Author Archives: J. Randal Matheny

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.

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.