An outline for daily prayer
…so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:10)
The writer of Colossians let the beloved congregation at Colossae know they were the subject of unceasing prayer—both in thanksgiving for their work and in supplication for their continued strength in the faith. The Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study offers us the opportunity to lift up those who serve faithfully in places near and far, in circumstances dangerous and comfortable, in ministries that serve the heart and the body. Just as Jesus prayed for and with his disciples, we can pray for and with all those who serve his church. In prayer, we draw closer to God, and will find that we may also “lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him,” bearing good fruit and growing in our knowledge of God.
As we take time from our busy life for prayer, a framework can help us structure our prayer time to give thanks, confess sin, and make intercessions. The portions in italics are suggested sentences from the Psalms.
Begin your prayer by acknowledging the goodness and sovereignty of God.
Bless the Lord, O my soul. Let all that is within me bless God’s holy name.
The Daily Lectionary provides a morning and evening psalm and readings from the Old Testament, the Psalms, the Epistles, and the Gospel. Meditation on Scripture is an important part of prayer so choose one or more of the readings for the day to accompany your prayer time.
Begin your prayer with thanksgiving for the gifts of God.
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in you.
Then ask for forgiveness for sin and rejoice in the assurance of forgiveness.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving-kindness; in your great compassion, blot out my offenses. For your loving-kindness is better than life itself; my lips shall give you praise.
Ask for God’s providential love, peace, and healing for those close to you, for those mentioned in the day’s Mission Yearbook entry, and for the church in the world. Include in these intercessions any current situations, either personal, local, or global.
Close your prayer by asking for God’s continued love, and our continued faith in God’s grace.
Keep watch over my life, for I am faithful; save your servant, for I put my trust in you. For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, and great is your love toward all who call upon you.