PRAYER RESOURCES


Blessed are you, the God of Israel,
Our Father, forever and ever.

Yours, O Lord,
Is the greatness,
And the power,
And the glory,
And the victory,
And the majesty.
For all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours.

Yours is the kingdom, O Lord,
And you are exalted as head above all.
Both riches and honor come from you,
And you rule over all.
In your hands are power and might,
And in your hands it is to make great and to give strength to all.
And now we thank you, our God,
And praise your glorious name.

But who am I, and who are these people,
That we should be able to offer to you willingly?
For all things come from you,
And of your own we have given back to you.
For we are strangers before you and sojourners,
As all our fathers were.
Our days on the earth are like a shadow,
They do not abide.
I know, my God,
That you test the heart and take pleasure in uprightness.
In the uprightness of my heart,
I have freely offered all these things.

O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,
Keep forever the hearts of your people,
And direct their hearts toward you.

We praise you, O Lord God, our Father,
And bow low before you this day.

Footnote:
This prayer is the climax of David’s reign as he awaits the building of the temple in 1 Chronicles 29:10-18. He is praising God for his kingdom, sovereignty, and promises. Some of the language in this prayer is even used by John in Revelation when he gets a glimpse of the heavenly throne room of God.

Sweet Spirit of God,
Move, I pray, upon my disordered heart.
Lift the clouds of darkness and unbelief.
Brighten my soul with the pure light of your word,
And take the things of Christ and show them plainly to me.

Through thee may I daily learn more of his
Grace,
Compassion,
Faithfulness, and
Beauty.

Help me to find in his death the reality and immensity of his love
Open for me the wondrous volumes of truth in his “It is finished.”
Increase my faith in the clear knowledge of
Atonement achieved,
Satisfaction made,
Guilt done away,
My debt paid,
My sins forgiven,
My future redeemed,
Hell vanquished,
Heaven opened,
Eternity made mine.

Sweet Spirit of God,
Deepen in me these saving lessons.
Write them upon my heart, that my days may be
Sin-loathing,
Sin-fleeing, and
Christ-loving.

For the upbuilding of your church, and the furthering of your fame.

Amen.


Footnote:
This is an older Puritan prayer that the Holy Spirit would make the person and work of Jesus more and more central in our hearts so that we would be changed. The Spirit transforms us by causing us to realize the depth of what happened at the cross. This prayer is about furthering that realization.

Copyright Notice:

“The Spirit’s Work,” “Spiritus Sanctus,” and “For Joy” are from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers, edited by Arthur Bennett, copyright © 1975 The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, UK. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Great are you, O Lord, and greatly to be praised;
Great is your power, and your wisdom infinite.

You awaken us to delight in praising you.
You have made us for yourself,
And our hearts are restless, until we find rest in you.

And what are you then, my God?
For who is lord but the Lord?
Or who is god if not our God?
You are most high, most good, most omnipotent;
Most merciful and most just;
Most hidden and most present;
Infinitely beautiful and infinitely strong;
Never new, never old;
Ever working, ever at rest;
Ever gathering, yet lacking nothing;
Seeking, yet having all things;
Never in need, yet rejoicing in gains;
You pay debts, owing nothing;
And you remit debts, losing nothing.

And after all this, what have I now said of you,
My God, my life, my holy joy?

Now grant that I would find rest in you.
Come to my heart, and inebriate it,
That I may forget the evils that beset me.
Make me embrace you as my only good.

My Lord, narrow is the mansion of my soul; enlarge it.
It lies in ruins; rebuild it.

Say now to my soul, I am your salvation.
Say it so I can hear.
My heart is listening.
Speak it again to me, I am your salvation.

Now, let me run to your voice, and seize hold of you.

Great are you, O Lord, and greatly to be praised.

Footnote:
This prayer comes from the first section of Augustine’s (354-430 A.D.) famous autobiography, Confessions. Here, he is declaring the greatness of God, and how that greatness is beyond our understanding. For Augustine, God’s greatness is cause for humility and joy as he seeks God.

How long, O Lord?
Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider, and answer me, O Lord my God.
Light up my eyes,
Lest I sleep the sleep of death,
Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
Lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trust in your unfailing love,
And I will rest in your faithfulness.
My heart shall rejoice in your salvation,
And I will sing to you, O Lord,
Because you have dealt bountifully with me.

Footnote:
This prayer is a lament (Psalm 13). In it, David is honest before God about how exhausted and despairing he is. He feels as though God is distant, and he is begging God to act. Yet, even through his confusion, David trusts God’s promises.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Footnote:
Taken from Psalm 23, this is likely the most popular prayer-song of David, and for good reason. David’s posture toward God in this psalm is one of humble confidence in God’s character. He sees God as the providing and protecting shepherd that will always sustain him with mercy.

Creator and Redeemer, Triune God,
We will never cease in our thanks to you.
For the grace upon grace extended to us in Jesus.

This grace,
Always exceeding our lack,
Always sufficient for our need,
This grace has called us to yourself,
And will likewise sustain us.

As your kind hands ever guide and guard us,

May we remember this lavish grace in all that You are.

You are more faithful than we are distracted.
You are more willing than we are stubborn.
You are more constant than we are wandering.
You are more creative than we are mundane.
You are more caring than we are apathetic.
You are more pure than we are defiled.
You are more steadfast than we are fickle.
You are more compassionate than we are victimized.
You are more sovereign than we are manipulative.
You are more available than we are busy.
You are more forgiving than we are sinful.
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

For the grace that pervades
All that you are and all that you do,
Make us ever thankful.

Amen.

Footnote:
This is a prayer that God’s grace and sufficiency would be seen in our need and experienced in our sin. If we rightly consider the various attributes of God, his grace should be clearer to us in that consideration.

Our Father,
In heaven,
Holy is your name.

Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

For yours is the kingdom,
And the power,
And the glory,
Forever.

Amen.

Footnote:
Popularly known as “The Lord’s Prayer,” this prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13 is probably the most famous prayer in all of Scripture. In it, Jesus teaches us that every prayer request must be wrapped up in and submitted to the ultimate request: “Father, your Kingdom come; your will be done.”

I will extol you, O Lord,
For you have drawn me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
And you have healed me.
You have brought up my soul from the depths.
You restored me to life
From among those who go down to the pit.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
And give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
And his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may last for the night,
But joy comes in the morning.

So to you, O Lord, I cry, and to you I plead for mercy,
“What profit is there in my death if I go down to the pit?”
“Will the dust praise you?”
“Will it tell of your faithfulness?”

Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
O Lord, be my helper!

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing!
You have removed my sackcloth, and clothed me with joy,
That my heart may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

Footnote:
This is a prayer of David (Psalm 30), in which he lists different reasons why God is worthy of praise. However, for David, this praise that is due to God is not a silent matter. He rejoices, sings, dances, cries out, and calls others to the same kinds of responses.

Almighty Father,

Since we have a great high priest, Jesus, your Son,
We approach your throne of grace with confidence,
Knowing that we will receive mercy,
And find help in our time of need.

We confess our sins to you because you are faithful and just,
And will forgive us our sins,
And cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
.
We confess that we have sinned against you
In thought, word, and deed,
By what we have done,
And by what we have left undone.
We have erred and strayed from your ways like lost sheep.
We have offended your holy and good laws.
We have followed too much
The devices and desires of our own hearts.

Of these things, we humbly repent.

Forgive us now,
According to your promises in Christ Jesus,
That we may delight in your will,
And walk in your ways,
To the glory of your name.

Amen. Footnote:
This is a prayer of confession that uses Hebrews 4:16 and 1 John 1:9 as its foundation. We have freedom to confess our sin because of who God has revealed himself to be in Jesus. Also, the pattern of confession in this prayer is a standard pattern in many books of common worship.

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

Therefore, we will not fear,
Though the earth gives way,
Though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy habitation of the Most High.

God is in the midst of her;
She shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.

The nations rage,
The kingdoms totter;
He utters his voice,
The earth melts.

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress.

So come, behold the works of the Lord,
He has brought desolations on the earth;
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
He burns the chariots with fire.

And he says,
Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations.
I will be exalted in the earth!

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our fortress.

Footnote:
This prayer is from Psalm 46, on which Martin Luther based his famous hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” In it, the psalmist looks to God as his immovable strength even though the world around him seems to be shaking and in distress.

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who has chosen us in Jesus
Before the foundation of the world,
In whom we have redemption through his blood,
Through whom we have a perfect inheritance,
And are sealed with the Holy Spirit,
We praise you, Father, for your gifts that cannot be numbered.

We thank you for your people, the church,
And ask that you would give us
The Spirit of wisdom and revelation,
And open and enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
So that we may know the hope to which you have called us.

Make us also to know the riches of your glory,
And the immeasurable greatness of your power,
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead,
And seated him at your right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all rule and authority and dominion,
Not only in this age, but also in the age to come.

Father, we bow our knees before you,
And according to the riches of your glory,
Grant us to be strengthened,
Through your Spirit in our inner being,
So that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith.

As we, by your grace, become rooted and grounded in love,
May we comprehend with all the saints,
What is the breadth and length,
And height and depth of the love of Christ,
A love that surpasses knowledge,
That we may be filled up with all the fullness of God.

Father, you are able to do far more abundantly
Than all that we can ask or think,
And according to your power at work within us,
Glorify Jesus in your church throughout all generations,
Both now and forever.

Amen.

Footnote:
Adapted from Ephesians 1 and 3, this is a prayer of praise and thanks for all that God has done in the gospel. In the gospel of Jesus, God has made known his grace, glory, power, and love. This prayer also seeks a greater experience of these things.

O Lord, you are enthroned forever,
Your dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And your kingdom endures from generation to generation.
Because of this, we pray,

For world leaders,
May they know true peace.

For our national leaders,
May they know true justice.

For our state and city leaders,
May they know true wisdom.

For leaders in our workplaces,
May they know true stewardship.

For parents as they lead their families,
May they know true grace.

For those who lead our churches,
May they know true care.

We ask that all of these be bestowed,
In the saving knowledge of Jesus our Messiah,
And in the hope of the world to come.

Amen.

Footnote:
Based on Psalm 145:13 and Daniel 4:34, this is a prayer for leaders, founded on God’s sovereignty. All of these requests for different leaders look forward in hope to the fullness of God’s kingdom.

Have mercy on me, O God,
According to your unfailing love;
According to your abundant mercy,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against you and you only have I sinned,
And done what is evil in your sight.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
And you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
Let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
And uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
And sinners will return to you.
O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
You will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Have mercy on me, O God,
According to your unfailing love.

Footnote:
This prayer is a lament (Psalm 13). In it, David is honest before God about how exhausted and despairing he is. He feels as though God is distant, and he is begging God to act. Yet, even through his confusion, David trusts God’s promises.

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
Ever singing your praise!

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
In whose hearts are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the valley of weeping,
It will become a place of springs.
And they go from strength to strength;
Each one appears before God in Zion.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob!

O God, a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God
Than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the Lord God is our sun and shield;
The Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold,
From those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the one who trusts in you!


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, let me sow pardon.
Where there is doubt, let me sow faith.
Where there is despair, let me sow hope.
Where there is darkness, let me sow light.
And where there is sadness, let me sow joy.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Use me despite my weaknesses.
Use me through my weaknesses,
That the strength of your grace might be made known.

And as you use me, change my desires.
Make me long to console more than be consoled.
Make me want to understand more than be understood.
Make me desire to love more than be loved.
For it is in giving that we truly receive.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Footnote:
This prayer is a modified version of a classic prayer by Francis of Assisi (1181-1226). Francis was a friar who diligently preached, sought, and prayed for peace in his day. He was known for abandoning a life of luxury in order to put others first, and this prayer is evidence of that.

Incline your ear, O Lord,
And answer me, for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life,
Save your servant, who trusts in you — you are my God.
Be gracious to me, O Lord,
For to you do I cry all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
For to you do I lift up my soul.
You, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
Abounding in unfailing love to all who call upon you.

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
Nor are there any works like yours.
All the nations you have made shall come,
And shall worship before you,
For you are great and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.
Teach me your way, O Lord,
That I may walk in your truth.
Give me an undivided heart,
That I may fear your name.
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
And I will glorify your name forever.
Great is your steadfast love toward me;
You have delivered me from the depths.

O God, arrogant foes have risen up against me;
A band of ruthless men seeks my life,
And they do not set you before them.
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger,
And abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Turn to me and be gracious to me;
Give your strength to your servant,
Show me a sign of your favor,
That those who hate me may see, and be put to shame,
Because you have helped me and comforted me.

You, O Lord, are great and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.

Amen.

Footnote:
This is a prayer of David (Psalm 86) in which he looks to God to preserve him because of the enemies that are surrounding him. Throughout the psalm, David leans heavily on the personal nature of God. He is not distant or disinterested; he is a personal God who loves his people and hears their prayers.

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