A Prayer before Preaching

O God Almighty,
who cleansed the lips of the prophet Isaiah with a burning coal:
Cleanse my heart and my lips.
So grant to cleanse me, of your mercy,
that I may be able to proclaim worthily your holy gospel:
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Ambrose, d. 397

Source of this version: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/trevinwax/2007/07/29/cleanse-me-so-i-can-preach/

Also quoted in The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (April 14)

The burning coal is a reference to Isaiah 6:6-7

A Prayer before Preaching

800px-lucas_cranach_d-c384-_-_martin_luther2c_1528_28veste_coburg29_28cropped29Lord God, you have appointed me as a Bishop and Pastor in your Church,
but you see how unsuited I am to meet so great and difficult a task.
If I had lacked your help, I would have ruined everything long ago.
Therefore, I call upon you:
I wish to devote my mouth and my heart to you;
I shall teach the people.
I myself will learn and ponder diligently upon your Word.
Use me as your instrument — but do not forsake me,
for if ever I should be on my own, I would easily wreck it all.

Source: Martin Luther [Die Gebete Luthers, #515]

Source of this version: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/prayers/sacristy.txt

This text was translated in 1999 for Project Wittenberg by James Kellerman and has been placed in the public domain by him. You may freely distribute, copy or print this text.

Also called “Luther’s Sacristy Prayer”

Original in German:

Herr Gott, du hast mich inn deiner Kirchen eynen ßischoff und Pfarrherr gesetzt, du sihest, wie ich so ungeschickt bin, solch groß und schwer Ampt recht außzurichten, und wo es ohn deinen Rath gewest were, so hett ichs schon vor langst alles mit eynander verterbet, darumb raffe ich dich an; ich will zwaar gern meinen Munde und mein Hertz darzu leihen und neygen, ich will das Volck lehren, ich will auch selbst immer lehrnen und mit deinem wort umbgehen und demselben fleissig nachdencken; brauche du mein als deines Werckzeuges, alleyne, lieber HERRE, verlasse du mich nicht, dann wo ich werde alleyne sein, so werde ichs lcichtlich alles mit eynander verterben.

The House of My Soul

220px-sandro_botticelli_050O God,
you are the light of every heart that sees you,
the Life of every soul that loves you,
the strength of every mind that seeks you.
Help me to continue steadfast in your holy love.
Be the joy of my heart;
take it all to yourself,
and remain there.
The house of my soul is narrow;
enlarge it that you may enter in.
It is ruinous, O repair it!
It displeases your sight.
I confess it, I know.
But who shall cleanse it,
to whom shall I cry but to you?
Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord,
and spare your servant from strange sins.

Source: St. Augustine

Source of this version: Freely modified from  Prayers of the Early Church,  ed.  J. Manning Potts,  The Upper Room, Nashville, Tennessee, © 1953 (Public domain in the U.S.)

Also found here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/liturgy/lent/the-house-of-my-soul-is-narrow-st-augustine-of-hippo/

Also quoted in The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (April 3)

The last two lines quote Psalm 19:12-13

Come, My Light

Come, my Light, and illumine my darkness.
Come, my Life, and revive me from death.
Come, my Physician, and heal my wounds.
Come, Flame of divine love, and burn up the thorns of my sins,
kindling my heart with the flame of your love.
Come, my King, sit upon the throne of my heart and reign there.
For you alone are my King and my Lord.

Source: Dmitri of Rostov, d. 1709

Source of this version: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/trevinwax/2008/04/20/come-my-light/

Also quoted in The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (March 9)

A Prayer for Unity

O Sovereign and Almighty Lord,
look down from heaven on your Church,
on all your people,
and on all your flock.
Save us all,
your unworthy servants,
the sheep of your fold.
Give us your peace,
your help,
and your love,
and send to us the gift of your Holy Spirit,
that with a pure heart and a good conscience
we may salute one another with an holy kiss,
without hypocrisy,
and with no hostile purpose,
but guileless and pure in one spirit,
in the bond of peace and love,
one body and one spirit,
in one faith,
even as we have been called in one hope of our calling,
that we may all meet in the divine and boundless love,
in Christ Jesus our Lord,
with whom you are blessed.

Source: The Divine Liturgy of St. Mark

Source of this version: Modified from http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0718.htm

Also quoted in The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (March 6)

“Salute one another with a holy kiss” is a reference to Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12 and 1 Thessalonians 5:26

Modified version:

O Sovereign and Almighty Lord, look down from heaven on your Church, on all your people, and on all your flock. Save us all,your unworthy servants, the sheep of your fold. Give us your peace, your help, and your love,  and send to us the gift of your Holy Spirit, that with a pure heart and a good conscience we may gather around your Word and sing your praises, without hypocrisy, and with no hostile purpose, but guileless and pure in one spirit, in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one faith, even as we have been called in one hope of our calling, that we may all meet in the divine and boundless love, in Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom you are blessed.

A Prayer for the Word

Let not your Word, O Lord,
become a judgment upon us,
that we hear it and do it not,
that we know it and love it not,
that we believe it and obey it not:
O God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
who lives and reigns world without end.
Amen.

Source: Thomas à Kempis

Source of this version: http://storage.cloversites.com/secondpresbyterianchurch/documents/March%2028%20-%20Maundy%20Thursday%20Service.pdf

Also quoted in The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (March 4)

A Prayer of Confession

O God, my heavenly Father,
I confess that I have grievously sinned against you in many ways;
not only by outward transgression,
but also by secret thoughts and desires,
which I cannot fully understand,
but which are all known to you.
I do earnestly repent,
and am truly sorry for these my offences.
In your great goodness
have mercy on me,
and for the sake of your dear Son
Jesus Christ my Lord,
forgive my sins,
and graciously help me overcome my weakness.
Amen.

Source: Modified from The Common Service Book, 1888, 1917

Original in traditional English:

O God, our Heavenly Father,
I confess unto Thee that I have grievously sinned against Thee in many ways;
not only by outward transgression,
but also by secret thoughts and desires,
which I cannot fully understand,
but which are all known unto Thee.
I do earnestly repent,
and am heartily sorry for these my offences,
and I beseech Thee of Thy great goodness
to have mercy upon me,
and for the sake of Thy dear Son
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
to forgive my sins,
and graciously to help my infirmities. Amen.