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Immanuel and St Andrew

The Parish Church of Immanuel and St Andrew, Streatham

452 Streatham High Road · London · SW16 3PY  ·  Tel: (020) 8679 6888

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Some prayers for you to use.

You can pray using your own words or using no words at all - but there are a number of prayers which have been written or composed by others which you may find helpful. There is a small selection on this page. A few of these it is worthwhile learning by heart, and then you can easily use them in your personal prayers or join in with them when they are used in services.

Many of these prayers were written for use in public worship of some kind. They can all be found in 'Common Worship', the series of service books from which the services at Immanuel and St Andrew are taken.

You can click on the items in the brief index below to go straight to the prayer(s) you want.

All of these prayers - and most prayers said in church services - end with the word 'Amen'. 'Amen' is a Hebrew word which means 'Truly' or 'So be it', and it is a way of affirming what has just been said in the prayer. It was used in this way by the Jews of Jesus' day in their worship and was adopted by the early church. If the prayer is said by one person in a service, the congregation usually join in the 'Amen' to indicate that they agree with what has been said and want to make the prayer theirs - not just that of the person leading. There is no need to use 'Amen' when you pray privately, but you can if you wish.

This page is a companion page to the 'Prayer - What?, Why? and How?' page.

The Lord's Prayer ('Our Father')

The Lord's Prayer ('Our Father'), which Jesus himself taught, is is the most important of all the prayers that have been written for us to use, and it is certainly a good idea to learn it by heart. Unfortunately, there is more than one version commonly in use, although they are all based on Jesus' teaching in Matthew chapter 6 verses 9-13.

The one we normally use in services at Immanuel and St Andrew is the modern language version below, and this is probably the best one to learn by heart - if you haven't already learnt one of the others!

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

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The only other version you are likely to meet at Immanuel and St Andrew is the 'traditional language' version, with, for example, 'thy' and 'thine' in place of 'your' and 'yours'. It is used in many churches instead of the modern version above. It is often used at Immanuel and St Andrew in services where there may be several visitors, such as weddings and funerals, as it is more likely to be the version they will know by heart. You may know this version better, or prefer to learn it instead of the one above, although you'll then need to follow the service book more closely at Immanuel and St Andrew!

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.
And 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.

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The 'Grace'

The 'Grace' is based on St Paul's greeting which he uses at the end of the second letter to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians chapter 13 v 13).

It is often used to conclude a service or other time of worship and all present are usually invited to join in and say it together - so, again, it is useful to learn it by heart. Unlike a blessing, which church rules say may only be given by a priest, the 'Grace' may be said in public worship by anyone, so it is often used when no priest is present.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore.
Amen.

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Prayers of praise, adoration and confession.

It is often fairly easy to say prayers that ask God for things, or thank God for things, whether for ourselves or others. It is not always so easy to put praise, adoration and confession into words. You can say 'God, I love you', or 'God, you're wonderful', or 'God, I'm sorry', as on the Prayer - What?, Why? and How? page, but many people - perhaps including you - prefer something more traditional or formal when talking to God. So you may find the prayers below will help.

You may also find some of the Psalms in the Bible helpful. Try Psalms 100 and 150 for praise and Psalm 51 for confession - but there are many more.

A prayer of adoration and praise.

We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as the Lord;
all creation worships you,
the Father everlasting.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
the cherubim and seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Amen.

From 'Te Deum Laudamus' - a traditional song of praise.

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You can also use the 'Gloria Patri' as a short prayer of adoration and praise.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever.
Amen.

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Another prayer of adoration

The words 'Holy God....have mercy upon us' from this prayer may also be used as a brief confession.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Holy God,
holy and strong,
holy and immortal,
have mercy upon us.

We glory in your cross, O Lord,
and praise and glorify your holy resurrection:
for by virtue of the cross
joy has come to the whole world.
Amen.

From the Liturgy for Good Friday

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A simple confession

You may find it helpful to 'personalise' this prayer if you are using it alone by saying 'I', 'my' and 'me' in place of 'we', 'our' and 'us' (and omitting the words 'and one another').

Most merciful God,
we confess to you,
before the whole company of heaven and one another,
that we have sinned in thought, word and deed
and in what we have failed to do.
Forgive us our sins,
heal us by your Spirit
and raise us to new life in Christ.
Amen.

From Common Worship (Night Prayer)

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Some other prayers

A morning prayer.

As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and for ever.
Amen.

From Common Worship (Morning Prayer)

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A prayer for the beginning of the day - or any time.

Eternal God and Father,
you create and redeem us by the power of your love:
guide and strengthen us by your Spirit,
that we may give ourselves in love and service
to one another and to you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

From Common Worship

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A prayer you may like to use at the end of the day - or at the end of a meeting!

O God our protector,
by whose mercy the world turns safely into darkness
and returns again to light:
we give into your hands our unfinished tasks,
our unsolved problems,
and our unfulfilled hopes;
for you alone are our sure defence
and bring us lasting peace
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

From Common Worship

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A prayer you may you may find helpful at a time of bereavement, or when facing death.

Support us, O Lord,
all the day long of this troublous life,
until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,
the busy world is hushed,
the fever of life is over
and our work is done.
Then, Lord, in your mercy grant us a safe lodging,
a holy rest, and peace at the last;
through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

From Common Worship

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A traditional evening prayer.

Lighten our darkness,
Lord, we pray,
and in your great mercy
defend us from all perils and dangers of this night,
for the love of your only Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

Adapted from the Book of Common Prayer

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Some 'famous' prayers

Some prayers have become well-known and widely valued, and a small selection is given here. Others may be added from time to time.

A Franciscan prayer, usually attributed to St Francis.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

From 'St Patrick's Breastplate'.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
Amen.

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A prayer from the 'Sarum Primer'.

God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at mine end, and at my departing.
Amen.

A prayer based on words of Richard of Chichester.

Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you
for all the benefits you have won for us,
for all the pains and insults you have borne for us.
Most merciful redeemer,
friend and brother,
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day.
Amen.

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A prayer of Ignatius of Loyola.

Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labour and not to seek for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do your will.
Amen.

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The 'Prayer Book' version of the Lord's Prayer

If you visit a church which uses the 'Prayer Book' (The Book of Common Prayer) you will meet this version, which is slightly different from the 'traditional language' version above. The Book of Common Prayer is the original service book of the Church of England. The present version dates from 1662 - nearly 350 years ago - but it is still in use in many churches, where its fine, ancient language is considered to enhance the quality of the worship.

Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And 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.

(The final section, starting 'For thine is the kingdom...' is sometimes omitted in 'Prayer Book' services.)


The prayers on this page are taken from Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, which is copyright The Archbishops' Council.

For further information on Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England visit the Common Worship website http://www.cofe.anglican.org/worship/liturgy/commonworship/.

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Links to related pages...

Prayer - What?, Why? and How?.

Prayer - a Reader reflects.

'Retreat 2005'.

Page last updated 14 October 2006.

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Links to related pages...

Prayer - What?, Why? and How?.

Prayer - a Reader reflects.

'Retreat 2005'.

Links to the main pages are at the ^TOP^ of the page.

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