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Parish of the Woodford Valley with Archers Gate and Kings Gate


Prayer Resources

The following links will take you to other websites including the Bible and prayer resources…

Favourite Prayers

Here are some of the favourite prayers of our parishioners…


P = Praise: Tell God you love him and thank him
Psalm 69: 30 ‘I will praise God’s name and glorify him with thanksgiving’

R = Repent: Confess any sin.
Acts 3: 19-20 ‘Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord’.

A = Ask: Ask God to help you and others.
1 John 5: 14 ‘This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us’.

Y = Yield: Pause and listen to God’s word.
Psalm 130: 5 ‘I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope’.

O God, who hast prepared for them
that love Thee
such good things as pass man’s understanding;
pour into our hearts such love
towards Thee,
that we, loving Thee above all things,
may obtain Thy promises,
which exceed all that we can desire;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer of Reinhold Niebuhr
God grant me the serenity
To accept things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference,
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace. Amen.

Give me courage to stand up for what is right,
Patience to listen to other people,
Love to embrace the world, in Christ's name, Amen.

Teach us, Good Lord,
to serve thee as thou deservest,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and not to ask for any reward
save that of knowing that we do Thy will.
In Thy name we pray, Amen.

A prayer of St Anselm
O Lord our God,
grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart,
that, so desiring, we may seek and find you;
and so finding you, we may love you;
and loving you we may hate those sins
from which you have redeemed us,
for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen

God’s life within
Take Lord, unto Thyself,
My sense of self: and let it vanish utterly:
Take Lord, my life,
Live thou Thy life through me:
I live no longer, Lord,
But in me now Thou livest:
Aye, between Thee and me, my God,
There is no longer room for 'I' and 'mine'.
(Tukaram, an Indian peasant mystic1608-49)

Based on the Prologue to St Benedict’s Rule
We pray, Lord, that everything we do
may be prompted by your inspiration,
so that every prayer and work of ours
may begin from you
and be brought by you to completion.
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Grace - St Benedict
Gracious and Holy Father,
give us wisdom to recognise you,
intelligence to understand you,
diligence to seek you,
patience to wait for you,
eyes to see you,
hearts to meditate on you,
and lives to proclaim you,
through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Celtic prayer
May the road rise with you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sunshine warm upon your face
And the rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God keep you in the hollow of his hand

A young child’s prayer
God is my Father
I am his child
He will never leave me
Nor forsake me

O Lord
Release me from desire for material gain
Release me from hunger from status
Release me from comparison with others
Release me from love of success
Release me from craving for power
Set me free to enjoy all you give me
Set me free to seek you alone for reward
Set me free secure in your love
Set me free to succeed or fail
Set me free to serve as did Jesus
We ask this in his name Amen

The Fifth Season - a meditation by C A Schlea
In the spring of life
In the flower of youth
Everything is bright and new

In the summer of life
Time of growth and change
Each day brings new dreams to pursue

In the autumn of life
There’s settling down -
Contentment and sureness in what we do.

In the winter of life
Comes peace and wisdom,
Time to relax and reminisce, too.

But with the passing of these seasons,
Life is not done, not through,
For there is yet another season,
When each spirit is renewed.
And it is in this calm fifth season,
In this hopeful second spring,
A time of cleansing and rebirth,
A time of new awakening,
Each person’s life will come full circle,
Even as the seasons do,
To start another different life,
Much better than the one we knew.

Prayer of St Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon:
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope
where there is darkness, light
where there is sadness, joy
O divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying
that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen.

If you can just sit for a moment
And listen ...
To the birds
Singing songs of praise
To the breeze
Whispering to the trees
"Would you pray with me tonight?"
"Yes, with all my heart,
Love, joy and delight"
The trees replied
Can you hear the rhythm
Of the stone’s heartbeat?
"I love you God"
Their words with every beat
Can you hear the silence
In the tranquil summer night
Deep ... deep .. silence
Is the language of the heart
Rain drops tap-dancing
Tip-top ... drip-drop
Tiny, elegant steps
A never-ending story
Proclaiming God’s wonders
And His majestic glory
Can you feel the serenity
And graceful prayer
Of golden wheat grains
While bowing down their heads
Giving mother earth
A great big kiss
Can you hear the rainbow
Stretching up and down
Reaching out to heaven
Then bending like a clown
Amazing colours
Almost divine
The dignified roses
Extending out their hands
Calling you to pray
Come and join the crowd
God is The Greatest
Most Gracious, Most Kind
Atoms are dancing
Going round and round
Joyful in their orbits
What an awesome band
Praising their creator
Joining hand in hand
Numbers are standing
Magnificent is the sign
Starting from the zero
Infinite is the line
Unique in their performance
United through design
Praying in adoration
Humbly kneeling down
Galaxies are twirling
Wrapped up in cosmic light
Wearing magical dresses
Glowing through the night
All shapes colours and sizes
Amazing is the sight
Glorifying their Designer
The source of peace
And essence of delight
Nahida Izzat

May the Strength of God Empower me;
The Wisdom of God Direct me;
The Spirit of God Inspire me;
The Love of God Enfold me;
The Grace of God Comfort me;
The Joy of God Fill me.
And may the Blessing of God Almighty,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be upon me,
this day/evening and always. Amen.

Two versions of the Jesus Prayer:

Come Lord Jesus, Come. Amen


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.

Prayer of Abandonment: by Charles de Foucauld
Father I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will,
Whatever you may do I thank you
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
And in all your creatures.
I wish nothing more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you
with all the love of my heart,
for I do love you, Lord,
and so I need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands,
without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
because you are my Father. Amen

Give me the hill that’s hard to climb,
Give me the toil and tears,
Give me the silent starless night
And unrelenting years.
Till in the end I find the road
That pilgrim feet have trod
With mind at rest at eventide
And heart at peace with God.

The Methodist Covenant Prayer
Lord God,
I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing,
put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you,
or laid aside for you,
exalted for you,
or brought low for you;
let me be full,
let me be empty,
let me have all things,
let me have nothing:
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.

A prayer of William Temple
Oh God of love, we ask you to give us love;
Love in our thinking, love in our speaking,
Love in out doing,
And love in the hidden places of our souls;
Love of those with whom we find it hard to bear,
And love of those who find it hard to bear with us;
Love of those with whom we work,
Love of those with whom we take our ease;
That so at length we may be worthy to dwell with you,
Who are eternal love.

A prayer of St Richard of Chichester
Thanks be to you, O Lord Jesus Christ,
For all the benefits that you have given us,
For all the pains and insults which you have borne for us.
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
May we know you more clearly,
Love you more dearly,
And follow you more nearly,
Now and for evermore. Amen

The prayer of an unknown Confederate soldier 1865
I asked for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I had asked for,
but everything that I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

For all animal lovers
Father in heaven, I thank you for all living things which you have made, and especially for the animals of your creation. Give to all who deal with them a heart of compassion, that no dumb animal may suffer cruelty or fear at their hands, and keep us always thankful for their faithful companionship and service, through Christ our Lord Amen

This poem, written by Lee Abbey Past Community member Bill Colclough, is a simple reflection on how to pray.

Don’t be afraid if you don’t understand
Don’t fear you won’t do it right
Don’t worry about performing
Just talk to me

Don’t need no words you can’t define
Don’t need a special voice you keep reserved just for me
Don’t even have to close your eyes
Just talk to me

Don’t need to wait until you’re hopeless
Don’t need a particular reason to call
Don’t need to fake your holiness
Just talk to me

Don’t worry that you don’t love me enough
Don’t need to do anything special
Don’t pretend you’re someone or something that you’re not
Just talk to me

Don’t need some formal speech about all the social and theological issues of the day
Don’t be afraid I won’t listen
Don’t use lots of fancy phrases you heard some preacher say
Just talk to me

Don’t try to be impressive
Don’t think about your image
Don’t need to be self-conscious
Just talk to me

Don’t think it has make sense
Don’t feel the need to use complete sentences
Don’t feel the need to use words at all
Just talk to me

Don’t pretend to be happy if you are not
Don’t be overwhelmed if you feel hopeless
Don’t worry if I’ll do what you ask
Just talk to me

Don’t feel you have to take all day or all night
Don’t feel the need to be serious or sombre or stressed
Don’t even think about wearing your fancy clothes
Just talk to me

Don’t worry if you’re pleasing me
Don’t think you have to have all the answers
Don’t try to feel anything different at all
Just talk to me

Don’t worry about feeling terribly confident
Don’t try to change the world
Don’t think yourself too bad or too good to do this
Just talk to me

Don’t spend your emotional energy getting all worked up over this
Don’t think of me as a perfectionist
Don’t believe everything you hear down there
Just talk to me

Don’t keep a list or record of when we chat
Don’t need to make an appointment
Don’t stop to talk to the receptionist
Just talk to me

Don’t try to be your preacher
Don’t try to be your mother
Don’t pretend you’ve got it all together
Just talk to me
Don’t need no special glasses
Don’t need a microphone
Don’t worry if it isn’t good
Just talk to me

Don’t lie to me
Don’t question if I understand
Don’t think it doesn’t matter
Just talk to me

Don’t bother about the rules
Don’t bother about whether there are any
Don’t pursue anything by which to measure yourself
Just talk to me

Don’t confuse me with your father
Don’t put that kind of pressure on him or yourself
Don’t try get away from the point of who I am
Just talk to me

Don’t try to impress me
Don’t try to hide anything
Don’t concern yourself about whether you’re wasting my time with trivialities
Just talk to me

Don’t ask if I know about the latest hospital report
Don’t think I don’t know all the latest gossip
Don’t wonder if I know the best possible outcome
Just talk to me

Don’t think anything is too insignificant to bring up
Don’t worry if you cry
Don’t worry if you don’t
Just talk to me

Don’t be afraid
Don’t be unnatural
Don’t be anything you don’t want to be
Just talk to me

Don’t hesitate to shout if you feel like it
Don’t hesitate
Don’t hesitate to rant
Don’t pretend
Just talk to me

Don’t forget to laugh with me
Don’t forget that I’m the one who started all this
Don’t forget I already know what you’re going to say
Just talk to me

Don’t worry about what I might say or think about you
Don’t be concerned if you lose your train of thought
Don’t be surprised if I talk back
Just talk to me

Don’t forget to listen
Don’t forget I care more than you can possibly imagine
Don’t worry about the silence

Just talk to me

Just talk to me

Just talk to me

O Lord, support us all the day long of this troubled life, until the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then, Lord, in thy mercy, grant us safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at the last, through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen

Prayer used at Royal Navy services
O Eternal Lord God, who alone spreadest out the heavens and ruleth the raging of the sea: who has compassed the waters with bounds until day and night come to an end: be pleased to receive unto thy Almighty and most gracious protection the persons of us thy servants, and the Fleet in which we serve. Preserve us from the dangers of the sea, and from the violence of the enemy; that we may be a safeguard unto our most gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth, and her Dominions, and a security for such as pass on the seas upon their lawful occasions: that the inhabitants of our Island may in peace and quietness serve thee our God: and that we may return in safety to enjoy the blessings of the land, with the fruits of our labours and with a thankful remembrance of thy mercies to praise and glorify thy holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen

Based on the prayer of St Francis
Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is hatred let me bring your love,
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord,
And where there’s doubt, true faith in you

O Master, grant that I may never seek so much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, only light,
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving of ourselves that we receive,
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

A bell ringer’s prayer
Grant, O Lord, that the ringing of these bells may be to your honour and glory, and as we through their music, send out a call to worship, may we also worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer of Sir Jacob Astley before the battle of Edgehill 1642
Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day: If I forget Thee, do not Thou forget me.

The Father knocks at my door seeking a home for his Son
Rent it cheap I say
I don’t want to rent. I want to buy, says God.
I’m not sure I want to sell
But you might come to look around.
I think I will, says God

I might let you have a room or two.
I like it, says God, I’ll take the two
You might decide to give me some more some day,
I can wait, says God

I’d like to give you more but it’s a bit difficult
I need some space for me.
I know, says God, but I’ll wait. I like what I see.

Hmmm maybe I can let you have another room,
I really don’t need that much.
Thanks, says God, I’ll take it. I like what I see.

I’d like to give you the whole house, but I’m not sure -
Think on it, says God, I wouldn’t put you out.
Your house would be mine and my Son would live in it.
You’d have more space than you ever had before.

I don’t understand at all.
I know, says God, but I can’t tell you about that
You’ll have to discover it for yourself.
That can only happen if you let him have your whole house.

A bit risky, I say
Yes, says God, but try me.
I’m not sure - I’ll let you know.
I can wait, says God - I like what I see
(from St Beuno’s Collection)

May the souls of the faithful in the mercy of God rest in peace and rise in glory

Into your hands O Lord we commend ourselves this day. Let your presence be with us to its close. Strengthen us to remember that in whatever work we do we are serving you. Give us a diligent and watchful spirit, that we may seek in all things to know your will, and knowing it, gladly perform it, to the honour and glory of your name through Jesus Christ our Lord

Lord keep us safe this night
secure from all our fears
May angels guard us while we sleep
till morning light appears

Lighten our darkness we beseech thee O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this life, for the sake of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ

Lord and Source of All Gifts
we rejoice in the fullness of Your holy generosity.
We thank you especially now
for the gift of change, that gift of newness
that opens doors closed by habit and routine.
We bless You and thank You as well
for that which is stable and unchanging,
for the ancient and traditional
which give meaning to the new and different.
We thank You, O End of All Longing,
for the capacity for change in our lives,
for without change there can be no growth
and no true life.
We are grateful in this prayer, for those persons
who, through their gifts of excitement and adventure, have taught us not to fear change,
not to resist the new.
We are thankful for your Son, Your Sacred Word,
who spoke to us of new wine for new wine skins
and who calls us daily
to a new kingdom
and to a new covenant.
May our hearts be ever-changing,
ever in growth,
as we journey to You, our Mysterious Source,
You who are forever fresh and new
yet forever the same.
Blessed are You, Lord our God,
who gives spice to life with change.

To light a candle
The practice of lighting a candle as a sign of prayer is of long standing among Christians.. It may become mechanical or ill-understood or seen merely as a superstitious gesture. The following prayer can help to restore this practice to its genuine spiritual meaning:


May this candle be a light for you to enlighten me in my difficulties and decisions.
May it be a fire for you to burn out of me all pride, selfishness, and impurity.
May it be a flame for you to ring warmth into my heart towards my family, my friends, my neighbours,
And all those who meet me.
In union with the prayers of Mary and all the saints
I place into your care those I come to remember and all those who asked me to pray for them...
I cannot stay long here with you:
In leaving this candle burning here,
I wish to give you something of myself.
Help me to continue this prayer into
Everything I do this day. Amen (this prayer originated in France)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I’ve love you the way my Father has loved me,
Make yourselves at home in my love" John 15:9

Jesus thank you for teaching how to love
Help us to keep loving, even when we feel unlovable.
Help us to build a world in which everyone
Will feel at home in your love. Amen