Over the centuries the people of God have developed a holy language of prayer. The Psalms, the Lord’s Prayer and other common prayers of the Church form in us the vocabulary and the grammar of prayer. When you pray these prayers with depth and intentionality it will transform your life!
This liturgy draws upon these great prayers and will help guide you through seven movements of prayer: (1) an opening prayer of confession and assurance of our salvation; (2) prayerful readings from the Psalms and New Testament; (3) a covenant prayer of allegiance to God's Kingdom; (4) prayers of petition and intercession; (5) contemplative prayer; (6) the daily collects for peace and grace; and (7) prayers which send us back into the world to work for good.
Find a quite place and a calm and tranquil state of mind. Take a few deep breaths and make sure you are comfortable. Sit quietly and in silence and invite the Holy Spirit to guide your prayers. When you feel prepared, begin slowly reading through each movement of prayer aloud. The entire sequence should typically take between 20 - 30 minutes.
I. Opening Prayer
Father God, creator of heaven and earth,
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
God of Israel,
God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
True and Living God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Have mercy and hear our prayer.
O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me. (a sinner).
Most merciful God, 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 not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on us and forgive us;
that we may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name.
Assurance (Psalm 103v1-5)
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live.
O that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm for the Day
At key moments in his life on earth, Jesus Christ, turned to the Psalms for words to express his deepest thoughts and emotions. His mind and heart were saturated with the words and thoughts of the Psalms. By prayerfully immersing ourselves in the Psalms that Jesus refers to and fulfills we discover more of His mind and heart and in the process more of who we are as we come before God.
We suggest praying through one Psalm each day, then starting over again.
New Testament Reading
Hebrews 4:12 says that God's Word is alive and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword. When we speak and pray the Scriptures, we are coming into agreement with God and His power is released in our prayers.
We suggest following a simple Bible reading plan or following the Revised Common Lectionary.
III. Covenant Prayer
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy universal church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.
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 right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I 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
my whole life long.
You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.”
IV. Petition and Intercession
Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). When our asking is for ourselves it is called petition; when it is on behalf of others it is called intercession. Asking is at the heart of both experiences. Petitionary prayer is primary throughout our lives because we are forever dependent upon God. It is in this childlike expression of faith we bring our daily needs and desires to our heavenly Father.
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,
for ever and ever.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.
The Lord's Prayer [Expanded]
This is a time to bring our personal requests before God by praying through the six sections of the Lord's prayer, creatively adding your own petitions and requests throughout the prayer.
The Father’s Name | Our Father, hallowed be your name
Take some time to reflect on the Father’s love and to worship the Father’s glory.
The Father’s Will | Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven
Take some time to pray for the rule and the reign of God to break out into the world around you. Imagine his kingdom coming into your neighborhood, workplace, marriage, kids, church, etc.
The Father’s Provision | Give us today our daily bread
Take some time to thank God for your daily rations and pray for those who are in need.
The Father’s Forgiveness | Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us
This is about coming to grips with the pain and the angst of our fallen world and the sinful nature of our hearts and then clasping our hands before our heavenly Father and ask Him to bring it all back into alignment.
The Father’s Protection | Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
Jesus tells us to pray for deliverance and protection from not just evil in general, but from the evil one. Namely Satan. This prayer is about implementing the victory of God that Christ has already won on the cross.
The Father’s Kingdom | For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever
This final portion of the prayer is once again about aligning our hearts with the Father’s reign. So when we see poverty and disease, the lack of justice, the lack of healing, the hostility and hatred – we bring these things to God – and we ask that all of these situations that are like this in our lives are transformed! That the rule and reign of God would break in.
Contemplative prayer immerses us into the silence of God. Isaac of Nineveh, a Syrian monk, once observed, "Those who delight in a multitude of words, even though they say admirable things, are empty within." Contemplative prayer is the one discipline that can free us from our addiction to words.
Contemplative prayer is a loving attentiveness to God. Begin by seating yourself comfortably and then slowly and deliberately let all tension and anxiety drop away. Let go of all competing distractions until we are truly present where we are. Become aware of God's presence in the room. If frustrations or distractions arise, simply lift them up into the arms of the Father and let him care for them.
Wait before the Lord with a listening stillness and a teachable spirit. Try to maintain an inward steady gaze of the heart in which we behold the Lord and bask in the warmth of his presence.
VI. The Collects of the Day
A Collect for Strength to Await Christ’s Return (Sunday)
O God our King, by the resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ on the first day of the week, you conquered sin, put death to flight, and gave us the hope of everlasting life: Redeem all our days by this victory; forgive our sins, banish our fears, make us bold to praise you and to do your will; and steel us to wait for the consummation of your kingdom on the last great Day; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Collect for the Renewal of Life (Monday)
O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Collect for Peace (Tuesday)
O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Collect for Grace (Wednesday)
O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day: Defend us by your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor run into any danger; and that guided by your Spirit, we may do what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Collect for Guidance (Thursday)
Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Collect for Endurance (Friday)
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
A Collect for Sabbath Rest (Saturday)
Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
VII. Sending Prayer
Prayer to the Crucified Christ
Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, forever theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Prayer for the Mission of the Church
O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you, bring the nations into your fold, pour out your Spirit upon all flesh, and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Prayer for Grace
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father,
you have brought us in safety to this new day:
Preserve us with your mighty power,
that we may not fall into sin,
nor be overcome by adversity;
and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.
Confession of the Mystery
Christ has died.
Christ has risen.
Christ will come again.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.