A Hymn for the American Church

An ode to joy for less than joyful times

Pour Your Spirit on Your people.
Fill Your Church, O God, we pray.
Help us navigate the culture
lest (confused) we lose our way.
Guide us with a holy passion
to pursue Your righteousness.
Keep us focused on Your precepts
grounded in Your holiness.

Help Your people love like Jesus.
Motivate us to be kind
as we stand for timeless virtues
lost amid the daily grind.
Teach us Christlike perseverance
as we earn the right to speak
to the ones You long to pardon.
Make us merciful and meek.

Breathe, O breathe, Your breath upon us.
Animate our focused will.
Fuel our mission to be mindful
of Your Word that guides us still.
Keep us anchored in Your Scriptures.
Hold our feet to purging fire
so to help us stand unflinching
known by love and Your desire.

  • the above poem can be sung to the tune “Ode to Joy”

Lessons from a Missle Warning

Anticipating the day it won’t be a false alarm

When a missile warning is legit
and not a false alarm
where will you go? What will you do someday?
That blunder in Hawaii was a scare,
but so much more.
It was a wake up call and call to pray.

Have you stores of bottled water?
Is your faith in God secure?
Have you written out instructions for your clan?
Why not leave them a reminder
to be ready when they die
so you’ll see them one day in God’s Promised Land?

Are there tensions in your family?
Are there schisms to be healed?
Can rifts of hate be bridged while there’s still time?
Could an errant missile warning
prompt us to put down our arms?
That is what I hoped to trigger in this rhyme.

A Prayer for King-size Prophets

Honoring MLK Day with a new hymn text

May Your prophets find the courage
to heed Your call
as they strive to climb the mountain
burdened for all.
Help them dream a King-size vision
of a land without division
focused on a holy mission
where tyrants fall.

May Your prophets speak out boldly
hearing Your voice.
Help them stand up for those victims
denied a choice.
Much like Moses and like Martin,
use Your prophets as they pardon
those enslaved and thus disheartened
so they’ll rejoice.

May Your prophets stand on prophets’
shoulders of old,
high above reproach or scandal
grasping for gold.
Help them to make plain Your passion
even when it seems old-fashioned
for the poor who lack for rations
out in the cold.

*This poem can be sung to the Welsh tune often associated with the hymn “Go, My Children, with My Blessing” commonly called “All Through the Night.”

A New Years Prayer

Asking God for divine help as we begin a new year

As a new year breaks upon us,
we anticipate your grace.
Fresh as dew with each new morning,
You are present in this place.
Distance us from shame that haunts us.
Draw us closer to Your heart.
Help us glimpse the dawn before us
with the joy of brand new starts.

As this new year breaks upon us
we anticipate your power
to sustain us in our living
day-by-day and hour-by-hour.
Lord, infuse us with Your Spirit.
Fill us with the faith to trust
when our doubts deter our progress.
When resolve all turns to dust.

As this new year breaks upon us
we anticipate your plans
rooted in a heart of mercy
we don’t always understand.
Please protect us as we venture
into vistas yet unknown.
Guardian of our tomorrows,
guide us from your sovereign throne.

*this poem can be sung to the tune “Ode to Joy”