Learning How to Pray
DOWN THROUGH THE YEARS, I have found the prayers of John Baillie to be a helpful guide for my own prayer life. His book A Diary of Private Prayer has a collection of morning and evening prayers for each day of the month. Consider buying this book.
Here is the Morning Prayer for the eighth day of the month: Read it! Pray it!
O God, who in love and pity sent us Jesus Christ to be the Light in our darkness, give me wisdom to profit from the words he spoke, and grace to follow in his footsteps.
Jesus said: “Whenever you stand praying; forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in Heaven may also forgive you your trespass.”
O God, give me the grace to do this now.
Jesus said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
O God, give me grace today not to think of what I can get, but of what I can give.
Jesus said: “When you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”
O God, grant that what give may be given without self-satisfaction and without thought of praise or reward.
Jesus said: “Enter through the narrow gate.”
O God, give me grace today to keep to the narrow path of duty and honest dealing.
Jesus said: “Do not judge.”
O God, give me grace today to take the plank out of my own eye before I look at the speck in my brother’s eye or sister’s eye.
Jesus said: “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet lose their soul.”
O God, give me grace to live this day in such a way that whatever else I lose, I will not lose my soul, my very life in you.
Jesus said: “Then this is how you pray [and this, Lord, is how I pray]: Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
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