Prayer of the week

PRAYER: The Miracle Of Easter from The Gelasian Sacramentary

April 23, 2018

The moment we have longed for has come; the night of our desires is here.  What greater occupation could there be than for us to proclaim the power of your resurrection!  This was the night when you shattered the gates of hell, and you took up the victory banner of Heaven.  This was the night when you set us among the stars. When your mother Mary gave birth to you, she was overwhelmed with joy at your beauty.  Now we are overwhelmed with joy at your power.  The blood which flowed from your side has washed away our sins.  Your body rising from the tomb has promised us eternal life.  Eternal are the blessings which in your love you have poured upon us. [...]

PRAYER: Easter by Adam of St. Victor

April 16, 2018

I see flames of orange, yellow, and red shooting upwards to the sky, piercing the whole clouds. I see the clouds themselves chasing the flames upwards, and I feel the air itself reaching for the heavens. Down below I see great, grey rocks beating against the earth, as if they were pushing their way down to hell. At your resurrection that which is light and good rises up with you, and that which is heavy and evil is pushed downwards. At your resurrection goodness breaks from evil, life breaks free from death. [...]

PRAYER: Prayer For Easter by Lancelot Andrewes

April 9, 2018

Oracles of Prophets, melody of Psalms, instruction of Proverbs, experience of Histories. God is the Lord who hath shewed us light; bind the sacrifice with cords, yea even unto the horns of the altar. O by thy Resurrection raise us up unto newness of life, helping us to shew forth a conversation meet for repentance. The God of peace, who did bring again from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, our Lord Jesus Christ, make us perfect in every good work, to do his will, working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. [...]

PRAYER: Easter by Bernard of Clairvaux

April 2, 2018

Lord, you have passed over into new life, and you now invite us to pass over also.  In these past days we have grieved at your suffering and mourned at your death.  We have given ourselves over to repentance and prayer, to abstinence and gravity.  Now at Easter you tell us that we have died to sin.  Yet, if this is true, how can we remain on Earth?  How can we pass over to your risen life, while we are still in this world?  Will we not be just as meddlesome, just as lazy, just as selfish as before?  Will we not still be bad-tempered and stubborn, enmeshed in all the vices of the past?  We pray that as we pass over with you, our faces will never look back.  Instead, let us, like you, make Heaven on Earth. [...]

PRAYER: A Prayer For Holy Week by Christine Sine

March 26, 2018

God, as we walk through Holy Week Toward the Cross, May we remember the wonder of who you are. Beyond sin, Your love is inexhaustible. Beyond brokenness, Your forgiveness is incomprehensible. Beyond betrayal, Your grace is poured out eternally. Beyond death, Your life is unimaginable. Beyond human understanding, Your ways are always higher than ours. [...]

PRAYER: Lenten Contrition from The Exeter Book

March 19, 2018

Give me, O Lord, patience and sense of purpose in each of the things which you send to beset me.  You know the many wicked deeds which burden my heart.  But out of compassion you set aside all blame, and receive me as your own.  Please protect me through the dangers and confusion of my transient life on Earth, ensuring that in all things I strive for eternal life in Heaven.  I know that I am very slow to make amends for my sins, despite the many favors you grant me.  Fix my trust, my timid hopes, upon yourself, so that I may stand on a secure foundation.  Lift up my thoughts with your wisdom.  Take me out of this world as soon as I am fit to be received into the next. Stand by me, Lord, and hold me upright when the gales of sin blow [...]

PRAYER: A Prayer Against Violence by Cecil Kerr

March 12, 2018

Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you that through your death on the Cross you disarmed the powers of evil. Help us, we pray you, to enter into your victory and to stand in your authority against all evil. Send forth your light and your truth, O Lord. Bring to light the deeds of darkness and let plans of violence and murder be revealed. By the power of your Holy Spirit convict those who have allowed their minds to be dominated by evil. Lead them, O Lord, to true repentance that they may receive your new life and rejoice in your forgiving love. [...]

PRAYER: Lent by Bernard of Clairvaux

March 5, 2018

Let me hold fast to you, beautiful Lord, whom the angels themselves yearn to look upon. Wherever you go, I will follow you. If you pass through fire, I will not flinch, I fear no evil when you are with me. You carry my griefs, because you grieve for my sake. You passed through the narrow doorway from death to life, to make it wide enough for all to follow. Nothing can ever now separate me from your love. [...]

PRAYER: Six Short Prayers For The Lenten Period

February 19, 2018

From The Methodist Church Lord, as we enter Lent help us to draw near to you in praise, stripping away all that distracts us from worship. Amen. As Jesus resisted temptation by the devil in the wilderness, help us reflect on his faithfulness to God, his rejection of worldly values and hold these thoughts in our hearts throughout Lent and beyond. Amen. Jesus, you prayed and fasted. As your disciple teach me about spiritual discipline in my relationship with you. Amen. Lord may Lent be a time of inward searching that makes me more able to look with compassion at the needs of the world. Amen. Thank you Lord for desert experiences, when being confronted with myself makes me realize my need of you. Amen. Lord, you’ve guided us through [...]

PRAYER: The Prayer Of Saint Ephrem The Syrian

February 12, 2018

(To be used daily through Lent.) O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despondency, lust of power, and idle talk; But grant rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother; For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. [...]

PRAYER: The Empty Chair (an exercise in prayer) by Anthony de Mello

November 27, 2017

I developed this exercise as a result of hearing the story of a priest who went to visit a patient in his home.  He noticed an empty chair at the patient’s bedside and asked what it was doing there.  The patient said, “I had placed Jesus on that chair and was talking to him before you arrived.  For years I found it extremely difficult to pray until a friend explained to me that prayer was a matter of talking to Jesus.  He told me to place an empty chair nearby, to imagine Jesus sitting on that chair, and to speak with him and listen to what he says to me in reply.  I’ve had no difficulty praying ever since.” Some days later, so the story goes, the daughter of the patient came to the rectory to inform the priest [...]

PRAYER: Hear My Voice by Pope John Paul II

November 20, 2017

To you, creator of nature and humanity, of truth and beauty, I pray: Hear my voice, for it is the voice of the victims of all wars and violence among individuals and nations. Hear my voice, for it is the voice of all children who suffer and who will suffer when people put their faith in weapons and war. Hear my voice when I beg you to instill into the hearts of all human beings the vision of peace, the strength of justice, and the joy of fellowship. Hear my voice, for I speak for the multitudes in every country and in every period of history who do not want war and are ready to walk the road of peace. Hear my voice and grant insight and strength so that we may always respond to hatred with love, to injustice with total dedication to [...]

PRAYER: Four Prayers by Frances Caryll Houselander

November 13, 2017

Descend, Holy Spirit of Life! Come down into our hearts, that we may live. Descend into emptiness, that emptiness may be filled. Descend into the dust, that the dust may flower. Descend into the dark, that the light may shine in the darkness. Amen. Be born in us, Incarnate Love. Take our flesh and blood, and give us your humanity; take our eyes, and give us your vision; take our minds, and give us your pure thought; take our feet and set them in your path; take our hands, and fold them in your prayer; take our hearts and give them your will to love. Amen. By your heaviness and fear in Gethsemane, comfort the oppressed and those who are afraid By your loneliness, facing the Passion while the Apostles slept, comfort those who face evil alone [...]

PRAYER: For Unity Of Faiths by Thomas Merton

November 6, 2017

O God, we are one with you.  You have made us one with you.  You have taught us that if we are open to one another, you dwell in us.  Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts.  Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection.  O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept you, and we thank you, and we adore you, and we love you with our whole being, because our being is in your being, our spirit is rooted in your spirit.  Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes you present in the world, and which makes you witness to the ultimate reality that is [...]

PRAYER: The Lord’s Prayer From New Zealand

October 30, 2017

From The New Zealand Prayer Book Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver, Source of all that is and that shall be, Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is Heaven: The hallowing of your name echo through the universe! The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world! Your Heavenly will be done by all created beings! Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on Earth. With the bread we need for today, feed us. In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us. In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us. From trials too great to endure, spare us. From the grip of all that is evil, free us. For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever. [...]

PRAYER: Black Elk’s Earth Prayer

October 23, 2017

Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on Earth and lean to hear my feeble voice. You lived first, and you are older than all need, older than all prayer. All things belong to you – the two-legged, the four-legged, the wings of the air, and all green things that live. You have set the powers of the four quarters of the Earth to cross each other. You have made me cross the good road and road of difficulties, and where they cross, the place is holy. Day in, day out, forevermore, you are the life of things. Hey! Lean to hear my feeble voice. At the center of the sacred hoop With tears running, O Great Spirit, my Grandfather, With running eyes I must say The tree has never bloomed. Here I stand, and the tree is withered. Again, I [...]

PRAYER: Prayer Of Confession, 19th Century India

October 16, 2017

Like the bounding stag I have sought sensual pleasures and fallen into the lake. I am the greatest sinner among sinners, unwilling to part with even a grain of rice to the noisy crow. Like the fly buzzing about without any rest, I seek. O, Father, tell me what to do that I may not die without your grace, and grant me your grace to support me. Like the bull bearing heavy burdens, I have toiled carrying the load of my own grief. Not knowing anything, I have roamed like the unclean animal feeding upon the refuse of the streets. I am lower than the dog, which tires itself out with barking in utter thoughtlessness. Holy Father, what can I do to obtain your grace to support me in my distress? I have taken pride in regarding my darkness as light [...]

PRAYER: Prayers By Chinese Christian Women

October 9, 2017

Prayer when opening a door I pray thee, Lord, to open the door of my heart to receive thee within my heart. When washing clothes I pray thee, Lord, to wash my heart, making me white as snow. When sweeping floors I pray thee, Lord, to sweep away my heart’s uncleanness, that my heart may always be pure. When pouring oil I pray thee, Lord, to give me wisdom like the wise virgins who always had oil in their vessels. When posting a letter I pray thee, Lord, to add to me faith upon faith, that I may always have communication with thee. When lighting lamps I pray thee, Lord, to make my deeds excellent like lamps before others, and more, to place thy true light within my heart. When watering flowers I pray thee, Lord, to send down spiritual [...]

PRAYER: An African Canticle

October 2, 2017

All you big things, bless the Lord Mount Kilimanjaro and Lake Victoria The Rift Valley and the Serengeti Plain Fat baobabs and shady mango trees All eucalyptus and tamarind trees Bless the Lord Praise and extol him for ever and ever. All you tiny things, bless the Lord Busy black ants and hopping fleas Wriggling tadpoles and mosquito larvae Flying locusts and water drops Pollen dust and tsetse flies Millet seeds and dried dagaa Bless the Lord Praise and extol him for ever and ever. [...]

PRAYER: Celtic Blessing — Lord Of My Heart

September 25, 2017

Source unknown Lord of my heart, give me vision to inspire me, that, working or resting, I may always think of you. Lord of my heart, give me light to guide me, that, at home or abroad, I may always walk in your way. Lord of my heart, give me wisdom to direct me, that, thinking or acting, I may always discern right from wrong. Lord of my heart, give me courage to strengthen me, that, amongst friends or enemies, I may always proclaim your justice. Lord of my heart, give me trust to console me, that hungry or well-fed, I may always rely on your mercy. Lord of my heart, save me from empty praise, that I may always boast of you. Lord of my heart, save me from worldly wealth, that I may always look to the riches of Heaven. Lord of my heart, [...]

PRAYER: A Hermit’s Desire attributed to Saint Kevin

September 18, 2017

I wish, ancient and eternal King, to live in a hidden hut in the wilderness. A narrow blue stream beside it, and a clear pool for washing away my sins by the grace of the Holy Spirit. A beautiful wood all around, where birds of every kind of voice can grow up and find shelter. Facing southwards to catch the sun, with fertile soil around it suitable for every kind of plant. And virtuous young men to join me, humble and eager to serve you. Twelve young men – three fours, four threes, two sixes, six pairs – willing to do every kind of work. A lovely church, with a white linen cloth over the altar, a home for you from Heaven. A Bible surrounded by four candles, one for each of the gospels. A special hut in which to gather for meals, [...]

PRAYER: A Pilgrim’s Plea attributed to Saint Brendan

September 11, 2017

Shall I abandon, O King of mysteries, the soft comforts of home? Shall I turn my back on my native land, and my face towards the sea? Shall I put myself wholly at your mercy, without silver, without a horse, without fame and honor? Shall I throw myself wholly on you, without sword and shield, without food and drink, without a bed to lie on? Shall I say farewell to my beautiful land, placing myself under your yoke? Shall I pour out my heart to you, confessing my manifold sins and begging forgiveness, tears streaming down my cheeks? Shall I leave the prints of my knees on the sandy beach, a record of my final prayer in my native land? Shall I then suffer every kind of wound that the sea can inflict? Shall I take my tiny coracle across the [...]

PRAYER: A Hymn Of Praise by An Irish Monk

September 4, 2017

Hail to you, glorious Lord! May chancel and church praise you, May plain and hillside praise you, May the three springs praise you, Two higher than the wind and one above the Earth, May darkness and light praise you, May the cedar and sweet fruit-tree praise you. Abraham praised you, the founder of faith, May life everlasting praise you, May the birds and bees praise you, May the stubble and the grass praise you. Aaron and Moses praised you, May male and female praise you, May the seven days and the stars praise you, May the lower and upper air praise you, May books and letters praise you, May the fish in the river praise you, May thought and action praise you, May the sand and the earth praise you, May all the good things created praise [...]

PRAYER: Prayer For Understanding by Athanasius

August 28, 2017

Anyone who wishes to understand the mind of the sacred writers must first cleanse his own life, and approach the saints by copying their deeds.  Thus united to them in the fellowship of life, he will both understand the things revealed to them by God and, thenceforth escaping the peril that threatens sinners in the judgment, will receive that which is laid up for the saints in the Kingdom of Heaven. Of that reward it is written: “Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man the things that God hath prepared” for them that live a Godly life and love the God and Father in Christ Jesus our Lord, through whom and with whom be to the Father himself, with the Son himself, in the Holy Spirit, honor and [...]

PRAYER: Prayers Of Antony Of Egypt

August 21, 2017

When the holy Abba Antony lived in the desert he was beset by despair, and attacked by many sinful thoughts.  He said to God, “Lord, I want to be saved but these thoughts do not leave me alone; what shall I do in my affliction?  How can I be saved?”  A short while afterwards, when he got up to go out, Antony saw a man like himself sitting at his work, getting up from his work to pray, then sitting down and plaiting a rope, then getting up again to pray.  It was an angel of the Lord sent to correct and reassure him.  He heard the angel saying to him, “Do this and you will be saved.”  At these words, Antony was filled with joy and courage.  He did this, and he was saved. When the same Abba Antony thought about [...]

PRAYER: Devotion To The Holy Name

August 14, 2017

From the Franciscan Litany of the Holy Name. Jesu, dulcis memoria Jesu, the very thought of thee With sweetness fills my breast; But sweeter far thy face to see, And in thy presence rest. Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame, Nor can the memory find, A sweeter sound than thy blest name, O Savior of mankind! O hope of every contrite heart, O joy of all the meek, To those who fall, how kind thou art! How good to those who seek! But what to those who find? Ah! this Nor tongue nor pen can show. The love of Jesus! what it is, None but his loved ones know. Jesu, our only joy be thou, As thou our prize wilt be; Jesu, be thou our glory now, And through eternity. Wherewith I longed for thee, And left my Father’s throne; From death to set [...]

PRAYER: Prayer Of Deliverance by Clare of Assisi

August 7, 2017

I pray you, O most gentle Jesus, having redeemed me by baptism from original sin, so now by your precious blood, which is offered and received throughout the world, deliver me from all evils, past, present, and to come. By your most cruel death give me a lively faith, a firm hope, and perfect charity, so that I may love you with all my heart and all my soul and all my strength. Make me firm and steadfast in good works and grant me perseverance in your service so that I may be able to please you always. [...]