Sunday, March 8, 2015

Prayers at Rising: A Simple Form to Begin the Day

Every Christian is called to pray. There are many ways to do this. One is to mark the central moments of our day with particular prayers. It is an ancient and very laudable custom to begin the day with prayer immediately upon arising. One way to do this is to have a set group of prayers nearby that focus on greeting the new day and yet allow some flexibility in remembering particular persons or concerns. This group of prayers seeks to address this need.

The form begins with the "customary prayers" (the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Apostles' Creed) often said before any Office. It then proceeds with a short litany for daybreak from Bp. Andrewes before a series of prayers (you may use one, a few, or all) focusing on the opportunity this new day affords for starting our life anew, intercessions for our loved-ones, awareness of our frailty and dependence on God, and then committing our day into God's hands by recalling the truth that each moment is an opportunity to share the Gospel, and each encounter is sent by God--including the challenging people and situations that may come our way. The form ends with a final commendation before we go on with the more physical and outward parts of beginning our day.

It is well to remember that each new day is a merciful gift from God in which we may indeed start again. Making a daily re-commitment to this fact is one of the central ways our prayer opens us to the Holy Spirit's work in us and is a valuable part of a Rule of Life.

If you are not going to offer a further Office (such as Morning Prayer) later on, please read a psalm and a chapter of sacred scripture after these prayers. It is essential that Christians enter into regular study and listening to God in the holy words of the Bible as a compliment to their prayers.

Prayers at Rising

In the X Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
[Our Father, &c.]    [Hail, Mary, &c.]    [I believe, &c.]

Glory to you Lord, O Lord, glory to you, glory to you who have given me sleep for the refreshing of my weakness, and to restore the labors of this fretful body.
To this day and all days, a perfect, peaceful, healthy, and sinless course:
Grant this, Lord.
An angel of peace, a faithful guide, guardian of soul and body, to pitch a tent around me, and always to prompt what brings salvation:
Grant this, Lord.
Pardon X and remission of all sins and offences:
Grant this, Lord.
To our souls, what is good and becoming, and peace to the world:
Grant this, Lord.
Repentance and discipline for the rest of our life, and health and peace to the end:
Grant this, Lord.
Whatever is true, whatever is honest, whatever is just, whatever pure, whatever lovely, whatever of good report, if there be any virtue, and praise, such thoughts, such deeds:
Grant this, Lord.
A Christian close, without sin, without blame, and if it please you without pain, and a good answer at the awesome and testing judgment-seat of Jesus Christ our Lord:
Grant this, Lord.

O God, you are my God, and you have made me for yourself. O Lord, Heavenly Father, to you I devote my heart, and my entire life. Grant me your grace that this day I may live in your presence, and walk in the path of your commandments, following the example of my Savior Christ, and being made like unto him. Give to me your Holy Spirit that, trusting only in him, I may overcome those sins which beset me. Grant, O gracious God, to me and to [names] such blessings as we need. I ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day:  Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do, direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Let this my prayer, O Lord, come before you in the morning. You took upon yourself our feeble and suffering nature; grant me to pass this day in gladness and peace, without stumbling and without stain; that reaching the eventide without any temptation, I may praise you the eternal King: through your mercy, O our God, who is blessed, living and governing all things, world without end. Amen.

Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on your holy will. Reveal your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, and you yourself, pray in me. Amen.

At the prayers of St. Mary, (N.N.), and all the saints, may the Almighty and Merciful Lord X Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless and preserve me, and bring me to life everlasting. Amen.

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