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Old 03-05-2015, 08:15 AM   #1
OBW
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Default Prayers

Like some other threads for posting a song, or a verse, if you have a short prayer of hope, admonition, encouragement, etc., post it here.

While I attend a Bible church whose liturgy is mostly standard evangelical, with little that we would recognize as liturgy other than one responsive reading each week, plus the reciting of the Apostle's Creed before the Table, I have come to appreciate certain aspects of somewhat more liturgical practice. Among the things I have taken note of recently includes a Sunday prayer posted each week in a blog by Scot McKnight. Most are original. They are very short. I believe that he uses them in his own preaching (when he is preaching).

Here is the most recent.

Quote:
O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy:

Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways,

and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith

to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son;

who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:37 AM   #2
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Default "At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God."

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I have come to appreciate certain aspects of somewhat more liturgical practice.
I also. I still believe in the experience of "sola scriptora", of gazing at and even into the unadorned word. There is arguably no substitute. But liturgical practice shouldn't be a substitute, but a conversation about scripture, which has come from the past. There is wisdom in preceding experiences, and in the liturgies that were framed from those experiences.

There was story that recently recast my view of our Protestant heritage. It was a story about the death of Michael Servetus, who made the mistake of having (arguably bad) ideas in Calvin's Geneva. His stubborness to come to the word himself, and think, and speak for himself, cost him a horrible death. I'll spare the details here. But in reading the defense of John Calvin's actions by contemporary Reformed Christian apologists, I was really touched by one statement. It was by the Christian writer C.S. Lewis, a man with whom I usually agree whole-heartedly. In this case (I am paraphrasing) Lewis essentially said that "it was a barbaric age, recently removed from medievalism", and we should take Calvin's violent, merciless words and deeds against Michael Servetus in context.

Fine, but shouldn't we also then take everything Calvin, (and Melanchthon, and Luther et al) in context, as ones whose use of "sola scriptora" against the "traditions" of the preceding church(es) was the practice of those recently come from medieval barbarity? How truly rational were they, really? And have we further emerged from barbarity, or not? How logical was John Calvin, using death penalties from the OT to maintain order in town, and keep opinions in line with the current, accepted standard?

I don't have a proposed solution to Calvin's dilemma of how to keep order in the church, either in his age or mine. But seeing his actions, which were simply wrong, and similarly those of the Massachusetts Bay Colony Puritans, a century later, and later still the treatment of the Native Americans who had treaty after treaty overturned by supposed Christians who discovered material assets under those treatied territories, makes me reconsider our ability to see scripture for what it really is. Like Moses, we're fallen, and get frightened when we approach God, and turn our eyes away in fear. (Exod 3:6). We are blind. There is nothing wrong with the word. But there's something wrong with our vision, our capacity to see.

Perhaps those hard-earned liturgies can be of service here; not as a substitute for the word but as a kind of child-conductor, to calmly and carefully help us approach nearer to the word without becoming overwhelmed with fear. Just a thought.
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Old 03-06-2015, 07:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: Prayers

Quote:
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan:

Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations;

and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save;

through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

(BCP)
It may have been written, and written many years ago. But it is as fresh as the heart that prays it today.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Prayers

One of my favorites..with a twist to make it more personal to me:

Our Father/My Father. You Who are in heaven. How Holy and lovely is Your Name. May Your Kingdom come and may YOUR WILL be done in me, in us, and on earth AS IT IS in Heaven.

Bless me/bless us today with our daily bread, the Bread of Life to sustain us and nourish us. Give us a fresh drink of Living Water to refresh us.

Forgive my/our debts and trespasses as I/we have forgiven those who have wronged me/us, hurt me/us, betrayed me/us and trespassed against us.

Lead me/us AWAY from temptation. Deliver me/us from all evil. To You be the Glory and Praise for Thine is the Kingdom, Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen.
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Old 03-07-2015, 07:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: Prayers

CMW brings up an interesting prayer. And in her slight modifications, I saw something in the original that I had not noticed, and that I do not recall anyone really pointing out before.

This prayer was given as a corporate prayer, not a personal prayer.

Not saying that it cannot be prayed individually. That it does not provide a pattern for a complete personal prayer.

But it was not given as "My Father" and "Give me" etc. But it was provided as if intended for corporate use, whether recited in the manner given, or used as pattern for prayers used in corporate worship. It would seem that Jesus started us out to pray together rather than individually. Teaching us to pray was provided in the context of something that would look more like liturgy than a collection of individual prayers, although individual prayers cast in this corporate manner could be a way that they are realized in worship.


Quote:
Our God and Father, in majesty on your throne in the heavens, your name is higher than any other.

May your kingdom be realized according to your will here on the earth in our lives in the way that you have ordained it from the heavens.

We pray for your bountiful supply in all aspects of our lives, from the sustaining of our physical lives and health to our mental and emotional well-being.

We pray for our sins against your righteousness and holiness, and against our fellow man. We recognize that our intent to love others as ourselves is brought into question when we live as we do.

May we find your grace in us to forgive the sins of others against us as a necessary step in coming to love them and as a pathway to our own forgiveness by you.

Watch over us throughout our day. Lead us in paths that will avoid the temptations that so often stumble us. And grant us mercy with your power to overcome those temptations that still arise.

While we live in this world, we pray to live in the eternal kingdom that is yours, with your power and glory as our inheritance.

Amen
Every time it is prayed, something different may stand out because of the immediate needs or considerations of the participant. And it will be prayed both together, and differently for that very reason.

This morning, as I prepare for one of those Saturday work sessions due to the rise and fall of tax work, I note that I will have the opportunity to drive in my usual manner (like a bat out of hell) through the 8 miles of construction that crawls on regular workdays. That was what came to me as I considered my sins, both against God and others. It is far from the end of the list of my failures. But it needs a regular prayer. Whether in this way or in another.

And while I was here alone as I did it, my realization is that at this time there are countless others who may be beginning or ending their days with this same prayer. So while we do not hear each other, it still rises together to God, our Father. And Jesus is there, speaking on our behalf in support of what has come from our lips and minds. And surely the Spirit is in this. To suggest otherwise would just be wrong.
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Prayers

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Originally Posted by OBW View Post
CMW brings up an interesting prayer. And in her slight modifications, I saw something in the original that I had not noticed, and that I do not recall anyone really pointing out before.

This prayer was given as a corporate prayer, not a personal prayer.
Of course. 2 things to point out. When Jesus used this prayer to teach PEOPLE how to pray, He was addressing a 'corporate' group, a large group of people. As they were gathered together listening to Him, He may have been teaching them 'secretly' we are One Body and together are children of Father God.

2ndly, the reason I sometimes add 'MY' Father to OUR Father is simply a personal matter.

For whatever it's worth here is a short testimony:
Since getting saved through the LC, (but nonetheless, a life changing, Glorious Salvation), I mostly have addressed my prayers to the Lord Jesus. I have taken John 14:6 to heart that no one comes to the Father but through Jesus.

As I began to pay close attention to the Trinity, I came to realize I did not recall ever addressing God, the Holy Spirit in my prayers. The Holy Spirit is the Voice of God and IS God. Just one of His many Titles and the means in which God speaks to our spirit and to our conscience. "A still small voice".

As I go to know the Holy Spirit of God, I realized I did not address my prayers to Father God either. So I have begun to develop a relationship with Father God too although I know the Father through the Son and the Holy Spirit.

I am still a work in progress. And all that to say why I personalize the "Our Father" prayer.
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Old 03-07-2015, 03:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Prayers

CMW. Good thinking. I think that I have come to see the verse in John about coming to the Father through Jesus as being because of Jesus, not with Jesus as the proxy, or the man in the confessional. I do not diminish that we can very well confess to Jesus. And your general thoughts about it are probably commonly-held.

I think that this came up only within the past few weeks here. What is it to come "through Jesus"? Is it to let him do it for us? Or is it that he is the road, and the way through the veil, to reach the Father for ourselves.

I don't think the answer suddenly invalidates our prayers if they do not fit some alternative "formula."

But at the same time, there is something to praying in the manner that is taught.
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:16 AM   #8
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Default Prayers

Almighty God

You alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners

Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise

That, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found

Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit

One God, now and for ever

Amen

(BCP)
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:11 AM   #9
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Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:

Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Amen.
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Old 04-05-2015, 10:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: Prayers

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:

Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of the Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by your life-giving Spirit;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Amen.
OBW, you are now anglican/episcopalian?
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:00 AM   #11
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OBW, you are now anglican/episcopalian?
Nowhere close. Bible church but with some appreciation for aspects of liturgical forms of worship.

I believe that Christian worship is more correctly less gospel message and more preparation of the family. It needs more focus on God and who he is and less on us and our needs other than our continued need for repentance. (A good Kyrie without the Latin/Greek would be a plus to me.) In some ways very different from what I sit through every week. But those are not the drivers. I still am closer theologically with my current location(s) and would rather see forms change around that than chase a form and find myself theologically a fish out of water. I prefer open communion though a more contemplative time for it is better than the typical. While we can argue that the LCM did communion fairly well, it was really two different kinds of meeting wrapped together. Not bad but too controlled.

Funny that I like more modern worship style, but find a lot of its content too "me" oriented. There are plenty of ways to have modern worship with hymns (without simply supplying a new tune) and plenty of more truly God songs in modern music. But too often there is a propensity to focus on "me" and what I get out of it in worship.

I want a church that is involved in the community it finds itself in. My previous church was better at that than the current, but they are not uninvolved and there is movement in that direction.

Our needs are not unimportant. But in other settings surrounding the main worship there is place for that.

Last, I feel that the propensity for ad-libbed prayers is not always a plus. It is doubtful that the Psalms were simply penned freeform with no editing. They too often fit a meter of Hebrew poetry. And there is less clichéd praying when it is considered rather than just boot-strapped.

So these prayers from the BCP or similar sources are quite appreciated. Don't worry about the tradition they might come from, but rather the content.
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:23 AM   #12
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Default Re: Prayers

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I feel that the propensity for ad-libbed prayers is not always a plus. It is doubtful that the Psalms were simply penned freeform with no editing. They too often fit a meter of Hebrew poetry. And there is less clichéd praying when it is considered rather than just boot-strapped.
Like Mary's "Magnificat"; it was the prayer of a people and a nation.
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:37 AM   #13
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Like Mary's "Magnificat"; it was the prayer of a people and a nation.
Declarations like Mary's Magnificat are problematic relative to what I said. They are given as having been spoken without time to contemplate or rehearse. I am willing to grant that it could have been spoken on the fly since God can put words in our mouths. I am also willing to accept that what is recorded is a somewhat edited version (whether by Mary, Luke, or whoever was/were the source(s) of Luke's account). Still, unless entirely fabricated, I believe that the gist of it was Mary's utterance in a state of being somewhat overwhelmed by it all.
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:29 AM   #14
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Declarations like Mary's Magnificat are problematic relative to what I said. They are given as having been spoken without time to contemplate or rehearse. I am willing to grant that it could have been spoken on the fly since God can put words in our mouths. I am also willing to accept that what is recorded is a somewhat edited version (whether by Mary, Luke, or whoever was/were the source(s) of Luke's account). Still, unless entirely fabricated, I believe that the gist of it was Mary's utterance in a state of being somewhat overwhelmed by it all.
There is probably a lot of good commentary on Mary's prayer, but I'm uninformed of it. I simply shared my subjective impression. Probably that impression was historically-lensed: today it looks like a liturgical prayer. But at the moment of utterance it may have been anything but.

A couple of thoughts come to mind, though: first is that when it was written down by Luke it may have become somewhat formalized/ritualized. Just guessing. No way I can know (though, like I said, there may be literature out there on this). Also, it was the prayer of a person who was steeped in the liturgies of a people and a nation. Look at Psalm 147:19,20 "He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws. Praise the Lord." (NIV) So it might be expected that a person would open their mouths and utter mysteries from of old, written down by the ancients. When you open your mouth, it should be apparent whether or not you know his laws. The claim of the Jews was that this was their allotment.

A friend and I were talking about Mary, and he mentioned that if anyone should have argued with the angel Gabriel about the revelation sent from God, it was Mary, and not Zechariah. Zechariah and Elizabeth were advanced in years. But Mary was without husband, and the penalty for unmarried sex was severe. Yet she bowed to the will of God.
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Old 04-06-2015, 12:40 PM   #15
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Odd that after InOmnibusCaritas' question yesterday, I came across this today without looking for it. It is from a blog I have never read before by someone who leads the music portion of worship in a church.

Quote:
So how do we balance speaking/praying as the Spirit prompts us in the moment and being prepared?

Ten years ago I would have stood on my soapbox with a megaphone and declared that no prayers or verbals should be thought out ahead of time — and certainly not practiced. I believed talking parts were to be solely Spirit-led in the moment, not written out, practiced, and memorized like a script. I used to feel very strongly and categorized any memorizing of verbals as inauthentic.

The only problem is, deep down I knew this was a weak spot in my leading. We would finish a song, and I’d feel prompted to pray. But with the pressure of praying into the microphone, I would get scared and begin speaking in Christian lingo. “God we just love your presence. Thank you for being here. You are worthy of all our praise, etc.”

I would fumble and circle my words round and round. Now that I think about it, that wasn’t very honoring to the experience or the congregants. I wasn’t stewarding my leadership role very well.
Our present pastor does what is often referred to as the "Pastoral Prayer" every Sunday. It is a combination of set form and freedom. Yet even where he gives himself liberty in words, he has an outline of what he is covering, not just a open time to get lost in religious clichés without consideration. I appreciate that it is meaningful in its entirety. Even the parts that you know are coming almost verbatim every week. He has given it thought and prayer and if he feels it should be changed, he will. And it won't leave you wondering whether he got lost for a moment.

Much like the prayers that we read in the Bible. Each one is meaningful to its purpose, not just a sudden outburst of religious platitudes.
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Old 06-14-2015, 05:54 AM   #16
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Keep, O Lord, Your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love,

That through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness,
And minister your justice with compassion;

For the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ,

Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and for ever.

Amen.
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:48 PM   #17
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I started this thread, then let it languish. Today I read a great prayer that was given yesterday at a Reformed church in East Lansing Michigan (slightly revised from the spoken prayer). The original is here.

- - - -

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.

We praise you – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – for your works of creation, election, redemption, and regeneration. We rejoice that even now your name is being praised by believers in China, by brothers in India, by sisters in Guatemala, by saints in Sudan, South Africa, Germany, Dubai, and Iran. All across this country and all around the world – may Jesus Christ be praised.

We thank you for bringing together in your worldwide church men and women and children from every tongue and tribe and language and nation. Through the precious blood of Christ you have called those were far off and have brought them near – not only near to you, but near to each other.

We pray for racial reconciliation in our nation and in our churches. We thank you for all you have done to sustain our African American brothers and sisters through centuries of suffering and mistreatment. Thank you for the opportunity we have in the body of Christ to worship with those who are unlike us in culture, temperament, and background, but like us in faith. Grant that we may be united in truth and abounding in steadfast love.

We pray for those who have been given great blessing and privilege in this life – for all those who enjoy advantages of family, of wealth, of education, and of opportunity. We know that to whom much is given, much is required. May those who fit this description be especially eager to listen and learn from those whose experience may be far different.

Bring healing to this land, O Lord, for the stain and sin that is our history of racial prejudice. We lament the racial bigotry that has taken place in our nation’s past and continues to exist in the present. If ever we have been a part of this sin, have perpetuated this sin, or have turned a blind eye to this sin, we repent and ask for your mercy.

Dear Lord, remove the unhealthy suspicion that so easily creeps into the human heart. Guard us – all of us, of every skin color – against self-justification, against self-righteousness, against a lack of care and compassion for others. Turn away the schemes of the Devil – that fiendish serpent who loves to pull apart those whom Christ has joined together. In the midst of all our differences – of outlook and experience and political inclinations – may we never forget all that we have in common as descendants of the same Adam, as children of the same Fall, and as sinners redeemed by the same Christ.

Give us joy as members of the same family, with Christ our Brother, you our heavenly Father, and the Holy Spirit as our inheritance and bond.

Give us a sweet sense of fellowship in this church. Help us not only to be friendly, but to make friends, especially with those who may not think or look just like us.

Give us forgiveness where we have failed you and patience for those who have failed us.

Give us grace to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things.

We pray all of this in the name of the one who is Lord over all and the Savior for all – Jesus Christ the Righteous, Amen.


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Old 01-16-2017, 10:21 PM   #18
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Thanks for reviving this thread, OBW.

Great prayer, we all can join.

As members of the one new man, with Jesus Christ as our ascended head who is all and in all the members of His body.

Father, bring us into this oneness in you, in the Son of your love, and in the Holy Spirit of the promise poured out freely upon us in abundance.
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Old 02-25-2017, 11:59 AM   #19
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40 Things we can pray for: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-to-pray-for

Father, hallowed be thy name. May your holy name be lifted high on the earth, where we live, and to the ends of the earth.

I hope this article inspires other prayers as it has in the prayer meeting in my house.

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Old 02-28-2017, 08:27 AM   #20
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Holy Father, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Jesus your king has been installed in heaven at your right hand, having conquered sin on the cross once and for all. Thank you he has also conquered our hearts, and advocates for us, and through your Holy Spirit, we have access to come forward to heaven's mercy seat to see your face. Your will is to see your holy life lived out on the earth. Empower us with the life and light of your Son to make our homes and business on earth a domain for His coming again in power, to glorify your name.
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Old 03-03-2017, 07:54 AM   #21
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Father, this morning I pray for your ministers of the New Covenant who are laboring and enduring sufferings to bring the gospel of the glory of God in the face of your Son Jesus to every corner of the earth. May the word of him as Lord spread quickly. And May that word be glorified.

"Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may spread quickly and may be glorified, just as also with you" (2 Thes. 3:1) Berean Literal Translation
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