and her safety through pregnancy and labor,
and in delivery,
I give you thanks.

For her father's faithfulness, support, and encouragement,
his watchful care and constant presence,
his tender heart and strong hands,
I give you thanks.

For her big sister's interest and motherly tenderness,
and her big brother's wary watchfulness,
I give you thanks.

For the love and visits of Avery's extended family
and the encouragement of so many friends,
I give you thanks.

For her red hair,
regular heartbeat,
and beautiful features,
I give you thanks.

For her,
and all the blessing
and joy
and promise
and purpose
that await her,
I give you thanks.
Amen.

A Prayer on September 11

Lord God Almighty, please protect the people of this nation today--and everyday, but certainly today.

Give wisdom and vigilance to those men and women who are on the front lines of our nation's defense, at home and abroad. Make them alert. Keep them safe. And help them to do their jobs well.

Deliver us from dangers known and unknown, seen and unseen, in city and town. Protect those who travel, those who assemble, those who provide services, those who may be most exposed, whether they know it or not.

Let this day--and those to come--end in peace and safety for young and old, high and low, rich and poor, religious and irreligious, and please give this world's leaders greater wisdom, vision, and courage to do what is right and what is best for the safety of those they lead, in Jesus' name, amen.

All in All

Abba, I am nothing without you.
I can do nothing without you.
I am lost and helpless without you.

Be thou my vision.
Be thou my wisdom
and my righteousness.
Be thou my peace, my wholeness, my Shalom.
Be thou my kindness and grace,
my health and rest,
my light and salvation.
Be my joy,
my everything,
my all-in-all,
in Jesus' name, amen.

From Yesterday's Writing

Lord Jesus, you say so much in just a few words.
You teach me to forgive, even as you show me how much I have to learn.
You remind me how much I’ve been forgiven, and how much mercy and grace have been showered on me, and then you invite me to be like that.
I can be like that? I can forgive as I have been forgiven?
As willingly?
As fully?
As constantly?
Seems crazy, but you must mean it, because you command it.
If you command it, you can do it, in me and through me.
So I pray, forgive me as I forgive others.
I want my mercy to be expanded until it is like yours.
I want my forgiving to echo yours.
I want your grace and kindness to flow through me…even to those who have hurt me, who have sinned against me.
Forgive me as I forgive.
Amen.

(photo via everystockphoto.com)

Jesus, Thou Art Everything to Me