Prayers (Page 2)

Prayers (Page 2)

Prayers form a central feature of Episcopal worship.

Rather than uniting around complete agreement on doctrines, Episcopalians and others in the Anglican Communion unite around the shared practice of prayer.

The title of the Book of Common Prayer captures this idea of worshiping together, praying together. “Common” prayer means that prayer is something we have in common – something we do together. Regardless of all the differences among us, we turn to God together in prayer.

Types of Prayer

The prayer book includes various types of prayer, classified by their format or their purpose. For example, a longer back-and-forth style is called a ‘litany.’ A frequently used style offering a succint summary is called a ‘collect’ because it collects together several ideas in one prayer. Those leading worship can choose from several forms of the Eucharistic prayer and several options for the “Prayers of the People.” Some prayers in the book are for the whole community gathered together, and some are for people to use individually or as a family or small group at home, at work, and in daily life.

Why Written Prayers?

Writing a particular prayer down makes it possible for everyone to pray together. Written prayers also give a starting point when a person doesn’t know how to pray, in the middle of a difficult situation. The prayer book offers the collected experience of generations of people facing similar situations in their lives, such as sickness, grief, joy, and gratitude.

The prayer book offers guidelines on how to pray. People using them can expand on the framework and offer completely unique prayers as well.

Prayer for those affected by the Nepal earthquake

Lord, who is our shepherd, We pray for the people of Nepal in this time of want. Guide those who grieve to still waters; restore their soul. Lead those who are searching to the right places. Comfort those who are trapped in the darkest valley of fear. May generosity and compassion overflow in response so that goodness and mercy may follow all who will live in the shadow of this earthquake. May they dwell in secure houses and know healing…

Daily Prayer for All Seasons available in PDF download

Daily Prayer for All Seasons, a book of daily prayers, is now available in a PDF download as well as in print. Download the English PDF of Daily Prayer for All Seasons Buy an English or Spanish print edition from Church Publishing According to the introduction of the book, it offers a “set of prayers that acknowledge in their brevity both the need to pray and the short time we have to pray.” This prayer book offers much for a…
prayer for veterans and servicepeople

Prayer for Veterans and Military Men and Women

Gracious God, we give thanks for military men and women, both from the past and present, and for their courageous service and sacrifice to our country and its people to secure the blessings of life, liberty, and justice for all. May our remembrance be a timely reminder that our freedom was purchased at high cost, and should not be taken for granted. Give us resolve to labor in faithful service to you until all share the benefits of freedom, justice,…

Prayer for Social Justice

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart [and especially the hearts of the people of this land], that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. –Book of Common Prayer, p. 823

Prayer for Local Government

Almighty God, send down upon those who hold office in this State (Commonwealth, City, County, Town, ____________) the spirit of wisdom, charity, and justice; that with steadfast purpose they may faithfully serve in their offices to promote the well-being of all people; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. –based on Book of Common Prayer, p. 822
Prayer for the human family

Prayer for the Human Family

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus…

Prayer or Collect for the Nation

Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen –Book of Common Prayer, p. 258, Collect…

Thanksgiving for Heroic Service

O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. –Book of Common Prayer 1979, p. 839 This prayer and thanksgiving is suitable for Veteran’s Day, Memorial…

Prayer on the Occasion of a Disaster

Compassionate God… Draw near to us in this time of sorrow and anguish, comfort those who mourn, strengthen those who are weary, encourage those in despair, and lead us all to fullness of life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen — based on Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (Church Publishing: New York), page 733
word image showing collect or prayer for labor day

Prayer for Labor Day

Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ…

Prayer for those who Work

O God, your unfailing providence sustains the world we live in and the life we live: Watch over those, both night and day, who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never forget that our common life depends upon each other’s toil; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen   — from an Order for Compline, The Book of Common Prayer, p. 132  

Prayer for the Start of School

Dear God, bless the start of school. Bless all those of any age who walk into a classroom. Bless those who teach. Bless those who learn. Bless our intellect and our freedom. Help us remember that you did not make us to never question, but so fashioned us that we cannot stop asking, cannot stop learning. School us not to follow blindly, but to think the what and why, to search each sacred mystery, to discover what we cannot deny. –The Rt. Rev.…

Prayer for our Nation

Almighty God, whose wisdom and whose love are over all, accept the prayers we offer for our nation. Give integrity to its citizens and wisdom to those in authority, that harmony and justice may be secured in obedience to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Prayer for Independence Day

Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen –Collect for Independence Day, The Book of Common Prayer,…

Prayer for People Facing Great Uncertainty

God of the present moment, God who in Jesus stills the storm and soothes the frantic heart; bring hope and courage to all as they wait in uncertainty. Bring hope that you will make them the equal of whatever lies ahead. Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided, for your will is health and wholeness; you are God, and we need you. Amen –from A New Zealand Prayer Book

Prayer in Time of Disaster

O God, our times are in your hand. In the midst of uncertainty lead us by your never-failing grace as we seek to be agents of healing and hope. Walk with us through difficult times; watch over us in danger; and give to us a spirit of love and compassion for those who suffer and mourn. And finally, remind us that you have promised never to leave us, so that even in the valley of the shadow of death your…