Author Archives: J. Randal Matheny

Amen to All the Covenant

Thinking of Deuteronomy 27

Before the hill of Calvary, Amen
I say to all the covenant, and when
Declared the Twelve Curses with shout and voice
On those who fail to keep your words by choice.

For we have crossed the river’s rushing current,
Have raised the whitened stones with words transparent;
We’ve now become your people among the nations,
Who are blessed with solid hope and firm foundations.

We hear, O Lord, the curse on those who change
The gospel word, who offer doctrines strange
And dark, to add the works of man, remove
The all-sufficient Cross, your sign of love.

Amen, we say, as to ourselves a warning,
Remembered washing in the early morning,
Of word and water, sins you carried away —
We pledge that in your saving grace we’ll stay.

The gift of encouragement

Whatever gifts I may have received from your generous hand,
Let me seek the good of others, to encourage and uplift.
Father, I do not know if I have the gift of encouragement,
But Barnabas seems to be a wonderful example for me to follow.

Let me consider how others hear the words I say,
And let me say the words that build others up.
Make me a positive spirit to see what others may become,
And paint for them a powerful picture of a shining future.

Above all, let me draw attention always to your love and power,
To inspire in others the hope of better things.
Beyond the trials of today, help me speak about eternity,
And Jesus’ coming, and living in heaven with you.

Remind us all of sin’s seductions and of Satan’s wiles,
The powers of the world and the destruction of the flesh.
And more, draw us to yourself into your finest gifts:
The Word, the church, and prayer, and life in the beloved Son.

Beyond My Ken

O God who gives beyond our needs:

What time and cost we spend on non-essentials!
With bread and drink let us be content,
With simple clothes to cover us.
Keep us from worry over the vanities of life,
Over things beyond our control.

I strive, O Lord, not to occupy myself
With things that are beyond my ken,
Nor do I have great aspirations.
Keep me from pride and arrogance,
O God who is exalted above all.

I humble myself before your throne;
The Kingdom and the power and the glory
Belong to you, and in your hand
Are the fortunes and destinies of all man.
In your care I am content.

To attain the marvelous goal of faith —
Salvation for my soul — and to help
Another reach it as well, by example
And teaching, is the greatest work of all.
Protect me, O Father, to reach your glory.

Our Greatest Joy

Dear God in heaven,

You give us many joys
There’s much to enjoy on earth.
For this we give you thanks.
We also work under stress,
routines day in, day out.
Life is hard so often.
We suffer from our sins,
and others’ wrong choices.
Sickness drags us down.
Old age comes quickly upon us,
and death is never far.
It causes pain and fear.
So Christ is peace and love.
In him we find our all.
No one can take him from us.
Eternal hope is ours.
All glory alone is yours.

We pray in Christ, Amen!

Give Me Grace

Give me grace, O Lord,
to bear the burden of the day.
Give me peace, O King,
to pass to sufferers in the way.
Give me light, O God,
to see the path that I must tread.
Give me life, O Father,
from him who’s risen from the dead.

Give me love, O Sovereign,
such as on earth I’ve never known.
Give me hope, O Lamb,
of righteous fruit that I have sown.
Give me faith, O Faithful,
that wavers not when I am tried.
Give me word, O Lord,
that you with me will ever abide.

The God who Is Present

Our Father in Heaven,

You are the God who is present among his people,
Who walks among the faithful and makes them strong;
You give them direction and purpose, and love above all.
In them you breathe life everlasting and joy eternal.

We pause in this moment of prayer and deep reflection,
To remember that you are with us every moment,
We know you’ll never abandon your faithful children,
Our spirits rejoice in your care with great rejoicing.

O Savior of mankind! How often do I forget
That I do not control my life or my future,
So little power I hold over events that happen!
To you I deliver my spirit, my body, my soul.

What freedom, my God, to surrender all control!
The world is set for destruction and lives are at stake;
Already the nations are shaking, the mountains are trembling,
But always will I trust in you, my Shepherd.

For Jesus is my Lord, Amen.

Take My Life

So now, Lord, take my life.
Jonah 4.3 GW.

Dear God who gives life to man,
Take mine! Let me die the death,
Not of Jonah or Elijah, but of Christ.
Much better to die than to live!
For in dying I see your mercy,
Your patience, compassion, and love.
You’re always ready to forgive,
To relent from threats of destruction.

Dear God, in every place,
You are here — in every heart
Desire to make your abode.
Make us glad to know
Your Name and feel your goodness.
Draw us to yourself
And send us forth to town
And country to tell the News.

Bury us, Lord of waters,
And place us on solid ground.
From depths of darkest death,
To life in Jesus Christ,
Enliven us with joy
To know your blessed presence.
Ignite in us your love
To reach the city in sin.

Dependence

I have been dependent on you since birth;
from the time I came out of my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Psalm 22.10 NET

My Shepherd, danger nears — to you I flee.
You’ve led me every step, at every turn;
Dependence is the sweetest word for me.
You’ve always been my God since I was born.
You welcome prayers — your serving angels descend.
There’s still so much to know, so much to learn:
Establish me in truth, until the end.

Praying About Prayer

Some people, Lord, make running commentaries,
but I want to make a running prayer:
All I see, and everyone I meet
become a reason to speak to you.

Isn’t this to pray without ceasing?
Slow me down enough, O Father,
to raise up to you the thoughtful prayer,
be it thanks or requests or praise.

Is it strange to you, O sovereign God,
that I pray about prayer — is that a thing?
We can pray about the Bible, can’t we?
No subject is off limits, right?

For I want to be a man of prayer,
an often silent soldier at war,
engaging the foe in full gear,
erecting defenses for Kingdom gains.

O Heavenly Father whose name is Holy,
your plan to offer every soul
eternal life is the church’s work.
For that I need to pray about prayer.


Read more about prayer in order to practice prayer more and better.

Let Not a Single Detail Escape Me

Let not a single detail escape me,
Of Calvary’s darkest day,
When Jesus saved from sins that trapped me,
And took my guilt away.

May every word and gesture mark me,
And his forgiving prayer;
Let thoughts about his suffering make me
Of my need more aware.

Dear God, to life in Jesus raise me,
For all eternity;
In mission to save, please baptize me,
With love that sets one free.

Let not a single soul pass by me,
Without an inviting word;
For this, to Calvary daily fly me,
My heart with zeal to be stirred.


Please share this prayer with a friend.

Why Me?

To you all praise for your marvelous plan,
Such love that saves the spirit of man,
Of whom am I a humble one! —
To be lost forever you want none.

Why me? So many ask about
Their suffering — here I have no doubt.
I ask, Why me? as a thankful soul,
Since cleansing Blood has made me whole.

Why did the Gospel reach my ear,
With billions who have yet to hear?
What act of grace reached down to me
That set this simple creature free?

How was I chosen by Mercy’s hand,
So that I now in your presence stand?
Why me, O Lord, by what Decision
Plucked me from death in the great Division?

Such thoughts for me are much too great,
But praise I give for the narrow gate.
The answer to why, O Father, I know:
To the world with Jesus I must go.


Please share this prayer with your friends.

Presence

Whom do I have in heaven but you?
On earth there is no one I desire but you.
Psalm 73.25.

Presence. Glory. Hallowed Name.
To us great Truth these all proclaim.
We seek you, Lord, even unaware,
That our pursuit is your acclaim.
Yes, you, not things, must be our prayer.
On earth can I but you desire.
For life only you do I require.