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Prayers for All Occasions

(Link to 1979 Book of Common Prayer)

Prayer is more than just a ritual we use at meals or at bedtimes or at church. Prayer is the air that Christians breathe, the water we swim in. Prayer can be the reading of a pre-composed paragraph or a simple and silent thought, sent on its way to God our Father. Sometimes prayer comes easily, sometimes it takes hard work. God promises in the bible that He hears every prayer, and often He answers them; sometimes, however, they may be answered in ways we do not expect, or not answered at all. In such times, when it seems that God does not hear us, He is often teaching us to persevere, or inviting us to more closely examine our own motives for our requests, so that we can conform them as much as possible to what God wants for us. Whether or not our prayers receive immediate answer, they are always an occasion to turn our eyes upon God and look for Him. The more we do this, the closer we grow to Him, and the more we learn to love Him.

The following prayers are taken from a variety of sources, including the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. Most are available on the internet in some form or another. There are many fine books and other resources to help us pray, and if you would like to contact a clergyperson for assistance with prayer or to communicate a prayer request, please feel free to e-mail St. Peter’s or call our church office.

A Prayer for those suffering from Depression

For other prayers about Depression, click here.

Lord, in every need let me come to You with humble trust saying, "Jesus, help me."
In all my doubts, perplexities, and temptations, Jesus, help me.
In hours of loneliness, weariness, and trials, Jesus, help me.
In the failure of my plans and hopes; in disappointments, troubles, and sorrows, Jesus, help me.
When others fail me and Your grace alone can assist me, help me.
When I throw myself on Your tender love as a father and savior, Jesus, help me.
When my heart is cast down by failure at seeing no good come from my efforts, Jesus, help me.
When I feel impatient and my cross irritates me, Jesus, help me.
When I am ill and my head and hands cannot work and I am lonely, Jesus, help me.
Always, always, in spite of weakness, falls, and shortcomings of every kind, Jesus, help me and never forsake me.

Selected prayers from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer
Section entitled “Prayers and Thanksgivings”, p. 810

3. 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 Christ our Lord. Amen.

7. For the Church

Gracious Father, we pray for thy holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Savior. Amen.

10. For the Diocese

O God, by your grace you have called us in this Diocese of Albany to a goodly fellowship of faith. Bless our Bishops Daniel, David, and David, and other clergy, and all our people. Grant that your Word may be truly preached and truly heard, your Sacraments faithfully administered and faithfully received. By your Spirit, fashion our lives according to the example of your Son, and grant that we may show the power of your love to all among whom we live; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

11. For the Parish

Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, hear our prayers for this parish family of St. Peter’s. Strengthen the faithful, arouse the careless, and restore the penitent. Grant us all things necessary for our common life, and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

18. For our Country

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

27. 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.

45. For Families

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who settest the solitary in families: We commend to thy continual care the homes in which thy people dwell. Put far from them, we beseech thee, every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the children to the parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may evermore be kindly affectioned one to another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

47. For Young Persons

God our Father, you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world: Show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals. Help them to take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance for a new start. Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

51. For a Birthday

Watch over thy child, O Lord, as his days increase; bless and guide him wherever he may be. Strengthen him when he stands; comfort him when discouraged or sorrowful; raise him up if he fall; and in his heart may thy peace which passeth understanding abide all the days of his life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

56. For the Victims of Addiction

O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you: Look with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love. Amen.

59. For Quiet Confidence

O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength: By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

70. Grace at Meals

Give us grateful hearts, our Father, for all thy mercies, and make us mindful of the needs of others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessed are you, O Lord God, King of the Universe, for you give us food to sustain our lives and make our hearts glad; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


From My God, My Glory by Eric Milner-White, Dean of York (S.P.C.K. 1967)

For the Work of Prayer

My God and Father,
Help me to pray
As my first work,
mine unremitting work
my highest, finest, and dearest work:
as the work I do for thee, and by thee,
and with thee,
for thy children and for the whole world

Infuse and influence it with thy blessed Spirit,
that it be not unwilling, nor unworthy, nor in vain;
that it be not occupied with my own concerns,
nor dwell in the interests dear to myself,
but seek thy purposes, thy glory only;
that it be holy and more holy unto the Holiest,
and ever and all through thy Son,
my Saviour Jesus Christ.