"Grant that I may not pray alone with the mouth; help me that I may pray from the depths of my heart"

- Martin Luther

There is no right or wrong way to pray…

You cannot go wrong when it comes to prayer.  Prayer is essentially talking with God.  This can be done silently or aloud.  Many Christians find themselves talking to God about a great deal of matters throughout the day.  These prayers have no structure.  They are a simple conversation with pauses, hoping that God will answer and lead us in some fashion. 

Even if you cannot express in words the desires of your heart, we trust that God knows our desires. You can pour out your heart in whatever way you want, knowing that it is not the quality of your prayer but the saving work of Jesus that makes your prayers acceptable to God.

There is also nothing wrong with formal prayers.  Formal prayers can be extremely helpful.  They help you draw on the experience of others to find words to pray when in difficult situations. Formal prayers also tend to broaden your perspective as they remind you of things for which you ought to pray.  In this way, you remember to pray for things that you might have otherwise overlooked or forgotten.  Scroll down to see a list of formal prayers.

Last, you can always pray the prayer that Jesus Christ taught us:

Our Father in heaven,
            Hallowed be your name,
            Your kingdom come,
            Your will be done,
                        On earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
            As we forgive those
                        Who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
            And deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
            And the glory are yours,
            Now and forever,
Amen

 

Prayer Requests to Our Prayer Team

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Formal Prayers for Many Occasions

Morning Prayers:

Luther's Morning Prayer:

Make the sign of the holy cross and say:
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 
I thank You, my heavenly Father,
through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept
me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that
You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil,
that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your
hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things.
Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have
no power over me. Amen.

Father, we thank you for the night, and for the pleasant morning light; for rest and food and loving care, and all that makes the day so fair.  Help us to do the things we should, to be to others kind and good; in all we do at work or play to grow more loving every day.  Amen

 

Evening Prayers:

Luther's Evening Prayer:

Make the sign of the holy cross and say:
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 

I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ,
Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and
I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have
done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into
Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all
things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may
have no power over me. Amen.

Other Evening Prayers:

Now I lay me down to sleep,  I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
guide me safely through the night, and wake me with your
morning light.  God Bless...
(Name everyone you and/or your children desire to pray for.)
Amen.

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord me soul to take.
God Bless...
(Name everyone you and/or your children desire to pray for.)
Amen.

Jesus, thank you for the day;
keep me safe now as I lay;
show me grace in all I do;
and, bless those who need love too.
God Bless...
(Name everyone you and/or your children desire to pray for.)
Amen.

Jesus, Tender Shepherd, hear me.
Bless Thy little lamb tonight.
Through the darkness be Thou near me,
Keep me safe ‘til morning light.
All this day Thy hand has led me,
And has kept me in thy care.
Thou has warmed me, clothed me, fed me.
Listen to my evening prayer.
May my sins be all forgiven,
Bless the ones I love so well,
Take us at last to Heaven,
Happy there with Thee to dwell.
- Joan Gregory

 

Meal Prayers:

Come Lord Jesus, be our guest. 
Let these gifts to us be blessed. 
Blessed be God, who is our bread, 
may all the world be clothed and fed.
Amen.

Bless us O Lord, for these your gifts which we are about to receive from your bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Before we eat this food today,
we bow our heads and softly say,
"Dear God, all good things come from thee.
Help us to thank you lovingly."  Amen.

Thank you, Jesus, for our food. Amen.

Help us to do the things we should.
Help us to be kind and good.
May these gifts strengthen us in our work and play,
to grow more loving every day. Amen.

For every cup and plateful, Lord make us truly grateful.  Amen.

God is great, God is good, now we thank God for this food.  Amen.

Good Lord, please make us thankful for what we are about to receive. For Christ's sake, Amen.

Come, dear Lord Jesus, and be our guest as we are blessed with your love. Amen.

Dear God,
We thank you now for food to eat,
for fresh clear water we can drink,
and we thank you for rest and care
and little children everywhere. Amen.

God is great, God is good,
and thank God for this food.
By God’s hand we all are fed.
Give us this day our daily bread.  Amen.

Dear Lord, Thank you for this wonderful day, and all the days that you've given us. Please bless this food to nourish our body. We ask in Jesus' name, Amen.

Bless our hands,
Bless our feet,
Bless this food,
Now let's eat!  Amen.

Thank you for the world so sweet, thank you for the food we eat. Thank you for the birds that sing, thank you God for everything. Amen.

Bless this food to our use, and us to your service, and make us ever mindful of the needs of others. In Jesus name, Amen

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever! Amen.

Bless Our Food (To The Tune of Edelweiss)
Jesus Christ, bless our food
Come, O Lord and sit with us
May our hearts grow in peace
Come with your love to surround us
Friendship and love may it bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Bless our friends, bless our food
Bless all mankind forever.  Amen.

 Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Amen

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
These mercies bless and grant that we;
May strengthened for thy service by.  Amen

(When asked what to pray for mealtime, Martin Luther suggested these Psalms as more than sufficient.)
Prayer offered before the meal: Psalm 145:15-16

O Lord,
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.  Amen.

Prayer offered after the meal: Psalm 136:1

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.  Amen.

 (A children’s prayer to the tune of the “Jaws” theme, with hands above the head in the shape of a fin moving up and down to the beat.)
God is grea—t
God is goo—d
And We Thank God For Our Foo-d
A—men
(Arms and hands snap down like a shark mouth on “Amen”)

 (A children’s prayer done standing, to the tune of the “Superman” theme, with one arm raised straight up with a fist, alternating arm each musical phrase.)
Thank you Lord for giving us food,
Thank you Lord for giving us food,
For the friends that we me—et,
For the food that we ea--t,
We want to thank you Lord,
For giving us food. 
(Then fly around room for a few seconds like superman.)

 (A children’s prayer sung to the Johnny Apple Seed Theme.)
Oh, the Lord is good to me,
and so I thank the Lord,
for giving me, the things I need
the sun and the rain and the apple seed,
the Lord is good to me.
Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, A-men!

(A children’s prayer done, standing, as a military march.  Every line is repeated as if by cadets.)
Thank you Lord for giving us food,
Not giving thanks would be real rude,
We thank the Lord for today,
We thank the Lord we’re not eating hay!
God is Great
God is Good
And we thank God for our food.
Amen!

 

Healing Prayers:

In Illness

Merciful and healing Lord, for some reason which I do not
understand the usual pattern of my daily life has been disrupted. 
You are asking me to give up the familiar and comfortable
routine of my work and to struggle for a while with this
unfamiliar and uncomfortable pain.  Lord, sit beside me now
and help me to learn the purpose which this illness is to
accomplish.  Help me to see how much and how often I have
relied on my own strength, my own cleverness, my own ability. 
Forgive my pride that will not let me depend on you.
In my illness help me to see that I am truly will when I
remember that I belong to You.  If it be Your will, restore me
soon to health and a life of active service.  Fill me with the life
of the Spirit, that in Christ I may be blessed and be a blessing to
others.
Hear my prayer in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Lord, look upon me with the eyes of Your mercy, may Your healing hand rest upon me, may Your life giving powers flow into every call of my body and into the depths of my soul, cleansing, purifying, restoring me to wholeness and strength for service in Your Kingdom.  Amen.

God who art the only source of health and healing.  The spirit of calm and the central peace of this universe, grant unto me such a consciousness of Your indwelling and surrounding presence, that I may permit You to give me health and strength and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

Guidance Prayers:

Prayer for Serenity (as presented by Dr. Niebuhr)
God give me the serenity to accept things which cannot be
changed; Give me courage to change things which must be
changed; And the wisdom to distinguish one from the other.  Amen.

Modern Christian Prayer for Serenity:
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference,
So that I may live one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as Christ did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would
have it be,
Trusting that God will make all things right, if I but surrender to
God’s will,
That I may be reasonably happy with God forever in the next.
Amen.

Prayer in Time of Suffering
Behold me, my beloved Jesus, weighed down under the burden
of my trials and sufferings, I cast myself at Your feet, that You
may renew my strength and my courage, while I rest here in
Your Presence.  Permit me to lay down my cross in Your Sacred
Heart, for only Your infinite goodness can sustain me; only
Your love can help me bear my cross; only Your powerful hand
can lighten its weight.  O Divine King, Jesus, whose heart is so
compassionate to the afflicted, I wish to live in You; suffer and
die in You.  During my life be to me my model and my support;
at the hour of my death, be my hope and my refuge.  Amen

Lord, guide me in your ways and guide me to remember all who
you remember:
‘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, for 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.
Amen.

 

Thanks Prayer:

I want to thank you Jesus, for taking care of me today.  Everywhere I went, everything I did, I know that you were right by my side.  Sometimes you were so quiet I hardly knew you were there.  Sometimes I saw your hand working in powerful ways to steer me in the direction you wanted me to go and to protect me when I faced situations that could have hurt me.  Thank you for staying so close.  Thank you for stepping in front of me when I was so busy that I forgot to keep my eyes on you.  And thank you for loving me even when I haven’t been so lovable.  You are a great Friend and a great God.  I’m glad I don’t have to worry about you ever leaving my side.  In your precious name I pray.  Amen

 

Prayer For Animals:

Hear our humble prayer oh God for our friends the animals.
Especially for those who are suffering:
for any who are hunted, lost, deserted, frightened, or hungry;
For all who must be put to death.
We entreat for them all thy mercy and pity.
And for those who deal with them we ask
a heart of compassion, gentle hands, and kindly words.
Make us ourselves to be true friends to animals,
and so to share in the Blessings of the Merciful.  Amen.
- Albert Schweitzer