Showing posts with label prayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prayer. 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 2, 2021

Good Friday prayer of Jesus


On Good Friday, Jesus the Son of God nailed our sins to the cross.  

Only a few days earlier, throngs of people had sung His praises and thrown down palm branches to ease His ride into Jerusalem. But now, crowds gathered to jeer at Him as He hung between criminals in the worse kind of torture – crucifixion.

Just to breathe, Jesus had to lift Himself up, thrusting His weight into the nails that held His hands against the hard wood while dragging His flesh further into the nails that fastened His feet.

And yet….

As the people railed against Him, hurling every kind of insult, and dogs snapped at His feet, and breathing itself became a torture, Jesus used these final moments to pray His last Amen on our behalf:

Luke 23:34 – a prayer of Jesus
from the King James Version (KJV)

Then said Jesus,

forgive them;

for they know not
what they do.

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

Luke 23:34 – a prayer of Jesus
in contemporary English

forgive them!

They don’t know
what they’re doing. 


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 


January 1, 2021

Bible Promise of joy for the New Year


Nehemiah 8:10 – “Let this day be holy unto the Lord! Let go of grief and sorrow because the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Heavenly Father, You created our emotions, so You know we cannot help how we feel! You know our moods and mind-sets swing. You gave us emotions as outlets or ways to let go, for You know that holding our feelings in or trying to bury them only makes an eruption likely at an unexpected moment or untimely time!


Help us to be honest with ourselves about our grief and sorrows. Help us to embrace our emotions as the outlets You intended, but let go of them and hang on to You in faith, believing You will work out everything for our good.  Oh, what joy that brings!


From Kneeling on the Promises of God – book of God’s promises from God’s Word followed by a prayer response by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019


December 17, 2019

Magnificat: Mary’s Magnificent Prayer

Can you imagine the Virgin Mary’s puzzlement and awe when Gabriel, the Angel of God, appeared before her? Then even more puzzling and awesome, the Angel announced that God had chosen her to bear His Son!

Immediately, Mary believed him but, naturally, had questions. Gabriel answered, explaining how the Holy Spirit would come upon her or, as many translations say, “overshadow” her.

As Mary took this all in, Gabriel went on to tell her something only Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah knew: that the elderly couple would soon have their first child.

By then, Elizabeth was only three months away from the birth of a son, who would become known as John the Baptist. But, perhaps because of her age or Zechariah’s temporary muteness as a result of his unbelief or because she didn’t know how people would respond after years of taunting her for being barren – for whatever reason, Elizabeth had kept herself confined for six months. Surely she needed help! And, now with child herself, the young virgin hurried to help.

As soon as Mary arrived, Elizabeth’s unborn baby jumped for joy. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth exclaimed over Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:42.)

With unimaginable joy and awe, Mary burst into praise. And that prayer became known as the “Magnificat,” which comes from the first line of the prayer as translated from its original Aramaic language into Latin, “Magnificat anima mea Dominum.” When translated into English, the Magnificat joyously proclaims, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.”

Luke 1:46-50, from the King James Version (KJV) 

And Mary said,
My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced
in God my Saviour.

For he hath regarded
the low estate of his handmaiden:
for, behold, from henceforth all
generations shall call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath done
to me great things;
and holy is his name.

And his mercy is on them
that fear him
from generation to generation.

From the Book of KJV Prayers – actual prayers from God’s Word collected by Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2019, from the King James Version of the Bible

Luke 1:46-50, in contemporary English

With all my heart, I praise You, Lord!
What favor You have shown!

From now on, every generation 
will call me blessed
because of the great things
You have done for me.

Holy is Your Name!

In every generation,
You give mercy upon mercy
to all who honor You.

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

May you have a blessed Christmas and 20/20 vision in a joyous new year.

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 29, 2019

Praying God's promises through a storm

As Hurricane Dorian approaches the United States, fear can sweep over us like a tidal wave! God knows this and has already given us comfort in these words:

Proverbs 3:24-26, Contemporary English Version (CEV)

…you will rest without a worry
and sleep soundly.
So don’t be afraid
of sudden disasters
or storms that strike
those who are evil.
You can be sure
that the Lord
will protect you from harm.

As you read and re-read those comforting words from God’s Word, what words would you use to claim that promise in prayer? For example:

Heavenly Father, no matter how scary things seem, we claim Your protection for we truly believe You want only good for us and not harm. Thank You for letting us know we have nothing to fear as we rest in the strength of Your love. Praise You, Lord, for protecting me and my home, church, community, and loved ones in Jesus’ Name, amen.

Mary Sayler, ©2019

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: 

May 5, 2017

May the peace of the Lord be with you

Don’t worry!
Be prayerful.

Ask God
for everything
you need, and
thank God,
even as you pray.

And the peace
of the Lord,
which is too great
to understand,
will keep watch
over your heart
and mind
in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 prayer-a-phrased by Mary Harwell Sayler, © 2017, using scripture from various translations on Bible Gateway

August 15, 2015

Praising Our Father with The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father,
Father in Heaven,
holy, holy, holy is Your Name.

Oh, how I want
Your Kingdom to come
and Your Will to be done
in my life, in my home,
in my church,
in The Church
on the earth
as it is in Heaven.

Thank You for giving us
Your Word each day –
our bread,
the Bread of Life.

And thank You
for giving us Your forgiveness
and helping us choose
to forgive others
for trespassing against us.

We thank and praise You, Lord,
that we can trust You
to never
lead us into temptation
but always
deliver us from evil
and all kinds of ills.

We praise You, praise You
for Your Kingdom life in us
and Your Holy Spirit power.

May all we are
and all we do
be for Your praise
and glory
forever and ever
in Jesus’ Name,

©2015, Mary Harwell Sayler

November 19, 2014

Prayer of praise to God

Praise You, LORD!

Praise You in every place
Your people find You.

Praise Your infinite embrace
of the universe.

Praise You for Your magnitude,
magnificence, and mighty acts.

Praise You with every instrument
of musicality.

Praise You for creative gifts
of song and dance
and poetry.

May every living being
praise You,
Almighty God,
with singing
and every breath of life.

Praise You, LORD.
Praise You.

© 2014, Mary Harwell Sayler, a poet, writer, and lifelong lover of Christ, the Bible, and the church, researched Psalm 150 from many of the translations on Bible Gateway before prayer-a-phrasing this poem.


June 7, 2013

Jesus’ parable on prayer attitudes

Jesus told this parable to show how some people trust their own goodness rather than God from Whom all goodness comes:

And Jesus said:

Two guys went up to the Temple to pray.
One collected and kept all the rules of the law.
The other collected taxes. So the Rule-Keeper
stood by himself and said:

“Thank God, I’m not like the other people in this place!
Thank God, I’m not a thief or a scoundrel, and I don’t
cheat on my wife. And, oh, thank goodness, I’m not
a tax collector like that guy over there! Twice a week,
I fast, and I tithe ten-percent of every last penny.

Meanwhile, in the back of the Temple,
the tax collector stood away from everyone else.
Beating his chest, he said:

“Oh, God, have mercy on me, a sinner!”

And Jesus said:

I tell you, that child of God went home justified. For who
can be made right with God while lifting themselves
above God?

But God will exalt anyone who comes humbly in prayer.

Prayer: Dear LORD God, we praise and worship and exalt You, for You alone are holy and not we ourselves. Help us to check our attitudes before we come to You in prayer, bringing You our reverence, respect, and love before we ask anything in Jesus’ Name.

©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler prayer-a-phased Luke 18:9-14 from today’s Bible readings


December 14, 2012

Praying for God’s help

Psalm 31

O LORD, in You I run for shelter.
Let me not be put to shame.
Deliver me In Your righteousness.

Fold Yourself around me,
and quickly rescue me.

Be my strong rock!
Be the stronghold that saves me
for You are my fort and fortification.
For the sake of Your Name, You lead and guide me.
You pull me from unknown traps.
You are my strength!

Into Your hand I commit my spirit.

And You, O LORD God of Truth, have brought me back!

Others may trust in worthless ideals and obsessions,
but LORD, I trust in You.

I rejoice in the kindness of Your love
and am glad, just knowing
You understand my complaint.
You understand the troubles of my soul!

You did not hand me over
into hurtful hands
but handed me a place
with ample room to stretch and grow.

Even in my distress, I can see
how gracious You are, O LORD!

My eyes closed down with grief,
my soul and my body also.
For years, sorrow upon sorrow
spent my life with sighs.

My strength failed in wrongdoings,
and my body wasted away.
I became a reproach to my adversaries,
even close neighbors –
and an object of dread to those who know me.
People in the street would see me and flee!

I am forgotten – like a person dead,
like a broken bowl.

Some spoke ill words into me.
Terror surrounded me.
People ganged up against me
and schemed to take all of me.

But I trust You, O LORD!
I want to tell everyone, “You are my God.”

What happens to me belongs in Your hand,
but, oh, deliver me from the hands
of those who harangue me.

Face me, O LORD, with Your shine.
In the kindness of Your love,
save me, and let not Your servant
be put to shame for calling on You.

Let those who never think of You
be put to shame and silenced forever.
Mute their lying lips
from speaking with pride and derision
against people who just want to do right!

Oh, how great is the goodness
You have stockpiled for Your people
and have waiting for those
who find their sanctuary in You!

In the secret place of Your presence,
You hide us away
from secret schemes.
Secretly You shelter us
in the sanctuary of Your Word –
safe from troubling words.

Blessed be the LORD!
How marvelous His loving kindness!

When I was overwhelmed, I feared
I'd be forever closed off from Your sight,
but You heard my pleas
and cries to You.

O love the LORD, all of you who are
His people!
The LORD takes care of the faithful
and compensates His people well.

Be strong!
Let your heart take courage
as you hope, as you hope in our Lord.

© 2012, Mary Harwell Sayler, prayer-a-phrase poem of Psalm 31

Bible prayer for the nations

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