Friday, 11 September 2009

Prayer through the day

It struck me a while ago that the Psalmist speaks of praying morning, noon and night. Likewise Daniel gave thanks three times a day, and Peter has his vision when praying in the middle of the day.

It seems that there was a habit amongst God's people to pray at these regular intervals. This has been picked up in denominations such as my own. But so often what is said is rote.

The following are some scripture verses I've put together into a brief liturgy (with a couple of influences from the Book of Common Prayer). They are for praying through morning, noon, evening and night. Each takes only five minutes, although they need to be prayed reflectively and with elaboration where it seems right. I find them deeply edifying in re-focusing on the Lord during the busyness of life. I hope you might too.

Morning prayer
Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you brought this day into being, and by your will all things existed and were created. (Rev 4:11) ¦ Hymn/Adoration/Thanksgiving ¦ Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Mk 12:29-31) ¦ Confession ¦ Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; blot out my transgressions, cleanse me from my sin! Create in me a clean heart O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Ps 51:1-2, 10) ¦ Your steadfast love O LORD never ceases, your mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “You LORD are my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in you." You LORD are good to those who wait for you, to the soul that seeks you. It is good that I should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. (Lam 3:22-26) ¦ Readings/Intercessions/Lord's Prayer ¦ Yours is the day, so grant that we glorify you with it. (Ps 74:16) ¦ Now may you, O God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip us with everything good that we may do your will, working in us that which is pleasing in your sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (Heb 13:20-21) ¦

Midday prayer
Worthy are you, O Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing. For by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have made us a kingdom and priests to our God, and we shall reign on the earth. (Rev 5:9-10) ¦ Hymn/Adoration/Thanksgiving ¦ O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty and your faithfulness surrounds you. The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you. I will acclaim you to others O LORD my God, and walk in the light of your presence. I will rejoice in your name all day long; and exult in your righteousness. For you are my glory and strength; by your favour I have been exalted. (Ps 89:8-17) ¦ Intercessions: O Lord, show your mercy to us, and grant us your salvation. Endue your ministers with righteousness, and make your chosen people joyful. O Lord, save those who govern, and grant them wisdom in their judgements. Give peace in our time O Lord, for there is no one who fights for us but you, O God. ¦ In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. You are my rock and my fortress. For your name’s sake, lead me and guide me. (Ps 31:1-3) ¦ Now may you Lord Jesus Christ and you O God our Father, who have loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope, through your grace, encourage our hearts and establish them in every good deed and word. Amen. (2 Thess 2:16) ¦

Evening prayer
Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb! And so may blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to you forever and ever! Amen. (Rev 7:10-12) ¦ Confession ¦ Cleanse us from the sins of this day O Lord, and restore to us the joy of your salvation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Ps 51:7-12) ¦ It is good to give thanks to you O Lord, and sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your loving-kindness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night, for you, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands. How great are Your works, O Lord! (Ps 92:1-5) ¦
Hymn/Adoration/Thanksgiving/Intercessions from the day ¦ Be pleased O Lord to deliver us! O Lord make haste to help us. (Ps 40:13) ¦ So may you O God, who are able to keep us from falling, present us before the presence of your glory blameless and with great joy. And to you, the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25) ¦

Night-time prayer
Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! (Rev 4:8) ¦ Hymn/Adoration/Thanksgiving ¦ I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Ps 16:7-11) ¦ Before the ending of the day, Creator of the world, we pray, That you with steadfast love, would keep, Your watch around us while we sleep. From evil dreams defend our sight, From fears and terrors of the night; Tread underfoot our deadly foe, That we no sinful thought may know. O Father, that we ask be done, Through Jesus Christ, your only Son; And Holy Spirit by whose breath, our souls are raised to life from death. ¦ In peace will we lie down and sleep; for yours O Lord is the night, and you alone make us dwell in safety. More than those who watch for the morning, do our souls wait for you O Christ. Come Lord Jesus. Amen. (Ps 4:8, 103:6, 74:16, Rev 22:20) ¦