Experiential Worship Prayer Suggestions
A Prayer for the Enjoyment of Creation
We give you thanks, most gracious God,
for the beauty of earth and sky and sea;
for the richness of mountains, plains, and rivers;
for the songs of birds and the loveliness of flowers.
We praise you for these good gifts
and pray that we may safeguard them for our posterity.
Grant that we may continue to grow
in our grateful enjoyment of your abundant creation,
to the honor and glory of your name,
now and forever. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, 1662
A Prayer of Gratitude
Unto which joys for to attain
God grant us all his grace,
And send us, after worldly pain,
In heaven to have a place,
Where we may still enjoy that light
Which never shall decay:
Lord, for thy mercy lend us might
To see that joyful day.
The rainbow bending in the sky,
Bedecked with sundry hues,
Is like the seat of God on high,
And seems to tell these news:
That as thereby he promised
To drown the world no more,
So by the blood which Christ hath shed,
He will our health restore.
Excerpt of Elgar’s 1929 adaption of “Good Morrowe” by George Gascoigne, 1557
A Prayer for Worship
God, you are with me and you can help me. You were with me when I was taken, and you are with me now. You strengthen me. The God I serve is everywhere—in heaven and earth and the sea, but he is above them all, for all live in him: all were created by him, and by him only do they remain. I will worship only the true God; you will I carry in my heart; no one on earth shall be able to separate me from you.
Quirinius, fourth-century bishop of Siscia
A Prayer for the Fulfillment of God’s Will
O Lord, by your dealings with us, whether of joy or pain, of light or darkness, let us be brought to you. Let us value no treatment of your grace simply because it makes us happy or because it makes us sad, because it gives us or denies us what we want; but may all that you send us bring us to you; that knowing your perfectness, we may be sure in every disappointment you are still loving us, in every darkness you are still enlightening us, and in every enforced idleness you are giving us life, as in his death you gave life to your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Phillips Brooks, 19th-century American clergyman
A Prayer for the Mind of God
Grant me, O Lord, to know that which is worth knowing, to love that which is worth loving, to praise that which pleases you most, and to esteem highly that which is precious to you. Amen.
Thomas à Kempis, 15th-century German canon
A Prayer of Confession
Almighty and most merciful Father,
we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep.
we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts,
we have offended against thy holy laws,
we have left undone those things which we ought to have done,
and we have done those things which we ought not to have done. And there is no health in us.
But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
spare thou those, O God, who confess their faults,
restore thou those who are penitent,
according to thy promises declared unto mankind
in Christ Jesus our Lord;
and grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake,
that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,
to the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, 1662
A Prayer for Cleansing
O Lord our God, great, eternal, wonderful in glory, cleanse us from our sins, and from every thought displeasing to thy goodness. Cleanse our souls and bodies, our hearts and consciences, that with a pure heart and a clear mind, with perfect love and calm hope, we may venture confidently and fearlessly to pray unto thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Coptic Liturgy of Saint Basil
Prayer for the Love of God
Lord, give us hearts never to forget your love; but to remain there whatever we do, whether we sleep or wake, live or die, or rise again to the life that is to come. For your love is eternal life and everlasting rest; for this is life eternal to know you and your infinite goodness. O let its flame never be quenched in our hearts; let it grow and brighten, till our whole souls are glowing and shining with its light and warmth.
Excerpt from an English translation of a prayer by Johann Arndt, 16th-century Lutheran theologian
A Prayer for a Steadfast Heart
Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give us an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Thomas Aquinas, 13th-century Dominican friar
A Prayer for Hungering after God
Grant us, we pray, the lost who hunger and thirst after righteousness—the longing for God. Grant to us that drawing power by which everything in us shall call for you. Become necessary to us. With the morning and evening light, at noon and at midnight, may we feel the need of your companionship...Though you do not speak as man speaks, yet you can call out to us; and the soul shall know your presence and shall understand by its own self what you mean. Grant to us this witness of the Spirit, this communion of the soul with you—and not only once or twice: May we abide in the light. Amen.
Henry Ward Beecher, 19th-century Congregationalist minister
A Prayer of Worship
Have mercy upon us, O God, and again have mercy upon us; who at all times and in every hour, in heaven and on earth, is worshiped and glorified. Christ, our good Lord, the long-suffering, exceedingly merciful, and extremely compassionate one; who loves the righteous and is merciful to the sinners, of whom I am chief; who does not wish the death of a sinner but rather wishes that he repent and live; who calls all to salvation through the promise of blessings to come. Lord, accept our prayers at this hour and at every hour. Establish our way, and guide us to carry out your commandments. Sanctify our soul. Cleanse our body. Straighten our thoughts. Purify our intentions. Heal our sickness. Forgive our sins. Deliver us from every destructive grief, distress, and heartache. Surround us with your holy angels, who guide and guard within their camp, so we may attain the unity of faith and the knowledge of your infinite and invisible glory. For you are the blessed God, now and forever and from all ages to all ages. Amen.
Ancient Coptic prayer