Up until rather recently, prayer was a struggle for me. I had trouble believing that God heard my prayers. I often found it hard to motivate myself to pray – except in situations of extreme urgency or suffering.
These days I find myself praying several times a day, often without really thinking about it. It does seem to help me get through the day. By committing each concern to God as it arises, I can keep from worrying about all the things I have to do throughout the day.
Here are ten of my most frequent prayers – prayers I pray on an almost daily basis, and give me the strength I need to get through the day:
Upon waking: “Dear God1, please help me get out of bed. I want to do whatever you’re calling me to do today, but I’m going to need your help!”
Before a meal or snack: “Thank you, God, for this nom2. Please help me be a good nom2 for others – by your power, not mine. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen.”3
Before driving: “Gracious God, please keep me safe as I go to (name destination). Help me get there safely so that I can continue in whatever you’re calling me to do. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, with the angels and saints I pray. Amen.”3
Upon arriving at a destination: “Thank you, God, for getting me to (destination) safely. Please keep me in your presence for as long as I’m here. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen.”
At the beginning of a work day: “Thank you, God, for getting me to work safely. Please give me the energy I need to get through this shift, so I can continue on in whatever you’re calling me to do next. Help me glorify you in all I do. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit I pray, with all the angels and saints. Amen.”
At the end of a work day: “Thank you, God, for getting me through another work day. Please help me get home safely, so I can do whatever you’re calling me to do next. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen.”
When I get home: “Thank you, God, for getting me home safely. I love you, God. You’re so good to me.”
Before a social event: “God, please be with me as I enjoy this (event). Help me to feel your love, your joy, your peace, your presence. Help me to have a good time and good fellowship. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen.”
After a social event: “Thank you, God, for your presence in (this event). Thank you for the fun and fellowship you let me enjoy. Please help me get home safely now. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen.”
Before going to bed: “Thank you, God, for getting me through another day. Please help me relax into your presence now, so I can get the rest I need to do whatever you’re calling me to in the days ahead. In the names, Amen3. Goodnight.”
These prayers do two important things for me. First, they help free me from anxiety and fear, so I can concentrate on the task at hand without worrying about what’s happening later in the day.
But these prayers also have the added benefit of increasing my intimacy with God. When I trust all my concerns to God (moment by moment), it actually makes my faith stronger; and I’m able to feel God’s presence more frequently and vividly when I “remind” myself of God’s company this way.
Certainly I pray for others as well, not just myself; but in order to be at peace enough to do this, I have to be sufficiently grounded in God’s love – which these prayers help me do.
If you’ve never done this before, I strongly encourage it. It’s not hard or complicated. Just talk to God about whatever you’re feeling, in a straightforward manner – just like you would if you were talking to another person.
If you’re feeling excitement or happiness or peace, thank God for this. If you’re feeling depressed or angry or afraid, ask for God’s help to get you through it.
There’s nothing too intimate, too embarrassing, or too personal to share with God. God sees everything we have ever done and ever will do – and actually loves us more, not less, because of this. Often, the only thing that keeps us from experiencing God’s love is us!
1). If I want to address one person in the Godhead in particular, I use the name Abba (Aramaic for “Daddy”) for God the Father, Jesus for the Son, and Sophia (Greek for “wisdom”) for the Holy Spirit. Since the whole Trinity acts in unison, any of these names can also be used as a synonym for “God.”
2). “Nom” means to eat or consume something. When used as a noun, it can either mean food, or any source of nourishment.
3). When in a hurry, the phrase “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” can be shortened to “In the names.” It can also be lengthened to include “the angels and the saints.” I trust that God doesn’t really care how many words we use, as long as the right intention is there.