Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts

May 15, 2021

Call to Prayer

The book of Psalms provides beautiful, blessed Bible prayers to pray, but some psalms, such as Psalm 122, pray for us to pray!

No matter how you translate it, these verses from the Bible Gateway website send an urgent call to God’s people now.


Psalm 122:6-9

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

“Pray for the well-being of Jerusalem:
‘May those who love you be secure;
may there be peace within your walls,
security within your fortresses.’
Because of my brothers and friends,
I will say, ‘May peace be in you.’
Because of the house of the Lord our God,
I will pursue your prosperity.”


Psalm 122:6-9

Common English Bible (CEB)

Pray that Jerusalem has peace:
    ‘Let those who love you have rest.
     let there be rest on your fortifications.’
For the sake of my family and friends,
    I say, 'Peace be with you, Jerusalem.’
For the sake of the Lord our God’s house
    I will pray for your good.”


Psalm 122:6-9

New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

“For the peace of Jerusalem pray:
    ‘May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your ramparts,
    prosperity within your towers.’
For the sake of my brothers and friends I say,
    ‘Peace be with you,’
For the sake of the house of the Lord, our God,
    I pray for your good.”



©2021, Mary Harwell Sayler



April 22, 2021

Praying for boldness


As the early church faced persecution, Jesus’ followers could have asked to be spared suffering or harm to themselves, but they did not. Instead, this Bible prayer from Acts shows the first Christian asking for boldness to speak God’s Word and bring the good news of Christ the Savior to people everywhere. May we, too, pray to be bold in ministering healing and making peace in Jesus' Name.


Acts 4:29-30 – a prayer of Jesus’ followers

from the King James Version


And now, Lord,

behold their threatenings:

and grant unto thy servants,

that with all boldness

they may speak thy word,

By stretching forth thine hand

to heal; and that signs

and wonders may be done

by the name of thy holy child Jesus.


From the Book of KJV Prayers - actual prayers from the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) collected by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019 


Acts 4:29-30 – a prayer of Jesus’ followers

in contemporary English


Lord, can You hear how

they’re threatening us?


Please help us to speak Your word

with courage, Lord.


Show Your power!


Bring healing!


Perform miracles for us!


Amaze everyone with the authority

found in Jesus’ Name.


From the Book of Bible Prayers – actual prayers of the Bible collected from a variety of translations researched on Bible Gateway then paraphrased into everyday English by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019.

March 19, 2021

Confessing with Jeremiah

Living in troubled times, the Prophet Jeremiah drew close enough to hear God’s word, and we can do this too! As Lent reminds us, we prepare for Easter by confessing and turning away (repenting) from whatever obstacles stand between us and the Lord.

May God Himself put on our minds and hearts any fear, anger, bigotry, violence, idolatry, complacency, or other sin we need to release into His forgiveness. Freed of these dark stains, we’re ready to receive the light and living water of Jesus Christ.


Jeremiah 14:20-22 – a prayer of Jeremiah
from the King James Version of the Bible

We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness,
and the iniquity of our fathers:
for we have sinned against thee.

Do not abhor us, for thy name's sake,
do not disgrace the throne of thy glory:
remember, break not thy covenant with us.

Are there any among the vanities
of the Gentiles that can cause rain?
or can the heavens give showers?
art not thou he, O Lord our God?

therefore we will wait upon thee:
for thou hast made all these things.

From the Book of KJV Prayers - actual prayers from the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) collected by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019 

Jeremiah 14:20-22 – a prayer of Jeremiah
paraphrased into contemporary English

We confess!

We’ve acted badly, Lord,
and so have our ancestors.

Our whole family has sinned against You,
and yet, surely
Your character will not allow You
to abandon us, Lord,
nor disgrace Your glorious throne.

Please remember Your promises to us
for we rely on You.

What worthless foreign god could
send us rain?

The sky needs You
to do such things, O Lord our God.
And so
we wait for You to help.

From the Book of Bible Prayers – actual prayers of the Bible collected from a variety of translations researched on Bible Gateway then paraphrased into everyday English by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019



February 26, 2021

Job prays for a referee

Thousands of years ago, people thought terrible hardships meant a person had sinned against an avenging god. Obviously, Job’s friends had been taught to think that way, but Job knew he’d done nothing to disobey God, and he could think of nothing that might even have offended the Lord.
In this prayer, Job longs for a mediator, an advocate, an umpire, a referee – someone to stand between himself and God, interpret as needed, and restore them into fellowship. 

Centuries later that Mediator came to earth as our go-between – Jesus Christ, The One Who forgives and forever reunites us with the Almighty God.

Job 9:25-35 – a prayer of Job
in contemporary English
My life sprints by like a runner – so swiftly
it’s hard to catch a glimpse of happiness.
Life vanishes like a speedy little boat made of paper
or like an eagle swooping down on its prey.
If I made up my mind to forget my complaints
and put away a sad face to be cheerful,
I would still shudder with pain.
O, God, I know You’ll never say I’m innocent!
No matter what, I will be found guilty,
so why should I even try?
If I scoured myself with soap
and washed my hands with lye,
You might thrust me into a muddy ditch,
so even my clothes would hate my filth!
God, You’re not a regular person like me,
so how can I argue my case? How can I
take You to trial?
Oh, if only a Mediator stood between us –
someone who could bring us together again.
From the Book of Bible Prayers – actual prayers of the Bible collected from a variety of translations researched on Bible Gateway then paraphrased into everyday English by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019
Job 9:25-35 – a prayer of Job
from the King James Version
Now my days are swifter than a post:
they flee away, they see no good.
They are passed away as the swift ships:
as the eagle that hasteth to the prey.
If I say, I will forget my complaint,
I will leave off my heaviness,
and comfort myself: I am afraid
of all my sorrows, I know that thou
wilt not hold me innocent.
If I be wicked, why then labour I in vain?
If I wash myself with snow water, and
make my hands never so clean;
Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch,
and mine own clothes shall abhor me.
For he ( God) is not a man, as I am,
that I should answer him, and we should
come together in judgment.
Neither is there any daysman betwixt us,
that might lay his hand upon us both.

From the Book of KJV Prayers - actual prayers from the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) collected by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019 


November 9, 2020

Pray for our leaders

1 Timothy 2:1-4 – “Make prayers, requests, intercession, and thanksgiving for everyone – for your leaders and all in authority – so we may lead a quiet and peaceable life of honesty and dignity. For this is good in the sight of God our Savior, Who wants everyone to be saved and come to know the truth.”

Lord, even if we despise someone in a position of authority, You don’t! Your will is for everyone to know the truth about You and be saved. And, who needs saving more than detestable people?

Give us Your prayers to pray, Lord, for our leaders at church, work, school, home, and country. Help us to intercede for those who don’t know You and desperately need You. To be honest, we don’t want to give thanks for unlikeable leaders! Yet we want to thank You for everything, and we choose to obey.

Thank You, Most High God, for the people You have placed in authority over us. Help them to lead with dignity, honor, honesty, and a mind set on You.

(c)2020, Mary Harwell Sayler, from book of Bible verses with contemporary prayers, Kneeling on the Promises of God


August 13, 2020

Thanking God with Asaph

Asaph and his musically inclined descendants served as Temple Musicians,  ministering before the Ark of the Lord, singing songs of praise, and thanking God with Bible prayers such as this psalm: 

Psalm 75:1 – a prayer of Asaph
from the King James Version

Unto thee, O God,

do we give thanks,

unto thee

do we give thanks:

for that thy name is near

thy wondrous works declare.

From the Book of KJV Prayers - actual prayers from the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) collected by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019 


Psalm 75:1 – a prayer of Asaph
paraphrased into contemporary English

We give thanks

to You, O Lord.

We give thanks.

For Your Name

is near.

Your Name

holds wondrous


From the Book of Bible Prayers – actual prayers of the Bible collected from a variety of translations and paraphrased into everyday English by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019

April 23, 2020

Praying for our Leaders – and theirs

As the pandemic continues to affect our country and almost every other country too, tensions increase and blame abounds, spreading the contagious dis-ease of bad attitudes and depressing outlooks. 

We can contribute to the general malaise, or, as Christians, we can take another tack. Here’s how the Apostle Paul prayed in troubling times.

1 Timothy 2:1-6  – a prayer of Paul
from the King James Version of the Bible

I exhort therefore, that, first of all,
supplications, prayers, intercessions,
and giving of thanks, be made for all…;

For kings, and for all that are in authority;
that we may lead a quiet and peaceable
life in all godliness and honesty.

For this is good and acceptable in the sight
of God our Saviour; Who will have
all to be saved, and to come
unto the knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God, and one mediator
between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Who gave himself a ransom for all,
to be testified in due time.

From the Book of KJV Prayers - actual prayers from the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) collected by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019 

1 Timothy 2:1-6  – a prayer of Paul
paraphrased into current language

Remind us, Lord,
to make our requests –
our prayers,
and thanksgiving –
for everyone,
including our leaders
and all those in authority,
so we may live
holy lives.

Surely this pleases You,
God our Savior,
for You want everyone
to be saved
and come to know
the truth in You.

You alone are God,
and we have One
mediator between You
and other people –
the One, Christ Jesus,
Who gave Himself
as a ransom for us

and everyone.

From the Book of Bible Prayersactual prayers of the Bible collected from a variety of translations and paraphrased into everyday English by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019

May this Bible prayer remind us to pray for our leaders, whether we like them or not, and also to pray for those in authority in other countries too, yes, including tyrants!

May this Bible prayer remind us to pray for everyone God puts on our minds.

P.S. Even if I forget to say so, the Bible Gateway website has long eased and aided my search for Bible prayers and other biblical topics.

September 7, 2019

Praying for Bible Prayers!

If you've saved this blog as a Fav, you might notice the new URL. We're now a website with an exciting new adventure on the way, we pray!

Please ask your friends to follow us as we pray actual Bible prayers - prayerfully paraphrased (pray-er-a-phrased) into contemporary language.

Just click the hotlink above or copy/paste - - into your browser.

May God bless you and give you the prayers to pray.


August 27, 2019

Praying Bible prayers and Bible promises

For several years, the Bible Prayers blog has focused on actual prayers in the Bible – prayers that have been prayer-a-phrased (prayerfully paraphrased) into contemporary language after comparing many of the translations found in my home and also on the Bible Gateway website.

If you’ve followed this blog (thank you very much and God bless you!) you’ve probably noticed long gaps between posts, which I pray will be only temporary.

Meanwhile, I’ve been collecting and paraphrasing Bible prayers for a book, which, Lord willing, will soon be available because I believe so strongly in its importance – first as a means of providing an up-to-date version of actual Bible prayers in one easy-to-read book - and also because praying those prayers means we automatically have prayer partners from the past, present, or future, who agree with us in prayer as two or more of us gather in Jesus’ Name.

In addition to that goal, a thought recently came to remind me that powerful, timeless, and relevant prayers are also available as we appropriately claim God’s promises in the Bible. Lord willing, this blog will soon include those prayers too.

For example, consider Psalm 119:165 in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible: “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Or, according to the Amplified Bible (AMP), “Those who love Your law have great peace; Nothing makes them stumble.” Or, the Contemporary English Version (CEV) says, “You give peace of mind to all who love your Law. Nothing can make them fall.”

With those translations and others in mind, a prayer that claims this biblical promise might go like this:

Oh, Lord, we praise You for Your encouraging Word to us through scripture. Thank You for promising to give us great peace of mind if we take Your will to heart, mind, and spirit. Thank You for showing us Your will in the instructions and commandments You’ve given us in the Bible. Praise You for the guidance of Your Holy Spirit, for the strength of Your Word, and for Jesus Christ, Who keeps us from falling away from You. In His Name we pray, amen.

Mary Sayler, ©2019

March 19, 2019

The Catholic Youth Prayer Book

This second edition of The Catholic Youth Prayer Book, which Saint Mary’s Press kindly sent me to review makes a highly appropriate gift for Easter or any time of the year – not only for Catholic teens and young people but Christians of all ages.

Divided into four sections, the book includes:

Part I Prayers for Daily Life
Part II Prayers from the Catholic tradition
Part III Methods for Personal Prayer
Part IV Liturgical Prayer

Throughout the book, Bible prayers appear, often from the Psalms but also Ezekiel, Matthew, Philippians, 1 Peter, and other books found in Hebrew scriptures or the New Testament. In addition, you’ll find creeds of faith and prayers from spiritual giants such as St. Augustine, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Jerome, Ignatius, and more.

As you might imagine, Part II, Chapter 5, “Prayers and Devotions to Mary,” is most apt to cause concern for non-Catholic Christians, who have assumed the honor given to her is a form of worship, rather than the devotion, respect, and just plain love rightfully due the young woman who humbly and willingly gave her consent to become the Mother of Jesus. Even an angel – a messenger of God – called her “Blessed!”

In those poetic words, which begin the Rosary, we learn to pray through stages of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (If you don’t have a string of beads to help you keep track of where you are in your prayers, you can always use your fingers!) Regardless, the chapter includes instructions and an illustrated “Guide to Saying the Rosary,” which, Catholic or not, has been known to move mountains and help people with insomnia sleep better at night!

“Chapter 6: Prayers about the Holy Spirit” includes an insert, “Scripture Tells Us about the Holy Spirit,” which encourages Bible readings in the epistles and the prophet Joel. For example

“You will do great things! ‘It shall come to pass/ I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh./ Your sons and daughters will prophesy,/ your old men will dream dreams, / your young men will see visions,” (Joel 3:1).

In Chapter 7, “Prayers from the Saints,” you’ll find prayers that speak to or for you so well, you might want to check out other works from those early Christians. For example:

“Take Me, Give Me

Lord, take me from myself and
give me to yourself.”

Saint Catherine of Seina

Or, for another example:

“In God’s Service

Lord God,
whose we are and whom we serve,
help us to glorify you this day,
in all the thoughts of our hearts,
in all the words of our lips,
and in all the works of our hands,
as becomes those who are your servants,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Saint Anselm

In the third section on personal prayer, the chapters and “methods” include:

Praying the Lord’s Prayer
Praying with Scripture: Lectio Divina
Praying with Guide Meditation
Prayer and Journaling

The final section gives liturgical prayers used in the church community and ones for a month of private devotions too. Typically those personal times of prayer begin with:

“Call to Prayer

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.”

And end with a “Closing Prayer,” followed by:


May the Lord bless us
and protect us from evil
and bring us to the joy of Heaven.

Yes and amen.

Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, poet-writer and pray-er

Click to order: 

December 25, 2017

The Bible Prayer of Jesus

“Thou art my father, my God,” Psalm 89:26.
Our Father which art in heaven

“The Lord our God is holy,” Psalm 99:9.
Hallowed be Thy name.

“Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,” Psalm 145:13.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done

“I will be exalted in the earth,” Psalm 46:10.
in earth, as it is in heaven.

“And the Lord God humbled you, let you hunger, then fed you with manna….to make you know that we do not live by bread alone, but by every word from the mouth of the Lord,” Deuteronomy 8:3.
Give us this day our daily bread.

“Hear in heaven Your dwelling place and forgive! To those whose hearts You know, let it be according to their ways – for You, Lord, You alone, know the hearts of all,” 1 Kings 8:39.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

“Listen, O Shepherd of Israel, You Who lead us like a flock,” Psalm 80:1.
And lead us not into temptation,

“Fear the Lord your God, and God will deliver you from the hands of all your enemies,” 2 Kings 17:39.
But deliver us from evil

“Yours, O Lord is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty! All that is heaven and earth is Yours! Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted above all,” 1 Chronicles 29:11.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Bible verses were prayer-a-phrased by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2017, with scriptures found on Bible Gateway then interwoven with the Lord’s Prayer from the King James Version (KJV) of Matthew 6:9-13.

March 23, 2012

God calls Moses to answer the prayers of the people

Background: In Egypt the Hebrew people groaned to God, praying for a savior from slavery. They did not know that God had been preparing Moses for that job ever since his birth. But then, neither did Moses!

From the start, Moses knew the love of godly parents in a godly home. In early childhood, he learned how to get around the palace of his adoptive grandfather, Pharaoh. He learned of the important political and cultural events in Egypt and experienced the academic excellence available to him as the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter.

Moses had surely seen how leaders lead, too, and, during his years of exile, he learned, as a shepherd, how to get wayward, frightened sheep to follow him through the desert terrain. What more could he possibly need?


Moses did not yet know that, but God did, and God took the responsibility of responding to Moses before Moses even knew to call on God. Amazing! But that’s how it often works.

So how did God get Moses’ attention? God set fire to a bush that kept on burning without burning up!

It worked. Moses turned to look – really look. And then God spoke.

“From the middle of the burning bush, God called, ‘Moses, Moses.’

“And Moses said, ‘Here am I’,” Exodus 3:4.

Questions: When God spoke to Moses, what were the very first words? Have you ever had the impression that God was calling you for a particular task? In what way does it matter that the Almighty God personally knows your name?

Prayer: LORD God, Heavenly Father of all and Creator of every good thing in me, thank You for knowing my name and everything else about me. Thank You for getting my attention and reminding me to talk with You throughout the day and during the night. Help me, Lord, to listen, hear, and obey You in carrying out the good work to which You have called me in Your Holy Name.

For more about this subject, see “God hears groans as prayers.”

© 2012, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. If your church or Bible study group wants to use these articles as a study guide, just let everyone know where to find the blog. For articles on a variety of Bible topics, see Blogs by Mary.


Bible prayer for the nations

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