Model Prayers

Jesus  “Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen
Mother Teresa “Lord, open our eyes, That we may see you in our brothers and sisters. Lord, open our ears, That we may hear the cries of the hungry, the cold, the frightened, the oppressed. Lord, open our hearts, That we may love each other as you love us. Renew in us your spirit, Lord, free us and make us one.”
Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1225-1274) Italian philosopher and theologian. — “Most merciful God, order my day so that I may know what you want me to do, and then help me to do it. Let me not be elated by success or depressed by failure. I want only to take pleasure in what pleases you, and only to grieve at what displeases you. For the sake of your love I would willingly forgo all temporal comforts. May all the joys in which you have no part weary me. May all the work which you do not prompt be tedious to me. Let my thoughts frequently turn to you, that I may be obedient to you without complaint, patient without grumbling, cheerful without self-indulgence, contrite without dejection, and serious without solemnity. Let me hold you in awe without feeling terrified of you, and let me be an example to others without any trace of pride.”
Michelangelo (1475-1564) Italian painter, sculptor, architect, and poet. — “Lord, make me see your glory in every place: If mortal beauty sets my heart aglow, Shall not that earthly fire by thine burn low Extinguished by the great light of thy grace? Dear Lord, I cry to thee for help, O raise Me from the misery of this blind woe, Thy spirit alone can save me: let it flow Through will and sense, redeeming what is base. Thou hast given me on earth this godlike soul, And a poor prisoner of it thou hast made Behind weak flesh-walls; from that wretched state How can I rescue it, how my true life find? All goodness, Lord, must fail without thy aid: For thou alone hast power to alter fate.”
Marjorie Holmes, I’ve Got to Talk to Somebody, God — “Dear God, as I iron these clothes for my family, please make me aware not what a chore it is, but what a blessing: That we have so many clothes to keep them warm. So many clothes to make them happy—pretty dresses, bright plaid shirts. Let me be thankful even for the trousers, hard as they are to press. Let me be thankful for having sons. Thank you for this iron, wit hits simple yet marvelous power—heat and stream. Thank you for this sturdy ironing board. Thank you for spray starch, which has cut down on dampening time and makes everything so sweetly crisp. Thank you for this tumbled treasury of garments and tablecloths and pillowslips. Thank for the strength to make them smooth. And for all the hours of my life that I have been able to do this job, however I have dreaded it or put it off. Give me the patience, please, to teach my own daughters this ancient art that every woman should know. And to teach my sons, as well, so that they, if they ever have to, can do their own. And dear Lord, give me a spiritual strength to match this strength I bring to the smoothing of these clothes. As you equipped my hands to guide this iron, please equip me with the wisdom to guide my children, to smooth out the wrinkles in their lives as well.”
Anonymous Prayer for Grace“Deliver me Jesus from the desire of being loved; from the desire of being honored; from the desire of being praised; from the desire of being preferred to others; from the desire of being consulted; from the desire of being approved; from the fear of being humiliated; from the fear of being despised; from the fear of suffering rebuke; from the fear of being forgotten from the fear of being wrong; from the fear of being suspected. And Jesus, grant me the grace to desire that others might be loved more than I; that others might be esteemed more than I; that in the opinion of the world, others may increase as I decrease; that others may be chosen and I set aside; that others may be praised and I unnoticed; that others may be preferred to me in everything; that others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should.”
Reinhold Niebuhr, The Serenity Prayer — (1893-1971) German pastor, theologian who taught at Union Theological Seminary for thirty-two years. — “God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; and Wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship As the pathway to peace. Taking as He did, This sinful world as it is not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will. That I may be reasonably happy in this life, And supremely happy With Him forever in the next.”
Henri Nouwen, With Open Hands — “Dear God, As you draw me ever deeper into your heart, I discover that my companions on the journey are women and men loved by you as fully and as intimately as I am. In your compassionate heart, there is a place for all of them. No one is excluded. Give me a share in your compassion, dear God, so that your unlimited love may become visible in the way I love my brothers and sisters. Amen.”
Mother Teresa, Words to Love By — “Dear Jesus, Help us to spread your fragrance everywhere we go. Flood our souls with your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly that our lives may only be a radiance of yours. Shine through us and be so in us that every soul we come in contact with may feel your presence in our soul. Let them look up and see no longer us but only Jesus. Stay with us and then we shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others. The light, O Jesus, will be all from you. None of it will be ours. It will be you shining on others through us. Let us thus praise you in the way you love best by shining on those around us. Let us preach you without preaching not by words, but by our example by the catching force the sympathetic influence of what we do the evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to you. Amen.”
Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo in North Africa. — “Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ. Rest your weary ones, bless your dying ones, soothe your suffering ones, pity your afflicted ones, shield your joyous ones, and all for your love’s sake. Amen.”
William Barclay (1907-1978) Scottish minister and scholar best known for his New Testament commentary series, The Daily Study Bible. — “O God our Father, we ask you to bless those for whom there will be no sleep tonight… …those who this night will not sleep because of the pain of their body or the distress of their mind; those in misfortune, who will lie down in hunger and in cold; those who are far from home and far from friends, and who are lonely as the shadows fall. Grant that in our own happiness and comfort we may never forget the sorrow and the pain, the loneliness and the need of others in the slow, dark hours. This we ask for your love’s sake.”
Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) Archbishop, scholar, and writer. — “Almighty and tender Lord Jesus Christ, Just as I have asked you to love my friends So I ask the same for my enemies. You alone, Lord, are mighty. You alone are merciful. Whatever you make me desire for my enemies, Give it to them. And give the same back to me. If I ever ask for them anything Which is outside your perfect rule of love, Whether through weakness, ignorance or malice, Good Lord, do not give it to them And do not give it back to me. You who are the true light, lighten their darkness. You who are the whole truth, correct their errors. You who are the incarnate word, give life to their souls. Tender Lord Jesus. Let me not be a stumbling block to them Nor a rock of offense. My sin is sufficient to me, without harming others. I, a slave to sin, Beg your mercy on my fellow slaves. Let them be reconciled with you, And through you reconciled to me.”
Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel — “Lord Jesus, we are silly sheep who have dared to stand before you and try to bribe you with our preposterous portfolios. Suddenly we have come to our senses. We are sorry and ask you to forgive us. Give us the grace to admit we are ragamuffins, to embrace our brokenness, to celebrate your mercy when we are at our weakest, to rely on your mercy no matter what we may do. Dear Jesus, gift us to stop grandstanding and trying to get attention, to do the truth quietly without display, to let the dishonesties in our lives fade away, to accept our limitations, to cling to the gospel of grace, and to delight in your love. Amen.”
From Psalm 23” You are my shepherd, Lord. My shepherd. One who is always looking out for me. Leading me. Guiding me. Protecting me. What more could I ask? I ask that you make me to lie down in some green pasture. You know how much I need rest. Lead me beside some place of quiet waters. A place where the rippling sounds can float my cares away. You know how much my soul needs restoring. You know how weary I am now, Lord, how hungry, how thirsty. Don’t let me stray from the path you are leading me down. You know how prone to wander I am. I try not to look too far ahead on that path, but you know how anxious I am. I know that somewhere down the path is a dark valley through which I someday must travel. If I had to go through it alone, I’d be terrified. But I don’t have to go through it alone. You will be there. With me. Leading me through it. Thank you that I don’t have to go through life-with all its uncertain shadows-alone. I don’t even have to go through today alone. Thank you, dear Shepherd. Where would I be without you? Especially I ask that you lead me today. I am so worried about…
From the New Testament and the Psalms — • Have mercy on me, O God, a sinner. • Help me in my unbelief. • Create in me a clean heart, O God. • Search me, O God, and know my heart. • Be gracious to me according to Your loving kindness.”