The Voyage of Life

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Blessed are your saints, O God and King,
who have traveled over the tempestuous sea of this mortal life,
and have made the harbor of peace and happiness.

Watch over us who are still in our dangerous voyage;
and remember such as lie exposed to the rough storms of trouble and temptations.
Frail is our vessel, and the ocean is wide;
but as in your mercy you have set our course,
so steer the vessel of our life toward the everlasting shore of peace,
and bring us at last to the quiet haven of our heart’s desire,
where you, O our God, are blessed,
and live and reign for ever and ever.

Source: St. Augustine of Hippo, 354-430

Source of this version: Modified from http://www.beliefnet.com/prayers/catholic/guidance/prayer-for-protection.aspx#stAJR5WhwHibqWSQ.99

Also found here: The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (June 22)

Graphic by Sandro Botticeli from Wikipedia.com.

 

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Prayer for a Renewed Heart

O Lord,
you have mercy on all.
Take away my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of your Holy Spirit.
Take away my heart of stone
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore you,
a heart to delight in you,
to follow and to enjoy you,
for Christ’s sake. Amen.

Source: Ambrose, d. 397

Source of this version: Modified from https://anglicanprayer.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/lent-prayers-st-ambrose-give-me-a-heart-of-flesh/

Also quoted in The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (May 17)

The heart of stone and heart of flesh is a reference to Ezekiel 11:19 and Ezekiel 36:26.

Write Your Blessed Name upon My Heart

Write your blessed name, O Lord, upon my heart,
there to remain so indelibly engraved,
that no prosperity,
no adversity shall ever move me from your love.
Be to me a strong tower of defense,
a comforter in tribulation,
a deliverer in distress,
a very present help in trouble
and a guide to heaven
through the many temptations
and dangers of this life. Amen.

Source: Thomas à Kempis
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

A Prayer Based on John 14:6

O Lord Jesus Christ,
you have said that you are the way, the truth, and the life.
Do not let us stray from you
who are the way,
nor to distrust you
who are the truth,
nor to rest in anything other than you,
who are the life.

Teach us by your Holy Spirit,
what to believe,
what to do,
and where to take our rest.

We ask it for your own name’s sake.

Source: Desiderius Erasmus

Source of this version: https://pollypilgrim.wordpress.com/prayer-page/erasmus-prayer/

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

A Prayer for Cleansing

Come, therefore, O Lord Jesus,
divest yourself of your garments
which you have put on for my sake.
Be naked, that you may clothe us with your mercy.
Gird yourself with a towel for our sakes,
that you may gird us with your gift of immortality.
Pour water into the basin; wash not only our feet but also the head,
and not only the footprints of the body, but also of the mind.
I wish to put off all the filth of our fraility,
so that I, too, may say:
“I have put off my garment, how shall I put it on?
I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them?”

Source: Ambrose, d. 397

Source of this version: https://magdelene.wordpress.com/category/martin-luther-king/

Also quoted in The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (January 21)

The last two lines quote the Song of Songs 5:3

A Prayer for Closeness to Christ

Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits which you have given us,
for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us.
Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day.
Amen.

Source: Richard of Chichester, d. 1253
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

Latin:

Gratias tibi ago, Domine Jesu Christe,
de omnibus beneficiis quae mihi praestitisti;
pro poenis et opprobriis, quae pro me pertulisti;
propter quae planctus ille lamentabilis vere tibi competebat.
Non est dolor similis sicut dolor meus.

A Prayer of St. Anselm

Lord Jesus Christ; Let me seek you by desiring you,
and let me desire you by seeking you;
let me find you by loving you,
and love you in finding you.

I confess, Lord, with thanksgiving,
that you have made me in your image,
so that I can remember you, think of you, and love you.

But that image is so worn and blotted out by faults,
and darkened by the smoke of sin,
that it cannot do that for which it was made,
unless you renew and refashion it.

Lord, I am not trying to make my way to your height,
for my understanding is in no way equal to that,
but I do desire to understand a little of your truth
which my heart already believes and loves.

I do not seek to understand so that I can believe,
but I believe so that I may understand;
and what is more,
I believe that unless I do believe, I shall not understand.

Source: Anselm of Canterbury, d. 1109

Source of this version: The Oxford Book of Prayer, George Appleton (gen. ed.), 1985, 2002.

Also found here: http://godprayers.org/Prayer-of-St-Anselm.htm 

Variant that seems to precede the beginning of this prayer:

O Lord my God,
Teach my heart this day where and how to see you,
Where and how to find you.
You have made me and remade me,
And you have bestowed on me
All the good things I possess,
And still I do not know you.
I have not yet done that
For which I was made.
Teach me to seek you,
For I cannot seek you
Unless you teach me,
Or find you
Unless you show yourself to me.
Let me seek you in my desire,
Let me desire you in my seeking.
Let me find you by loving you,
Let me love you when I find you.

The Empty Vessel

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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: http://restlesspilgrim.net/blog/2011/06/01/empty-vessel/

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.

 

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Prayer Reflecting on the Shooting at Umqua Community College in Oregon, October 2015

Father in heaven, day by day your people pray “Deliver us from evil.” It grieves us to see evil and violence. We are grieved once again by the shooting last week in Oregon.

  • We pray for those who live with anger—move them to seek help and move friends, family and others who sense that anger to help them.
  • We pray for those who were injured—speed the healing of wounds to body and mind.
  • We pray for the friends and families of those who were killed—draw them to yourself. Lead them to find comfort, hope, healing and peace in you.
  • We also pray that we may give faithful witness for the hope that we have, with gentleness and respect, that those around us may be led by us to you, and that they may be moved and enlightened by your gospel of peace.

…through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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Prayer Reflecting on the Shooting at Umqua Community College in Oregon, October 2015 by Pastor Paul C. Stratman under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for any commercial usage.