Some years ago the late Reverend F P McMaster MBE, who served as the Minister at Canberra Baptist Church for 29 years and who was highly recognised for his ‘Pulpit Prayers’ sent the Olympic ministry's Mark Tronson a paper he had written titled ‘Prayer through the Centuries’.
The paper titled Prayer through the Centuries, was lengthy, six pages. In this series taking into account this F P McMaster paper Mark Tronson has divided it into four separate articles. This first one he has titled the Chords of Prayer, next the Prayers of Accountability, then Reforming Prayer.
Prayers of more recent times - An early start prayer
O Holy Spirit of God, visit now this soul of mine, and tarry with it until the eventide. Inspire all my thoughts. Pervade all my imaginations. Suggest all my decisions. Lodge in my wills most inward citadel and order all my doings. Be with me in my silence and in my speech, in my haste and in my leisure, in company and in solitude, in my home, in the freshness of the morning and in the weariness of the evening, and give me grace at all times to rejoice in Thy mysterious companionship.
A morning prayer
Accompany me today, O Spirit invisible, in all my goings, but stay with me also when I am in my own home and among my kindred. Forbid that I should fail to show to those nearest me the sympathy and consideration which Thy grace enables me to show to others with whom I have to do. Forbid that I should refuse to my own household the courtesy and politeness which I think proper to show to strangers. Let charity today begin at home.
A prayer of passion
I praise Thee for the life that stirs within me
I praise Thee for the bright and beautiful world into which I go
I praise Three for earth and sea and sky, for scudding cloud and singing bird
O Thou who art everlasting mercy, give me a tender heart today toward all those to whom the morning light brings less joy than it brings to me:
Those in whom the pulse of life grows weak
Those who must lie abed through all the sunny hours
He blind who are shut off from the light of day
The overworked who have no leisure
The unemployed who have no joy of labour
The bereaved, whose hearts and homes are desolate
Grant Thy mercy on them all
Prayer for wisdom
Dear Lord, take this day’s life into Thine own keeping. Control all my thoughts and feelings. Direct all my energies. Instruct my mind. Sustain My Will. Make this day a day of obedience (the idea of following Jesus), a day of spiritual joy and peace. Make this day’s work a little part of the Kingdom of my Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayer of the heart
O Thou whom indwellest in our poor and shabby human life, lifting it now and then above the domination of animal passion and greed, allowing it to shine with the borrowed lights of love, joy and peace, and making it a mirror of the beauties of the world unseen, grant that my part in the world’s life today may not be to obscure the splendour of Thy presence, but rather make it more plainly visible to the eyes of my fellow men.
An evening prayer
Now O Lord when the day’s work is done I turn once more to Thee. From Thee all comes in Thee all lives in Thee all ends. In the morning I set out with Thy blessing, all day Thou hast upheld me by Thy grace and now I pay Thou wouldest grant me rest and peace. I would cast all my cares upon Thee and leave to Thee the issues of my labour. What good I have done today graciously own and further, and if I have done any harm, annul and overrule it by Thy almighty power.
A prayer for sanctification
When Thou dost knock at my heart’s door, let me not keep Thee standing without, but welcome Thee with joy and thanksgiving. Let me harbour nothing in my heart that might embarrass Thy presence, Let me keep no corner of it closed to Thy influence. Do what Thou wilt with me; O God, make me what Thou wilt and change me as Thou wilt, both now and in the larger life beyond.
A one sentence prayer
O Holy One, let the fire of Thy love enter my heart and burn up the coil of meanness and hypocrisy and make my heart as the heart of a little child.
Before one's sleep prayer
Let me not go through any part of this night unaccompanied by Thee;
Give me sound and refreshing sleep
Give me in my sleep freedom from restless dreams
Give me control of my thoughts if I should lie awake
Give me wisdom to remember that night was given not for the harbouring of anxious or fretful or shameful thoughts
Give me grace, if as I lie abed I think at all, to think upon Thee
A daily life prayer
May I grow more sure of Thy reality and power
May I attain a clearer mind as to the meaning of my life on earth
May I strengthen my hold upon eternal life
May I look more and more to things unseen
May my desires grow less unruly and my imaginations more pure
May my love for my fellow men (generic) grow deeper and more tender and may I be more willing to take their burdens upon myself
A prayer for when the curtains are closing
I am content O Father to leave my life in Thy hands
I am content to give over my will to Thy control
I am content to leave all my dear ones to Thy care, believing that, Thy love for them is greater than my own
To Thee, O God, Be glory for ever and ever.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html