From Saint Francis of Assisi’s “The Prayer Before the Crucifix.”
enlighten the darkness of my heart
and give me
and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge,
that I may carry out
Your holy and true command.
God of wind, word, and fire, we bless your name this day for sending the light and strength of your Holy Spirit. We give you thanks for all the gifts, great and small, that you have poured out upon your children. Accept us with our gifts to be living praise and witness to your love throughout all the earth; through Jesus Christ, who lives with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever. Amen.
from Tirabassi & Tirabassi’s Before the Amen: Creative Resources for Worship
- I am no longer my own, but thine.
- Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
- Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
- Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,
- exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
- Let me be full, let me be empty.
- Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
- I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
- And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
- thou art mine, and I am thine.
- So be it.
- And the covenant which I have made on earth,
- let it be ratified in heaven.
as used in the Book of Offices of the British Methodist Church, 1936
Eternal God, by the birth of Jesus Christ you gave yourself to the world. Grant that, being born in our hearts, he may save us from all our sins, and restore within us the image and likeness of our Creator, to whom be everlasting praise and glory, world without end. Amen.
From the United Methodist Hymnal, number 231.
This is one of my favorite hymns written by Charles Wesley. I use it often as a prayer.
Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set they people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee. Israel’s strength and consolation, hope for all the earth thou art; dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
Born they people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring. By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone; by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.
from the United Methodist Hymnal, #196
In the advent seasons, when the past has fled, unasked, away and there is nothing left to do but wait, God, shelter us. Be our surrounding darkness; be the fertile soil out of which hope springs in due time. In uncertain times, help us to greet the dawn and labor on, love on, in faith awaiting your purpose hid in you waiting to be born in due time. Amen.
from the United Methodist Book of Worship, #253
Merciful God, you sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation. Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may celebrate aright the commemoration of the nativity, and may await with joy the coming in glory of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.
from the United Methodist Hymnal, #201
Prayer in the Morning by Jan L. Richardson
With the dawning light
let us turn our faces
toward the One
who fashioned us,
and let us give thanks
to the God who
knits us together
with each new day:
bone to bone
breath to breath
This blessing was shared in a weekly email from my District Superintendent, Larry Davies.
Come, Lord Jesus, our guest to be, And bless these gifts, Bestowed by Thee. And bless our loved ones everywhere, And keep them in Your loving care.
Righteous God, you rule the nations. Guard brave men and women in military service. Give them compassion for those who confront them as enemies. Keep our children from hate that hardens, or from scorekeeping with human lives. Though for a season they must be people of war, let them live for peace, as eager for agreement as for victory. Encourage them as they encourage one another, and never let hard duty separate them from loyalty to your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
The United Methodist Book of Worship, #542
who hast knit together thine elect
in one communion and fellowship
in the mystical body of Your Son, Christ our Lord:
Give us grace so to follow Your blessed saints
in all virtuous and godly living,
that we may come
to those ineffable joys
that thou hast prepared for those
who unfeignedly love thee;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen
from Book of Common Prayer, 1979
On this hallowed evening, may the Holy Spirit fill us with the tricks of the trade of mask-making. In the same way that you call us to imagine ourselves in others’ shoes, call us to try on the faces, the masks, the voices, and the characters of those who fascinate and captivate us, those whom we fear, those whom we adore, those who have gone before us. Guide little ones, elders, and everyone in-between safely as they cross paths with strangers, knock on neighbor’s doors, and open their own front doors. Tonight is a thin place – where darkness and light, heaven and earth, life and death, fear and awe dance so closely together. Saint us, trick, us betwixt us, treat us, beg us, and hallow us as we hallow your name.
Prayer by Elizabeth D. Barnum from Before the Amen: Creative Resources for Worship.