John Wesley on Prayer God's command to "pray without ceasing" is founded on the necessity we have of his grace to preserve the life of God in the soul, which can no more subsist one moment without it, than the body can without air. Whether we think of; or speak to, God, whether we act or suffer for him, all is prayer, when we have no other object than his love, and the desire of pleasing him.
All that a Christian does, even in eating and sleeping, is prayer, when it is done in simplicity, according to the order of God, without either adding to or diminishing from it by his own choice. Prayer continues in the desire of the heart, though the understanding be employed on outward things. In souls filled with love, the desire to please God is a continual prayer. As the furious hate which the devil bears us is termed the roaring of a lion, so our vehement love may be termed crying after God.
God only requires of his adult children, that their hearts be truly purified, and that they offer him continually the wishes and vows that naturally spring from perfect love. For these desires, being the genuine fruits of love, are the most perfect prayers that can spring from it.
Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, the head of Iraq's largest church
"Lord, The plight of our country is deep and the suffering of Christians is severe and frightening. Therefore, we ask you Lord to spare our lives, and to grant us patience, and courage to continue our witness of Christian values with trust and hope. Lord, peace is the foundation of life; Grant us the peace and stability that will enable us to live with each other without fear and anxiety, and with dignity and joy.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.
The Serenity Prayer
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. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.
--Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1970)
Prayer of St. Francis Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that I 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. It is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
Prayer of Thomas Merton
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen.
Prayer of Mother Teresa
Dear Jesus, Help us to spread your fragrance everywhere we go, flood our souls with your Spirit and life. Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly that our lives may only be a radiance of yours. Shine through us and be so in us that every soul we come in contact with may feel your presence in our soul. Let them look up and see no longer us but only Jesus. Stay with us and then we shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be light to others. The light, O Jesus, will be all from you. None of it will be ours. It will be your shining on others through us. Let us thus praise you in the way you love best by shining on those around us. Let us preach you without preaching not by words, but by our example by the catching force the sympathetic influence of what we do the evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to you.
Prayer of the Rev. Peter Marshall
O God, we pray for a broader vision of the needs of humanity, and a deeper compassion to fill those needs; for a planting of the seeds of concern for all humanity in our hearts; for a tapping of the wells of generosity. May we live together as people who have been forgiven a great debt. May we be gentle, walking softly with one another. May we be understanding, lest we shall add to the world’s sorrow or cause to flow needless tears. May we be as anxious for the rights of others as we are for our own. May we be as eager to forgive as we are to seek forgiveness. May we know no barriers of creed or race or sex, that our love may be like Yours—a love that sees all people as Your children and our kin. May we be ministers of humanity. Amen.
"...Can the heavens give showers! Are You not He, O Lord our God! Therefore we will wait for You - expectantly; For You have made all these things. For He spoke and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast." - Jeremiah 14:22; Psalm 33:9
This prayer was written in the 1950‟s during an awful drought in Texas. The prayer was written by Father W. Schneider of St. Mary's Church in Fredericksburg, Texas who also ministered at St. Francis Church in Stonewall, Texas. It has gone all over the world.
Almighty God, we are in need of rain. We realize now, looking up into the clear, blue sky above, blue sky above, what a marvel even the least drop of rain really is. To think that so much water can fall out of the sky, which now is empty and clear! We place our trust in You. We are sure that You know our needs, but You want us to ask You anyway, to show You that we are dependent on You. Look on our dry hills and fields, dear God, and bless them with the living blessing of soft rain. Then the land will rejoice and the rivers will sing Your praises, and the hearts of men will be glad. Amen.
"Prayer for Rain" statue by Edward Kemeys (1898), located in Champaign, Illinois
A Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day; And give us not to think so far away As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year. Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white, Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night; And make us happy in the happy bees, The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird That suddenly above the bees is heard, The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill, And off a blossom in mind air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love, The which it is reserved for God above To sanctify to what far ends He will, But which it only needs that we fulfill.