Author Archives: J. Randal Matheny

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.

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.