A New Way to Pray the Apostles’ Creed

A slight personal change to an ancient prayer makes it even more precious.

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Posted in , Nov 12, 2020

Praying the Apostles Creed

I was touring Egypt some years ago, when my guide, a Coptic Christian, referred to the importance of a specific prayer in his tradition, comparing it to the Apostles’ Creed in the churches of the Western world.

Until that time, though I had often recited the creed in private and public worship, I hadn’t considered it to be a prayer—though it always ended with “amen.”

The Apostles’ Creed is an ancient statement of Christian belief, dating to at least the 4th century A.D. and possibly much earlier. Its exact wording differs in various churches and denominations, but it’s always something like the following:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of the saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

I suppose I didn’t relate to it as a prayer because it’s not addressed to God; it refers to each member of the Trinity, but in the third person. However, though I’ve continued to recite it regularly in the course of my prayers, since that conversation with my Coptic friend, I’ve also occasionally turned it slightly to enhance my private worship. Like this:

I believe in You, God, my Father.
You are almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in You, Jesus Christ, the Father’s only Son, our Lord.
I believe You were conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
You suffered under Pontius Pilate,
were crucified, died, and were buried.
You descended to the dead.
On the third day You rose again.
You ascended into heaven,
and are seated at the right hand of the Father.
You will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in You, Holy Spirit,
and in the holy catholic Church,
the communion of the saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

It’s a slight change, but one that has made the creed even more precious to me. I hope it will do the same for you.

Tags: God,Jesus,Prayer
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