Prayer is a discipline in the Christian life… which means that, as important as it is, it can be really difficult to do sometimes. Sometimes we want to pray but we aren’t quite sure what to pray for, or we have a hard time thinking of good words to use. Written prayers can be helpful in this regard. Though it is good to be able to pray without the help of written words, there is also profit in praying written prayers. Written prayers can edify us and help us to concentrate our thoughts on God. The Book of Common Prayer (1928) has a nice morning prayer, which I commend to you. It is written for family worship, but it is perfectly suitable for personal prayer, too. Not sure what to pray in the morning? Try this prayer!
(Part 1- Lord’s Prayer)
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Part 2- Acknowledgment of God’s Mercy and Preservation Especially through the Night Past)
Almighty and everlasting God, in whom we live and move and have our being; We, thy needy creatures, render thee our humble praises, for thy preservation of us from the beginning of our lives to this day, and especially for having delivered us from the dangers of the past night. For these thy mercies, we bless and magnify thy glorious Name; humbly beseeching [eagerly begging] thee to accept this our morning sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; for his sake who lay down in the grave, and rose again for us, thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Part 3- Dedication of Soul and Body to God’s Service, with a Resolution to be Growing Daily in Goodness)
And since it is of thy mercy, O gracious Father, that another day is added to our lives; We here dedicate both our souls and our bodies to thee and thy service, in a sober [earnest], righteous, and godly life: in which resolution, do thou, O merciful God, confirm and strengthen us; that, as we grow in age, we may grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Part 4- Prayer for Grace to Enable Us to Perform that Resolution)
But, O God, who knowest the weakness and corruption of our nature, and the manifold temptations which we daily meet with; We humbly beseech [eagerly beg] thee to have compassion on our infirmities, and to give us the constant assistance of thy Holy Spirit; that we may be effectually restrained from sin, and incited [encouraged] to our duty. Imprint upon our hearts such a dread of thy judgments, and such a grateful sense of thy goodness to us, as may make us both afraid and ashamed to offend thee. And, above all, keep in our minds a lively remembrance of that great day, in which we must give a strict account of our thoughts, words, and actions to him whom thou hast appointed the Judge of quick [living] and dead, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Part 5- For Grace to Guide and Keep Us the Following Day, and for God’s Blessing on the Business of the Same)
In particular, we implore [beg urgently] thy grace and protection for the ensuing day. Keep us temperate in all things, and diligent in our several callings. Grant us patience under our afflictions. Give us grace to be just and upright in all our dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all men, according to our abilities and opportunities. Direct us in all our ways. Defend us from all dangers and adversities; and be graciously pleased to take us, and all who are dear to us, under thy fatherly care and protection. These things, and whatever else thou shalt see to be necessary and covenient [fitting] to us, we humbly beg, through the merits and mediation of thy Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.