Lately I have been using the Prayer Book for Earnest Christians: A Spiritually Rich Anabaptist Resource. I am at a time in life when it is useful to have someone else supply the words I pray since it’s difficult to come up with my own. The prayers in this book date back to 1708. (Anabaptists are today’s Mennonites and Amish.)
I took one of the morning prayers and changed pronouns from plural to singular, adapting it for individual use.
O Lord, almighty God and heavenly Father, you have created me as a human being, formed me and given me life. You placed me in this world to obtain my sustenance with grief and toil until I again return to the earth, from which I was taken. You have also set for me a time for my life, that I may fear and love you, and hold fast to you wholeheartedly.
Just as you have given me the day for work, so also have you, through your divine kindness, ordained the night for rest. This rest I have enjoyed, merciful God, under your gracious shelter and keeping. For this it is fitting that I praise, honor and glorify you from the bottom of my heart and the depth of my soul.
O almighty God, forgive me for whatever I did last night or on any day of my life that was not time spent in a holy way, whether through misuse of your blessings, transgression of your holy commands, or neglect of my duties in words, actions, and thoughts, while asleep or awake. However I may have sinned against you, I confess with remorse and sorrow that such has happened. May you in mercy forgive me and pardon my sin through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, your dear Son.
You have again let this day dawn, O God. Help me remember that it is your gracious gift. Teach me to understand gratefully why you are again bestowing this gift. As a merciful Creator, you let your beautiful sun rise above my head. Thus may I spend all the days of my life following your will, preparing myself for the eternally long and everlasting day that you will create through your grace.
Grant that I may understand and learn to forsake the night of darkness and sin, and be freed from it. May I walk in the clear light of your divine grace. Help me lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, so I may walk honorably as in the day.
O merciful God, let me radiate the light of your divine mercy. May I constantly keep you foremost before my eyes in all I do or leave undone. You see everything, right now, with your eyes like a flame of fire, even what I am thinking and planning. Therefore, give me grace that I may spend all my days in a way that will bring praise to your holy name.
O God, may I be obedient to you with childlike love. Just as I have experienced your tender love, so may I love my neighbor as myself. May I do nothing contrary to this love, so I may truly deal justly with my neighbor.
Holy God, I pray that I may enjoy with moderation all the gifts you have supplied for my needs, using them only for their intended purpose. May I not misuse them through extravagance, greed, or selfish pleasures. Give me a heart willing to share, which does not complain about food and drink, or worry about physical nourishment. Teach me instead to place my trust in you and to await your divine help and grace. Give me a broken, lowly, and contrite spirit, a penitent heart and true gentleness, and a genuine hunger and thirst for your righteousness.
Give me today a heart that is pure in your sight, O God, that I may see you. God of love and peace, grant me your eternal peace and grace that I may at all times show myself to be peace-loving in my relations with others, avoiding all evil strife and dispute. And help me, with a gentle spirit and quiet heart, to bear patiently all the calamities I may encounter in this life — whether the cross, or grief, or disgrace, or other misfortune.
Since you are my God and Creator, direct my life and walk according to your holy and divine will. All my works and deeds are in your hands. I commit myself into your hands, with body and soul and all that I have. Rule over me, and advance the work of my hands according to your divine will.
I also pray for all people, everywhere, especially for my fellow believers wherever they may be scattered on the face of the earth. I pray as well for all troubled and desperate hearts, suffering and in need. I pray for my enemies, for they do not know what they are doing. And I pray for all rulers and persons in authority over me.
O Lord, let all of them together enjoy and partake of your mercy and your comfort. I ask this, holy Father, in the name of your dear Son, Jesus Christ, who promised me that you would respond favorably when I call upon you in his name, praying with a reverent and believing heart: “Our Father…”
Lord, may your gracious eye be open upon me day and night. Take me into your divine care and protection. Judge, guide, and bless all my undertakings and works, to your honor. Amen.
This will be a sad December, but I am finding the prayers in this book comfort me and speak to my condition.