lords prayer words - traditional and contemporary prayers

10 Inspirational Prayers

Gathered together on this page are several beautiful traditional and contemporary prayers to inspire your heart and uplift your soul. There is a blessing from the rich heritage of Celtic Christians (“May The Road Rise Up To Meet You”), the famous “Serenity Prayer” (made popular by the work of Alcoholics Anonymous) and the wonderful “Day by Day” prayer, by St Richard (13th Century Bishop of Chichester), alongside several other great prayers and blessings. We begin this list with one of the most famous prayers of all…

1. The Lord's Prayer

In this prayer, Jesus provides us with a template for how to pray, and within a few short sentences covers all the important elements for faith and life in God. Our identity is revealed - that of being children of a father in heaven. Our understanding of him is also revealed, as God is to be treated and worshiped as holy ("hallowed"). We are to be dependant on God on a daily basis for our provision ("bread") and our protection ("deliver us from evil"), and live a life which is forgiven by him and forgiving of others:-

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom,
the power and the glory are yours.
Now and for ever.


(New English Version - adopted by the Church of England in 1977)

2. The Serenity Prayer

One of the world's most famous contemporary prayers,  "The Serenity Prayer" forms a simple request to God for wisdom when change needs to happen, and when it is better to accept that change may not be possible. This prayer has been widely used in the work of Alcoholics Anonymous. Here is a short film version of this prayer:-

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

(read the full version of this prayer here)

3. The Prayer of St Francis

Often referred to as the "Peace Prayer", this prayer forms an inspiring request to God to be a "channel" for Him. It is a prayer for "shalom" - meaning not just peace of mind but wholeness in relationships and community life:-

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

(read the full version to this prayer here)

4. The Vision

A prayer that has inspired a generation, originally conceived in the first 24/7 prayer room in Chichester, England. www.24/7-prayer is a movement that began in late 1999 and since spread into over 100 nations on earth. Follow this link to listen to this remarkably challenging prayer by Pete Greig.
"The Vision is Jesus - obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus. The vision is an army of young people. You see bones? I see an army. And they are FREE from materialism..."

quote on God

5. Disturb Us Lord

A prayer thought to be the work of English sea captain and explorer Sir Francis Drake (ca.1540-1596). It is a prayer to God against complacency, a longing for the living waters of the Spirit, and a cry to live boldly and courageously:-
Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

(read the full version of "Disturb Us Lord" here)

6. May The Road Rise Up To Meet You

A beautiful ancient Celtic blessing. As is often the case in Celtic literature, the prayer draws upon images from nature - the passing wind, the warmth of sunlight, the refreshing rain - to convey the blessings of God:-

A Great Inspirational Prayer

(Printable prayer image of this famous Irish blessing)
Inspirational Prayer May The Road Rise Up To Meet You

(read more about this ancient blessing here)

7. Prayer of St Richard

A simple, short prayer that reminds us our walk with God is a daily, on going pilgrimage. It is a three-fold request to know, love and follow Christ, and is said to have been uttered by St. Richard (1197-1253) shortly before dying. In the 1970's the prayer was used as the basis for the text of "Day by Day" in the hit musical "Godspell" by Stephen Schwartz:-
prayer of st richard with wild flowers in the background

8. St Patrick's Breastplate

A prayer attributed to St Patrick, a Celtic missionary said to have founded the church in Ireland in the 6th Century. Regardless of whether Patrick authored the words, this prayer has had huge influence on the revival in the interest of Celtic Christianity in recent times. The end section of this prayer ("Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me") has also been the basis for numerous worship songs. Here is an excerpt from this beautiful poetic prayer:-
"I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendour of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock."

(read the full version of this prayer here)

9. The Lord Is My Shepherd

One of the most popular psalms from the bible (psalm 23), this prayer is attributed to King David (c.1040 BC - c.970 BC), an acclaimed warrior, musician and poet. It speaks of God's care, love and protection. Here is a creative reading of this prayer:-

(read the words to psalm 23 here)

10. This Is The Church

This good prayer was originally spoken spontaneously at a national worship conference in the UK by Roger Ellis (Christian author, speaker and founder of Fusion). It has been dubbed as a vision for Church in the 21st Century.
"Let’s embrace the cry of heaven. To see humanity filled with the light, the love and the Glory of God.
Human beings in their right mind, cleansed of darkness, sin and brokenness, restored to the place they should be.
Walking in the garden with the Father, enjoying fellowship with him, 
lives restored so they can be who they were intended to be."

(read the full version of this prayer here)