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Prayer Help?

May 28, 2013

Sometimes I find myself “stuck” when it comes time to pray. Either the words won’t come out, or the words that do come out are not shaped by Scripture. Rather, they’re shaped by my fear and unbelief. When this happens I find a lot of help in turning to prayers that have already been written. Normally, I turn to the Psalms or to the prayers from the 1552 Book of Common Prayer (as an aside, many of these prayers deserve to be memorized and used by all Christians, not only Anglicans). I have also turned to prayers by well known Christian theologians like Augustine, Irenaeus, Chrysostom, and Spurgeon.

When I find it hard to pray my own words by faith, or when I find it hard to shape my prayers with Scripture, these written prayers have been profoundly helpful. As with so much of the Christian life, I have learned that the struggles which I face are not unique to me. Because of that I thought it would be helpful if I shared some of the prayers I have written from time to time. Not because they are particularly pious or powerful but because God strikes straight blows with crooked sticks, and because perhaps they will be helpful to you when you find yourself stuck.

I have hyper-linked the various portions of this prayer to the Scriptures I had in mind when I composed it. I won’t do this every time I share a prayer, though I’m doing it now in the hope that you can start reflecting on how Scripture can shape your prayers to your God. After all, what better thing do we have to pray then God’s own word back to him?

Father,

Grant this day that we fall into no danger or harm. By your Holy Spirit preserve our bodies so that we may be about your work this day; and preserve our faith in your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, from all the attacks of our Adversary and all the sins that lie within our hearts, so that we might overcome by the blood of Christ and the word of our testimony. Fill our mouths with rejoicing for your goodness; give us patience as we wait upon your deliverance; and pour your love into our hearts that we may be known as your disciples. Do this, O Lord, in accordance with your covenant with us in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, for we pray in his name, knowing that in Him all your promises to your people are ‘Yes and Amen’. Amen.

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