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“Would You Write Straight with My Crooked Lines?”

I was rummaging through my bookshelves today, hunting for a book that might be useful for this week’s sermon. I didn’t find what I was looking for, but I did come across a prayer book that I bought over a decade ago and which has mostly been collecting dust on my shelf in the days since. Such is the fate of far too many good words that sit forlornly, unappreciated and under-utilized in my study.

At any rate, I spent some time paging through it this afternoon and was struck by the following prayer used in the Northumbria community. These were good words for me to pray today; perhaps the same might be true for you.


O God,
I cannot undo the past,
or make it never have happened!
— neither can You. There are some things
that are not possible even for You
— but not many!

I ask you,
and from the bottom of my heart;
Please, God,
would You write straight
with my crooked lines?
Out of the serious mistakes of my life
will You make something beautiful for you?

Teach me to live at peace with You,
and make peace with others
and even with myself.

Give me fresh vision. Let me
experience your love so deeply
that I am free to
face the future with a steady eye,
and strong in hope.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Pauline Kinney #

    I have this lovely prayer book as well, Ryan, and I recall being struck by the very same lines on my first read through! “Would you write straight with my crooked lines?”
    I would like to say that I never fail to receive a blessing from your posts and always look forward to what you have to share next.

    October 1, 2021
    • Thank you so much, Pauline!

      October 2, 2021
  2. …. Amen

    October 3, 2021
  3. Andrew Dyck #

    Amen to that.
    (I used that prayer book for several years. Also visited the Northumbria Community for a few days quite a few years ago. Some off the hospitable people I’ve ever met.)
    BTW: that prayer book has now been expanded to 2 beautiful volumes.

    October 9, 2021

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