A Method for Prayer was written by Matthew Henry, March 25, 1710. For ease of reading, the editors have sought to update some of the author’s language. http://www.matthewhenry.org/
About the author
Matthew Henry (1662-1714) is best remembered for his Commentary on the Whole Bible, which he began in 1704. He completed Genesis through Acts by the time of his death. He was born near Whitchurch (Salop), England. He began preaching at the age of 23 and spent most of his ministry as pastor of a church in Chester (1687-1712).
8. Occasional Addresses
- (1) Morning Prayers
- (2) Evening Prayers
- (3) Before Eating
- (4) After Eating
- (5) Before a Journey
- (6) After a Journey
- (7) Evening Before the Lord’s Day
- (8) Morning of the Lord’s Day
- (9) Public Worship on the Lord’s Day
- (10) Preparing for the Lord’s Supper
- (11) Celebrating the Lord’s Supper
- (12) After Celebrating the Lord’s Supper
- (13) For the Baptism of a Child
- (14) For a Funeral
- (15) For a Wedding
- (16) For a Minister’s Ordination
- (17) When there is a Lack of Rain
- (18) When there is too Much Rain
- (19) Upon Occasion of Infectious Diseases
- (20) Upon Occasion of Fire
- (21) Upon Occasion of Great Storms
- (22) For those Weighed Down and Burdened
- (22.1) For those Troubled in Mind and Struggling with Doubts and Fears
- (22.2) For those Under Conviction of Sin
- (22.3) For those who are Sick and Weak
- For those who are at the Point of Death
- (22.4) For those who have Lost their Reason
- (22.5) For Sick Children
- (22.6) For those Being Touched by Death
- (22.7) For Women Near the Time of Child Birth
- (22.8) For those who have Recovered from Sickness or have been Spared in Child-Bearing
- (22.9) For Parents Concerned about their Difficult Children
- (22.10) For those who are in Prison
- (22.11) For those Condemned to Die
- (22.12) For those who are at Sea
8. Occasional Addresses
Introduction to Occasional Addresses
OF ADDRESSES TO GOD UPON PARTICULAR OCCASIONS, WHETHER DOMESTIC OR PUBLIC
It is made our duty and prescribed as a remedy against disquieting care, that in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, we should make our requests known to God. Philippians 4:6(KJV) And it is part of the Parrhsia, the boldness, the liberty of speech (so the word signifies), which is allowed us in our access to God, Hebrews 10:19(KJV) that we may be particular in opening our case and seeking to him for relief; that, according as the sore and the grief is, accordingly the prayer and the supplication may be by any man or by the people of Israel. 2 Chronicles 6:29(KJV) Not that God needs to be particularly informed of our condition, he knows it better than we ourselves do, and our souls too in our adversity; but it is his will that we should thus acknowledge him in all our ways Proverbs 3:6(KJV) and wait upon him for the direction of every step, Psalm 37:23(KJV) not prescribing, but subscribing to infinite wisdom, humbly showing him our wants, burdens, and desires, and then referring ourselves to him, to do for us as he thinks fit.
We shall instance some of the occasions of particular address to God, more or less usual, which may either be the principal matter of a whole prayer or inserted in our other prayers, and in some cases, that are more peculiar to ministers or others, in common to them with masters of families and private Christians. As there may be something particular:
In our morning prayers.
Our voice shalt thee hear in the morning, in the morning will we direct our prayer unto thee and will look up; Psalm 5:3(KJV) for our souls wait for thee, O Lord, more than they that watch for the morning, Psalm 130:6(KJV) yea, more than they that watch for the morning; and we will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning, for thou have been our defence. Psalm 59:16(KJV)
It is thou, O God, that hast commanded the morning and caused the day-spring to know its place, that it might take hold of the ends of the earth, and it is turned as clay to the seal. Job 38:12-14(KJV)
The day is thine, the night also is thine; thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Psalm 74:16(KJV)
With the light of the morning, let the day-spring from on high visit us, to give us the knowledge of salvation through the tender mercies of our God; Luke 1:77-78(KJV) and let the Sun of righteousness arise upon our souls with healing under his wings, Malachi 4:2(KJV) and our path be as the shining light, which shines more and more unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4:18(KJV)
It is of thy mercy, O Lord, that we are not consumed, even because thy compassions fail not; they are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness: Lamentations 3:22-23(KJV) and if weeping sometimes endures for a night, joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5(KJV)
We thank thee that we have laid us down, Psalm 3:5(KJV) have had where to lay our head, Matthew 8:20(KJV) and have not been wandering in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth; Hebrews 11:38(KJV) and that we have slept, and have not been full of tossings to and fro till the dawning of the day, that wearisome nights are not appointed to us, and we are not saying at our lying down, When shall we arise, and the night be gone? Job 7:3-4(KJV) But our bed comforts us, and our couch eases our complaints. Job 7:13(KJV) Thou givest us sleep as thou givest it to thy beloved: Psalm 127:2(KJV) And having laid us down and slept, we have waked again; Psalm 3:5(KJV) thou hast lightened our eyes, so that we have not slept the sleep of death. Psalm 13:3(KJV)
Thou hast preserved us from the pestilence that walketh in darkness Psalm 91:6(KJV) and from the malice of the rulers of the darkness of this world, Ephesians 6:12(KJV) the roaring lion that goes about seeking to devour. 1 Peter 5:8(KJV) He that keeps Israel, and neither slumbers nor sleeps, Psalm 121:4(KJV) has kept us, and so we have been safe.
But we cannot say with thy servant David, that when we awake we are still with thee, Psalm 139:18(KJV) or that our eyes have prevented the night-watches, that we might meditate on thy word; Psalm 119:148(KJV) but vain thoughts still lodge within us. Jeremiah 4:14(KJV) O pardon our sins 1 Samuel 15:25(KJV) and cause us to hear thy loving-kindness this morning, for in thee do we trust; cause us to know the way wherein we should walk, for we lift up our souls unto thee. Psalm 143:8(KJV) Teach us to do thy will, for thou art our God. Thy Spirit is good, lead us into the way and land of uprightness. Psalm 143:10(KJV)
And now let the Lord preserve and keep us from all evil this day, yea, let the Lord preserve our souls. Lord, preserve our going out and coming in; Psalm 121:7-8(KJV) give thine angels charge concerning us, to bear us up in their hands and keep us in all our ways. Psalm 91:11-12(KJV) And give us grace to do the work of the day in its day, as the duty of the day requires. Ezra 3:4(KJV)
In our evening prayers.
Thou, O God, makest the out-goings of the evening, as well as of the morning, to rejoice; Psalm 65:8(KJV) for thereby thou callest us from work and our labour Psalm 104:23(KJV) and biddest us rest a while. Mark 6:31(KJV) And now let our souls return to thee and repose in thee as our rest, because thou hast dealt bountifully with us; Psalm 116:7(KJV) so shall our sleep be sweet to us. Jeremiah 31:26(KJV)
Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with his benefits, Psalm 68:19(KJV) who hath this day preserved our going out and coming in; Psalm 121:8(KJV) and now we have received from thee our daily bread, we pray, Father, forgive us our trespasses. Matthew 6:11-12(KJV)
And we will lay us down and sleep; for thou, Lord, makest us to dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8(KJV) Make a hedge of protection, we pray thee, about us and about our house and about all that we have round about. Job 1:10(KJV) Let the angels of God encamp round about us, to deliver us; Psalm 34:7(KJV) that we may lie down, and none may make us afraid. Job 11:19(KJV)
Into thy hands we commit our spirits, Psalm 31:5(KJV) that in slumberings upon the bed, our ears may be opened and instructions sealed; Job 33:15-16(KJV) and let the Lord give us counsel; and let our reins instruct us in the night season. Psalm 16:7(KJV) Visit us in the night and try us Psalm 17:3(KJV) and enable us to commune with our own hearts upon our bed. Psalm 4:4(KJV)
Give us to remember thee upon our bed, and to meditate upon thee in the night watches, Psalm 63:6(KJV) with the saints that are joyful in glory, and that sing aloud upon their beds. Psalm 149:5(KJV)
In craving a blessing before meat.
Thou, O Lord, givest food to all flesh, for thy mercy endures for ever. Psalm 136:25(KJV) The eyes of all things wait on thee; Psalm 145:15(KJV) but especially thou givest meat to them that fear thee, being ever mindful of thy covenant. Psalm 111:5(KJV)
Thou art our life and the length of our days, Deuteronomy 30:20(KJV) the God that hath fed us all our life long unto this day: Genesis 48:15(KJV) Thou givest us all things richly to enjoy, 1 Timothy 6:17(KJV) though we serve thee but poorly. Thou hast not only given us every green herb and the fruit of the trees to be to us for meat, Genesis 1:29(KJV) but every moving thing that liveth, even as the green herb. Genesis 9:3(KJV)
And blessed be God that now under the gospel we are taught to call nothing common or unclean; Acts 10:15(KJV) and that it is not that which goes into the man, that defiles the man, Matthew 15:11(KJV) but that every creature of God is good and nothing to be refused; for God hath created it to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 1 Timothy 4:3-4(KJV)
We acknowledge we are not worthy of the least crumb that falls from the table of thy providence: Matthew 15:27(KJV) Thou mightest justly take away from us the stay of bread and the stay of water, Isaiah 3:1(KJV) and make us to eat our bread by weight and to drink our water by measure, and with astonishment; Ezekiel 4:16(KJV) because when we have been fed to the full, Proverbs 30:9(KJV) we have forgotten God our Maker. Hosea 8:14(KJV) But let our sins be pardoned, we pray thee, that our table may not become a snare before us, nor that be made a trap, which should have been for our welfare. Psalm 69:22(KJV)
We know that every thing is sanctified by the word of God and prayer; 1 Timothy 4:4-5(KJV) and that man lives not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God; Matthew 4:4(KJV) and therefore, according to our Master’s example, we look up to heaven and pray for a blessing upon our food, Matthew 14:19(KJV) Abundantly bless our provision. Psalm 132:15(KJV)
Lord, grant that we may not feed ourselves without fear, Jude 1:12(KJV) that we may not make a god of our belly, Philippians 3:19(KJV) that our hearts may never be overcharged with surfeiting or drunkenness, Luke 21:34(KJV) but that whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, we may do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31(KJV)
In returning thanks after our meat.
Now we have eaten and are full, we bless thee for the good land thou hast given us. Deuteronomy 8:10(KJV) Thou preparest a table for us in the presence of our enemies, thou anointest our head, and our cup runs over. Psalm 23:5(KJV)
Thou, Lord, art the portion of our inheritance and of our cup, thou maintainest our lot, so that we have reason to say, The lines are fallen to us in pleasant places, and we have a goodly heritage. Psalm 16:5-6(KJV)
Especially we bless thee for the bread of life, which came down from heaven, which was given for the life of the world: Lord, evermore give us that bread John 6:33-34(KJV) and wisdom to labour less for the meat which perisheth, and more for that which endures to everlasting life. John 6:27(KJV)
The Lord give food to the hungry Psalm 146:7(KJV) and send portions to them for whom nothing is prepared. Nehemiah 8:10(KJV)
Let us be of those blessed ones that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God Luke 14:15(KJV) and shall eat of the hidden manna. Revelation 2:17(KJV)
When we are going on a journey.
Lord keep us in the way that we should go, Genesis 28:20(KJV) and let no evil thing befall us; Psalm 91:10(KJV) let us have a prosperous journey by the will of God, Romans 1:10(KJV) and with thy favour let us be compassed wherever we go as with a shield. Psalm 5:12(KJV)
Let us walk in our way safely, and let not our foot stumble Proverbs 3:23(KJV) or dash against a stone. Psalm 91:12(KJV)
Direct our way in everything 1 Thessalonians 3:11(KJV) and enable us to order all our affairs with discretion, Psalm 112:5(KJV) and the Lord send us good speed, and shew kindness to us. Genesis 24:12(KJV)
And the Lord watch between us when we are absent, the one from the other. Genesis 31:49(KJV)
When we return from a journey.
Blessed be the Lord God of Abraham, who hath not left us destitute of his mercy and his truth. Genesis 24:27(KJV)
All our bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee, Psalm 35:10(KJV) for you keep all our bones. Psalm 34:20(KJV)
It is God who girds us with strength and makes our way perfect. Psalm 18:32(KJV)
Evening Before the Lord’s Day
In the evening before the Lord’s Day.
Now give us to remember that tomorrow is the sabbath of the Lord Exodus 16:23(KJV) and that it is a high day, John 19:31(KJV) holy of the Lord and honourable, Isaiah 58:13(KJV) and give us grace so to sanctify ourselves, that tomorrow the Lord may do wonders among us; Joshua 3:5(KJV) and to mind the work of our preparation, now the sabbath draws on. Luke 23:54(KJV)
When thou sawedst every thing that thou hadst made in six days, behold all was very good, Genesis 1:31(KJV) but in many things we have all offended. James 3:2(KJV) O that by repentance and faith in Christ’s blood, we may wash not only our feet, but also our hands and our head John 13:9(KJV) and our heart, and so may compass thine altar, O Lord. Psalm 26:6(KJV)
Now give us to rest from all our own works Hebrews 4:10(KJV) and to leave all our worldly cares at the bottom of the hill, while we go up to the mount to worship God and return again to them. Genesis 22:5(KJV)
Morning of the Lord’s Day
On the morning of the Lord’s Day.
We bless thee, Lord, who hath shewed us light; Psalm 118:27(KJV) and that the light we see is the Lord’s; Isaiah 2:5(KJV) that we see one more of the days of the Son of man, Luke 17:22(KJV) a day to be spent in thy courts, which is better than a thousand elsewhere. Psalm 84:10(KJV)
We thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that the things which were hid from the wise and prudent are revealed unto us babes, even so, Father, because it seemed good in thine eyes: That our eyes see, and our ears hear, that which many prophets and kings desired to see, desired to hear and might not: Luke 10:21-24(KJV) that life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:10(KJV)
And now, O that we may be in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day! Revelation 1:10(KJV) That we may call the sabbath a delight Isaiah 58:13(KJV) and may honour the Son of man, who is the Lord also of the sabbath-day, Mark 2:28(KJV) not doing our own ways, or finding our own pleasure, or speaking our own words.
Public Worship on the Lord’s Day
At the entrance upon the public worship on the Lord’s Day, by the master of the assemblies.
Thou, O God, art greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about thee. Psalm 89:7(KJV) O give us grace to worship thee with reverence and godly fear, because thou our God art a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29(KJV)
This is that which thou hast said, That thou wilt be sanctified in them which come nigh unto thee; and before all the people thou wilt be glorified. Leviticus 10:3(KJV) Thou art the Lord that sanctifiest us, Ezekiel 20:12(KJV) sanctify us by thy truth, that we may sanctify thee in our hearts, John 17:17(KJV) and make thee our fear and our dread. Isaiah 8:13(KJV)
We come together to give glory to the great Jehovah, who in six days made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, and therefore blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it. Exodus 20:11(KJV) And our help stands in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124:8(KJV)
O let us be new creatures, 2 Corinthians 5:17(KJV) thy workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Ephesians 2:10(KJV) And let that God, who on the first day of the world commanded the light to shine out of darkness, Genesis 1:3-5(KJV) on this first day of the week shine in our hearts, to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6(KJV)
We come together to give glory to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to sanctify this sabbath to his honour, who was the stone that the builders refused, but now is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing, it is marvellous in our eyes: This is the day which the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:22-24(KJV) He is the first and the last, who was dead, and is alive. Revelation 2:8(KJV)
O that we may this day experience the power of Christ’s resurrection Philippians 3:10(KJV) and may be planted together in the likeness of it, that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life Romans 6:4-5(KJV) and may sit with him in heavenly places; Ephesians 2:6(KJV) and by seeking the things that are above, may make it to appear that we are risen with him. Colossians 3:1(KJV)
We come together to give glory to the blessed Spirit of grace, and to celebrate the memorial of the giving of that promise of the Father, Acts 1:4-8(KJV) in whom the apostles received power on the first day of the week, Acts 2:1-4(KJV) as on that day Christ rose. Matthew 28:1-10(KJV)
O that we may this day be filled with the Holy Ghost, Ephesians 5:18(KJV) and that the fruit of the Spirit in us may be in all goodness and righteousness and truth. Ephesians 5:9(KJV)
We come together to testify our communion with the universal church, that though we are many, yet we are one; 1 Corinthians 12:12(KJV) that we worship one and the same God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him, in the name of one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him, 1 Corinthians 8:6(KJV) under the conduct of the same Spirit, one and the self-same Spirit, who divideth to every man severally as he will, 1 Corinthians 12:11(KJV) walking by the same rule, Galatians 6:16(KJV) looking for the same blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour. Titus 2:13(KJV)
For the Lord’s Supper
In our preparation for the Lord’s Supper.
Now we are invited to come eat of wisdom’s bread and drink of the wine that she has mingled, Proverbs 9:5(KJV) give us to hunger and thirst after righteousness; Matthew 5:6(KJV) and being called to the marriage supper of the Lamb, Revelation 19:9(KJV) give us the wedding garment. Matthew 22:11(KJV)
Awake, O north wind, and come, thou south, and blow upon our garden, that the spices thereof may flow forth; and then let our beloved come into his garden and eat his pleasant fruits. Song of Solomon 4:16(KJV)
Draw us, and we will run after thee; bring us into thy chambers, that there we may be glad and rejoice in thee, and may remember thy love more than wine. Song of Solomon 1:4(KJV) And when the king sits at his table, let our spikenard send forth the smell thereof. Song of Solomon 1:12(KJV)
And the good Lord pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary: Hear our prayers, and heal the people. 2 Chronicles 30:18-20(KJV)
In the celebrating of the Lord’s Supper.
O let this cup of blessing which we bless, be the communion of the blood of Christ; let this bread which we break, be the communion of the body of Christ, 1 Corinthians 10:16(KJV) and enable us herein to shew the Lord’s death till he come. 1 Corinthians 11:26(KJV)
Now let us be joined to the Lord in an everlasting covenant; Jeremiah 50:5(KJV) so joined to the Lord, as to become one spirit with him. 1 Corinthians 6:17(KJV) Now let us be made partakers of Christ, by holding fast the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end. Hebrews 3:14(KJV)
Let Christ’s flesh be meat indeed to us, and his blood drink indeed: and give us so by faith to eat his flesh and drink his blood, that he may dwell in us, and we in him, and we may live by him. John 6:55-57(KJV)
Let the cross of Christ, which is to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness, be to us the wisdom of God and the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:23-24(KJV)
Seal to us the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost, Acts 2:38(KJV) and the promise of eternal life, 1 John 2:25(KJV) and enable us to take this cup of salvation and to call on the name of the Lord. Psalm 116:13(KJV)
After celebrating the Lord’s Supper.
And now, Lord, give us to hold fast that which we have received, that no man take our crown; Revelation 3:11(KJV) and keep it always in the imagination of the thoughts of our hearts, and prepare our hearts unto thee. 1 Chronicles 29:18(KJV)
Give us grace, as we have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so to walk in him, Colossians 2:6(KJV) that our conversation may be in every thing as becomes his gospel. Philippians 1:27(KJV)
O that we may now bear about with us continually the dying of our Lord Jesus, so as that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal bodies, 2 Corinthians 4:10(KJV) that to us to live may be Christ. Philippians 1:21(KJV)
Thy vows are upon us, O God. Psalm 56:12(KJV) O that we may be daily performing our vows. Psalm 61:8(KJV)
For the Baptism of a Child
Upon occasion of the baptism of a child.
To thee, O God, whose all souls are, the souls of the parents and the souls of the children, Ezekiel 18:4(KJV) we present this child a living sacrifice, which we desire may be holy and acceptable, Romans 12:1(KJV) and that it may be given up and dedicated to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Matthew 28:19(KJV)
It is conceived in sin, Psalm 51:5(KJV) but there is a fountain opened; O wash the soul of this child in that fountain, Zechariah 13:1(KJV) now it is by thine appointment washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22(KJV)
It is one of the children of the covenant, Acts 3:25(KJV) one of the children that is born unto thee, Ezekiel 16:20(KJV) it is thy servant, born in thy house; Psalm 116:16(KJV) O make good thy ancient covenant, that thou wilt be a God to believers and to their seed; Genesis 17:7(KJV) for this blessing of Abraham comes upon the Gentiles, and the promise is still to us and to our children. Acts 2:39(KJV)
Thou hast encouraged us to bring little children to thee; for thou hast said that of such is the kingdom of God. Mark 10:14(KJV) Blessed Jesus, take up this child in the arms of thy power and grace, put thy hands upon it and bless it; Mark 10:16(KJV) let it be a vessel of honour, sanctified and meet for the Master’s use, 2 Timothy 2:21(KJV) and owned as one of thine in that day when thou makest up thy jewels. Malachi 3:17(KJV)
O pour thy Spirit upon our seed, thy blessing upon our offspring, that they may spring up as willows by the water-courses, and may come to subscribe with their own hands unto the Lord and to surname themselves by the name of Israel. Isaiah 44:4-5(KJV)
For a Funeral
Upon occasion of a funeral.
Lord, give it to us to find it good for us to go to the house of mourning, that we may be minded thereby of the end of all men, and may lay it to our heart, Ecclesiastes 7:2(KJV) and may be so wise as to consider our latter end: Deuteronomy 32:29(KJV) For we must also be gathered to our people, as our neighbors and brethren are gathered; Numbers 27:13(KJV) and though whither those that are dead in Christ are gone, we cannot follow them now, John 13:36(KJV) yet grant that we may follow them afterwards, every one in his own order. 1 Corinthians 15:23(KJV)
We know that thou wilt bring us to death and to the house appointed for all living; Job 30:23(KJV) but let us not see death, till by faith we have seen the Lord Christ, Luke 2:26(KJV) and then let us depart in peace, according to thy word. Luke 2:29(KJV) And when the earthly house of this tabernacle shall be dissolved, let us have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 Corinthians 5:1(KJV)
And give us to know that our Redeemer liveth, and that though after our skin, worms destroy these bodies, yet in our flesh we shall see God, whom we shall see for ourselves, and our eyes shall behold, and not another. Job 19:25-27(KJV)
For a Wedding
Upon occasion of marriage.
Give to those that marry, to marry in the Lord; 1 Corinthians 7:39(KJV) and let the Lord Jesus by his grace come to the marriage and turn the water into wine. John 2:1-10(KJV)
Make them helps meet for each other Genesis 2:18(KJV) and instrumental to promote one another’s salvation; 1 Corinthians 7:16(KJV) and give them to live in holy love, that they may dwell in God, and God in them. 1 John 4:16(KJV)
Let the wife be as a fruitful vine by the side of the house, Psalm 128:3(KJV) and the husband dwell with the wife as a man of knowledge, and let them dwell together as joint heirs of the grace of life, that their prayers be not hindered, 1 Peter 3:7(KJV) and make us all meet for that world where they neither marry nor are given in marriage. Luke 20:35(KJV)
For a Minister’s Ordination
Upon occasion of the ordaining of ministers.
Let the things of God be committed to faithful men, who may be able also to teach others; 2 Timothy 2:2(KJV) and make them such burning and shining lights, John 5:35(KJV) as that it may appear that it was Christ Jesus who put them into the ministry; 1 Timothy 1:12(KJV) and let not hands be suddenly laid on any. 1 Timothy 5:22(KJV)
Give to those who are ordained, to take heed to the ministry which they have received of the Lord, that they fulfil it, Colossians 4:17(KJV) and to make full proof of it, by watching in all things. 2 Timothy 4:5(KJV)
Let those who in Christ’s name are to preach repentance and remission of sins, Luke 24:47(KJV) be endued with power from on high; Luke 24:49(KJV) give them another spirit, 1 Samuel 10:9(KJV) and make them good ministers of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and good doctrine. 1 Timothy 4:6(KJV)
For Rain, Disease, and Disaster
Upon occasion of the want of rain.
Thou hast withholden the rain from us, and caused it to rain upon one city, and not upon another, yet have we not returned unto thee. Amos 4:7-8(KJV)
But thou hast said, When heaven is shut up that there is no rain, because we have sinned against thee; if we confess thy name and turn from our sins, thou wilt hear from heaven and forgive our sin and give rain upon our land. 1 Kings 8:35-36(KJV)
We ask thee for the former and latter rain, and depend upon thee for it; Joel 2:23(KJV) for there are not any of the vanities of the heathen that can give rain, nor can the heavens give showers, but we wait on thee, for thou hast made all these things. Jeremiah 14:22(KJV)
Upon occasion of excessive rain.
Let the rain thou sendest be in mercy to our land and not for correction, Job 37:13(KJV) not a sweeping rain, which leaveth no food. Proverbs 28:3(KJV)
Thou hast sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more return to cover the earth; Isaiah 54:9(KJV) let fair weather therefore come out of the north, for with thee is terrible majesty. Job 37:22(KJV)
Upon occasion of infectious diseases.
Take sickness away from the midst of us, Exodus 23:25(KJV) and deliver us from the noisome pestilence. Psalm 91:3(KJV)
Appoint the destroying angel to put up his sword into his sheath and to stay his hand. 2 Samuel 24:16(KJV)
Upon occasion of fire.
Thou callest to contend by fire, Amos 7:4(KJV) we bewail the burning which the Lord hath kindled; Leviticus 10:6(KJV) O Lord God, cease, we beseech thee, Amos 7:5-6(KJV) and let the fire be quenched, as that kindled in Israel was at the prayer of Moses. Numbers 11:2(KJV)
Upon occasion of great storms.
Lord, thou hast the wind in thy hands Proverbs 30:4(KJV) and bringest them out of thy treasuries, Psalm 135:7(KJV) even stormy winds fulfil thy word. Psalm 148:8(KJV) O preserve us and our habitations, that we be not buried in the ruins of them as Job’s children were. Job 1:19(KJV)
For those Weighed Down and Burdened
Upon occasion of the cares and burdens and afflictions of particular persons: as,
When we pray with or for those that are troubled in mind, and melancholy, and under doubts and fears about their spiritual state.
Lord, enable those that fear thee and obey the voice of thy servant, but walk in darkness and have no light, to trust in the name of the Lord, and to stay themselves upon their God; Isaiah 50:10(KJV) and at evening time let it be light. Zechariah 14:7(KJV)
O strengthen the weak hands, confirm the feeble knees, say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not. Isaiah 35:3-4(KJV) Answer them with good words and comfortable words, Zechariah 1:13(KJV) saying unto them, Be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you: Matthew 9:5(KJV) Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid, Mark 6:50(KJV) I am your salvation; Psalm 35:3(KJV) and make them to hear the voice of joy and gladness, that broken bones may rejoice. Psalm 51:8(KJV)
Let those who now remember God and are troubled, whose spirits are overwhelmed and whose souls refuse to be comforted, Psalm 77:2-3(KJV) be enabled to trust in thy mercy, so that at length they may rejoice in thy salvation: Psalm 13:5(KJV) though thou slay them, yet to trust in thee. Job 13:15(KJV)
Though deep calls unto deep, and all thy waves and thy billows go over them, yet do thou command thy loving-kindness for them in the day-time, and in the night let thy song be with them, and their prayer to the God of their life; Psalm 42:7-8(KJV) though their souls are cast down and disquieted within them, give them hope in God, that they shall yet praise him, and let them find him the health of their countenance and their God. Psalm 42:11(KJV)
O renew a right spirit within them, cast them not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from them, but restore unto them the joy of thy salvation and uphold them with thy free Spirit, Psalm 51:10-12(KJV) that their tongues may sing aloud of thy righteousness Psalm 51:14(KJV) and shew forth thy salvation. Psalm 71:15(KJV)
O bring them up out of this horrible pit and this miry clay, and set their feet upon a rock, establishing their goings, and put a new song in their mouth, even praises to our God: Psalm 40:2-3(KJV) O comfort them again now after the time that thou hast afflicted them. Psalm 90:15(KJV)
Though for a small moment thou hast forsaken them and hid thy face from them, yet gather them and have mercy on them with everlasting kindness. Isaiah 54:7-8(KJV)
O let thy Spirit witness with their spirits, that they are the children of God; Romans 8:16(KJV) and by the blood of Christ let them be purged from an evil conscience. Hebrews 10:22(KJV)
Lord, rebuke the tempter, even the accuser of the brethren; Revelation 12:10(KJV) the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke him, and let the poor, tempted, troubled souls be as brands plucked out of the burning. Zechariah 3:2(KJV)
For those under Conviction of Sin
Those that are under convictions of sin, and begin to be concerned about their souls and their salvation, and to inquire after Christ.
Those that are asking the way to Zion, with their faces thitherward, Jeremiah 50:5(KJV) that are lamenting after the Lord, 1 Samuel 7:2(KJV) and are pricked to the heart for sin, Acts 2:37(KJV) O show them the good and the right way, 1 Samuel 12:23(KJV) and lead them in it.
To those that are asking what they shall do to inherit eternal life, Matthew 19:16(KJV) discover Christ as the way, the truth, and the life, the only true and living way. John 14:6(KJV)
O do not quench the smoking flax, nor break the bruised reed, but bring forth judgment unto victory. Matthew 12:20(KJV) Let the great Shepherd of the sheep gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead them, Isaiah 40:11(KJV) and help them against their unbelief. Mark 9:24(KJV)
Let not the red dragon devour the man-child as soon as it is born, but let it be caught up to God and to his throne. Revelation 12:4-5(KJV)
For those who are Sick and Weak
When we pray with or for those that are sick and weak and distempered in body; that those who are sick and in sin, may be convinced; those who are sick and in Christ, comforted.
Lord, thou hast appointed those that are sick to be prayed for, and prayed with, and hast promised that the prayer of faith shall save the sick; Lord, help us to pray in faith for the sick, James 5:14-15(KJV) and as being ourselves also in the body. Hebrews 13:3(KJV)
When our Lord Jesus was here upon earth, we find that they brought to him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and he healed all manner of sicknesses and all manner of diseases among the people; Matthew 4:23-24(KJV) and he hath still the same power over bodily diseases that ever he had: He saith to them, Go, and they go; Come, and they come; Do this, and they do it; and can speak the word, and they shall be healed. Matthew 8:8-9(KJV) He is still touched with the feeling of our infirmities. Hebrews 4:15(KJV) In the belief of this, we do by prayer bring our friends that are sick and lay them before him. Luke 5:18(KJV)
Lord, grant that those who are sick may neither despise the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when they are rebuked of him; Hebrews 12:5(KJV) but that they may both hear the rod and him that hath appointed it, Micah 6:9(KJV) and may kiss the rod and accept of the punishment of their iniquity. Leviticus 26:41(KJV)
Give them to see that affliction cometh not forth out of the dust, nor springs out of the ground; Job 5:6(KJV) that they may therefore seek unto God, to the Lord more than to the physicians, 2 Chronicles 16:12(KJV) because unto God the Lord belong the issues of life and death. Psalm 68:20(KJV)
Lord, shew them wherefore thou contendest with them, Job 10:2(KJV) and give them in their affliction to humble themselves greatly before the God of their fathers, 2 Chronicles 33:12(KJV) and to repent and turn from every evil way, and make their ways and their doings good, Jeremiah 18:11(KJV) and being judged and being chastened of the Lord, they may not be condemned with the world. 1 Corinthians 11:32(KJV) By the sickness of the body and the sadness of the countenance, let the heart be made better. Ecclesiastes 7:3(KJV)
O Lord, rebuke them not in thine anger, neither chasten in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon them, O Lord, for they are weak. Lord, heal them, for their bones are vexed, their souls also are sore vexed. Return, O Lord, and deliver their souls, save them for thy mercy’s sake; Psalm 6:1-4(KJV) and lay no more upon them than thou wilt enable them to bear, and enable them to bear what thou dost lay upon them. 1 Corinthians 10:13(KJV)
When thou with rebukes dost chasten man for sin, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth. Surely every man is vanity. But remove thy stroke, we pray thee, from those that are even consumed by the blow of thine hand: Psalm 39:10-11(KJV) O spare a little, that they may recover strength before they go hence and be no more. Psalm 39:13(KJV)
Those that are chastened with pain upon their bed, and the multitude of their bones with strong pain, so that their life abhorreth bread and their soul dainty meat, Job 33:19-20(KJV) shew them thine uprightness, be gracious to them. Deliver them from going down to the pit, for thou hast found a ransom. Job 33:23-24(KJV)
Let the eternal God be their refuge, and underneath them be the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27(KJV) Consider their frame, remember that they are but dust. Psalm 103:14(KJV)
O deliver those that are thine in the time of trouble, preserve them and keep them alive: O strengthen them upon their bed of languishing, and make their bed in their sickness. Be merciful to them and heal their souls, for they have sinned. Psalm 41:1-4(KJV)
O turn to them and have mercy upon them, bring them out of their distresses, look upon their affliction and their pain, but especially forgive all their sin. Psalm 25:16-18(KJV)
Make thy face to shine upon them, save them for thy mercy’s sake. Psalm 31:16(KJV) The God that comforteth them that are cast down, comfort them; 2 Corinthians 7:6(KJV) and let the soul dwell at ease in thee, Psalm 25:13(KJV) when the body lies in pain.
(If it be the beginning of a distemper.)
Lord, set bounds to this sickness and say, Hitherto shall it come, and no further; Job 38:11(KJV) let it not prevail to extremity but in measure; when it shooteth forth, do thou debate and stay thy rough wind in the day of thine east wind; and by this let iniquity be purged; and let this be all the fruit, even the taking away of sin. Isaiah 27:8-9(KJV)
(If it have continued long.)
Lord, let patience have her perfect work, James 1:4(KJV) even unto long-suffering, that those who have been long in the furnace, may continue hoping and quietly waiting for the salvation of the Lord: Lamentations 3:26(KJV) Let tribulation work patience, and patience experience, and experience a hope that maketh not ashamed, Romans 5:3-5(KJV) and enable them to call even this affliction light, seeing it to work for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:17(KJV)
(If there be hopes of recovery.)
Lord, when thou hast tried, let them come forth like gold; Job 23:10(KJV) let their souls live, and they shall praise thee, let thy judgments help them: Psalm 119:175(KJV) O deal bountifully with them, that they may live and keep thy word. Psalm 119:17(KJV) In love to their souls deliver them from the pit of corruption and cast all their sins behind thy back. Recover them and make them to live. Isaiah 38:16-17(KJV) Speak the word, and they shall be healed; Matthew 8:8(KJV) say unto them, Live; yea, say unto them, Live; and the time shall be a time of love. Ezekiel 16:6-8(KJV)
Father, if it be possible, let the cup pass away; Matthew 26:39(KJV) however, not as we will, but as thou wilt. Matthew 26:42(KJV) The will of the Lord be done. Acts 21:14(KJV) Perfect that which concerns them. Thy mercy, O Lord, endures for ever; forsake not the work of thine own hands, Psalm 138:8(KJV) but whether they live or die, let them be the Lord’s. Romans 14:8(KJV)
For those who are at the Point of Death
(If they be in appearance at the point of death.)
Now the flesh and the heart are failing, Lord, be thou the strength of the heart, and an everlasting portion: Psalm 73:26(KJV) In the valley of the shadow of death, Lord be thou present, as the good Shepherd, with a guiding rod and a supporting staff. Psalm 23:4(KJV) O do not fail them, nor forsake them now: Hebrews 13:5(KJV) Be a very present help. Psalm 46:1(KJV) Into thy hands we commit the departing spirit, Psalm 31:5(KJV) as into the hands of a faithful Creator, 1 Peter 4:19(KJV) by the hands of him who has redeemed it. Let it be carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. Luke 16:22(KJV) Let it be presented to thee without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Ephesians 5:22(KJV) Lord Jesus, receive this precious soul; Acts 7:59(KJV) let it come to the spirits of just men made perfect; Hebrews 12:23(KJV) when it is absent from the body, let it be present with the Lord! 2 Corinthians 5:8(KJV) This day let it be with thee in paradise. Luke 23:43(KJV) Now let it be for ever comforted Luke 16:25(KJV) and perfectly freed from sin. Romans 6:7(KJV) And prepare us to draw after, as there are innumerable before, Job 21:33(KJV) that we may be together for ever with the Lord, 1 Thessalonians 4:17(KJV)there where there shall be no more death, and where all tears shall be wiped away. Revelation 21:4(KJV)
For those who have Lost their Reason and for Sick Children
When we pray with or for those that are deprived of the use of their reason.
O look with pity upon those that are put out of possession of their own souls, Luke 21:19(KJV) whose judgment is taken away, Job 27:2(KJV) so that their soul chooseth strangling and death rather than life. Job 7:15(KJV) O restore them to themselves Luke 15:17(KJV) and their right mind. Luke 8:35(KJV) Deliver them from doing themselves any harm. Acts 16:28(KJV) And whatever afflictions thou layest upon any of us in this world, preserve to us the use of our reason and the peace of our consciences.
When we pray with or for sick children.
Lord, we see death reigning even over them that have not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression; Romans 5:14(KJV) but Jesus Christ hath abolished death 2 Timothy 1:10(KJV) and admitted even little children into the kingdom of God. Mark 10:14(KJV) O let sick children be pitied by thee, as they are by their earthly parents. Psalm 103:13(KJV) They are come forth like flowers, O let them not be cut down again. Job 14:2(KJV) Turn from them, that they may rest till they shall have accomplished as a hireling their day. Job 14:6(KJV) Be gracious to us, and let the children live. 2 Samuel 12:22(KJV) However, Father, thy will be done. Matthew 26:42(KJV) O let their spirits be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1 Corinthians 5:5(KJV)
For those Being Touched by Death
When we pray with or for families where death is, especially such as have lost their head.
Visit the houses of mourning, as our Saviour did, and comfort them by assuring them that Christ is the resurrection and the life; John 11:25(KJV) that their relations which are removed from them are not dead but sleep; Matthew 9:24(KJV) and that they shall rise again; John 11:23(KJV) that they may not sorrow as those that have no hope; 1 Thessalonians 4:13(KJV) and enable them to trust in the living God, 1 Timothy 6:17(KJV) the Rock of Ages, and enjoy the fountains of living waters, when creatures prove broken reeds Isaiah 36:6(KJV) and broken cisterns. Jeremiah 2:13(KJV)
Be a father to the fatherless and a husband to the widows, O God, in thy holy habitation. Psalm 68:5(KJV) With thee let the fatherless find mercy, Hosea 14:3(KJV) keep them alive, and let the widows trust in thee, Jeremiah 49:11(KJV) that they may be widows indeed, who being desolate, trust in God and continue instant in prayer night and day. 1 Timothy 5:5(KJV) And where father and mother have forsaken, let the Lord take up the children, Psalm 27:10(KJV) and not leave them orphans, but come to them. John 14:18(KJV)
For Women Near the Time of Child Birth
When we pray with or for those women that are near the time of travail or in travail.
Lord, thou hast passed this sentence upon the woman that was first in the transgression, 1 Timothy 2:14(KJV) that in sorrow she shall bring forth children. Genesis 3:16(KJV) But let this handmaid of thine be saved in child-bearing, and continue in faith and charity and holiness, with sobriety. 1 Timothy 2:15(KJV) Enable her to cast her burden upon the Lord, and let the Lord sustain her; Psalm 55:22(KJV) and what time she is afraid, grant that she may trust in thee Psalm 56:3(KJV) and may encourage herself in the Lord her God. 1 Samuel 30:6(KJV)
O let not the root be dried up from beneath, nor let the branch be withered or cut off; Job 18:16(KJV) but let both live before thee. Be thou her strong habitation, her rock, and her fortress, give commandment to save her. Psalm 71:3(KJV) And when travail comes upon her, which she cannot escape, be pleased, O Lord, to deliver her; 1 Thessalonians 5:3(KJV) O Lord, make haste to help her; Psalm 40:13(KJV) be thou thyself her help and deliverer, make no tarrying, O our God. Psalm 40:17(KJV) Let her be safely delivered and remember the anguish no more, for joy that a child is born into the world, is born unto thee. John 16:21(KJV)
For those who have Recovered from Sickness or have been Spared in Child-Bearing
When we pray with or for those that are recovered from sickness, or are delivered in child-bearing, and desire to return thanks to God for his mercy.
We will extol thee, O Lord, upon the account of those whom thou hast lifted up, whose souls thou hast brought up from the grave and kept them alive, that they should not go down to the pit. Psalm 30:1-3(KJV) Those that were brought low thou hast helped, Psalm 116:6(KJV) hast delivered their souls from death, their eyes from tears, and their feet from falling. Psalm 116:8(KJV) Now give them grace to walk before thee in the land of the living, to offer thee the sacrifices of thanksgiving, to call upon thy name, and to pay their vows unto the Lord. Psalm 116:17-18(KJV)
The grave cannot thus praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee; they that go down to the pit cannot hope for thy truth, but the living they shall praise thee, as we do this day. Isaiah 38:18-19(KJV) Lord, grant that those who are delivered from death may not be as the nine lepers, who did not return to give thanks, Luke 17:18(KJV) or as Hezekiah, who rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; 2 Chronicles 32:25(KJV) but that they may so offer praise as to glorify thee, and so order their conversation as to see the salvation of God. Psalm 50:23(KJV)
Those whom the Lord has chastened sore, yet has not delivered over unto death: Psalm 118:18(KJV) O that they may therefore praise him, who is become their salvation. Psalm 118:21(KJV)
For Parents Concerned about their Difficult Children
When we pray with or for those parents whose children are a grief to them or such as they are in fear about.
Lord, give to parents the desires of their souls concerning their children, which is to see them walking in the truth; 2 John 1:4(KJV) form Christ in their souls. Galatians 4:19(KJV) O give them betimes to know the God of their fathers, and to serve him with a perfect heart and a willing mind. 1 Chronicles 28:9(KJV) Let children of the youth, that are as arrows in the hand, be directed aright, that those parents may have reason to think themselves happy that have their quiver full of them, Psalm 127:4-5(KJV) and they may never be arrows in their hearts.
Let those foolish children, that are the grief of the father and the heaviness of her that bare them, Proverbs 17:25(KJV) that mock at their parents and despise to obey them, Proverbs 30:17(KJV) be brought to repentance; and let those that have been unprofitable, now at length be made profitable. Philemon 1:11(KJV) O turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, even the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that they may be made ready a people prepared for the Lord. Luke 1:17(KJV) O shew them their work and their transgressions, that they have exceeded, and open their ear to discipline. Job 36:9-10(KJV)
For those who are in Prison
When we pray with or for those that are in prison.
Those that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron, because they rebelled against the word of God and contemned the counsel of the Most High, Psalm 107:10-11(KJV) give them grace to cry unto thee in their trouble, Psalm 107:13(KJV) and in a day of adversity to consider. Ecclesiastes 7:14(KJV)
In their captivity give them to bethink themselves to humble themselves and pray and seek thy face; to repent, saying, We have sinned and have done perversely, and to return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul. 1 Kings 8:47-48(KJV) And bring their souls out of prison, that they may praise thy name. Psalm 142:7(KJV) Bring them into the glorious liberty of the children of God, out of the bondage of corruption. Romans 8:21(KJV) Let the Son make them free, and then they shall be free indeed. John 8:36(KJV)
Those that are wrongly imprisoned, be thou with them, as thou wast with Joseph in the prison, and show them mercy. Genesis 39:21(KJV) Hear the poor, and despise not thy prisoners, Psalm 69:33(KJV) but let their sorrowful sighing come before thee, and according to the greatness of thy power preserve those that are unjustly appointed to die. Psalm 79:11(KJV)
For those Condemned to Die
When we pray with or for condemned malefactors that have but a little while to live.
O look with pity upon those, the number of whose months is to be cut off in the midst for their sins: Job 21:21(KJV) O give them repentance unto salvation, 2 Corinthians 7:10(KJV) as thou didst to the thief upon the cross, Luke 23:39-43(KJV) that they may own the justice of God in all that is brought upon them, that he has done right, but they have done wickedly. Nehemiah 9:33(KJV) O turn them, and they shall be turned, that being instructed they may smite upon the thigh and may be ashamed, yea, even confounded, because they do bear the reproach of their own iniquity. Jeremiah 31:18-19(KJV) O pluck them as brands out of the fire; Zechariah 3:2(KJV) let them be delivered from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:10(KJV)
Enable them to give glory to God by making confession, Joshua 7:19(KJV) that they may find mercy, 2 Timothy 1:18(KJV) and that others may hear and fear, and do no more presumptuously. Deuteronomy 17:13(KJV)
Lord Jesus, remember them now, thou art in thy kingdom: Luke 23:42(KJV) O let them not be hurt of the second death. Revelation 2:11(KJV) Deliver them from going down to the pit. Job 33:24(KJV) Though the flesh be destroyed, O let the spirit be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1 Corinthians 5:5(KJV) The God of infinite mercy be merciful to these sinners, Luke 18:13(KJV) these sinners against their own souls. Numbers 16:38(KJV)
For those who are at Sea
When we pray with or for those that are at sea.
Let those that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, observe the works of the Lord there and his wonders in the deep: Psalm 107:23-24(KJV) And acknowledge what a great God he is whom the winds and the seas obey; Matthew 8:27(KJV) who hath placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it; and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over. Jeremiah 5:22(KJV)
O preserve them through the paths of the seas, Psalm 8:8(KJV) and in perils by waters and perils by robbers. 2 Corinthians 11:26(KJV) If the stormy wind be raised which lifteth up the waves, Psalm 107:25(KJV) so that they are at their wit’s end, deliver them out of their distresses, make the storm a calm, and bring them to their desired haven: And, O that those who are delivered may praise the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men. Psalm 107:27-31(KJV)