What is Prayer?

I love this poem by written by Isaac Watts the famous theologian, logician and hymn writer who was born in the late 1600’s. This hymn is one of 750 that he was inspired to write. It is a worship filled reminder of what prayer is and why we pray.

On Prayer by Isaac Watts
Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire
Uttered or unexpressed;
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye,
When none but God is near.Continue Reading

The Waves and the Wind

imageSilly, foolish wave, why do you come so far?

Do you once again forget who you are?

Upon the sands of the shore you do not belong.

Why do you so wastefully pour yourself out upon it all day long?”


“Is it merely to be seen, that you throw yourself upon the world’s shore?

Showing off  your treasures gathered from the ocean floor?”


“No!  No!” The tumbling waves replied.

“It is simply because we hold God’s glories inside.

They must be seen! They must be declared!

We can find no rest while they are hidden; they must be shared!”


“O foolish waves, surely you jest.

You wish to be seen, you are just like the rest.”

So the wind rose laughing as it disappeared in the sky

And the poor waves sank  downward with the tide.Continue Reading

The Gift of Gifts

What shall I render to Thee for the gift of gifts?

Thine own dear Son, begotten, not created,
My Redeemer, Proxy, Surety, Substitute,
His self-emptying incomprehensible,
His infinity of love beyond the heart’s grasp.

Herein is wonder of wonders:
He came below to raise me above,
He was born like me that I might become like Him.

Herein is love;
when I cannot rise to Him He draws near on wings of grace,
to raise me to Himself.

Continue Reading

Morning Hymn

The day does now dark night dispel;
Dear Christians, wake and rouse you well,
Give glory to God our Lord.

Once more the daylight shines abroad,
O brethren, let us praise the Lord,
Whose grace and mercy thus have h018kept
The nightly watch while we have slept.

To Him let us together pray
With all our heart and soul to-day,
That He would keep us in His love,
And all our guilt and sin remove.

Eternal God! Almighty Friend,
Whose deep compassions have no end,
Whose never-failing strength and might
Have kept us safely through the night:

Now send us from Thy heavenly throne
Thy grace and help through Christ Thy Son,
That with Thy strength our hearts may glow,
And fear nor man nor ghostly foe.

Lord God! oh, hear us, we implore!
Be Thou our Guardian evermore,
Our mighty Champion and our Shield
That goeth with us to the field.

We offer up ourselves to Thee,
That heart and word and deed may be
In all things guided by Thy mind,
And in Thine eyes acceptance find.

Thus, Lord, we bring, through Christ Thy Son,
Our morning offering to Thy throne;
Now be Thy precious gift outpour’d,
And help us for Thine honour, Lord!

The Chorale Book for England, 1863
Translator: Catherine Winkworth (1863)

The Christ Poem

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” – John 1:14

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he

might bring us to God,”  – 1 Peter 3:18

Out of the darkness God called forth light

Our Savior was born in the middle of the night

God does his greatest work

In places we cannot see

a mother’s womb,

a buried seed

Even in the darkest chambers of the human heart

The gift of life in darkness he imparts.

We know not when he comes or when he leaves

Like the wind, we only see & hear the rustling leaves

Move beneath his feet as he walks among us

As the ordinary becomes displaced

By the presence of his grace

What was once motionless, now breathes

What was once lifeless, now sings.

Continue Reading

Come To Me

By George MacDonald

Come to me, come to me, O my God;
Come to me everywhere!
Let the trees mean thee, and the grassy sod,
And the water and the air!

For thou art so far that I often doubt,
As on every side I stare,
Searching within, and looking without,
If thou canst be anywhere.

How did men find thee in days of old?
How did they grow so sure?
They fought in thy name, they were glad and bold,
They suffered, and kept themselves pure!

But now they say–neither above the sphere
Nor down in the heart of man,
But solely in fancy, ambition, and fear
The thought of thee began.

If only that perfect tale were true
Which ages have not made old,
Which of endless many makes one anew,
And simplicity manifold!

But  he taught that they who did his word
The truth of it sure would know:
I will try to do it: if he be lord
Again the old faith will glow;

Again the old spirit-wind will blow
That he promised to their prayer;
And obeying the Son, I too shall know
His father everywhere!


Format Quote

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.  I sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.You grant sleep to those you love and make their sleep sweet. [Psa. 3:5, 4:8, 127:2, Pro. 3:24]


Thou hast promised thy beloved sleep;
Give me restoring rest needful for tomorrow’s toil.
If dreams be mine, let them not be tinged with evil.
Let thy Spirit, make my time of repose, a blessed temple of his holy presence;
May my frequent lying down make me familiar with death,
the bed I approach remind me of the grave,
the eyes I now close picture to me their final closing.
Keep me always ready, waiting for admittance to thy presence,
Weaken my attachment to earthly things,
May I hold life loosely in my hand,
knowing that I receive it on condition of its surrender;
As pain and suffering betoken transitory health,
may I not shrink from a death
that introduces me to the freshness of eternal youth.Continue Reading

He is Better

I read this poem this earlier this week in one of my favorite devotional books, Streams in the Desert, by L.B. Cowman. It’s from Sept. 25th.

He was better to me than all my hopes;
He was better than all my fears;
He made a bridge of my broken works,
And a rainbow of my tears.
The stormy waves that marked my ocean path.
Did carry my Lord on their crest;
When I dwell on the days of my wilderness march
I can lean on his love for the rest.

Yet I Sin

Thou art good beyond all thought,
But I am vile, wretched, miserable, blind;
My lips are ready to confess, but my heart is slow to feel,
    and my ways reluctant to amend.
I bring my soul to thee;
    break it, wound it, bend it, mould it,
Unmask to me sin’s deformity,
    that I may hate it, abhor it, flee from it.
My faculties have been a weapon of revolt against thee;
    as a rebel I have misused my strength
    and served the foul adversary of they kingdom.
Give me grace to bewail my insensate folly,
Grant me to know that the way of transgressors is hard,
        that evil paths are wretched paths,
        that to depart from thee is to lose all good.
I have seen the purity and beauty of they perfect law,
    the happiness of those in whose heart it reigns,
    the calm dignity of the walk to which it calls,
       yet I daily violate and condemn its precepts.
Thy loving Spirit strives within me;
        brings me Scripture warnings,
        speaks in startling providence,
        allures by secret whispers,
            yet I choose devices and desires to my own hurt;
                impiously resent, grieve,
                    And provoke him to abandon me.

All these sins I mourn, lament, and for them cry pardon.
Work in me more profound and abiding repentance;
Give me the fullness of a godly grief that trembles and fears,
    yet ever trusts and loves,
    Which is ever powerful, and ever confident;
Grant that through the tears of repentance I may see more clearly
    The brightness and glories of the saving cross.

Download this Poem Yet I Sin


U-shaped valley in Glacier National Park in Mo...

Image via Wikipedia

A prayer from the Valley of Vision:

Though I am allowed to approach thee
I am not unmindful of my sins,
I do not deny my guilt,
I confess my wickedness, and earnestly plead forgiveness.
May I with Moses choose affliction rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin.
Help me to place myself always under thy guiding and guardian care,
to take firmer hold of the sure covenant that binds me to thee,
to feel more of the purifying, dignifying,
softening influence of the religion I profess,
to have more compassion, love, pity, courtesy,
to deem it an honour to be employed by thee
as an instrument in thy hands,
ready to seize every opportunity of usefulness,
and willing to offer all my talents to thy service.
Thou has done for me all things well,
hast remembered, distinguished, indulged me.
All my desires have not been gratified,
but thy love denied them to me
when fulfillment of my wishes would have proved my ruin or injury.
My trials have been fewer than my sins,
And when I have kissed the rod it has fallen from thy hands.
Thou hast often wiped away my tears,
restored peace to my mourning heart,
chastened me for my profit.
All thy work for me is perfect, and I praise thee.

Download Choices prayer page insert for your daily prayer journal:

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