Here are the prayers I aim to pray for myself each day. I write them down, not because I don’t value extemporary prayer, but because I find these prepared prayers personally useful. I also pray extemporary prayers each day, some prompted by these prayers, and some prompted by my Bible reading or by current needs
These are prayers which enlarge and enrich my praying, and which I need to pray every day. They began many years ago as one page of prayers. I wrote them down to remind myself of the prayers which I needed to pray every day! They have grown, because I think of more and more prayers which I need to pray!
Without them, my daily prayers tend to be narrow, unimaginative, repetitious, self-centred, task- orientated, and without an appropriate focus on God.
I use different morning prayers for each day of the week, and the same evening prayers each day. I revise them about twice a year, in response to parts of the Bible I have read, in response to the areas of sin and need in my own life which have become more evident, and in response to advice I give to others and then realise I need to follow myself!
This is not a superior way to pray: it is currently a useful aid to my prayers.
You will notice that these are prayers for myself, both as a person, and as a minister. My morning daily intercessions are not included. I have a list of people and ministries and places to pray for each day.
You will also notice that I like to turn the Scriptures into prayers.
I am very encouraged at present by Calvin’s comment on our prayers, found in his Catechism: ‘For he who thus prays conceives his prayers as it were at the lips of Christ, seeing he knows that by the intercession of Christ his prayer is assisted and recommended.’
If you are nervous about praying prepared prayers, then remember that you do so when you sing a hymn or song in Christian meetings!
You may not need to pray these particular prayers, but these prayers may encourage you to write the prayers you need to pray, if you find this practice helpful.
And you might like to look at two excellent sources of prayers:
O. Palmer Robertson, ed. A Way to Pray, Banner of Truth Trust.
(This is a collection of Biblical prayers by Matthew Henry, revised and updated by O. Palmer Robertson. Matthew Henry was the great Bible commentator, who realised that people needed help in their daily prayers.)
Arthur Bennett, The Valley of Vision, also published by Banner of Truth.
(This is a series of prayers based on the writings of the Puritans. Both of these books show the value of prepared prayers, and the value of basing our prayers on the Bible, turning God’s words to us into our words to God.)
Image: Otto Greiner, Betende Hände