Prayers

Gracious God, we pray for your holy catholic church.
Fill it with your truth;
Keep it in your peace.
Where it is corrupt, reform it.
Where it is in error, correct it.
Where it is right, defend it.
Where it is in want, provide for it.
Where it is divided, reunite it;
for the sake of your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Amen.

This is the favorite prayer of this blog. I first encountered it the Liturgy of the Hours, and as an ecclesiologist and a Catholic, it is near and dear to my heart. I frequently end posts about the church with this prayer.


Deliver us, Lord, from every evil
and grant us peace in our day.
In your mercy keep us free from sin
and protect us from all anxiety
as we wait in joyful hope
for the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ.

This has long been one of my favorite prayers from the mass. It is the “embolism” after the Lord’s Prayer, that is, the prayer that the priest recites between the ending of the prayer as Catholics say it and the acclamation with which Protestants conclude it. This is the translation I grew up praying; the words have been changed in the latest missal.


By the mingling of this water and wine,
may we come to share in the divinity of Christ
who humbled himself to share in our humanity.

Another favorite from the mass, this one is recited by the priest while adding water to wine during the preparation of the gifts, often too quietly for the assembly to hear. Theologically, I like its symbolic expression of Christology. Ecumenically, I like its resemblance to the Eastern Orthodox understanding of deification.


Keep watch, dear Lord,
with those who work, or watch, or weep this night,
and give your angels charge
over those who sleep.

I encountered this lovely night prayer as part of the Compline (bedtime) service in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.


These are some of my favorite prayers. Won’t you share yours as well?

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