Five Classic Christian Prayers

These prayers have been sung, prayed, memorized, memorialized, anthologized, read, pondered over and treasured for centuries. 

Posted in

Not for nothing are these five prayers considered classics. They’ve been sung, prayed, memorized, memorialized, anthologized, read, pondered over and treasured for centuries. 

The newest is the Serenity Prayer (here’s a great video of it) but even in its relatively short life, it has given us priceless words for relinquishment. Our deepest prayers often don’t have words, but how wonderful it is to find words that express those feelings. “God be in my head and in my understanding.” “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.” “May God hold you in the palm of his hand.” These are phrases to mold a soul.     

Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Prayer of a Confederate Soldier

I asked God for strength that I might achieve,
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for—but everything that I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

Old Sarum Prayer

God be in 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 my end and at my departing.

The Prayer of 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.

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as he did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that he will make all things right if I surrender to his will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with him forever in the next.
—Reinhold Niebuhr

Do you have a favorite prayer? Comment below!

Tags: Faith,Prayer
View Comments