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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 are a selection of prayers you might find helpful for day-to-day use.

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.  Amen. 
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.  Amen
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. Amen 

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. Amen
 Brother Ramon
Here, Lord, is my life. I place it on the altar today. Use it as you will. Amen
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. Amen 
 Mary Sumner
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

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. Amen 

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
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. Amen
 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. Amen
 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. Amen 
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. Amen
 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. Amen 
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. Amen.
Source unknown, attrib John Henry Newman
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. Amen.
William Barclay

Here are some prayers that Louise has shared with us and  found helpful during her work in hospitals and hospices:


God of the present moment,

God who in Jesus stills the storm, and soothes the frantic heart;

bring hope and courage to N. as s/he waits in uncertainty.

Bring hope that you will make her/him the equal of whatever lies ahead.

Bring her/him the courage to endure what cannot be avoided,

for your will is health and wholeness;

you are God, and we need you.

from the New Zealand Prayer Book


Grant, O Lord, to all those who are bearing pain

your spirit of peace and hope

of courage and endurance,

cast out from them the spirit of anxiety and fear;

grant them perfect confidence and trust in thee,

that in your light they may see light;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

George Appleton


Lord Jesus, when you walked among hurt and suffering people, you looked at them with understanding, and approached them with arms outstretched, showing them that they were truly loved.

Come now, and touch all those who are in pain and distress (especially N and all who love her/him), and comfort them with your love. Pour into their hearts the gentle balm of your Spirit. Amen.


Jesus our Healer, we commend N into your gentle hands. Ease her/his pain, and heal her/him in body, mind and spirit. Be present to her/him through the support of others, and in the care of doctors and nurses, and fill N with the warmth of your love, now and always. Amen. 

Source unknown


A prayer for those who are dangerously ill:

Heavenly Father, we pray for those whose life on earth hangs by a thread, 

Especially for this your beloved child N;

May s/he be filled with your peace, and surrender her/himself totally into your hands,

Knowing that you have loved her/him with an everlasting love. Amen. 


Prayes at the time of death 


Heavenly Father, you have not made us for darkness and death, but for life with you for ever.

Without you we have nothing to hope for;

with you we have nothing to fear.

Speak to us now your words of eternal life.

Lift us from anxiety and guilt to the light and peace of your presence,

as we take our leave of N whom we have loved.


God our Father,

we thank you that you have made each of us in your own image,

and given us gifts and talents with which to serve you.

We thank you for N,

for the years we shared with him/her,

the good we saw in him/her,

the love we received from him/her.

Now give us strength and courage to leave him/her in your care,

confident in your promise of eternal life

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


For those who mourn [one or more of the following:]

[1] O God, who brought us to birth, and in whose arms we die,

in our grief and shock contain and comfort us;

embrace us with your love,

give us hope in our confusion

and grace to let go into new life

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


[2]  Most merciful God,

whose wisdom is beyond our understanding,

surround the family of N with your love,

that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss,

but have confidence in your goodness

and strength to meet the days to come. Amen.


[3]  Out of the darkness of our grief, we cry to you, O Lord.

You gave him/her to us, and you have taken him/her away.

Turn to us, Lord, and have pity on us,

and give us the comfort that you alone can give,

you who are light in our darkness. Amen.


[4]  Lord our God, you give and you take away.

You blessed us through the gift of N,

who is now taken from us and whose loss we mourn.

Help us, through our tears and pain,

to glimpse your hand at work to bring blessing out of grief.

To you be glory for ever. Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name;

Thy kingdom come; thy will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil

for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory

For ever and ever, Amen.