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Prayer Resources
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Often the hardest thing about prayer is knowing how to get started. This page contains some resources and tips for different kinds of prayer, tailored to the College community.

 

The Chaplain has recorded the following 20-minute guided meditation, based on a passage from John's gospel (John 14.1-3). You may wish to read this introduction to praying with the bible

 

Praying for others

 

Please take a moment to pray for those listed on our online prayer board or to add your own prayers.

The Chaplain has also put together a prayer diary to help you focus your prayers for the current crisis. This gives a brief introduction to intercessory prayer (prayer for others) and suggested topics for each weekday.

Praying together

 

The Church of England’s daily prayer resources (for different times of the day) are available on the Daily Prayer website.

College Morning Prayer takes place daily during term time.  

Praying for those who have died

 

One of the cruelties of the coronavirus outbreak is that family and friends of someone who has died often cannot attend the funeral. You may find it helpful to set aside a few minutes at the time the funeral is taking place, and perhap light a candle or find a picture of the person you are remembering. The Church of England has put together some simple prayers to help you focus on saying goodbye.

Praying for our own daily needs

 

The Church of England has put together these prayers for use during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The following prayers are taken from various sources:

In the morning

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning:  Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day. Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being. We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

In the evening

O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in thy mercy, grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen. (Suitable also when praying for those approaching death).

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, give rest to the weary, sustain the dying, calm the suffering, and pity the distressed; all for your love’s sake, O Christ our Redeemer. Amen.

 

Before sleep

May the cross of the son of God, which is mightier than all the hosts of Satan, and more glorious than all the hosts of heaven, abide with me in my going out and my coming in. By day and by night, at morning and at evening, at all times and in all places may it protect and defend me. From the wrath of evildoers, from the assaults of evil spirits, from foes visible and invisible, from the snares of the devil, from all passions that beguile the soul and body, may it guard, protect and deliver me. Amen. (The 'Christaraksha' - a prayer from the Church in India)

Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the silent hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world, may rest upon your eternal changelessness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. (From Compline, prayer at the ending of the day)

 

In any time of anxiety

O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength: By the might of thy Spirit lift me, I pray thee, to thy presence, where I may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

 

A prayer for love, by Archnishop William Temple, formerly a Fellow of Queen's.

O God of love, we pray thee to give us love: Love in our thinking, love in our speaking,
Love in our doing, and love in the hidden places of our souls;
Love of our neighbours near and far;
Love of our friends, old and new;
Love of those with whom we find it hard to bear,
And love of those who find it hard to bear with us;
Love of those with whom we work,
And love of those with whom we take our ease;
Love in Joy, love in sorrow;
Love in life and love in death;
That so at length we may be worthy to dwell with thee,
Who art eternal love.

Joining in worship online

 

For those who would normally be worshipping regularly with others, the loss of public worship at such a time of need has been especially hard. For others, who were not part of a church before the crisis, worship broadcast online or on the radio has been an opportunity to experience something new.

The College Chapel services of Sunday e-vensong can be found on the Virtual Chapel page.

Several Oxford churches are also producing weekly services, either live or pre-recorded. The University Church has a weekly podcast and the OU Catholic Chaplaincy is livestreaming mass.

It can be hard to focus on a service when you are not physically present, and to feel that you are really worshipping and participating. For some, being able to experience church ‘on demand’ and in pyjamas is part of the appeal! For others, it is important to recreate some of the routine and formality which helps to set apart this time from everything else which is going on in your home.

You may wish to say one of these prayers before worship:

Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy name: through Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Almighty God, who pourest out on all who desire it the spirit of grace and of supplication: Deliver me, when I draw near to thee, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections I may worship thee in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

If you would normally receive communion, you may wish to take a moment to pray one of these prayers at the appropriate moment in a livestreamed communion service:

In union, O Lord with the faithful at every altar of Thy Church, where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I desire to offer Thee praise and thanksgiving. I present to Thee my soul and body with the earnest wish that may always be united to Thee. And since I can not now receive Thee sacramentally, I beseech Thee to come spiritually into my heart. I unite myself to Thee, and embrace Thee with all the affections of my soul. Let nothing ever separate Thee from me. May I live and die in Thy love. Amen. (From the prayer book produced for members of the US Armed Forces in 1951)

My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I love you above all things, and long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen. (St Alphonsus de Liguori)

Anima Christi (translated by John Henry Newman)

Soul of Christ, be my sanctification;
Body of Christ, be my salvation;
Blood of Christ, fill all my veins;
Water of Christ's side, wash out my stains;
Passion of Christ, my comfort be;
O good Jesus, listen to me;
In Thy wounds I fain would hide;
Ne'er to be parted from Thy side;
Guard me, should the foe assail me;
Call me when my life shall fail me;
Bid me come to Thee above,
With Thy saints to sing Thy love,
World without end.
Amen