Writing a Personal Prayer

On Wednesday evenings during Lent one Christian practice we are learning is prayer writing. The specific type of prayer is called a “collect”. Christians of Western European descent have been writing them for hundreds of years. We would find them in our earliest Book of Worship with the daily Psalm.

A few prayers in the Bible use the same structure as the collect. Acts 1:24-25 is one used before the election of a new apostle to replace Judas.
“Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”

The Collect is a powerful tool for focus and brevity. The first consideration is a theme or main idea for a prayer such as a special event in our church, a personal concern, or a community need. The five fold form is

Address to God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit
Acknowledge a divine attribute
A request/petition such as forgiveness, protection, guidance, comfort, holiness, love, healing, etc.
Statement of purpose or hoped for result
Conclusion or ascription linking it all with Jesus

So here is an example based on the theme or request to heal a sick friend. Second, connect with the theme of healing with an attribute of God or Jesus such “you are the divine Healer”. If you remember a specific healing miracle or Biblical story that reveals Jesus as the divine healer include that as the example of the desired result. For example: “Loving God,(address) we praise you as the divine Healer, who heals us from dis-ease and illness;(attribute) Please heal our friends (request) like you healed the leapers in our Bible;(hoped for result) in Jesus holy name we pray.(conclusion) Amen.”

Another Collect Prayer form could address personal confusion or struggling with a decision. Connect the theme with an attribute of God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit such as “the great Teacher” or “the Holy One who is Still Speaking”. This week’s scripture focus and theme is ‘listen’ so you could connect with Mark 12:1-17.

“Great God,(address) source of wisdom and great teacher,(attribute) I am struggling to make daily choices based on faith and love,(request) equip me with the wisdom that you shared with your disciples when they struggled with faithful living,(hoped for result) through Jesus Christ our Lord. (conclusion) Amen.

Please try writing your own…