Blog Archives

The Lord’s Prayer, Revisited

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

After this manner therefore pray – Matthew 6:9, KJV. Jesus did not command us to pray the Lord’s Prayer literally, as He worded it. Rather, He said to pray “after this manner,” or “like this.” In other words, He gave it as a model prayer for us to pray in our own words. Inspired by that thought, I revisited the prayer to write my own prayer “after this manner,” seeking to express His words in my own words. Here is my attempt. May it nudge you to be fresh and sincere as you pray the Model Prayer.

God, You are our intimate Father

Yet You are the transcendent Holy One.

Since You are King in heaven,

May we submit to your Lordship on earth.

We need your physical gift of food,

We need your spiritual gift of forgiveness,

And we need your social gift of grace to forgive others.

Take us by the hand, and lead us away

Far from the devil, that we may not stray.

We crown You, we submit to You, we honor You forever.

Amen.

A prayer to experience God’s presence

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

O God of the universe, I want to experience Your presence. You spoke to Moses in a burning bush, and spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice. You called Samuel from his bed during the night, and You called Paul in broad daylight on the road to Damascus. Teach me to look for You in things great and small, day and night. I want to hear from You when I read Your word, and when I hear a child share a simple truth. I want to see You in the lightning across the sky, and in the smile of a new friend. I want to feel You when I sing in the sanctuary and when I hug someone in pain. May I experience Your presence, and pass on that experience to those I meet this day. In the name of the One who walked on water, yet needed someone to wash his dirty feet, Jesus Christ my Lord.

A prayer for wisdom

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

O God, all the depths of the riches of wisdom and knowledge dwell in You.1 Like Solomon, who prayed for wisdom, we have faith that You give wisdom generously to each of us who ask You.2 Please pour out Your rich wisdom to each of us who are poor in insight. Transform our minds, that we might have the mind of Christ.3 Fill us with the knowledge of Your will and spiritual understanding, so we may discern what is good and pleasing to You. This will help us to walk in ways pleasing to You, bearing good fruit and growing in our knowledge of God.4

Biblical references:

1 Romans 11:33

2 2 Chronicles 1:10; James 1:5

3 Romans 12:2, Philippians 2:5

4 Romans 12:2, Colossians 1:9-10

Prayer for Good Friday

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Precious Jesus, I meditate on the day of Your death.

Your hands were bound behind Your back

Your mouth was silent before Pilate

Your ears heard the words “Crucify!”

Your head was crowned with thorns

Your back was bloodied with the whip

Your back bore the cross to Calvary

Your hands and feet were nailed to the cross

Your tongue spoke words of forgiveness

Your side was pierced

Your heart was broken

Your work was finished.

Darkness covered the land and blood covered my sin,

the day the Lamb of God was sacrificed.

I cannot take away Your pain

I cannot pay You for my gain

I cannot be sacrificed in Your place

I can only receive Your gift of grace.

Prayer of Worship to the Crucified and Risen Christ

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O crucified Son of Man, I worship You. You were arrested that I might be set free. You were falsely accused that I might be acquitted. You paid the price on the cross that I might be redeemed. When Easter morning dawned, and You walked out of that grave, I was given life!

Therefore, even as You walked out of the darkness, Jesus, may I walk in the light.  You took the nails in Your hands and feet, may I use my hands and feet to bless others in Your name.  You were silent before Your accusers; may I confess my sin as I proclaim Your name, the name of the Risen Son of God, Jesus Christ my Lord!

Prayer for God’s presence

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Heavenly Father, I come before You in silence, my hands turned upward to You, my heart listening for Your voice. I take a deep breath; slowly I let it out. I want to inhale Your presence; I want to exhale distractions. I breathe in Your mercy and peace. I breathe out sin and shame. Jesus, I embrace Your grace. Drench me from head to toe with Your Spirit. As I go through this day, make me continually mindful of Your continual presence, and may I be a different man because the God-man dwells within.

Prayer Poem of Hope

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Lord, may I not be dismayed, even when I feel betrayed.

May my heart be re-fired, even when I feel so tired.

May my praise be fresh and bold, when I feel timid and old.

When I struggle to cope, fill me again with Jesus’ hope.

Amen.

Prayer when you don’t “feel” forgiven

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Heavenly Father, You said that if I confess my sins, that You are faithful and righteous to forgive my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.1.  Yet I still feel dirty. You said that even if my sins were red like scarlet, You would wash them white as snow.2 Yet I still see the blood-guilt on my hands. You said that You will remove my sins as far as the east is from the west.3 Yet other people still bring them up. So teach my heart to listen to You. Remind me, God, that if my heart condemns me, that Your truth is greater than my feelings.4 Reach down to my lowest depths with Your covenant love, and lift me up.5 If You say that I am forgiven, then I am forgiven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Scriptural references and allusions:

  1. 1 John 1:9
  2. Isaiah 1:18
  3. Psalm 103:12
  4. 1 John 3:20
  5. James 4:10

Prayer when feeling spiritually dry

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Lord, I am in a spiritual desert. My soul is dry. I thirst for You. How I need Jesus, the spring of living water. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Pour Your living word into me.  I desire to stand under Your loving presence, as a man stands under a waterfall, mouth open, drinking it in, letting it soak my heart and spirit. Then may I splash Your Spirit all around, that I may refresh those whom I meet this day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Life lessons from hospital patients

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

In my hospital ministry, I often ask patients what lessons they have learned. Here are a few of the wise words that I have heard, with limited details about the patients to protect their identity:

Elderly man with COVID-19. “They almost lost me, but the Lord still has a plan for me.” He was discharged a few days later.

Middle-aged woman who survived a car wreck, hit by a drunk driver: “Don’t take life for granted. It could all change in a moment.”

Elderly man with terminal cancer diagnosis: “Be ready to meet God.”

Elderly woman, retired educator, with congestive heart failure: “Do the right thing, treat people right; let be and let God.”

Elderly woman with kidney failure: “Live one day at a time.”

Elderly man in therapy, unable to move legs: “I don’t need money; I just need friends, and people to pray for me.”

Elderly female with multiple medical problems: “Accept what you get.”

Recently retired female pt who may need heart by-pass. “When I was little and there was a storm, mama put us children in a room together and said, ‘When God is doing His work, we be quiet.’” The patient explained that this became a motto for coping with trials: “When God is doing His work, we be quiet.”

Middle-aged female pt who nearly died in the ICU, slowly recovered and went to a room. “Just because life is hard, don’t give up.”

Younger middle-aged female pt who had a seizure and wrecked her car, and went through months of surgeries for broken bones. “I choose joy.”

Recently retired female pt who was told two months ago that she has breast cancer. “Don’t feel sorry for me. God’s got this. I’m not taking God down off His pedestal. What God can’t do, there ain’t no doing.”

Teenage male pt who had surgery for torn ligaments from football practice. “Everything happens for a reason.”

Middle-aged female pt who had a blood clot in the brain. “You can get glad or mad in the same pair of breeches.”

Middle-aged female pt who was in the hospital for a long time, recovering from COVID-19. “Learn to lean on God.”

Younger middle-aged female pt who spent over a month in rehab after spine surgery. “Don’t sweat the petty stuff. Prayer gets you through.”

Senior adult female who had a stroke. “The same God who did miracles for people in the Bible is getting me through this.”

Elderly man with leukemia, going home on hospice. “Money doesn’t mean anything when you leave this earth, and I have some money. The only thing that matters is that you know Jesus.”

Guest blog: Prayer in anger and pain

Copyright by Vance Moore. (The following prayer is shared with permission from Vance Moore, staff chaplain and my co-worker at the same hospital. He wrote this prayer after the tragic attack in Waukesha, Wisconsin.)

Our Father,

       This world’s problems are so complicated that I cannot comprehend the hate and sickness that permeates society today. No matter how much I try to understand, I cannot begin to understand how anyone could take an innocent life, whether it is terrorism or some other irresponsibility. Help us/help me to understand how to come along side these people in the time of their egregious actions and serve them in their time of need. Help me to set aside my anger, pain, hurt and serve in a way that pleases you.

In the precious name of Jesus Christ I pray.        Amen

A prayer of thanksgiving

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

O Giver of good gifts, I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving for Your abundant blessings. I thank You that You opened my eyes this morning, You filled my lungs with air, and kept my heart beating. I thank You that You have given me sufficient food to eat, clothes to wear and a roof over my head. I thank You that You loved me so much that you sent Your only Son to die for my sins. I thank You that You filled my life with Your Holy Spirit. I thank You that You breathed upon Your word, the Bible, and gave it to me as a lamp to guide my way this day. I thank You for giving me a family who love me, and brothers and sisters in Christ in the church who encourage me. I thank You most of all, that because You opened my spiritual eyes to faith in Jesus Christ Your Son, I know that there is a morning coming, when I will open my eyes in heaven, and I will see You face to face. Until that day, may I live a life of gratitude, by serving others in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord.

Prayer of hope in time of suffering

Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Lord, we despair under the dark clouds of suffering. We cannot see You or feel Your presence. Yet, we believe there is a light behind those clouds, because we have seen it before. Give us faith to hold on and trust You in the dark, until the day that the clouds part and Your light shines through again. In the name of Jesus, the light of the world, I pray. Amen.

A prayer in the pandemic

Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Oh, Lord, how we need Your presence in this pandemic.

For those who are sick, we ask for Your mercy and healing.

For those who are caring for the sick, we ask for Your compassion and strength.

For those who are afraid of the sickness, we ask for Your peace and protection.

For those who make policies about the sickness, we ask for Your wisdom and courage to do the right thing.

Heavenly Father, unite all of us, as Your children, by the bonds of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Prayer of forgiveness for oneself

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Copyright by Bob Rogers.

Oh, Lord Jesus, You died upon the cross to redeem me from sin, but I struggle to forgive myself. The tax collector prayed, “Have mercy on me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13). Yet I tend to say, “Woe is me, a sinner!” Since I have repented of my sin and renounced it with all my heart, help me now to have mercy on myself. You said that “if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than all our hearts, and knows all things” (1 John 3:20). So Lord, since You know that I am forgiven, help me to know it, too—not only in my mind, but in my heart.