United Methodist Prayers

Written Prayers from our United Methodist Book of Worship and United Methodist Hymnal

Written prayers are a way to communicate with God. As you read these selected prayers, may their words become your words as we pray for our church.

Prayers from the United Methodist Book of Worship

Spirit of promise, Spirit of unity, we thank you that you are also the Spirit of renewal. Renew in the whole Church that passionate desire for the coming of your kingdom which will unite all Christians in one mission to the world. May we all grow up together into him who is our head, the Savior of the world. Amen – Olive Wyon, England, The Book of Worship #503

O creator and mighty God, you have promised strength for the weak, rest of the laborers, light for the way, grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy, undying love. O creator and mighty God, help us to continue in your promise. Amen. Traditional Prayer, Pakistan, UM Book of Worship #524

Give us, O Lord, steadfast hearts, which no unworthy thought can drag downward, unconquered hearts, which no tribulation can wear out, upright hearts, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and faithfulness that may finally embrace you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. - A Prayer of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Italy, 13th century, UM Book of Worship #530

O gracious God, we pray for your holy Church universal, that you would be pleased to fill it with all truth, in all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it; where it is right, establish it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of him who died and rose again, and ever lives to make intercession for us, Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen. – The Book of Common Prayer, UM Book of Worship #501

Prayers from the United Methodist Hymnal

An Invitation to Christ

Come, my Light, and illumine my darkness. Come, my Life, and revive me from death. Come, my Physician, and heal my wounds. Come, Flame of divine love, and burn up the horns of my sins, kindling my heart with the flame of thy love. Come, my King, sit upon the throne of my heart and reign there. For thou alone art my King and my Lord. Amen – Dimitri of Rostov, Russia, 17th century, UMH #466

For Direction

Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings, with your most gracious favor, and further us with your continual help, that in all our works, begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name and finally, by your mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen- The Book of Common Prayer, UMH #705

An Invitation to the Holy Spirit

O God, the Holy Spirit, come to us, and among us; come as the wind, and cleanse us, come as the fire and burn, come as the dew and refresh; convict, convert, and consecrate many hearts and lives to our great good and to thy greater glory; and this we ask for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen. Eric Milner-White, England, UMH #335

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

O Great Spirit, whose breath gives life to the world, and whose voice is heard in the soft breeze; We need your strength and wisdom. Cause us to walk in beauty. Give us the eyes ever to behold the red and purple sunset. Make us wise so that we may understand what you have taught us.  Help us learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock. Make us always ready to come to you with clean hands and steady eyes, so when life fades, like the fading sunset, our hearts come to you without shame. Amen – Traditional Native American Prayer, UMCH #329                                           

For Illumination

Open wide the window of our spirits, O Lord, and fill us full of light; open wide the door of our hearts, that we may receive and entertain thee with all our powers of adoration and love. Amen – Christina Rossetti, England, UMH #477

Listen, Lord

O Lord, we come this morning knee-bowed and body-bent before thy throne of grace. O Lord – this morning – bow our hearts beneath our knees, and our knees in some lonesome valley. We come this morning like empty pitchers to a full fountain, with no merits of our own. O Lord, open up a window of heaven, and lean out far over the battlements of glory, and listen this morning. Amen. – James Weldon Johnson, USA, 20th century, UMH #677

Litany for Christian Unity

Let us ask the Lord to strengthen in all Christians faith in Christ, the Savior of the world. Listen to us, O Lord. Let us ask the Lord to sustain and guide Christians with his gifts along the way to full unity. Listen to us, O Lord. Let us ask the Lord for the gift of unity and peace for the world. Listen to us, O Lord.

Let us pray. We ask you, O Lord, for the gifts of your Spirit. Enable us to penetrate the depth of the whole truth, and grant that we may share with others the goods you have put at our disposal. Teach us to overcome divisions. Send us your Spirit to lead to full unity your sons and daughters in full charity, in obedience to your will; through Christ our Lord. Amen. – Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) Poland, 20thc, UMH #566