Bob Hostetler is a writer from southwest Ohio whose 30+ books include Quit Going to Church and the novel, The Bone Box. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences, retreats, and churches around the world.
Almighty and most merciful Father, I am now as to human eyes, it seems, about to commemorate, for the last time, the death of thy Son Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer. Grant, O Lord, that my whole hope and confidence may be in his merits, and thy mercy; enforce and accept my imperfect repentance; make this commemoration available to the confirmation of my faith, the establishment of my hope, and the enlargement of my charity; and make the death of thy Son Jesus Christ effectual to my redemption.
Have mercy upon me, and pardon the multitude of my offences. Bless my friends; have mercy upon all men. Support me, by thy Holy Spirit, in the days of weakness, and at the hour of death; and receive me, at my death, to everlasting happiness, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
(from Boswell's Life of Johnson, p. 556; photo in the public domain)
Lord, you have made her a flourishing hidden tree ,
--to borrow a phrase from Yeats--
and granted her beauty and courtesy,
and kindness and charm and wisdom.
I give you praise and thanks
for my only daughter,
my firstborn, my Blossom;
for the child you gave me,
for the woman she grew into,
for the love we share,
for the pride and joy I feel in her,
for the blessings you've given her,
and the blessings you've given me
Please bless her today
and in the days to come, Lord.
Keep her safe and well.
Keep her marriage strong and beautiful.
Prosper her and her husband,
answer their prayers,
supply their needs.
Let their children's healing appear,
and reward their love and faithfulness
with beauty and grace,
prosperity and plenty.
Show her every kindness,
grant her your favor,
in Jesus' name, amen.