Praying at Home

During the coronavirus crisis many of us may feel we would like to pray on our own at home, but struggle to find the right words. Here and on the next page  is a selection of prayers you might find helpful for day-to-day use. On a separate page I have provided some prayers you might want to use if someone you love is seriously ill or dying. 

At the beginning of the day:

O God of peace, who taught us that in returning and in rest we shall be saved, and in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength: by the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  J W Suter                                                                                             

O God, early in the morning I cry to you. Help me to pray and to concentrate my thoughts on you; I cannot do this alone.  In me there is darkness, but with you there is light; I am lonely, but you do not leave me; I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help; I am restless, but with you there is peace.  In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience; I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Let the healing grace of your love, O Lord, so transform me that I may play my part in the transfiguration of the world from a place of suffering, death and corruption to a realm of infinite light, joy and love. Make me so obedient to your Spirit that my life may become a living prayer, and a witness to your unfailing presence.  Martin Israel

Today, my Father, let me be like a tree planted by the river, bringing forth fruit in its season. Let the sap of your Holy Spirit rise within me. Let me not become dry and barren but rich in abundance and fertility. May many weary ones find refreshment in the shadow of my branches.  Brother Ramon

Here, Lord, is my life. I place it on the altar today. Use it as you will.  Albert Schweitzer

All this day, O Lord, let me touch as many lives as possible for thee;  and every life I touch, do thou by thy Spirit quicken,whether through the word I speak, the prayer I breathe, or the life I live.  Mary Sumner

At the end of the day:

Glory be to thee, my God, for all the blessings of the past day, for thy presence ever with me, for the love of family and friends, for every kindness shown me by others, for the satisfaction of my work and for the knowledge that I am held safe in thy hand whatever happens. I lift my heart in love and gratitude to thee, dear Father, praising thee that thou hast made me thy child through Jesus Christ.  George Appleton

Watch, dear Lord, with those who wake or watch or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ, rest your weary ones. Bless your dying ones. Soothe your suffering ones. Pity your afflicted ones. Shield your joyous ones. And all for your love’s sake.  Augustine of Hippo

God our life, be with us through this day, whether or not it brings us joy. Help us when evening comes to recall one benefit for which to give you thanks. Amen.  New Zealand Prayer Book

Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the silent hours of this night, so that we who are fatigued by the changes and chances of this fleeting world, may repose upon thy eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.  Leonine Sacramentary                                                                                               

O Lord my God, thank you for bringing this day to a close; thank you for giving me rest in body and soul. Your hand has been over me and has guarded and preserved me. Forgive my lack of faith and any wrong that I have done today, and help me to forgive all who have wronged me.    Let me sleep in peace under your protection, and keep me from all the temptations of darkness.  Into your hands I commend my loved ones and all who dwell in this house; I commend to you my body and soul. O God, your holy name be praised.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Be present, Spirit of God, within us, your dwelling place and home,  That this home may be one where all darkness is penetrated by your light, all troubles calmed by your peace, all evil redeemed by your love, all pain transformed in your suffering, and all dying glorified in your risen life.  Jim Cotter

The Journey of life: 

As the rain hides the stars, as the autumn mist hides the hills, as the clouds veil the blue of the sky, so the dark happenings of my lot hide the shining of thy face from me. Yet, if I may hold thy hand in the darkness, it is enough. Since I know that, though I may stumble in my going, thou dost not fall.   Source unknown (Celtic)

Lord God, our beginning and our end: you were with us at our birth, be with us through our life: you are with us through our life, be with us at our death: and because your love and mercy will not leave us then, help us to pass through death and rise to everlasting life with you.  Friends of Christ Church, Moss Side

O Lord, you have made us very small, and we bring our years to an end like a tale that is told; help us to remember that beyond our brief day is the eternity of your love.  Reinhold Niebuhr

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 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 I will 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 you will never leave me to face my peril alone.  Thomas Merton

O Lord, support us all the day long of this troublous life, until the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and work done. Then, Lord, in thy mercy, grant us safe lodging and holy rest, and peace at the last; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Source unknown, attrib John Henry Newman

The Lord is my pilot; I shall not drift, he lighteth me across the dark waters; he steereth me in the deep channels: he keepeth my log. He guideth me by the star of his holiness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I sail amid the hungers and tempests of life, I shall fear no danger, for thou art near me; thy love and care, they shelter me. Thou preparest a harbour before me in the homeland of eternity; thou anointest the waves with oil; my ship rideth calmly. Surely sunlight and starlight shall favour me in the voyage I take, and I shall rest in the port of my God for ever.  Source unknown (based on Psalm 23)

Lord, You are the deepest wisdom, the deepest truth, the deepest love within me.  Lead me in your way.  Richard Harries

Loving Father, help me to live one day at a time: not to be thinking of what might have been, not to be worrying about what may be. Help me to accept the fact that I cannot undo the past, and I cannot foresee the future. Help me to remember that I will never be tried beyond what I can bear; that a Father's hand will never ause his child a needless tear; that I can never drift beyond your love and care. William Barclay