An Old Man's Prayer

Author’s notes:
One day, while going through a very difficult time in my life, I had this old gentleman offer to pray for me. To the best of my ability and recollection, I have tried to share his prayer with you. I have purposefully used his natural language and tried to capture more of the spiritual beauty and meaning of his prayer.
                                 * * *

He said; “Son, yah’ look mighty troubled,
But they ain’t no need t’be afraid;
Fo’ there’s One who can lift yo’ burdens
Frum a lifetime of bad choices made.”
When he placed his hand on my shoulder,
The cares of my heart began to fade;
For we took them into God’s throne room
Through the gentle words that old man prayed:

                                 * * *

“O’ Lord, our Lord, how excellent is yo’ name on
all da earth, da only name where man can be saved.
Father, yah said at da name of Jesus ev’ry knee’s
gon’na bow, n’ ev’ry tongue’s gon’na confess dat
Jesus is Lord.

Now Father, yo’ children come oft’ b’fore yah with
thanksgivin’; some’re standin’; some’re sittin’, n’
some kneelin’. Frum da depths of our heart we’s
humble ourselves n’ confess dat same Jesus, He’s
our Lord n’ God.

Mighty God, we’s praise yah’! We’s glorify yah’!
We’s honor yah’! We’s magnify yo’ holy name.
Father, we’s thank yah fo’ dis day n’ fo’ Yo’ love, grace
n’ mercy, n’ fo’ keepin’ us frum all hurt n’ danger
all our days.

We’s aks Yo’ blessin’ on hospitals, on institutions, n’
on prisons. Those n’ bed, bodied ’n pain, dems dat
are laid up n’ nursin’ homes. We’s pray fo’ da cold,
hungry, broken n’ thirsty . . . fo’ all mankind who be’s
fallen down ’long da highways of sin.

We’s pray fo’ dose who’s knows Yah, n’ dose that
doesn’t. We’s pray fo’ Yo’ grace on ’em, in Jesus’ name.

We’s pray fo’ Yo’ world . . . fo’ da earth is Yo’s n’ da
fullness there’n’. All good n’ perfect gifts come from
above, so we’s thanks Yah’.

We’s pray fo’ our friend here t’day, a stranger ta me,
but not so ta Yah, Father. Yo’ know all ’bout ’em. We’s
aks Yah t’day fo’ Yah is da one who gives us Yo’ peace,
who speaks n’ it comes ta pass; we’s praise Yah fo’
ever mo!

We’s b’lieve in Yo’ power. Glory n’ praise, n’ majesty
we give to you my Lord! Father, we’s be’s glad dat
we’s be’s able ta walk n’ step wit Yah t’day, fo’ we’s
know it had dun n’ been another day Yah dun n’
kept us safe by Yo’ might.

Father, we’s thank Yah ta be able to lie down in Yo’
bed of joy, b’tween Yo’ sheets of grace n’ mercy, wit
our head on a pillow that is Yo’ bosom of love. Yah
give angels charge to protect us, Yah give da Holy
Spirit that breathes on us, n’ seals us.

We’s give glory n’ praise n’ thanksgivin’. If Ya bless
us ta see t’morrah’, we’s knows we’s be able ta ’cept
t’morrah. Fo’ Jesus is da same yesterday, t’day, n’
fo’ever more! Yes, He is da one true friend dat sticks
closer than any brother.

Dear Jesus, I’s knows yah are da Good Shepherd n’ dat
we’s are Yo’ lit’ll sheep in Yo’ pasture. We’s be’s keep’n our
eyes on yah, cuz we’s knows yah be’s keep’n Yo’ eyes
on us. We’s trust Yah to keep watch o’re us,
fo’ nothin’ is out of your gaze.

Now, though we’s walk thro’ dah’ fire, dah’ storm, n’ da
dark valley; n’ tho’ thangs may look bad, we’s be yo’s.

Now, God, we’s gon’na be closin’ dis ’ere prayer, but we’s
know yah’ will n’ere leave us nor fo’sake us. We’s pray this
in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen and Amen.”

                                * * *
When he finished, Lord knows I felt peace
I had not owned in many a day;
For as one who had been unshackled,
Chains of worry and fear fell away.

He then took his hand from my shoulder,
I thanked him for the difference made;
For we left my cares in God’s throne room
Through the gentle words that old man prayed.


© Loyd C. Taylor