“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil. 4:6)
There are over 300 bible verses on the significance of prayer. Saint Issac the Syrian tells us that prayer is superior to all other virtues, guides a man to heaven, heartens the conscience, invests the mind with power, strengthens our hope, fires our confidence, and gives us the ability to withstand the tribulations and evil of this world. Saint John of Damascus says that prayer unites the soul with its Creator and reconciles the two. The necessity of prayer is thus unparalleled in our spiritual journeys, for it is by prayer that we have access to and communion with the Holy Spirit and all Grace that God bestows upon us. It is through persevering in prayer that we receive humility, divine love, forgiveness, repentance, and enlightenment. Prayer lifts us up to heaven whereby we join the heavenly creatures in praising and worshipping the Lord.
Let us then learn to pray for all things and in all circumstances. Let us together be determined to reach the level of constant and tireless prayer.
Here are some prayers I have found helpful, I hope you will as well:
Prayer for every situation
- Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. (Repeat)
Prayers for times of doubt
- Lord I believe, help my unbelief
Prayers in grief
- Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak. O Lord, heal me, for my bones are greatly troubled. How long O Lord? Deliver me. I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. The Lord hears the voice of my weeping. He hears my supplication, the Lord will receive my prayer. Have mercy and deliver me (Psalm 6).
Prayers for humility
- Oh continue your steadfast love to me, and your righteousness of heart! Let not the foot of arrogance or pride upon me, nor let the hand of the wicked drive me away (Psalm 36).
- Dear Lord God, I pray that of your great goodness, you would make known to me, and take from my heart, every kind and form and degree of pride, whether it be from evil spirits, or my own corrupt nature; and that you would awaken in me the deepest depth and truth of the humility that can make me capable of Your light and Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen. (Andrew Murray in Humility)
Prayers for spiritual enlightenment
- God of my Lord Jesus Christ, Father of glory, grant to me the Spirit of Wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened; that I may know what is the hope of Your calling, what are the riches of the glory of Your inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of Your power towards me who believes, according to the working of Your mighty power which you worked in Christ when you raised Him from the dead and seated Him at Your right hand in the heavenly places…For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that you would grant me, according to the riches of Your glory, to be strengthened with might through Your Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith, that I being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that I may be filled with all of the fullness of God. Now to You who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that I ask or think, according to that power that works in me, to You be the glory and in the Church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever, Amen. (Eph. 1:17-23, 3:14-21)
- I ask that I may be filled with knowledge of Your will with all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that I amy walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing You, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to Your glorious power, for al patience and long-suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified me to a partaker in the inheritance of the saints (Col. 1:9-12).
Prayers to instill the desire for God in us
- One thing I ask You Lord, that I will constantly seek, that I may dwell in Your house my Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon Your beauty and inquire in Your temple. For you will hide me in Your shelter in the day of trouble; You will conceal me in the cover of Your tent; You will lift me high upon a rock (Psalm 27).
- Lord, up until now I have been content to learn about You second hand from Scriptures and saints and preachers. Help me to reach the point in my spiritual growth, through ever more intimate encounters with you, so that one day I may be able to say to all of them “it is no loner because of what you said that I believe, for I have heard Him myself.” Amen. (Anthony Coniaris on the Samaritan Woman)
- Father, may you do good to me and remember Your covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Your faithful servants. May You grant me a heart to worship You and do Your will with a strong heart and willing soul. May You open my heart to Your law and commandments, and may You bring me peace. May You hear my prayers and be reconciled with me, and not forsake me in an evil time (2 Maccabees 1:2-6).
Prayers for repentance
- O Holy Father, who desires the repentance of sinners, promising to accept them back; look now, O Lord, at my sinful soul for I have erred and lost my way in the valley of transgressions for many years, and am embittered and wretched for being removed form the fountain of my salvation. Yet, now I come to You, asking to be cleansed from all defilement and filth. Do not reject but accept me. Look at me with compassion and deal with me mercifully and I will be cleansed and saved; do not neglect me lest I perish. Grant me Grace; that I may approach You with faith and hope, to confess my trespasses and despise them. Let Your Holy Spirit reprove me for my sins. Enlighten my heart that I may realize my mistakes and my straying; grant me determination to forsake evil that I may be established in Your commandments and live for the glory of Your Holy Name.
- O Lord, help every soul, and do not forget me either. Help everyone to find peace and to love You, as the angels love You. Give us, too, the strength to love You as Your Most Holy Mother loves You and Your holy angles. Give me, too, the strength to love You boundlessly.
- Do not neglect me, O Good One, nor reject me, I the lost one; but sanctify my soul and enlighten my understanding, and allow me to be a partaker of the Grace of Your life-giving mysteries; that when I taste of Your benevolences, I offer You praise without lukewarmness, longing for Your splendour above all things, O Christ my Lord. You are my only goal, my joy, and my happiness and hope. Deliver me Lord. Amen.
Prayers for boldness
- Grant Your servant all boldness to speak Your word, to stretch Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done in Your name Jesus Christ. (Acts 4:23-31)
Prayers to know oneself
- Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties; and if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psam 139:23-24).
Prayers for safekeeping from wickedness
- Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men who work iniquity; and do not let me eat of their delicacies. Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let Him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it. (Psalm 141).
- O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of laziness, faintheartedness, lust, pride, arrogance, irritability, wrath, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Your servant. Yes, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother, for You are blessed from all ages and to all ages. Amen.
Prayers for guidance
- Father, please touch my heart with something of Your heart for the people You are calling me to serve, even though I do not know where I should go. I will follow Your lead. Make Your voice, Your will, and Your guidance in this matter clear to me. Amen.
- Lord, I pray that You make me worthy to Your calling, and that by Your power You may bring into fruition my every desire for goodness, holiness, and deeds prompted by faith. I pray this so Your name, Lord Jesus, may be glorified in me and I in You, according to Your Grace, mercy, and love. Amen. (2 Thes. 1:11-12)
- O Lord, You know that I do not know what is good for me, and now that I am about to start…., how can I know if it is right, unless You guide me with Your Grace. O Lord, I beseech Your guidance in this matter, do not let me follow my tendencies, lest I will be confused and fall. Keep me from slipping, help me. let it be according to Your will. If You see it fit, grant me Your blessing to complete it, if not, remove this desire from my heart. You know all things, nothing is concealed from You. Lord, I am Your servant, deal with me as You see fit, as I realize that I will have neither success nor peace, unless I submit myself to the Grace of Your will. Teach me to say in every occasion: “Father, not what I want, but what You will.” For Yours is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory forever more. Amen.
Prayers for guidance in choosing a partner
- Archangel Raphael, you were sent by God to guide young Tobit in choosing a good and virtuous spouse. Please help me in this important choice which will affect my whole future. You not only directed Tobit in finding a wife, but you also gave him guidelines which should be foremost in every Christian marriage: pray together before making important decisions. If through prayer we keep God as the third and central partner in our marriage, we will have the strength and Grace we need to do His will. Intercede to make these matters clear.
Prayers to feel God’s love
- Heavenly Father, like David who likened his soul to a weaned child with his mother, I enter into Your presence. I acknowledge You, Father, to be the steadfast and tender One. I come to You seeking the depth of your affirmation and confirmation at the level for which you intend it. With the help of the Holy Spirit and by the power of the Holy Trinity, I give to You my deep seated dread, fear, anxiety, darkness, emptiness,….., that has pervaded my life. Envelop me with Your loving, steadfast presence. By Your Grace, secure in me the very ground of my being that those who nurtured me were somehow unable to confirm in me. Free me to receive Your love, as the creator and redeemer of my life. Become the ground of my security as a person. Free me to live out of Your loving initiative towards me.
Prayers of enlargement
- Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain. (1 Chron. 4:10)
Prayers for our time of departure
- Hold me worthy, O Lord, to behold Your mercy in my soul before I depart from this world; may I be aware in myself at that hour of Your comfort, along with those who have gone forth from this world in good hope. Open my heart, O my God, by Your Grace and purify me from any association with sin. Tread out in my heart the path of repentance, my God and my Lord, my hope and my boast, my strong refuge by whom may my eyes be illumined and may I have understanding of Your truth, O Lord. Hold me worthy, Lord, to taste of the joy of the gift of repentance, by which the soul is separated from cooperating with sin and the will of flesh and blood. Hold my worth, O Lord, to taste this state, wherein lies the gift of pure prayer. O my Saviour, may I attain to this wondrous transition at which the soul abandons this visible world, and at which new stirrings arise on our entering into the spiritual world and the experience of new perceptions. (St. Isaac the Syrian)
Prayers when facing the unknown
- O Lord, You who steadied the hand of Peter as he began to sink on the stormy sea. If You are with me, no one is against me. Grant to me the shield of faith and the mighty armour of the Holy Spirit to protect and guide me to do Your will. The future I put into Your hands, O Lord, and I will follow You to a life in Christ. Amen.
- Prayers for all occasions: http://orthodoxprayer.org/Prayers%20for%20All%20Occasions.html
- Prayers for husbands/future husbands: http://peacefulsinglegirl.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/praying-for-our-men-or-our-future-men-and-for-ourselves/
- Praying for your wife/future wife: http://respectedhusband.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/praying-for-your-wife/
- The Orthodox Prayer Life by Father Matthew the Poor
- The Book of Hours (Catholic or Orthodox versions)
- The Jesus Prayer by Lev Gillet