Do you ever feel your prayers could use a little upgrading as far as their content and expression? Are you ever too tired to think through what you want to say in prayer? Try using prayers written by others and you might find a depth in prayer you have been missing. We all do this already when we pray a psalm, the Lord’s Prayer, or one of Saint Paul’s benedictions. These prayers were originally songs, instructions, or written in a letter.
Ancient and modern prayer books often contain a richness of prayer that our own words often lack. Some are organized by topic, so you can find a prayer to suit your situation, such as To Bless the Space Between Us, a Book of Blessings by John O’Donohue. Devotionals frequently include a prayer at the end of the reading.
I’ve written other posts on fixed-hour prayer, or praying the hours, and have found The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle and Celtic Daily Prayer to be faithful prayer companions. Such prayer books include a pattern of praise, confession, intercession, scripture reading, and blessing—each worded a little differently depending on the day or the week.
One of my favorite prayers from The Diving Hours a few months ago read, “Almighty God, you know that I have no power in myself: Keep me both outwardly in my body and inwardly in my soul, that I may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
We have a treasure trove of prayer available to us in the expressions of others past and present that connects our faith journeys.
Share with us a time when a prayer written by someone else enriched your spiritual journey. (My comment section is a blue link at the bottom of this post.)
In Him together, Susan Gaddis