Author Archives: J. Randal Matheny

Convincing Lies

Lord, keep away convincing lies,
Let truth be guide and guard;
Let wisdom see their winsome guise,
Keep love from being marred.

Make speech and actions always true,
And kindness most sincere;
Your word must wash and clear the view,
And free the heart from fear.

O God of glory, shine your light,
To show reality;
Put all that’s false and wrong to flight,
From sophistry cleanse me.

Watch Forthright Press for the author’s new book of prayers and poem.

Help Me Flee the Noise

Help me flee the noise to hear your voice,
O Speaker of all wisdom — let suffice
A quiet time and place, with open Book,
When I might find my food, both meat and milk.

The world is starving, and with it I shall starve
Without a Word to go on — how can I live
Unnourished by your bread? Lord, break for me
The simple meal of power without delay.

And bread of work! Amid the busy tasks
Of daily life — your will the follower seeks
To do, to lead the lonely into your presence,
To show yourself benevolent, good, and friendly.

How can I lead another to where I am not?
Secure me in Christ, where you my sins forgot —
And from this place of strength and love may I
Bring many more to grace in full supply.

For thoughts on life, faith, and meaning, follow the author on his personal website. And please share this prayer, if you found it helpful.

What Prayer for Simon Jesus Made!

The eve when Judas Iscariot betrayed,
What prayer for Simon Jesus made! —
Before the apostle Peter denied,
Before he left and bitterly cried.

Where now to go? What would he do?
Without the Lord, having been untrue?
His only chance he’d roundly missed,
Go fish! What’s left? — Give up, desist!

But when Simon sees the Lord ashore,
His hopes destroyed immediately soar.
Into the sea he dives — what dare!
Does he recall that earlier prayer?

O Jesus, also pray for me
That I might serve you faithfully,
That faith on trial might never fail;
O Savior, in my heart prevail!

Watch for prayers and poems, coming soon, on Forthright Press.

Courage to Face the Cold

What courage to face the cold and chill
Of winter’s water, a pool unheated!
O Father, bless this soul — fulfill
This faith refusing to be defeated.

And when her heart would lose its zeal,
When trials of faith will surely fall,
May she love’s warmth and welcome feel,
To waver not in giving her all.

When friends forsake and foes revile,
When loved ones turn their shoulder,
When Satan tempts her heart with guile,
Let not her love grow colder.

May always courage be hers to last
As she possesses to now begin,
Whatever without, in drought and draft,
To trust your spiritual powers within.

Watch Forthright Press for an upcoming release of prayers and poems in verse.

I’d Be a Tree

God of all good, definer of good, the One
Alone who can be called good — for none
There is of man who only good has done:

In my humble life, I’d be a tree
Producing good fruits, all of them free
From rot and canker, good to the highest degree.

This fruit must come from you, the only source —
The purifier of unsound souls and hearts,
Creator anew, remover of Adam’s curse!

In me, O God — purge all deathly dross.
Carry me to the end — without loss —
Make me that tree by the blood of Jesus’ Cross.

Follow the prayer author on his personal site.

For Certain People

For certain people my prayers ascend,
My list is long, with foe and friend —
O God who made all things, please hear,
For what I humbly ask is clear.

As much as I desire for them
Good health and home — this but the hem —
O Savior, Lord of trial and test,
Eternal life is my request.

All else will fail — all else will cease —
So why appeal for earthly increase?
O Planner of grace since time began,
May all enjoy in heaven its span.

To save forever, to earth Christ came —
O Father, who gives to man his name,
For their redemption I make my plea —
For this is what I want for me.

Discover what is necessary to have eternal life and redemption with Richard Mansel’s book, The Most Important Question.

Where Must We Start?

Where must we start if not with praise
and gratitude for all good gifts
and all good saints whose faith,
strong motivation, work of love,
and patience in hope, show their election
as your chosen people? God are you,
the Father of all who answer your call,
of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior,
the true and living God, who raised
your Son from death and liberates
from coming wrath. Like Paul’s long sentence
in Ephesians One — he cannot stop,
but lists your many benefits,
all spiritual blessings in Christ the Lord —
we, too, go on and on, remembering
your mercy renewed every morning.
Dear God of heaven and earth, who looks
upon his people from glory’s throne —
again this day send down your kindness:
redeem, restore, enlighten, refresh.
Your power we need, your deep compassion,
your very presence is our desire;
with you we find contented peace,
eternal purpose in every hour,
unquenchable joy in deepest pain.
We turn to you, Creator of stars
and molecules, of body and soul —
all else we gladly leave behind.

What Seems a Circle

What seems a circle is really a line,
Not straight, but with a start,
And with an end; and in between
We race to follow plans of the heart.

The journey may be good or bad,
Each step determines where we’ll finish;
But finish we will, whether we add
To love and peace or from them diminish.

What gladness to know that God can use
Both good and bad, that we might grow
Complete in Christ, might better choose
The path of hope, and up to heaven go.

Our Father in Heaven, holy your name!
In Jesus cleanse us, walking in light,
The end in view, his blood for our shame —
May faith become the joy of sight!

O Lord, the Desert!

O Lord, the desert — lonely place
where man comes face to face with Satan,
where solitude hears selfish thoughts,
where suffering purges the soul of dross —

The desert was not my choice, O God!
Here was I driven — hunger to feel,
my need in spirit to know and conquer,
ambition for power and fame to surrender.

What dangers lurk in dark and light,
the desert where fate and harm befalls!
Amongst the beasts and stones and heights,
O Sovereign, teach me unfailing trust!

In this wild, untamed, unruly land,
where the strong survive, and perish the weak,
to you, O Master, I give control
and offer my heart to bend and mold.

A Strong Tower

Proverbs 18.10, 12

Your name, O Lord, to us is a strong tower,
In you we find protection, peace, and power.
The righteous run to you to be secure.
When danger falls, of you we can be sure.

The present world is full of hateful harm,
Rise up, O God, to save us by your arm;
Our honor is to know our humble need,
The Christ as Lord and Savior is our creed.

The vicious hordes of sin would hunt us down,
The flood of willful evil would make us drown.
By our own strength we cannot win this war.
We cry, O Lord — open the Kingdom’s door!

Read the book, Choose! 13 Choices to Transform Your Heart and Soul.

The Storm

He said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” Jonah 1.9.

Behind the storm hides your hand,
O sovereign God o’er sky and land,
The waves toss high, the winds blow hard,
For man the depths have no regard —
But you, O Lord, you look to save,
And snatch the soul from Satan’s grave.

Above the storm in heaven you reign,
O God, invisible, present in pain,
From you to Tarsis’ shores we flee,
When with your mercy we disagree.
But you, the God of second chance,
Are God of heaven’s wide expanse.

Within the storm the pagans tremble,
In ignorant worship they assemble,
But you, O God, would have them know
To whom all praise and thanks we owe.
Then cast us over — make this storm cease,
So wills and souls may be at peace.

Open to Me, Father

Open to me, Father, the pages of Scripture,
Show me your Self, your works of wonders,
What you hate, what you practice,
What you love, all your commandments,
Purpose of heart, and ways of wisdom.

Open, Lord, your mind of reason,
Show me the sense of this world’s workings,
How you bless, all things providing
To your holy and chosen people,
Born from above, obedient children.

Open, O God, the doors of service,
Bringing the lost into the Kingdom,
Saving souls for heaven forever,
Joy among the ministering angels,
Basking in your eternal glory.

Prayer is a choice. Make other good choices. Read Choose! 13 Choices to Transform Your Heart and Soul.

Please share this prayer with others, if it encouraged you.