Now I am pretty certain that for some people there might be a spike in anxiety if their pastor asked them, “do you pray?” Particularly since we do not often talk about private prayer/devotional life as often as we should. (We being the ‘pastor’ in the hypothetical scenario). It might double the anxiety if the pastor were to ask how often.
Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonians. While there is a lot more to that passage and the reason for the letter, this verse is used for many to describe how often we are to pray. I think that for many of us we do pray without ceasing. A conversation with God is prayer. Being quiet and just thinking is prayer. These are unstructured, but they are meaningful. The Holy does not need to be inverted into your life to be part of your existence. You do not have to say a magical incantation like the ‘Jesus prayer’ to actually have Jesus in your life.
In our COVID at-home packet, we were given a bunch of prayers from the ELW that we could use day to day. But I’m curious about some of the prayers that you use that may be more traditional. What are some of the prayers that you pray that may have been taught by a beloved family member, a Sunday School teacher, or something you picked up from church or camp? I invite you to share them via email or a letter to me - prayers that we can use together perhaps.
I had a great Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Spain. She taught us how to memorize prayers and we would get different color stars for how well we were able to recall them. Here are some that I learned in Sunday School (CCD - I grew up Roman Catholic) that I still use.
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.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you;
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
(Did you know that Luther was a huge advocate for Mary during the Reformation? He did not agree with her veneration as the Roman church does/did, but he strongly urged folks to show signs of deep reverence for and devotion to the Virgin Mary. In his recommendation he says to drop the “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners….” The only intercessions we need are between us and Christ. However, I like to believe that she prays alongside each of us...a fellow human being).
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.
(Though I rarely use this language today for so many reasons. Instead, I much prefer the one that follows.)
Our father in heaven
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours
now and forever. Amen.
So, what are some prayers that you like to use?
Yours in Christ,