Pry Me Off Dead Center: Loder


This was a great way to start the day, another great poem from Guerrillas Of Grace: Prayers For The Battle

Pry Me Off Dead Center

O persistent God,
deliver me from assuming your mercy is gentle.
Pressure me that I may grow more human,
not through the lessening of my struggles,
but through an expansion of them

that will undamn me
and unbury my gifts.

Deepen my hurt
until I learn to share it
and myself
and my needs honestly.

Sharpen my fears
until I name them
and release the power I have locked in them
and they in me.

Accentuate my confusion
until I shed those grandiose expectations
that divert me from the small, glad gifts
of the now and the here and the me.

Expose my shame wherever it shivers,
crouched behind the curtains of propriety,
until I can laugh at last
through my common frailties and failures,
laugh my way toward becoming whole.

Deliver me
from just going through the motions
and wasting everything I have
which is today,
a chance,
a choice,
my creativity
your call.

O persistent God,
let how much it all matters
pry me off dead center
so if I am moved inside
to tears

or sighs
or screams
or smiles
or dreams,
they will be real
and I will be in touch with who I am
and who you are
and who my sisters and brothers are.

Powerful Prayers Vol. VIII: Kenneth Phifer

Powerful prayers
I Want To Stop Running

Eternal God, you are a
song amid silence,

A voice out of quietness,

A light out of darkness,

A presence in the

A coming out of the void.

You are all of these
things and more.

You are mystery that
encompasses meaning,

Meaning that penetrates


You are God,

I am man.

I strut and brag.

I put down my fellows

And bluster out assertions
of my achievements.


And then something

I wonder who I am,

And if I matter.

Night falls,

I am alone in the dark and

Someone dies,

I feel so powerless.

A child is born,

I am touched by the
miracle of new life.

At such moments I pause…

To listen for a song amid

A voice out of stillness,

To look for a light out of


I want to feel a Presence
in the emptiness.

I find myself reaching for
a hand.

Oftentimes, the feeling
passes quickly,

And I am on the run again:

Success to achieve,

Money to make.


O Lord, you have to catch
me on the run

Most of the time.

I am too busy to stop,

Too important to pause for

I hold up too big a
section of the sky

to sit down and meditate.

But even on the run,

An occasional flicker of
doubt assails me,

And I suspect I may not be
as important

To the world

As I think I am.


Jesus said each of us is
important to you.

It is as if every hair of
our heads were numbered.

How can that be?

But in the hope that it is

I would stop running,

Stop shouting,

And be myself.

Let me be still now.

Let me be calm.

Let me rest upon the faith
that you are God,

And I need not be afraid.



(* from
Kenneth Phifer’s book “A Book of Uncommon Prayer”)



Monty’s Rumination…


There truly is not much
for me to say about this prayer. 
The deep, heartfelt words paint a very real tapestry that many will
instantly connect with.


When I first meditated on
this prayer, I was at a monastery with some other pastors, and one line
captured my attention more than any other:


“I hold up too big a section of the sky to
sit down and meditate.”


Even now, those words roll
over me and leave me feeling somewhat uneasy. I’m uneasy because that is very
often how I feel. My biblical theology tells me that it is God who holds up the
sky, but if that is so, why does so much of it seem to depend on me?


My  practical theology tells me that it is
impossible for me to hold up a big section of the sky, and that if I think I
am, I need to let it go, but if that is true, why does it seem so many people
and things really do

depend on me?


We are forever in the
catch-22 of monergism and synergism, how much is mine and how much is God’s.
When we think that too much depends on us, we posses weary souls, tired feet,
and frazzled emotions. When we think that too much depends on us, we create God
in our own image. When we create God in our own image, there is no one left who
is stronger than ourselves to lift us from the tangled web of living. When we
think too much depends on us, our self-importance creates an ego that fills the
universe, so of course there is no time to relate with a God who is smaller
than we are.


Yet, in our over inflated
bigness, Jesus still loves us, still calls us, still waits…


As he graciously reminds
me of His power, passion, and presence, I relax, realizing He not only holds up
all of the sky, but He made it too. Then I breathe the final words of the


“I would stop running, stop shouting, and be
myself. Let me be still now. Let me be calm. Let me rest upon the faith that
you are God, and I need not be afraid.”


God has your corner of the


Dei Gratia…Monty