Monday, March 10, 2014

A Prayer For Today

'Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.' ~ Colossians 4:2 (NLT)

I came across a prayer some 20 years ago, on the inside cover of a little daily devotional booklet called ‘Forward Day by Day,’  which I found on a table in the narthex of the Episcopal church where my husband and I were married.

I remember being so captivated and moved by the sweetness, simplicity and sincerity of its wording. For me, it was like a prayer, a poem and a song all rolled into one wonderful package.

I carried the booklet with me everywhere, using the prayer during whatever quiet moments I could find during the course of my day, as well as reaching for it whenever a time of chaos and crisis would hit (which back then, seemed much too often).

A few years later, after my husband stopped attending church with me, I left that particular church with much sadness and began looking for another one.  None of the churches I attended afterwards, nor the church I finally wound up calling ‘home’ for many years, carried this particular devotional booklet. They offered others which I began to use and learned to be content with. 

I soon forgot about ‘Forward Day by Day,’  but every so often, some of the words from that wonderful prayer it contained would come back to me. Yet, as years passed, it became cloudy as to where in the world I had read or heard of that prayer.

So, imagine my delight when, this past weekend as I was taking photos of some historic sites in a little town that neighbors my own, I stopped in a very old, very lovely and very small church – and found a few copies of ‘Forward Day by Day’ displayed on a table in the back!

Christ Episcopal Church, Bordentown, NJ

Christ Episcopal Church, Bordentown, NJ

Christ Episcopal Church, Bordentown, NJ

Also to my great joy, the prayer is STILL contained within the devotional, this time located on the back of the booklet.  The prayer is written by American clergyman and author, Phillips Brooks, and it’s my privilege today to share it with you here.

It’s my sincere hope and desire that, during this Lenten season AND every day, it will encourage, inspire and bless you, as well as draw you closer to the One Who loves you beyond what you could ever imagine:
O God,

Give me strength to live another day;

Let me not lose faith in other people;

Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery or meanness;

Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them;

Help me to keep my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity;

Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things;

Grant me this day some new vision of thy truth;

Inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness, and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls;

In the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


  1. Oh Pam! You have brought water to my soul today with this post! I know that sounds overly dramatic...but I am serious. I needed this little prayer and your words along with it. Thank you so much! Copy-pasting the prayer onto my desktop now...Susie

    1. Ohhhh, Susie. Most of the time, you make me smile or just burst out laughing.

      But just now, you made me cry. Thank you so very much for your sweet words. <3

  2. I understand why this prayer was so meaningful and stayed with you so long. The way life has been lately, I could repeat that first line each day and leave it at that! But it is beautiful in its entirety..."Grant me this day some new vision of Thy truth"...amen!

  3. Thanks, Toni. I think many, including myself, would agree with you and join you in just repeating that first line only of this prayer daily. <3

  4. My late father , an Episcopal Priest,prayed this every day at our breakfast morning devotionals up until his death. My 90 year young Mom, myself and my three grown children pray it daily. It says it all .

  5. Oh my goodness, Bill! Thanks so much for stopping by here to share that. I'm just blown away. I wonder if Phillips Brooks had any idea how moving and meaningful this prayer would become to so many people. And what a beautiful legacy your father left behind.

    Grace and peace to you and your entire family, Bill!


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