Great Prayers

There are many great prayers that have been recorded throughout history. This is a partial collection of some of the most profound and are shared here in order to inspire and to teach and to lift your spirit.

Prayer to Jesus, Our Friend, by St. Claude de la Colombiére

O Jesus! Thou art my true Friend, my only Friend. 
Thou doth take a part in all my misfortunes; 
Thou doth take them on Thyself; 
thou doth know how to change them into blessings. 
Thou doth listen to me with the greatest kindness 
when I relate my troubles to Thee, 
and thou hast always balm to pour on my wounds. 
I find Thee at all times; 
I find Thee everywhere; 
Thou never goest away; 
if I have to change my dwelling, 
I find Thee wherever I go. 
Thou art never weary of listening to me; 
Thou art never tired of doing me good. 
I am certain of being beloved by Thee if I love Thee; 
my goods are nothing to Thee 
and by bestowing Thine on me, 
Thou never growest poor. 
However miserable I may be,
no one more noble or learned or even holier can come between Thee and me, 
and deprive me of Thy friendship; 
and death which tears us away from all other friends, 
will unite me for ever to Thee. 
All the humiliations attached to old age 
or to the loss of honor, 
will never detach Thee from me. 
On the contrary, I shall never enjoy Thee more fully, 
and Thou will never be closer to me 
than when everything seems to conspire against me, 
to overwhelm me and to cast me down. 
Thou doth bear with all my faults with extreme patience. 
Even my want of fidelity and my ingratitude 
do not wound Thee to such a degree 
as to make Thee unwilling to receive me back when I return to Thee. 
O Jesus! Grant that I may die praising Thee, 
that I may die loving Thee, 
that I may die for the love of Thee.
Amen.
Jesus, Help Me! 
In every need let me come to Thee with humble trust, saying, 
Jesus, help me! 
In all my doubts, perplexities, and temptations, 
Jesus, help me! 
In hours of loneliness, weariness and trials, 
Jesus, help me! 
In the failure of my plans and hopes; in disappointments, troubles and sorrows, 
Jesus, help me! 
When my heart is cast down by failure, at seeing no good come from my efforts, 
Jesus, help me! 
When others fail me, and Thy grace alone can assist me, 
Jesus, help me! 
When I throw myself on Thy tender love as Father and Savior, 
Jesus, help me! 
When I feel impatient, and my cross irritates me, 
Jesus, help me! 
When sickness and loneliness overcome me, 
Jesus, help me! 
Always, in weakness, falls and shortcomings of every kind, 
Jesus, help me and never forsake me.

A Prayer of Jesus for His Disciples and for Us

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

A Prayer for Families from Pope John Paul II in 1980

Lord, from You every family in heaven and on earth takes it name. Father, You are Love and Life.
Through Your Son, Jesus Christ, born of woman, and through the Holy Spirit, the fountain of divine charity, grant that every family on earth may become for each successive generation a true shrine of life and love.
Grant that Your grace may guide the thoughts and actions of husbands and wives for the good of their families and of all the families of the world.
Grant that the young may find in the family solid support for their human dignity and for their growth in truth and love.
Grant that love, strengthened by the grace of the sacrament of Marriage, may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass.
Through the intercession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that the Church may fruitfully carry out her worldwide mission in the family and through the family.
We ask this of You, who are Life, Truth, and Love with the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Prayer of Hannah from 1 Samuel 2

“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
   in the Lord my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
   for I delight in your deliverance.
“There is no one holy like the Lord;
   there is no one besides you;
   there is no Rock like our God.
“Do not keep talking so proudly
   or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the Lord is a God who knows,
   and by him deeds are weighed.
“The bows of the warriors are broken,
   but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
   but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
   but she who has had many sons pines away.
“The Lord brings death and makes alive;
   he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
   he humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
   and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
   and has them inherit a throne of honor.
“For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
   on them he has set the world.
He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
   but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.
“It is not by strength that one prevails;
those who oppose the Lord will be broken.
The Most High will thunder from heaven;
   the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
“He will give strength to his king
   and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

A Prayer of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lord…
We thank you for your church, founded upon your Word, that challenges us to do more than sing and pray, but go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers depended on us and not upon you. Help us to realize that humanity was created to shine like the stars and live on through all eternity. Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace. Help us to walk together, pray together, sing together, and live together until that day when all God’s children — Black, White, Red, Brown and Yellow — will rejoice in one common band of humanity in the reign of our Lord and of our God, we pray. Amen.

Solomon's Prayer of Dedication for the Temple in 1 Kings 8

“LordGod of Israel, there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts. You have kept what You promised Your servant David my father; You have both spoken with Your mouth and fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day. Therefore, Lord God of Israel, now keep what You promised Your servant David my father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man sit before Me on the throne of Israel, only if your sons take heed to their way, that they walk before Me as you have walked before Me.’ And now I pray, O God of Israel, let Your word come true, which You have spoken to Your servant David my father.
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built! Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You today: that Your eyes may be open toward this temple night and day, toward the place of which You said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place. And may You hear the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven Your dwelling place; and when You hear, forgive.
“When anyone sins against his neighbor, and is forced to take an oath, and comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this temple, then hear in heaven, and act, and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked, bringing his way on his head, and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.
“When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and when they turn back to You and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication to You in this temple, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to their fathers.
“When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.
“When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men), that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.
“Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, but has come from a far country for Your name’s sake (for they will hear of Your great name and Your strong hand and Your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this temple, hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name.
“When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, wherever You send them, and when they pray to the Lord toward the city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name, then hear in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.
“When they sin against You (for there is no one who does not sin), and You become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and they take them captive to the land of the enemy, far or near; yet when they come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive, and repent, and make supplication to You in the land of those who took them captive, saying, ‘We have sinned and done wrong, we have committed wickedness’; and when they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who led them away captive, and pray to You toward their land which You gave to their fathers, the city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name: then hear in heaven Your dwelling place their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause, and forgive Your people who have sinned against You, and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You; and grant them compassion before those who took them captive, that they may have compassion on them (for they are Your people and Your inheritance, whom You brought out of Egypt, out of the iron furnace), that Your eyes may be open to the supplication of Your servant and the supplication of Your people Israel, to listen to them whenever they call to You. For You separated them from among all the peoples of the earth to be Your inheritance, as You spoke by Your servant Moses, when You brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.”

Billy Graham's Prayer in 1957

Our Father and our God, we pray that … we all might be conscious that Thine eye is upon us. If God can see the sparrow fall, if He has the hairs of our head numbered, we know that He watches us, that He loves us, that He cares for us, and we’re told in Thy Word that He cares for us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to the cross to die that we might find forgiveness of our sins. We pray … that Thy Holy Spirit will draw all men unto the Savior, for we ask it in His Name. Amen.

The Prayer of St. Patrick

“Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.”