Strength and Grace in Adversity

girolamo_savonarolaLord, I pray not for tranquility,
nor that my tribulations may cease;
I pray for your spirit and your love,
that you grant me strength
and grace to overcome adversity;
through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Source: Girolamo Savonarola

Source of this version: Modified from

Also found here: The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (November 2)

Holy Spirit, Illumine and Preserve Me

0940_Cranach_nR 001Almighty and Holy Spirit,
the comforter, pure, living, true—
illumine, govern, sanctify me,
and confirm my heart and mind in the faith,
and in all genuine consolation;
preserve and rule over me so that,
dwelling in the house of the Lord,
all the days of my life,
I may behold the Lord and praise him with a joyful spirit,
and in union with all the heavenly church. Amen.

Source: Philip Melanchthon (in some sources, titled “Melanchthon’s Last Prayer”)

Source of this version:

Also found here: The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (August 24)

Also found here: Freely modified from Prayers Ancient and Modern  by Mary Wilder Tileston, Boston, Little Brown, 1914, p. 168 #2

A Prayer for the Church

Gracious Father,
we humbly pray for your holy universal Church,
fill it with all truth; in all truth with all peace.
Where it is corrupt, purge it;
where it is in error, direct it;
where it is superstitious, rectify it;
where in anything it is amiss, reform it;
where it is right strengthen and confirm it,
where it is in want, furnish it;
where it is divided and rent asunder, make up the breaches of it,
O Holy One of Israel.

Source: William Laud

Source of this version: Modified from

Also found here:

Help Us Recognize Your Voice

O God in heaven, have mercy on us!
Lord Jesus Christ, intercede for your people,
deliver us at the opportune time,
preserve in us the true genuine Christian faith,
collect your scattered sheep with your voice,
your divine Word as Holy Writ calls it.
Help us to recognize your voice,
help us not to be allured by the madness of the world,
so that we may never fall away from you,
O Lord Jesus Christ.

Source: Albrecht Dürer

Source of this version:

Also found here: The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (July 10)

Shine in Our Hearts

O Lord Jesus Christ,
you are the sun of the world,
evermore arising, and never going down,
which by your most welcome appearing and sight,
brings forth, preserves, nourishes,
and refreshes all things,
as well that are in heaven as also that are on earth;

We beg you mercifully and faithfully to shine in our hearts,
so that the night and darkness of sins,
and the mist of errors on every side
may be driven away;
with you brightly shining in our hearts
we may all our life go without stumbling or offense,
and may decently and seemly walk as in the day time,
being pure and clean from the works of darkness,
and abounding in all good works
which God has prepared us to walk in;
you who with the Father and with the Holy Ghost
live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

Source: Thomas Cranmer

Source of this version:

Also found here: The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (June 28)

“Sun of the world” is a reference to Malachi 4:2.

“Walk as in the day time” is a reference to John 11:9 and  John 12:35.

“Works of darkness” is a reference to Ephesians 5:11.

“Good works which God has prepared us to walk in” is a reference to Ephesians 2:10.

To Say Grace

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Amen.

Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank you for all your gifts, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Source of this variant: Luther’s Catechism, Kuske revised edition, © 1998 Northwestern Publishing House, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

“O give thanks” is from Psalm 107:1 and other places in the psalms.

“Lord God, heavenly Father… [Die Gebete Luthers, #28]



God Be in My Head

6069369723_ee697728eb_z_dGod be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at my end, and at my departing.

Source: Attributed to Old Sarum Primer, also attributed to Pynson’s Horae, 1514

Source of this version:

Also found here: The Oxford Book of Prayer, ed. Appleton, © 1985, 1992

Graphic: Page from an English Psalter, from Flickr, Walters Art Museum, Public Domain.



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:

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.



A Prayer to Receive Jesus and His Word as Heavenly Bread

800px-lucas_cranach_d-c384-_-_martin_luther2c_1528_28veste_coburg29_28cropped29Almighty God,
grant us grace to hear
Jesus Christ, the heavenly bread,
preached throughout the world
and truly to understand him.
May all evil, heretical
and human doctrines be cut off,
while your Word as the living bread
be distributed. Amen.

Source: Martin Luther  [Die Gebete Luthers, shortened from #183]

Source of this version:

Also quoted in The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (February 28)

Full original prayer in German:

O Himlischer Vatter, dieweil deinen willen niemand leiden mag1 und wir zu schwach sind, das wir unsers willens und alten Adams2 tödung dulden, bitten wir, du wöllest uns speisen, stercken und trösten mit deinem heyligen wort und deine gnade geben, das wir das Himlische Brot Jesum Christum durch die gantze welt hören predigen und hertzlich erkennen mögen, das doch auffhöreten schädliche, ketzerische, Irdische und alle Menschliche lere und also alleyne dein wort, das war lich unser lebendiges Brot ist, außgeteilet werde.



The Empty Vessel


Behold, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled.
My Lord, fill it.
I am weak in the faith; strengthen me.
I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent, that my love may go out to my neighbor.
I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust you altogether.
O Lord, help me.
Strengthen my faith and trust in you.
In you I have sealed the treasure of all I have.
I am poor; you are rich and came to be merciful to the poor.
I am a sinner; you are upright.
With me, there is an abundance of sin; in you is the fullness of righteousness.
Therefore I will remain with you, of whom I can receive, but to whom I may not give. Amen

Source: Martin Luther  [Die Gebete Luthers, #205]

Source of this version:

Original in German:

Sihe, Herr, hie ist eyn lähr Faß, das bedarff wol, das man es fülle, Mein Herr, fülle es, ich bin schwach im glauben, stärcke mich, ich bin kalt inn der liebe, wärme mich und mache mich hitzig, das meine liebe herauß flisse auff meinen Nechsten; ich habe nicht eynen festen starcken glauben, ich zweifele zu zeiten und kan dir nicht gäntzlich vertrauen. Ach Herr, hilff mir, mehre mir meinen glauben und vertrauen, inn dich habe ich den schatz aller meiner güter verschlos sen, ich bin arm, du bist reich und bist kommen, dich der armen zu erbarmen, ich bin ein sünder, du bist gerecht. Hie bei mir ist der fluß der Sünde1, inn dir aber ist die Fülle der gerechtigkeyt etc.; darumb bleibe ich bei dir, von welchem ich nemmen kan, nicht dem ich geben darf.