St. Patrick’s Breastplate

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation.
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.






Words: attributed to St. Patrick (372-466);
trans. Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895)

Armor of God Prayer

Based on Ephesians 6:10-18:

[Lord, I realize that I am going on to the front lines of spiritual warfare today. I understand that I am not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. I thank you that in your mercy, you have provided everything that I need for protection in this struggle.]

“I’m putting on the belt of truth. I ask you to make it very clear to me what I am to accept into my life and what I am to reject. Help me to see clearly the motives of others as they deal with me and converse with me. Help me to think and speak clearly, truthfully, and without deceit today. Let me walk in your truth, making decisions and choices according to your plans and purposes for my life…

I am putting on the breastplate of righteousness. Guard my emotions today. Protect my heart. Help me to take into my life only those things that are pure and nothing that is poison or polluting. Help me to live in integrity and to have a reputation based upon doing, saying, believing, thinking and feeling [Your truth]. Help me to live in right relationship with you and my neighbors every moment of this coming day.

I am putting on my spiritual boots. Help me to stand and walk in your peace and to move forward in ways that bring your peace and love to others. Help me to have the full confidence and assurance that come from knowing that I am filled with the peace that only you can give to those who are your children. Help me to be a peacemaker today. Show me where to walk and how to walk as you would walk.

I am picking up the shield of faith…Help me to trust you to defend me, provide for me and to keep me in safety every hour of this day. [May I trust you in every situation that comes my way today, and remember that you cause everything to work together for the good of those who love you and are called according to your purpose.]

I am putting on the helmet of salvation. Guard my mind today. Bring to my remembrance all that you have done for me as my Savior. Let me live in the hope and confidence that you are saving me, rescuing me, and delivering me from evil.

I am picking up the sword of the Spirit, the word of God. Help me to remember the verses of the Bible that I have read and memorized, and help me to apply them to the situations and circumstances I will face. Let me use your Word to bring your light into the darkness of the world and to defeat the enemy of my soul when he comes to tempt me.

Father, I want to be fully clothed with the identity of Jesus Christ today. I am in Christ. He is in me. Help me to fully realize and accept that He is my Truth, my Righteousness, my Peace, my Savior, the source of my faith, and the ever-present Lord of my life.

I want to bring glory to your name today. I ask all of this in the name of Jesus. Amen.”

—Prayer from When the Enemy Strikes by Charles Stanley [with additions by Pastor Jim Schwenk]

Suscipe (“Receive”)

Take, LORD, receive
all my liberty,
my memory,
my understanding,
and my entire will,
all that I possess.
You have given me all.
To You, oh LORD, I return it.
All is yours.
Dispose of it entirely
according to Your will.
Give me only Your love and Your grace.
With this I am rich enough,
and I have no more to ask.

–Included by Ignatius of Loyola in The Spiritual Exercises

Grieving Prayer

Into my grieving
I weave
the strength of the Father.
Into my grieving
I weave
the compassion of the Son.
Into my grieving
I weave
the comfort of the Spirit
Into my grieving
I receive
the presence of the Three in One.

Into my anger
I invite
the patience of the Father.
Into my numbness
I invite
the healing of the Son.
Into my confusion
I invite
the wisdom of the Spirit.
And we shall grieve together,
I, in community
with the Three in One.

Anonymous, quoted from Celtic Daily Prayer Book Two (pp. 1050-1051)

The PAPA Prayer by Larry Crabb

P: Present yourself to God without pretense. Be a real person in the relationship.  Tell Him whatever is going on inside you that you can identify.

A: Attend to how you’re thinking of God. Again, no pretending.  Ask yourself, “How am I experiencing God right now?”  Is He a vending machine, a frowning father, a distant, cold force?  Or is He your gloriously strong but intimate Papa?

P: Purge yourself of anything blocking your relationship with God. Put into words whatever makes you uncomfortable or embarrassed when you’re real in your relationship with Him.  How are you thinking more about yourself and your satisfaction than about anyone else, including God and His pleasure?

A: Approach God as the “first thing” in your life, as your most valuable treasure, the Person you most want to know.  Admit that other people and things really do matter more to you right now, but you long to want God so much that every other good thing in your life becomes a “second thing” desire.

That’s what I call relational prayer. And I’m coming to see that it belongs in the exact center of my prayer life–for that mater, in the center of my entire spiritual journey. Nothing has relieved my confusion over unanswered prayer requests more than the realization that relational prayer must always come before petitionary prayer.  Relate and then request.  Enjoy God and then enjoy His provisions, whatever they are…

The PAPA prayer is the best way I’ve discovered to develop and nourish the relationship with God given to me by Jesus through His life, death, and resurrection.  Relational prayer provides the Spirit with a wide open opportunity to do what He loves most to do, to draw me into the heart and life of the Father and to make me more like the Son.

Usually when I pray the PAPA prayer, nothing happens–at least nothing I can see or feel right away…Praying the PAPA prayer [is] simply a way to come to God and learn to wait, to listen with a little less wax in our spiritual ears, and, most of all, to be relentlessly real.

—Quoted from the book The PAPA Prayer by Larry Crabb, pp. 10-11.