12 Prayers for Tough Days

The “Occasional Prayers” section of the Book of Common Prayer is a goldmine, particularly when the going gets tough.

The following prayers come from the Anglican Church in North America’s 2019 Book of Common Prayer. You can view the text of the 2019 BCP here. And you can download a Word document containing all of the Occasional Prayers here.

58. FOR A PERSON IN TROUBLE OR BEREAVEMENT

O merciful Father, you have taught us in your holy Word that you do not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men: Look with pity on the sorrows of your servant N. Remember him, O Lord, in mercy; nourish his soul with patience; comfort him with a sense of your goodness; lift up your countenance upon him; and give him peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

59. FOR THE DISCOURAGED AND DOWNCAST

O God, almighty and merciful, you heal the broken-hearted, and turn the sadness of the sorrowful to joy, Let your fatherly goodness be upon all whom you have made. Remember in pity all those who are this day destitute, homeless, elderly, infirm, or forgotten. Bless the multitude of your poor. Lift up those who are cast down. Mightily befriend innocent sufferers, and sanctify to them the endurance of their wrongs. Cheer with hope all who are discouraged and downcast, and by your heavenly grace preserve from falling those whose poverty tempts them to sin. Though they be troubled on every side, suffer them not to be distressed; though they are perplexed, save them from despair. Grant this, O Lord, for the love of him who for our sakes became poor, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

61. FOR THE RECOVERY OF A SICK PERSON

Almighty and immortal God, giver of life and health: We implore your mercy for your servant N., that by your blessing upon him and upon those who minister to him with your healing gifts, he may be restored to health of body and mind, according to your gracious will, and may give thanks to you in your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

62. FOR THOSE AFFLICTED WITH MENTAL SUFFERING

Almighty God, whose Son took upon himself the afflictions of your people: Regard with your tender compassion those suffering from anxiety, depression, or mental illness [especially _______]; bear their sorrows and their cares; supply all their needs; help them to put their whole trust and confidence in you; and restore them to strength of mind and cheerfulness of spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

77. FOR GUIDANCE

O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices; that in your light we may see light, and in your straight path we may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

79. FOR MERCY

Almighty God, you have not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities; grant that we, who for our evil deeds deserve to be punished, by the might of your grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

80. FOR TRUSTFULNESS IN TIMES OF WORRY AND ANXIETY

Most loving Father, you will us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of you, and to cast all our care on the One who cares for us. Preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which you have manifested unto us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

82. FOR QUIET CONFIDENCE

O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength: By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

86. FOR SLEEP

Father, in your mercy dispel the darkness of this night, and let your servant sleep in peace, that at the dawn of a new day I may wake with joy in your Name; through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

95. IN TIMES OF SUFFERING OR WEAKNESS

Dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: I hold up all my weakness to your strength, my failure to your faithfulness, my sinfulness to your perfection, my loneliness to your compassion, my little pains to your great agony on the Cross. I pray that you will cleanse me, strengthen me, guide me, so that in all ways my life may be lived as you would have it lived, without cowardice and for you alone. Show me how to live in true humility, true contrition, and true love.  Amen.

97. PREPARATION FOR PERSONAL PRAYER

Holy Spirit, breath of God and fire of love, I cannot pray without your aid: Kindle in me the fire of your love, and illumine me with your light; that with a steadfast will and holy thoughts I may approach the Father in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ my Lord, who reigns with you and the Father in eternal union. Amen.

115. FOR THE COMING OF GOD’S KINGDOM

Hasten, O Father, the coming of your kingdom; and grant that we your servants, who now live by faith, may with joy behold your Son at his coming in glorious majesty; even Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate.  Amen.


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