Famous Prayers

November 21, 2018 By: Phil Schaefer


Christian Fellowship Church's Pastor's blog, Famous Prayers
When I first became a practicing Christian I was intrigued with the idea of informal, spontaneous prayers. I had grown up only hearing set prayers that were known by those in my liturgical setting. Praying your own words was a novelty, but I also thought it held a greater sincerity. When I came into praying in the spirit – in an utterance that did not use words – I thought this kind of prayer was even more accessible since my understanding of it was the Holy Spirit was praying through me. My spirit was profitable even if my mind was not.

As I have grown older, I have become more circumspect about prayer. I have come to realize that using all manner of prayer has been the most fruitful for my life. So, although I still pray spontaneous prayers, and though I still pray in the spirit, I also find I pray set prayers more than ever.
I have made the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer of Jabez, the prayer of St. Francis, the prayer of St. Richard, the Celtic Prayer, and the Jesus prayer all a part of my repertoire of praying.

I have found these set prayers to be both faith building and also a means to move me above any condition of my heart, mind, or emotions. I have found these most helpful when I awake in the dark of night and cannot sort through my thoughts so well. I have found these helpful when I don’t have the mental energy to know what to pray. I have found I have been able to pray these prayers in silence while in a crowded room or a tense room or a noisy room. I have found these prayers ground my soul in the midst of the storm. And I don’t pray them just once. I pray them repetitively – usually the same prayer again and again until my mind finds its rest in the Lord.

I encourage you who have young children to engage in the practice of having them memorize these prayers. They will have a hold on your child’s mind all their days – even should they walk away from the Lord for a season as they grow older.

I have listed below some of these great prayers. I encourage you to add them to your life of prayer. You will find them to be faithful companions in your journey of faith.

The Jesus Prayer

The Jesus Prayer

‘Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me a sinner.’
Or ‘Lord have mercy on me.’
Or ‘Help Lord!’

The Celtic Prayer

The Celtic Prayer

Christ be with me
Christ within me
Christ behind me
Christ before me
Christ beside me
Christ to win me
Christ to comfort and restore me

Christ beneath me
Christ above me
Christ in quiet
Christ in danger
Christ in hearts of all that love me
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger

The Prayer of St. Francis

The Prayer of St. Francis

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.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
not so much to be understood as to understand,
not so much 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 awake to eternal life.

The Prayer of St. Richard

The Prayer of St. Richard

Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which you have given us, for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us.
Most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother, may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day. Amen.

The Prayer of Jabez

The Prayer of Jabez

O that you would bless me, and enlarge my border, that Your hand would be with me, and that you would keep me from evil – 1 Chron. 4:10

The 23rd Psalm

The 23rd Psalm

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art 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 forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

The Nicene Creed

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God. Born of the Father before all ages. God of God; Light of light; true God of true God. Begotten not made; of one being with the Father; by whom all things were made. Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven. And was made flesh by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary: and was made man. He was also crucified for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate and was buried. On the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascending into heaven, He sits at the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son. Who together with the Father and the Son is no less adored, and glorified: Who spoke by the Prophets. And I believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the remission of sins. And I look for the resurrection of the dead. And the life of the world to come. Amen.