Friday, September 8, 2006


There are a great many good prayers in the Scriptures and in the history of the Church. Some Christians are reluctant to use prayers others have written out of fear that the use might become a "vain repetition," meaningless and thus pointless - even the Lord's Prayer is used in worship and devotion much less than it once was. Of course, the answer is to intentionally attend to what we are doing - whether studying Scripture, reading, worshipping or praying. The thoughtful efforts of learned and devout Christians can help us. This is a good prayer that has recently come back to my attention:
O God,
Grant that today
I may not disappoint any friend;
I may not grieve any loved one;
I may not fail anyone to whom I have a duty;
I may not shame myself.

Grant that today
I may do my work with honesty and fidelity;
I may take my pleasure in happiness and purity.

Grant that today
I may lead no one astray;
I may not make goodness and faith harder for anyone.

Help me today
to be a help and example to all;
to bring strength and encouragement wherever I am:

Through Jesus Christ my Lord,

William Barclay (1907-1978)

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