Part of the deep wisdom of the Christian tradition is expressed in Latin as "Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Agendi", which literally means "The Law of Prayer is the Law of Belief which is the Law of Action". Another way of saying this is "How we pray shapes our beliefs, and what we believe shapes our deeds". And this principal works not only for those who intentionally pray. It works for all our implicit, hidden, forgotten prayers as well. Any activity in which we express dependence on a Reality outside of ourselves, and in which we seek to imagine and strive for a future of hope, health, and fulfillment is a kind of prayer. My personal opinion is that even atheists pray, although they do not identify it as such.

So, it is not a question of whether we will pray, but how. And how we pray forms a kind of "map"-- a Prayermap-- that directs us through the struggles and sufferings of life toward actualizing our future hope, and a personal union with what is really Real. So, I try to be intentional about how I pray to the extent that I can. As a result, the following page includes a series of short prayers that I use on a regular basis to connect to the Triune God.

If you would like to read, or pray with, my comprehensive daily "Prayermap", you can find it here (along with a collection of my theological writings, sermons, and charts). And if you want to pray and worship publicly with me, just go to an Episcopal Church any Sunday morning, or pray with our Book of Common Prayer, or pray our Daily Office.

With that said, here are some short prayers written by myself and others in the Christian Tradition.

A Daily Round of Rhyming Prayers
Written or adapted by Nathan L. Bostian [Copyright 1996 and beyond]

For the Start of the Day and the Coming of the Kingdom
We greet this day as grace from Life's Giver and Gift and Giving;
Help us share grace with others in more compassionate living.
Lord Jesus Christ we are weak; Spirit give us your strength
To bring the Kingdom of God, in all we do, say, and think. +

A Short Confession of Sin
Lord, we repent from our transgressions in deed, word, and thought;
We did not do what we should, and did what we should not.
Gracious Father, release us from all our bondage and waste:
Through Christ's death and new life, by your Spirit's grace. +

For Meals
Father thank you for this meal; Christ come dine with us today;
Spirit bless our food so we bless others in all we do and say. +

For Strength, Exercise and Physical Health
Father strengthen us in Spirit, body, and soul:
With our mind, heart, and will in Christ's loving control.
Incarnate God make us healthy, in what we eat and what we weigh:
Strengthen our muscles and tissues, so we embody you always. +

For Protection
LORD, surround us with your angels; Guide and guard us with your Spirit;
Protect us on our Journey; Grant us courage to dare it. +

For Guidance
Grant us guidance, O Lord, in all we think, say, and do:
That each of our choices may bring glory to you.
Spirit, in doubts grant us faith, in darkness bring us light;
In uncertainties give us hope, so we may follow close to Christ. +

Before Speaking or Reading Scripture
LORD God, fill us with your Spirit; Drive out all that distracts from You:
Open now our heart and mind, so we may hear your Word anew.
Move our will to walk your Path; Set our mind on things Above;
Fill our heart with your Compassion: So we may live Christ's Love. +

Spiritual Breathing and Fullness of the Spirit
All we are and all we do, we exhale to you Lord Christ:
As we inhale your presence: Come now, O Spirit of life! +

Rhyming Serenity Prayer [adapted from Reinhold Niebuhr]
God grant to me Serenity, to accept what I can't prevent;
Courage to change what I can; And wisdom to know the difference. +

For Anger and Frustration [based on James 1:19-20]
Jesus make me quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
For fleshly fury will not lead me on your righteous path.
Show me what lies behind all my anger and frustration;
And lead all involved to healing and reconciliation. +

A Petitionary Trinitarian Blessing
Father, guard us from evil, keep us secure and whole.
Jesus, save us and heal us in body, spirit and soul.
Spirit, bless us to bless others and help us practice Christ.
And Trinity dwell in us every moment of life +

Favorite Prayers from Tradition and Liturgy

The Jesus Prayer [From Orthodox Tradition]
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
(Repeat prayer over and over to focus on Christ and stay focused on Him through the day.)

For Preaching the Gospel [adapted and attributed to St. Francis]
Lord Christ, help me preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.

A Prayer for Priesthood [from BCP page 562]
O Lord my God, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; yet you have called your servant to stand in your house, and to serve at your altar. To you and to your service I devote myself, body, soul, and spirit.

Fill my memory with the record of your mighty works; enlighten my understanding with the light of your Holy Spirit; and may all the desires of my heart and will center in what you would have me do. Make me an instrument of your salvation for the people entrusted to my care, and grant that I may faithfully administer your holy Sacraments, and by my life and teaching set forth your true and living Word.

Be always with me in carrying out the duties of my ministry. In prayer, quicken my devotion; in praises, heighten my love and gratitude; in preaching, give me readiness of thought and expression; and grant that, by the clearness and brightness of your holy Word, all the world may be drawn into your blessed kingdom. All this I ask for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen

A Prayer for the Church [from BCP page 816]
Gracious Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church [especially for our bishops, priests, and deacons; in our province, our diocese, and our congregation]. 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 your Son our Savior. Amen

For the Mission of the Church [from BCP page 101]
Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen

For Social Justice [from BCP page 823]
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

The Prayer of St. Richard of Chichester
I give thanks to you, my Lord Jesus Christ, for all the blessings you have given me, and also for all the pain and insults you have taken for me.  Most merciful Redeemer, my friend and my brother, three things I pray: That I may know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen

For Work and Daily Life [attributed to St. Francis]
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is discord, union; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy.

Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

St. Patrick's Breastplate
I bind to myself this day, the strong Name of the Trinity
And by invocation of the Name, Three in One and One in Three:

Father of Creation, I bind You to myself today:
The power of Heaven, The light of the sun
The whiteness of snow, The force of fire
The flashing of lightning, The swiftness of wind
The depth of sea, The stability of earth

Savior of All, I bind You to myself today:
Christ before me, Christ above me
Christ beneath me, Christ beside me
Christ my vision, Christ my wisdom
Christ my comfort, Christ my guide

Spirit of Fire, I bind You to myself today:
The Power of God to guide me, The Might of God to uphold me
The Wisdom of God to teach me, The Eye of God to watch me
The Ear of God to hear me, The Word of God to give me speech
The Hand of God to protect me, The Angels of God to defend me

For Wisdom in Studying God's World [adapted from St. Thomas Aquinas]
Come, Divine Creator, true source of light and fountain of wisdom! Pour forth your brilliance upon my dense intellect, and dissipate the double-darkness of sin and of ignorance which covers me.

Come, Lord Christ, and grant me a penetrating mind to understand, a retentive memory, method and ease in learning, lucidity to comprehend, and abundant grace in expressing myself.

Come, Holy Spirit, guide the beginning of my work, direct its progress with diligence, and bring it to successful completion, that we all may be drawn to what is good, true, and beautiful in Jesus Christ. Amen

For Protection [from BCP Compline Service]
Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers we face; Visit this place, and drive far from it all snares of the enemy; Let your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace; And let your blessing be upon us always. Amen

For Guidance [adapted from BCP]
Direct us, O Lord, in all we think, say, and do: that our choices may always glorify you. In our doubts and uncertainties, grant us the grace to ask what you want us do, the wisdom to save us from false choices, and the Light to see your path, that we may follow you without stumbling. Amen.

Serenity Prayer [by Reinhold Niebuhr]
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

For Birthdays and Continued Growth in Christ [from BCP]
O Lord, watch over [this your child, and all] your children [having birthdays today] as their days increase; bless and guide them wherever they may be. Strengthen them when they stand; comfort them when discouraged or sorrowful; raise them up if they fall; and in their hearts may your peace which passes understanding dwell all the days of their life. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

For Bedtime [from BCP Compline Service]
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night. Give your angels charge over those who sleep, that we may awake refreshed and ready to serve you. Tend the sick, Lord Christ: Give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous. All for your love’s sake. Amen

A Footnote to All Prayers [by C.S. Lewis]
He whom I bow to only knows to whom I bow
When I attempt the ineffable Name, murmuring Thou,
And dream of Pheidian* fancies and embrace in heart
Symbols (I know) which cannot be the thing Thou art.
Thus always, taken at their word, all prayers blaspheme
Worshipping with frail images a folk-lore dream,
And all men in their praying, self-deceived, address
The coinage of their own unquiet thoughts, unless
Thou in magnetic mercy to Thyself divert
Our arrows, aimed unskillfully, beyond desert;
And all men are idolators, crying unheard
To a deaf idol, if Thou take them at their word.
Take not, oh Lord, our literal sense. Lord, in Thy great,
Unbroken speech our limping metaphor translate.

*Φειδίας was one of the most famous sculptors in the classical era of Athens, 
known for his work on the Parthenon, and the Zeus at Olympus.

Triune Glory [from Ancient Christian Tradition]
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen

Need more prayer? Here are some places to start: You can pray with my comprehensive daily "Prayermap", pray at an Episcopal Church on any Sunday morning (and most weekdays too!), pray with our Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, or pray our Daily Office. May God richly bless you on your spiritual journey of discovery!

This is a bunch of stuff to make us think hard about our incredible love affair with the God of the universe, our astounding infidelities against him, and his incredible grace to heal and restore us through Christ. Everything on this site is copyright © 1996-2015 by Nathan L. Bostian so if you use it, cite me... otherwise you break the 8th commandment, and make God unhappy. You can contact the author by posting a comment.