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Why We Pray

It is a prayer Jesus taught His apostles in Matthew Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

We acknowledge our position of dependence upon Him as provider of all our needs. What do you think? God , the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus , the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried , and rose from the dead according to the Bible. Heavenly Father, watch with us over your child N. Lord Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd of the sheep, you gather the lambs in your arms and carry them in your bosom: We commend to your loving care this child N.

Relieve his pain, guard him from all danger, restore to him your gifts of gladness and strength, and raise him up to a life of service to you. Hear us, we pray, for your dear Name's sake. Almighty God our heavenly Father, graciously comfort your servant N. Fill his heart with confidence that, though at times he may be afraid, he yet may put his trust in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Strengthen your servant N. Heavenly Father, giver of life and health: Comfort and relieve your sick servant N. Sanctify, O Lord, the sickness of your servant N. May God the holy and undivided Trinity guard your body, save your soul, and bring you safely to his heavenly country; where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Sanctify, O Lord, those whom you have called to the study and practice of the arts of healing, and to the prevention of disease and pain.

Strengthen them by your life-giving Spirit, that by their ministries the health of the community may be promoted and your creation glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord. O Lord, your compassions never fail and your mercies are renewed every morning: We give you thanks for giving our brother sister N. Continue in him , we pray, the good work you have begun; that he, daily increasing in bodily strength, and rejoicing in your goodness, may so order his life and conduct that he may always think and do those things that please you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Prayers for use by a Sick Person. O God, the source of all health: So fill my heart with faith in your love, that with calm expectancy I may make room for your power to possess me, and gracefully accept your healing; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Lord Jesus Christ, by your patience in suffering you hallowed earthly pain and gave us the example of obedience to your Father's will: Be near me in my time of weakness and pain; sustain me by your grace, that my strength and courage may not fail; heal me according to your will; and help me always to believe that what happens to me here is of little account if you hold me in eternal life, my Lord and my God.

O heavenly Father, you gave your children sleep for the refreshing of soul and body: Grant me this gift, I pray; keep me in that perfect peace which you have promised to those whose minds are fixed on you; and give me such a sense of your presence, that in the hours of silence I may enjoy the blessed assurance of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This is another day, O Lord.

Eternal Impact Through Everyday People

I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus.

Prayers for Family and Personal Life Cont. O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you: Look with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love.

Overcoming common myths

Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with your most gracious favor, and further us with your continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy Name, and finally, by your mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in your light we may see light, and in your straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

O God of peace, you have taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength: By the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray you, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Assist us mercifully, O Lord, in these our supplications and prayers, and dispose the way of your servants towards the attainment of everlasting salvation; that, among all the changes and chances of this mortal life, they may ever be defended by your gracious and ready help; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated unto you; and then use us, we pray you, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we 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. O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done.

Then in your mercy, grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last. O Almighty God, you pour out on all who desire it the spirit of grace and of supplication: Deliver us, when we draw near to you, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections we may worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Almighty God, you have promised to hear the petitions of those who ask in your Son's Name: We pray mercifully to incline your ear to us who have now made our prayers and supplications unto you; and grant that those things which we have faithfully asked according to your will, may effectually be obtained, to the relief of our necessity, and to the setting forth of your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Be present, be present, O Jesus, our great High Priest, as you were present with your disciples, and be known to us in the breaking of bread; who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. O Lord Jesus Christ, who in a wonderful Sacrament hast left unto us a memorial of your passion: Grant us, we pray, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within ourselves the fruit of your redemption; who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that the words which we have heard this day with our outward ears, may, through your grace, be so grafted inwardly in our hearts, that they may bring forth in us the fruit of good living, to the honor and praise of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love. We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side. We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us. We furthermore thank you for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence upon your mercies alone.

Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.

Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things. For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea. We thank you, Lord. For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ, We thank you, Lord. For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends, We thank you, Lord. For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity, We thank you, Lord.

Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord; To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Almighty God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to reconcile the world to yourself: We praise and bless you for those whom you have sent in the power of the Spirit to preach the Gospel to all nations.

We thank you that in all parts of the earth a community of love has been gathered together by their prayers and labors, and that in every place your servants call upon your Name; for the kingdom and the power and the glory are your for ever. We give thanks to you, O Lord our God, for all your servants and witnesses of time past: for Abraham, the father of believers, and Sarah his wife; for Moses, the lawgiver, and Aaron, the priest; for Miriam and Joshua, Deborah and Gideon, and Samuel with Hannah his mother; for Isaiah and all the prophets; for Mary, the mother of our Lord; for Peter and Paul and all the apostles; for Mary and Martha, and Mary Magdalene; for Stephen, the first martyr, and all the martyrs and saints in every age and in every land.

In your mercy, O Lord our God, give us, as you gave to them, the hope of salvation and the promise of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, the first-born of many from the dead. O God, the King of saints, we praise and magnify your holy Name for all your servants who have finished their course in your faith and fear; for the blessed Virgin Mary; for the holy patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs; and for all other your righteous servants, known to us and unknown; and we pray that, encouraged by their examples, aided by their prayers, and strengthened by their fellowship, we also may be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thanksgivings for National Life. Almighty God, giver of all good things: We thank you for the natural majesty and beauty of this land. They restore us, though we often destroy them. Heal us. We thank you for the great resources of this nation. They make us rich, though we often exploit them. Forgive us. We thank you for the men and women who have made this country strong.

They are models for us, though we often fall short of them. Inspire us. We thank you for the torch of liberty which has been lit in this land. It has drawn people from every nation, though we have often hidden from its light. Enlighten us. We thank you for the faith we have inherited in all its rich variety. It sustains our life, though we have been faithless again and again.

Renew us. Help us, O Lord, to finish the good work here begun. Strengthen our efforts to blot out ignorance and prejudice, and to abolish poverty and crime. And hasten the day when all our people, with many voices in one united chorus, will glorify your holy Name. O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thanksgivings for the Social Order. O God, you created all peoples in your image, we thank you for the wonderful diversity of races and cultures in this world.

Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms

Enrich our lives by ever-widening circles of fellowship, and show us your presence in those who differ most from us, until our knowledge of your love is made perfect in our love for all your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Thanksgivings for the Natural Order. We give you thanks, most gracious God, for the beauty of earth and sky and sea; for the richness of mountains, plains, and rivers; for the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers. We praise you for these good gifts, beseeching you that we may safeguard them for our posterity. Grant that we may continue to grow in our grateful enjoyment of your abundant creation, to the honor and glory of your Name, now and for ever.

Most gracious God, by whose knowledge the depths are broken up and the clouds drop down the dew: We yield you hearty thanks and praise for the return of seed time and harvest, for the increase of the ground and the gathering in of its fruits, and for all other blessings of your merciful providence bestowed upon this nation and people. And, we pray, give us a just sense of these great mercies, such as may appear in our lives by a humble, holy, and obedient walking before you all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Ghost be all glory and honor, world without end.

Thanksgivings for Family and Personal Life. Heavenly Father, you sent your own Son into this world. We thank you for the life of this child, N. Help us to remember that we are all your children, and so to love and nurture him , that he may attain to that full stature intended for him in your eternal kingdom; for the sake of your dear Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Almighty God and heavenly Father, we give you humble thanks because you have been graciously pleased to deliver from his sickness your servant N. Grant, O gracious Father, that he through your help, may live in this world according to your will, and also be partaker of everlasting glory in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayers and Thanksgivings A Prayer for Today A Morning Resolve Selected Prayers from Forward Day by Day Prayers and Thanksgivings from the Book of Common Prayer, For Today O God: Give me strength to live another day; Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties; Let me not lose faith in other people; Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery, or meanness; Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them; Help me to keep my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity; Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things; Grant me this day some new vision of thy truth; Inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness; and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls; in the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In particular I will try to be faithful in those habits of prayer, work, study, physical exercise, eating, and sleep which I believe the Holy Spirit has shown me to be right. And as I cannot in my own strength do this, nor even with a hope of success attempt it, I look to thee, O Lord God my Father, in Jesus my Savior, and ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Amen O God, it is by your gift that evening follows day and that rest restores us after labor, while we rejoice to receive these blessings, make us mindful that they come from your gracious hand. Amen Yours, O Lord, is the day; yours also is the night; grant that the Sun of Righteousness may abide always in our hearts, to drive away all wicked thoughts and to relieve our fears, that we may always know the light of Jesus' presence. Amen O Lord support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen and the evening come, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done.

All Prayers Prayers by topic Prayers for the World 1. For Joy in God's Creation O heavenly Father, you have filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. For All Sorts and Conditions O God, the creator and preserver of all mankind, we pray to you for all sorts and conditions of people; that you would be pleased to make your ways known to them, your saving health to all nations.

For the Human Family O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For Peace Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. For Peace Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquillity your dominion may increase until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

For Peace Among the Nations Almighty God our heavenly Father, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For our Enemies O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth: deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Prayers for the Church [top] 7.

For the Mission of the Church Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. 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 the same your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

For the Mission of the Church O God of all the nations of the earth: Remember the multitudes who have been created in your image but have not known the redeeming work of our Savior Jesus Christ; and grant that, by the prayers and labors of your holy Church, they may be brought to know and worship you as you have been revealed in your Son; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Clergy and People Almighty and everlasting God, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift: Send down upon our bishops, and other clergy, and upon the congregations committed to their charge, the healthful Spirit of your grace: and, that they may truly please you, pour upon them the continual dew of your blessing. For the Diocese O God, by your grace you have called us in this Diocese to a goodly fellowship of faith. For the Parish Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, hear our prayers for this parish family.

For a Church Convention or Meeting Almighty and everlasting Father, you have given the Holy Spirit to abide with us for ever: Bless, we pray, with his grace and presence, the bishops and the other clergy and the laity here or now, or soon to be assembled in your Name, that your Church, being preserved in true faith and godly discipline, may fulfill all the mind of him who loved it and gave himself for it, your Son Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

For the Election of a Bishop or other Minister Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a bishop for this Diocese or , rector for this parish , that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. For the Unity of the Church O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior, the Prince of Peace: Give us grace seriously to lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions; take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatever else may hinder us from godly union and concord; that, as there is but one Body and one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may be all of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For the Unity of the Church Almighty Father, whose blessed Son before his passion prayed for his disciples that they might be one, even as you and he are one: Grant that your Church, being bound together in love and obedience to you, may be united in one body by the one Spirit, that the world may believe in him whom you sent the same your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, now and for ever. For the Unity of the Church Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, "Peace I give to you; my own peace I leave with you:" Regard not our sins, but the faith of your Church and grant to us the peace and unity of that heavenly City, where with the Father and the Holy Ghost you live and reign, now and for ever.

Anytime Prayers for Everyday People by No Author | FaithWords

For those about to be Baptized or to renew their Baptismal Covenant O God, you prepared your disciples for the coming of the Spirit through the teaching of your Son Jesus Christ: Make the hearts and minds of your servants ready to receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit, that they may be filled with the strength of his presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For those to be ordained Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, who of your divine providence have appointed various orders in your Church: Give your grace, we pray, to all who are [now] called to any office and ministry for your people; and so fill them with the truth of your doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before you, to the glory of your great Name and for the benefit of your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

For Monastic Orders and Vocations O Lord Jesus Christ, you became poor for our sake, that we might be made rich through your poverty: Guide and sanctify, we pray, those whom you call to follow you under the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, that by their prayer and service they may enrich your Church, and by their life and worship may glorify your Name; for you reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. For Church Musicians and Artists O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven: Be ever present with your servants who seek through art and music to perfect the praises offered by your people on earth; and grant to them even now glimpses of your beauty, and make them worthy at length to behold it unveiled for evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayers for National Life [top] For our Country Almighty God, you have given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly pray that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will. For the Nation Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

For the President of the United States and all in Civil Authority O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to your merciful care, that, being guided by your Providence, we may dwell secure in your peace. For Congress or a State Legislature O God, the fountain of wisdom, whose will is good and gracious, and whose law is truth: We pray so to guide and bless our Senators and Representatives in Congress assembled or in the Legislature of this State, or Common- wealth , that they may enact such laws as shall please you, to the glory of your Name and the welfare of this people; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For Courts of Justice Almighty God, you sit on the throne judging right: We humbly pray you to bless the courts of justice and the magistrates in all this land; and give to them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, that they may discern the truth, and impartially administer the law in the fear of you alone; through him who shall come to be our Judge, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ.

For Sound Government The responses in italics may be omitted.

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For an Election Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States or of this community in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. For those in the Armed Forces of our Country Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad.

For those who suffer for the sake of Conscience O God our Father, whose Son forgave his enemies while he was suffering shame and death: Strengthen those who suffer for the sake of conscience; when they are accused, save them from speaking in hate; when they are rejected, save them from bitterness; when they are imprisoned, save them from despair; and to us your servants, give grace to respect their witness and to discern the truth, that our society may be cleansed and strengthened.

Prayers for the Social Order [top] For Social Justice Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart [and especially the hearts of the people of this land], that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. For Social Justice Almighty God, you have created us in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

In Times of Conflict O God you have bound us together in a common life.

Prayers and Thanksgivings

For Agriculture Almighty God, we thank you that you made the earth fruitful, so that it might produce what is needed for life: Bless those who work in the fields; give us seasonable weather; and grant that we may all share the fruits for the earth, rejoicing in your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. For Fruitful Seasons Almighty God, Lord of heaven and earth: We humbly pray that your gracious providence may give and preserve to our use the harvests of the land and of the seas, and may prosper all who labor to gather them, that we, who constantly receive good things from your hand, may always give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

For Commerce and Labor Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ in his earthly life shared our toil and hallowed our labor: Be present with your people where they work; make those who carry on the industries and commerce of this land responsive to your will; and give to us all a pride in what we do, and a just return for our labor; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

For Vocation in Daily Work Almighty God our heavenly Father, you declare your glory and showest forth your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth: Deliver us, we pray, in our various occupations from the service of self alone, that we may do the work which you have given us to do in truth and beauty and for the common good; for the sake of him who came among us as one who serves, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

For Labor Day Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

For the Unemployed Heavenly Father, we remember before you those who suffer want and anxiety from lack of work. For Education Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom: Enlighten by your Holy Spirit those who teach and those who learn, that, rejoicing in the knowledge of your truth, they may worship you and serve you from generation to generation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

For the Good Use of Leisure O God, in the course of this busy life, give us times of refreshment and peace; and grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds, that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. For Cities Heavenly Father, in your Word you have given us a vision of that holy City to which the nations of the world bring their glory: Behold and visit, we pray, the cities of the earth. For Towns and Rural Areas Lord Christ, when you came among us, you proclaimed the kingdom of God in villages, towns, and lonely places: Grant that your presence and power may be known throughout this land.

For the Poor and the Neglected Almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick, and all who have none to care for them. For the Oppressed Look with pity, O heavenly Father, upon the people in this land who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as their constant companions. For Prisons and Correctional Institutions Lord Jesus, for our sake you were condemned as a criminal: Visit our jails and prisons with your pity and judgment.

For the Right Use of God's Gifts Almighty God, whose loving hand hath given us all that we possess: Grant us grace that we may honor you with our substance, and, remembering the account which we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your bounty, through Jesus Christ our Lord. For those who Influence Public Opinion Almighty God, you proclaim your truth in every age by many voices: Direct, in our time, we pray, those who speak where many listen and write what many read; that they may do their part in making the heart of this people wise, its mind sound, and its will righteous; to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord.

For Social Service O Lord our heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be ministered unto but to minister: Bless, we pray, all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of others; that with wisdom, patience, and courage, they may minister in his name to the suffering, the friendless, and the needy; for the love of him who laid down his life for us, the same your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Various spiritual traditions offer a wide variety of devotional acts.

There are morning and evening prayers, graces said over meals , and reverent physical gestures. Some Christians bow their heads and fold their hands. Some Native Americans regard dancing as a form of prayer. Quakers keep silent. Still others combine the two. Friedrich Heiler is often cited in Christian circles for his systematic Typology of Prayer which lists six types of prayer: primitive, ritual, Greek cultural, philosophical, mystical, and prophetic. Prayer may be done privately and individually, or it may be done corporately in the presence of fellow believers.

Prayer can be incorporated into a daily "thought life", in which one is in constant communication with a god. Some people pray throughout all that is happening during the day and seek guidance as the day progresses. This is actually regarded as a requirement in several Christian denominations, [12] although enforcement is not possible nor desirable.

There can be many different answers to prayer, just as there are many ways to interpret an answer to a question, if there in fact comes an answer. If indeed an answer comes, the time and place it comes is considered random. Some outward acts that sometimes accompany prayer are: anointing with oil; [13] ringing a bell; [14] burning incense or paper; [15] lighting a candle or candles; See, for example, facing a specific direction i.

One less noticeable act related to prayer is fasting. A variety of body postures may be assumed, often with specific meaning mainly respect or adoration associated with them: standing; sitting; kneeling; prostrate on the floor; eyes opened; eyes closed; hands folded or clasped; hands upraised; holding hands with others; a laying on of hands and others. Prayers may be recited from memory, read from a book of prayers, or composed spontaneously as they are prayed.

They may be said, chanted, or sung. They may be with musical accompaniment or not. There may be a time of outward silence while prayers are offered mentally. Often, there are prayers to fit specific occasions, such as the blessing of a meal, the birth or death of a loved one, other significant events in the life of a believer, or days of the year that have special religious significance.

Details corresponding to specific traditions are outlined below. Anthropologically, the concept of prayer is closely related to that of surrender and supplication. The traditional posture of prayer in medieval Europe is kneeling or supine with clasped hands, in antiquity more typically with raised hands. The early Christian prayer posture was standing, looking up to heaven, with outspread arms and bare head. This is the pre-Christian, pagan prayer posture except for the bare head, which was prescribed for males in Corinthians , in Roman paganism, the head had to be covered in prayer.

Certain Cretan and Cypriote figures of the Late Bronze Age, with arms raised, have been interpreted as worshippers. Their posture is similar to the "flight" posture, a crouching posture with raised hands, observed in schizophrenic patients and related to the universal "hands up" gesture of surrender. The kneeling posture with clasped hands appears to have been introduced only with the beginning high medieval period, presumably adopted from a gesture of feudal homage. Although prayer in its literal sense is not used in animism , communication with the spirit world is vital to the animist way of life.

This is usually accomplished through a shaman who, through a trance , gains access to the spirit world and then shows the spirits' thoughts to the people. Other ways to receive messages from the spirits include using astrology or contemplating fortune tellers and healers. Some of the oldest extant literature, such as the Sumerian temple hymns of Enheduanna c.


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The Egyptian Pyramid Texts of about the same period similarly contain spells or incantations addressed to the gods. In the loosest sense, in the form of magical thinking combined with animism , prayer has been argued as representing a human cultural universal , which would have been present since the emergence of behavioral modernity , by anthropologists such as Sir Edward Burnett Tylor and Sir James George Frazer. Reliable records are available for the polytheistic religions of the Iron Age , most notably Ancient Greek religion which strongly influenced Roman religion. These religious traditions were direct developments of the earlier Bronze Age religions.

Ceremonial prayer was highly formulaic and ritualized. In ancient polytheism, ancestor worship is indistinguishable from theistic worship see also Euhemerism.

Vestiges of ancestor worship persist, to a greater or lesser extent, in modern religious traditions throughout the world, most notably in Japanese Shinto and in Chinese folk religion. The practices involved in Shinto prayer are heavily influenced by Buddhism; Japanese Buddhism has also been strongly influenced by Shinto in turn. Shinto prayers quite frequently consist of wishes or favors asked of the kami , rather than lengthy praises or devotions.

The practice of votive offering is also universal, and is attested at least since the Bronze Age. In Shinto, this takes the form of a small wooden tablet, called an ema. Prayers in Etruscan were used in the Roman world by augurs and other oracles long after Etruscan became a dead language. The Carmen Arvale and the Carmen Saliare are two specimens of partially preserved prayers that seem to have been unintelligible to their scribes, and whose language is full of archaisms and difficult passages.

Roman prayers and sacrifices were often envisioned as legal bargains between deity and worshipper. The Roman principle was expressed as do ut des : "I give, so that you may give. Celtic , Germanic and Slavic religions are recorded much later, and much more fragmentarily, than the religions of classical antiquity. They nevertheless show substantial parallels to the better-attested religions of the Iron Age. In the case of Germanic religion, the practice of prayer is reliably attested, but no actual liturgy is recorded from the early Roman era period.

An Old Norse prayer is on record in the form of a dramatization in skaldic poetry. In Australian Aboriginal mythology , prayers to the "Great Wit" are performed by the "clever men" and "clever women", or kadji. These Aboriginal shamans use maban or mabain, the material that is believed to give them their purported magical powers. The Hopi Indians used prayer sticks as well, but they attached to it a small bag of sacred meal. The most common form of prayer is to directly appeal to a deity to grant one's requests. Atheist arguments against prayer are mostly directed against petitionary prayer in particular.

Daniel Dennett argued that petitionary prayer might have the undesirable psychological effect of relieving a person of the need to take active measures. This potential drawback manifests in extreme forms in such cases as Christian Scientists who rely on prayers instead of seeking medical treatment for family members for easily curable conditions which later result in death. Christopher Hitchens argued that praying to a god which is omnipotent and all-knowing would be presumptuous. For example, he interprets Ambrose Bierce 's definition of prayer by stating that "the man who prays is the one who thinks that god has arranged matters all wrong, but who also thinks that he can instruct god how to put them right.

In this view, prayer is not a conversation. Rather, it is meant to inculcate certain attitudes in the one who prays, but not to influence. Among Christian theologians, E. Bounds stated the educational purpose of prayer in every chapter of his book, The Necessity of Prayer. Prayer books such as the Book of Common Prayer are both a result of this approach and an exhortation to keep it.

In this view, the ultimate goal of prayer is to help train a person to focus on divinity through philosophy and intellectual contemplation meditation. This approach was taken by the Jewish scholar and philosopher Maimonides [38] and the other medieval rationalists. In all three of these faiths today, a significant minority of people still hold to this approach. In this approach, the purpose of prayer is to enable the person praying to gain a direct experience of the recipient of the prayer or as close to direct as a specific theology permits.

This approach is very significant in Christianity and widespread in Judaism although less popular theologically. In Eastern Orthodoxy , this approach is known as hesychasm. It is also widespread in Sufi Islam, and in some forms of mysticism. It has some similarities with the rationalist approach, since it can also involve contemplation , although the contemplation is not generally viewed as being as rational or intellectual.

Christian and Roman Catholic traditions also include an experiential approach to prayer within the practice of Lectio Divina , historically a Benedictine practice in which scripture is read aloud; actively meditated upon using the intellect but not analysis possibly using the mind to place the listener within a relationship or dialogue with the text that was read; a prayer spoken; and finally concludes with contemplation , a more passive experiential approach than the previous meditation, which is characterized by the Catechism of the Catholic Church as an experience of consciously being attentive, and having a silent love toward God, which the individual experiences without demanding to receive an experience.

The notion of "religious experience" can be traced back to William James , who used a term called "religious experience" in his book, The Varieties of Religious Experience. In the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, several historical figures put forth very influential views that religion and its beliefs can be grounded in experience itself. While Kant held that moral experience justified religious beliefs , John Wesley in addition to stressing individual moral exertion thought that the religious experiences in the Methodist movement paralleling the Romantic Movement were foundational to religious commitment as a way of life.

Wayne Proudfoot traces the roots of the notion of "religious experience" to the German theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher — , who argued that religion is based on a feeling of the infinite. The notion of "religious experience" was used by Schleiermacher and Albert Ritschl to defend religion against the growing scientific and secular critique, and defend the view that human moral and religious experience justifies religious beliefs. The notion of "religious experience" was adopted by many scholars of religion, of whom William James was the most influential.

The notion of "experience" has been criticised. Standardized prayer such as is done today is non-existent, although beginning in Deuteronomy , the Bible lays the groundwork for organized prayer, including basic liturgical guidelines, and by the Bible's later books, prayer has evolved to a more standardized form, although still radically different from the form practiced by modern Jews.

Individual prayer is described by the Tanakh two ways. The first of these is when prayer is described as occurring, and a result is achieved, but no further information regarding a person's prayer is given. In these instances, such as with Isaac , [62] Moses , [63] Samuel , [64] and Job , [65] the act of praying is a method of changing a situation for the better.

The second way in which prayer is depicted is through fully fleshed out episodes of prayer, where a person's prayer is related in full. Many famous biblical personalities have such a prayer, including every major character from Hannah to Hezekiah. In the New Testament prayer is presented as a positive command Colossians ; 1 Thessalonians The People of God are challenged to include Christian prayer in their everyday life, even in the busy struggles of marriage 1 Corinthians as it brings people closer to God.

Jesus encouraged his disciples to pray in secret in their private rooms, using the Lord's Prayer , as a humble response to the prayer of the Pharisees , whose practices in prayer were regarded as impious by the New Testament writers Matthew Throughout the New Testament , prayer is shown to be God's appointed method by which we obtain what He has to bestow Matthew —11 ; Matthew —29 ; Luke Further, the Book of James says that the lack of blessings in life results from a failure to pray James Jesus healed through prayer and expected his followers to do so also Mark —18 ; Matthew Observant Jews pray three times a day, Shacharit , Mincha , and Ma'ariv with lengthier prayers on special days, such as the Shabbat and Jewish holidays including Musaf and the reading of the Torah.

The siddur is the prayerbook used by Jews all over the world, containing a set order of daily prayers. Jewish prayer is usually described as having two aspects: kavanah intention and keva the ritualistic, structured elements. Communal prayer is preferred over solitary prayer, and a quorum of 10 adult males a minyan is considered by Orthodox Judaism a prerequisite for several communal prayers.

There are also many other ritualistic prayers a Jew performs during their day, such as washing before eating bread, washing after one wakes up in the morning, and doing grace after meals. In this view, the ultimate goal of prayer is to help train a person to focus on divinity through philosophy and intellectual contemplation.

This approach was taken by Maimonides and the other medieval rationalists. He notes that the word "prayer" is a derivative of the Latin "precari", which means "to beg". Kabbalah uses a series of kavanot , directions of intent, to specify the path the prayer ascends in the dialog with God, to increase its chances of being answered favorably. Kabbalists ascribe a higher meaning to the purpose of prayer, which is no less than affecting the very fabric of reality itself, restructuring and repairing the universe in a real fashion.

In this view, every word of every prayer, and indeed, even every letter of every word, has a precise meaning and a precise effect. Prayers thus literally affect the mystical forces of the universe, and repair the fabric of creation. Christian prayers are quite varied. They can be completely spontaneous, or read entirely from a text, like the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. The most common prayer among Christians is the Lord's Prayer , which according to the gospel accounts e. Matthew —13 is how Jesus taught his disciples to pray. Christians generally pray to God or to the Father.

Some Christians e. The Jesus Prayer is also often repeated as part of the meditative hesychasm practice in Eastern Christianity. Roman Catholic tradition includes specific prayers and devotions as acts of reparation which do not involve a petition for a living or deceased beneficiary, but aim to repair the sins of others, e. Other forms of prayer among Catholics would be meditative prayer, contemplative prayer and infused prayer discussed at length by Catholic Saints St.

John of the Cross and St. Theresa of Jesus.