O Father, Thou art enthroned to hear my prayers,
O Jesus, Thy hand is outstretched to take my petitions
O Holy Spirit, Thou art willing to help my infirmities, to show me my needs, to supply words, to pray within me, to strengthen me that I faint not in supplication.
—”The Trinity,” The Valley of Vision
No dogma deserves its place unless it is prayable, and no Christian deserves his dogmas who does not pray them.
—Austin Farrer, Lord I Believe: Suggestions for Turning the Creed into Prayer, 10
Almighty and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve: Pour down upon us the abundance of Thy mercy, forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
—The Book of Common Prayer (1979), “Proper 22”
Almighty God, gracious Father, we are not fit for Your presence, but we look to Jesus Christ, who takes away our sin. Through Him we would now come to You, listening to Your voice, trusting in Your love, delighting in Your Word, and leaning on Your arm. We joyfully beg to see Your face! Now cleanse our minds of all error and our hearts of all idols, that we may shine in the world with Your radiant light.
—D.A. Carson, Worship by the Book, 225
A pastoral prayer definitely needs preparation—at least general forethought if not specific planning. To spend multiple hours getting ready to speak to people for God, then to give no thought at all as to how to speak to God on behalf of people seems incongruous (if not insensitive and unwise).
—C. Welton Gaddy, The Gift of Worship, 124
Almighty Father, we pray Thee graciously to lead us through the uncertainties of this new year of our earthly pilgrimage. Protect us from the dangers of the way; prepare us for the duties, the trials, the joys, and sorrows that await us; and grant that each change the year brings with it may bring us nearer to Thyself, and to the eternal joy and rest that await the faithful in Thy blessed and glorious presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
—Church of Scotland, 1952
As much as I love music . . . we have placed far too much faith in it and not nearly enough in the power of the Word, the authority and sweep of fearless prophecy and earnest, yet hope-filled, intercessory prayer. I have often wondered what would happen if we got music out of the way, especially in its upfront dress, and spent abundant time in interceding prayer, reading and searching the Scriptures, sitting in silence, prophesying and perhaps only then singing and making music.
—Harold M. Best, Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts, 140