I don’t study the scriptures enough, and I certainly don’t witness enough anymore. I no longer tithe and I can spare very little to help others. One thing that a too-busy impoverished guy can still do, though, is pray. You can always steal a few moments on arising, or taking to bed for the night, to talk to the Lord. You can also pray while you’re working or driving, if time is limited. I like to think that my prayer life is fairly active, since I usually pray several times a day, but I know that I still spend too much time talking and not enough time listening.
I don’t really believe in form prayers, yet due to my perspective and concerns, my morning and evening prayers have begun to form a certain pattern. I have decided to post a version of it here, not to appear righteous (because I am a tragically flawed creature), but to possibly give others some ideas, not just about prayer, but about our priorities in life. At times, I feel so rushed that this rather long prayer gets condensed into only a single paragraph, but other times, it gets greatly extended. Take it for what it’s worth to you.
“Heavenly Father, I first want to thank you for all the wonderful blessings in my life. For many years, I took them for granted, not realizing that each one was an undeserved gift from you. Long before I ever accepted Jesus as my savior, you were blessing me far more than I knew, even for a long while after my salvation. Looking back, I see the gentle mercies and loving kindnesses that David always spoke of. Thank you for all those blessings, Father, and please grant that I never again take them for granted. Also, I pray that you will never withhold your blessings from me, even when I fail you, as I so often do. Thank you most of all, Father, for my salvation, paid for with the very life-blood of Jesus. Please let that precious blood continue to wash away my sins that I might be pure and spotless in your sight.*1 And, please grant that I never lose my right mind to where I forget the horrible price that He paid for my salvation.
“I pray also, Father, that you will lead me in your paths of righteousness for your name’s sake, not my own. And, that you will keep me, and those I love and care about, in your watch-care, safe from all harm.
“Please continue to meet my needs as you have been, Father, and as many of my wants and wishes as you deem wise, so that I don’t become discouraged.*2 Please do likewise for all those on my heart and mind, and anyone who ever has been, even if I forget them at the moment, for you remember them and their needs and wants, even when I don’t.*3
“I pray that you will give every person of leadership or authority in this nation, elected or otherwise, a hyper-sensitive conscience, that they might be encouraged to do what is right for their fellow man in your eyes. I pray that you will protect this once-great nation from enemies within and without, and that you will send a great revival on this country, that we might once more be “one nation under God.” I also pray that you will extend these same blessings to Israel.
In all things great and small, I pray that your holy will be done here on Earth as it is in Heaven.*4 These things I ask in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.”
*1 – Sometimes, a list of my known sins is included here, especially if I discover one that I was unaware of.
*2 – If I have something on my mind of particular importance, it may be mentioned individually.
*3 – Often, I have some people with new or particular troubles that get mentioned here, and ALWAYS my grandchildren.
*4 – If there are particularly troubling events going on in the world, they may get mentioned at this point.