On Sunday, August 25, Pastor Curtis taught on the prayer Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” You can listen to the message here.

As part of the message, he alluded to a handful of pre-written prayers that mirror the heart of Jesus prayer in the garden. Prayers that might not change our circumstances, but prayers that might change us. Those prayers (and more) are included here on this page. We hope you will use them. If you don’t yet have a spiritual life or if you don’t yet engage in any spiritual disciplines, perhaps this might spark something. Enjoy.

Prayer of Address

Father God, creator of heaven and earth,
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
God of Israel,
God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
True and Living God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Have mercy and hear my prayer.

NOTE: I love how this prayer connects my voice with all the prayers of the past. And I love knowing that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob didn’t have God all figured out. That is to say, they prayed to an imperfectly conceived God, just like me. And God heard them. That is comforting.

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;
And 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.

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever. Amen.

NOTE: forgive US, lead US, deliver US … this is a plural prayer. A prayer for all mankind. It’s not just a prayer for me.

The Expanded Lord's Prayer

Our Father, Holy Father, Abba Father, in the heavens,
Hallowed, holy, sacred be your name.
From the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same,
The name of the Lord is to be praised.
Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts,
The whole earth is full of your glory.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty,
Who was and is and is to come.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Thy government come, thy politics be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Thy reign and rule come, thy plans and purposes be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
May we be an anticipation of the age to come.
May we embody the reign of Christ here and now.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
Provide for the poor among us.
* As we seek first your kingdom and your justice,
May all we need be provided for us.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
Transform us by the Holy Spirit into a forgiving community of forgiven sinners.
Lead us not into trouble, trial, tribulation or temptation.
Be mindful of our frame, we are but dust,
We can only take so much.
Lead us out of the wilderness into the promised land that flows with milk and honey,
Lead us out of the badlands into resurrection country.
Deliver us from evil and the evil one.
Save us from Satan, the accuser and adversary.
So that no weapon formed against us shall prosper.
So that every tongue that rises against us in accusation you will condemn.
So that every fiery dart of the wicked one is extinguished by the shield of faith.
So that as we submit to you and resist the devil, the devil flees.
So that as we draw near to Jesus Christ lifted up,
His cross becomes for us the axis of love expressed in forgiveness,
That refounds the world;
And the devil, who became the false ruler of the fallen world,
Is driven out from among us.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.

NOTE: * I love these two lines. As we seek justice, provide for us. We don’t just want a free pass.

Two Prayers of Martin Luther King Jr.

We thank you for your church, founded upon your Word, that challenges us to do more than sing and pray, but go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers depended on us and not upon you. Help us to realize that humanity was created to shine like the stars and live on through all eternity. Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace. Help us to walk together, pray together, sing together, and live together until that day when all God’s children — Black, White, Red, Brown and Yellow — will rejoice in one common band of humanity in the reign of our Lord and of our God, we pray. Amen.

Thou Eternal God, out of whose absolute power and infinite intelligence the whole universe has come into being, we humbly confess that we have not loved thee with our hearts, souls and minds, and we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us. We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed by Christ. We often give in order to receive. We love our friends and hate our enemies. We go the first mile but dare not travel the second. We forgive but dare not forget. And so as we look within ourselves, we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives is the history of an eternal revolt against you. But thou, O God, have mercy upon us. Forgive us for what we could have been but failed to be. Give us the intelligence to know your will. Give us the courage to do your will. Give us the devotion to love your will. In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

The Trinity Prayer

Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, set up your Kingdom in our midst.

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

Holy Spirit, breath of the living God, renew me and all your world.


Prayer for the young - by Frederick Buechner

O thou, who art the God no less of those who know thee not than of those who love thee well, be present with us at the times of choosing when time stands still and all that lies behind and all that lies ahead are caught up in the mystery of a moment. Be present especially with the young who must choose between many voices. Help them to know how much an old world needs their youth and gladness. Help them to know that there are words of truth and healing that will never be spoken unless they speak them, and deeds of compassion and courage that will never be done unless they do them. Help them never to mistake success for victory or failure for defeat. Grant that they may never be entirely content with whatever bounty the world may bestow upon them, but that they may know at last that they were created not for happiness but for joy, and that joy is to them alone who, sometimes with tears in their eyes, commit themselves in love to thee and to others. Lead them and all the world ever deeper into the knowledge that finally all people are one and that there can never really be joy for any until there is joy for all. In Christ’s name we ask it and for his sake. Amen.

From Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons by Frederick Buechner

An Advent Prayer - by Frederick Buechner

Lord Jesus Christ, thou Son of the Most High, Prince of Peace, be born again into our world. Wherever there is war in this world, wherever there is pain, wherever there is loneliness, wherever there is no hope, come, thou long-expected one, with healing in thy wings. Holy Child, whom the shepherds and the kings and the dumb beasts adored, be born again. Wherever there is boredom, wherever there is fear of failure, wherever there is temptation too strong to resist, wherever there is bitterness of heart, come, thou Blessed One, with healing in thy wings. Savior, be born in each of us as we raise our faces to thy face, not knowing fully who we are or who thou art, knowing only that thy love is beyond our knowing and that no other has the power to make us whole. Come, Lord Jesus, to each who longs for thee even though we have forgotten thy name. Come quickly. Amen.

From Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons by Frederick Buechner

Prayer for Peace

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

NOTE: “of one blood” … oh, that I and the whole world would finally come to believe this.

Confession of the Mystery

Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.

NOTE: As a recovering “addict-to-certainty” I LOVE that this prayer is called “confession of the mystery” … because it allows me to pray these words with full faith, but allowing it yet to be a mystery … allowing me not to have to all figured it. I think I enjoy praying the title of the prayer as much as the prayer itself.