I find written prayers a great source of help and blessing. Some people think they’re not as authentic, as they were written by someone else. But I’ve found that as I’ve prayed written prayers over the years, the words, although not originally mine, become mine as I pray them over and over again. The first source of written prayers for me are the Old Testament Psalms. They are Israel’s prayers and ours, and they’re more than enough as far as written prayers are concerned. But happily there are many other written prayers to use. The following one is by William Barclay, and is from his book, Prayers for the Christian Year (as recorded in Reuben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants [Upper Room, 1983], 127). I invite you to pray it with me today, and perhaps for the next few days and weeks.
O God, our Father, we know that the issues of life and death are in your hands, and we know that you are loving us with an everlasting love. If it is your will, grant to us to live in happiness and in peace. In all our undertakings, grant us prosperity and good success. In all our friendships, grant us to find our friends faithful and true. In all bodily things, make us fit and healthy, able for the work of the day. In all the things of the mind, make us calm and serene, free from anxiety and worry. In material things, save us from poverty and from want. In spiritual things, save us from doubt and from distrust. Grant us in our work satisfaction; in our study true wisdom; in our pleasure gladness; in our love loyalty. And if misfortune does come to us, grant that any trial may only bring us closer to one another and close to you; and grant that nothing may shake our certainty that you work all things together for good, and that a Father’s hand will never cause his child a needless tear. Hear this our prayer, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.