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Prayers

Help for the spiritually tongue-tied

The Lord’s Prayer as a Model
A Beginning for Prayer
Middle Parts of Prayer

An Ending for Prayer
Finding a psalm to use as a prayer

The Lord’s Prayer as a Model

Some people say that the Lord’s Prayer was not meant to be recited, because in giving the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus did not say pray this, He said pray like this. However, few of those people actually follow through and model their prayers on the Lord’s Prayer. So here is a suggestion for how you might actually pray like this as Jesus instructed.

A Beginning for Prayer

Lord God, Maker and King of the universe, to whom all honor, glory, praise, and worship are due; it is a right and proper thing, at all times, in all places, and in all circumstances, to give you my most hearty thanks and praise, especially for your Son Jesus Christ, who died to take away my sins and the sins of the entire world. He rose again from the dead and sits at your right hand where He rules over all things, including the things I cannot understand.

Middle Parts of Prayer

Hardship

O Lord, your Holy Word commands me to be joyful in all things, and to give thanks for trials and hardships. I understand that life is a test, that you only give a hard test to a good student, that you never trip up a slow student with an impossibly difficult test—so I rejoice that you have found me a worthy student. I thank you for refining me in the fire as one refines gold, because it means that in your sight I am as valuable as gold. Therefore, I thank you for the hardships that beset me, because I know you sent them to train and improve me. I am especially grateful for these hardships. Grant me wisdom and insight to understand the ultimate benefit you bring me through these hardships.

To end the prayer…

Loneliness

Lord, when you hung upon the cross, you experienced the most piercing form of loneliness and abandonment ever experienced by any human being. Have mercy on me, even though the loneliness that overwhelms me is only a pale shadow of the loneliness you must have felt. My friends are ever dwindling in number, and my heart aches for fellowship. I grow discouraged, because there are few to share with. Grant me fellowship with other people.

To end the prayer…

Betrayal

Lord, when the soldiers came for you in the garden, you experienced the pain of the betrayer’s metaphorical knife in the back. Have mercy on me, even though I experience only a shadow of the betrayal you felt. Help me to forgive my enemies without compromising myself. Keep me from participating in their sin by giving me the forbearance not to return their deeds in kind. Grant me the wisdom to find a way to repair or transcend the situation.

To end the prayer…

Fear of Death

Lord, of all the gods under heaven to which people pray, you, the One True God, are the only one who took upon mortal flesh, who died, and who transcended death in resurrection. You are the only one who can help me in my mortal anxiety. Comfort me, so that I may know that you who conquered death will not allow it to conquer me.

To end the prayer…

Rejection

Lord, you came to your creatures, your own handiwork, and they rejected you. They disobeyed your commandments, they distrusted your providence, they spurned your love, they misunderstood your message, they ignored your teachings, they denied you under pressure, and finally they betrayed you and set you up to die. Therefore, you understand how I am downcast. In that moment when you asked your disciples if they would leave you too, you understood what it is like to be overcome by rejection to the point of doubting even your most trusted allies. Therefore you understand why I am anxious that you will reject me, too. Reassure me Lord, that you accept me. Help me to climb a tree, as Zacchaeus did, to look over the heads of those who reject me and to seek acceptance only from you. Help me also to look down upon the people who reject me, to forgive their pettiness, and to love them as your lost little lambs.

To end the prayer…

Neglect of God’s Holy Word

Lord, forgive me for neglecting the reading and study of your holy Word. Free me from any fondly held but vain opinions and fill me afresh with the Spirit of Truth, that I might delight in your holy Word, that I might study it and reflect upon it, and see you within it.

To end the prayer…

Protection

Drive far from me all snares of the enemy; send your Holy Spirit to fill me, to guide and strengthen me, to protect me from my own weaknesses; send your holy angels to counsel and defend me; and send me into the world to do your will.

To end the prayer…

For the Terminally Ill

Lord, forgive (name) any sins that (they) may have committed. If it is your will, raise (them) up to a healthy body and a sound mind to serve the residue of (their) days in your service and to your glory. If it is not your will to heal (them), then recognize (them) as a lamb of your fold and a sheep of your flock. Send your holy angels to protect (them) from all spiritual harm, to guide and direct (them), to counsel and defend (them). Take (them) into the paradise that you have prepared for those who love you. Let (them) stand in the resurrection of the just on the Last Day and live with you in your glory forever more.

To end the prayer…

In Severe Adversity

Lord, I do not understand the things that trouble me now. Therefore I thank you for (adversity), because it has brought your will into sharp focus, it has brought me closer to you and to others, and it has taught me (lesson). I pray that you will consider that I have passed this test, and having learned it, I ask you to withdraw it. Yet if it is your will that I continue in this adversity, I ask for your grace to perservere in faith as long as this trial shall last.

To end the prayer…

I do not ask these things on my own authority, for before you I have none, but in the name of your only begotten Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in your glory, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, as one God, now and forever, AMEN.