Poetry is a powerful art form, and prayer is a powerful spiritual discipline. When we combine the two, Christians can find themselves very compelled and inspired. One of the greatest Christian authors, C.S. Lewis said, “Poetry most often communicates emotions, not directly, but by creating imaginatively the grounds for those emotions. It, therefore, communicates something more than the emotion; only by means of that something more does it communicate the emotion at all.” So as Christians, we should treat poetry about prayer with respect and interest in what it can teach us.
What are Christian Prayer Poems? Christian poems about prayer highlight the idea of prayer, they reveal what prayer is, and can give us the inspiration to pray for ourselves and others. Often times, Christien prayer poetry falls into these four categories: Poems to pray for ourselves, poems to pray for others, poems about prayer, and poems that encourage us to pray.
Now that we understand what Christian prayer poetry is, let us examine and look upon the different poems throughout this blog post.
9 Poems for You to Pray
These poems, with much diversity and power, offer prayers for us to pray that will provoke much thought. The poems of prayer are also deeply personal and relate to the knowledge that we are to have an intimate relationship with God.
1. The Peace Prayer -Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in self-forgetting that we find;
And it is in dying to ourselves that we are born to eternal life.
2. My Prayer
Lord, on that old rugged cross of Calvary
You shed your blood and suffered agony.
You were mocked, scorned and spat upon,
By those who denied you were God’s own Son;
But the Father had a purpose, it’s plain to see –
You arose from the tomb with great victory.
You conquered death, hell and the grave,
For a sinner’s soul such as mine to save.
Then one day you called to me
To take up my cross and follow Thee.
That glorious day you cleansed my heart –
A brand new life you did impart.
I thank you, Lord, for redeeming me;
And if I had but one prayer, that prayer would be…
“Lord, keep me ever yielded to Thee”.
3. Let My Prayer Be As Incense
A Godliness which feeds on form,
And lip devotion, barren cheer,
Will satisfy an earthly worm,
Who learns to think and call it prayer;
Contented with the husky part,
A moving lip and silent heart.
O Lord, thy Spirit’s aid impart,
And fill me with devotion’s fire;
Create anew my waiting heart,
And heavenly breathings there inspire;
Bid heart and flesh cry out for thee,
And thou my joyful portion be!
Let incense smoking from my breast,
In praise and prayer ascend thy hill;
And where I rove, or where I rest,
Do thou, O God, surround me still;
My heavenly intercourse increase,
Till as a river flows my peace.
4. Teach Me, Lord -Heather Flood
Teach me, Lord,
What I don’t know.
Show me which way
And where to go.
Alone I stumble,
Alone I fall,
But your gentle voice
Leads through it all.
Take my hand,
Light my way,
Be my beacon
Night and day.
I am weak
And sometimes so low,
But you give me strength
And make me whole.
Teach me, Lord and Father.
Your child has become like new.
Empty me of myself
So I can live for you.
5. My Prayer – Jac Judy A. Campbell
Father, I thank you for the days and nights,
And thank you for this warm morning light.
For food and shelter, for your loving care,
And for all in this world that is good and fair.
Help us to be gentle, honest and true,
To show more kindness in all that we do.
To smile and be pleasant in all that we say,
To grow more loving each and every day.
To lend a helping hand, help others in need,
And to love one another as you have loved me.
Thank You, Father
6. Lord Teach Us to Pray -William Gadsby
Blessed Jesus, Lord of all,
Teach us on thy name to call;
Help us to be much in prayer,
And upon thee cast our care.
Draw us, Lord, by thy sweet power,
In temptation’s darkest hour;
Make us cry to thee our Friend,
And upon thy grace depend.
At all times, in every case,
Lead us to thy Throne of Grace;
Let our needs be what they may,
Teach us how and what to pray.
Jesus, deign to bless us thus,
And to glory in thy cross;
Then, though men and devils roar,
We will ever thee adore.
7. A Letter To God – Shannon Michelle Haynes
Can you hear me?
Can you please take my hand?
I need your loving arms around me-
I need to know you understand.
I’m feeling angry and helpless,
Even lonely and sad.
Am I wrong? Is Satan winning?
I know he wants me so bad!
Will I ever know freedom?
Will I always be bound?
How does he enter
When Your love’s all around?
When I can’t fight these feelings,
It helps to write them all down.
Then I find myself kneeling
With my face to the ground.
Thank You, God, once again
For lending an ear,
And that you not only listen,
But you care enough to hear.
Please help me, dear Jesus,
To find the strength deep within,
To fight these inner demons
That try to lead me to sin.
Please help me to smile
When what I wanna do is weep,
And please stay with me tonight.
Now I lay me down to sleep.
With all my heart,
I love You!
8. Watch and Pray – William Gadsby
Alas, what hourly dangers rise!
What snares best my way!
To heave O let me lift my eyes,
And hourly watch and pray.
How oft my mournful thoughts complain,
And melt in flowing tears!
My weak resistance, ah, how vain!
How strong my foes and fears!
O gracious God, in whom I live,
My feeble efforts aid;
Help me to watch, and pray, and strive,
Though trembling and afraid.
Increase my faith, increase my hope,
When foes and fears prevail!
And bear my fainting spirit up,
Or soon my strength will fail.
Whene’er temptations fright my heart,
Or lure my feet aside,
O God, thy powerful aid impart, –
My guardian and my guide.
O keep me in the heavenly way,
And bid the tempter flee;
And let me never, never stray,
From happiness and thee.
9. Bow down Thine Ear, O Lord and Hear
Bow down thine ear, O Lord and hear,
for I am poor and great my need;
preserve my soul, for Thee I fear,
O god, thy trusting servant heed.
O Lord, be merciful to me,
for all the day to thee I cry;
rejoice thy servant, for to thee
I lift my soul, O Lord Most High.
5 Poems of Prayer for Others
These are prayers for our loved ones. Let them inspire you to pray for them with faith and boldness before the throne of grace, and maybe they’ll even inspire you to write your own prayer for a loved one.
1. A Prayer For You – Lenora McWhorter
I lifted you to the Lord today
as I spent some time in prayer.
I asked God to be near you
and your burdens help you bear.
I could feel the Father smile
each time I called your name
because I talk to Him quite often
and my prayers are the same.
I pray that God will protect you
every minute of every day.
And to always direct your path
and guide you on your way.
I pray that God will give you joy
and shower you with His peace.
I pray He will smile down on you
so His blessings will not cease.
I pray God’s love will keep you
So you won’t waver in your faith.
And may His presence surround you
as He covers you with His grace.
2. A Mother’s Prayer – Jean Toomey
I prayed for God to wrap His arms
Around my little brown-eyed girl
Asking Him to send His angels
To protect her in this world
I asked Him to surround her
with good people in her life
I asked Him to remove the
Things that cause her so much strife.
I asked Him for His guidance
For his strength to help us through
To bring us back together
He showed me what to do.
I asked Him for forgiveness
For His mercy I would beg
To open up my heart and
To clear what’s in my head
I asked Him to take away
Your sorrows and your fears
To mend your broken heart
And wipe away your tears
I asked Him to open your eyes
And allow you to hear and see
What were lies and what was truth
And what was meant to be.
My prayers were so simple
Yet felt deeply in my heart.
His presence so apparent
With faith He’d do His part
He answered all my prayers
And gave so much more than asked
We will now all move forward
Burying the past.
3. A Parent’s Prayer -Althea A. Anker
Thank you, God, for
The children of mine
Who teach me things
That blow my mind.
They entertain themselves
In the funniest ways.
I pray that the innocence
They possess never goes away.
I pray they will
Grow up and be smart,
And I pray that they will never grow apart.
I pray that they will call home
Whenever they are near a phone.
I pray that they never feel alone.
I hope they turn to you
Through guidance and prayer
And know that you and their parents
Will always be there.
4. What I Wish For You My Son -Linda M. Johnson
What I wish for you today and every day thereafter,
I wish for you the joys of life to come.
I wish for you that the life you lead may be praised by God for now and always.
I wish for you the knowledge to face life as it comes.
I wish for you hope and wisdom that I have instilled in you
to know the difference between right and wrong
I wish for you all the dreams and hope that you could ever imagine.
I wish for you love for everlasting life.
5. Healing Love – Jocelyn S. Ongdico
Oh Great God, You alone can ease
The pounding of my troubled heart.
Only with You I am at peace,
For You make all my fears depart.
Comfort me with Your blazing love
And pacify my worried soul.
Your grace of love from up above
Is healing love that makes me whole.
Cast away all my doubts and fears,
And lift my downcast spirit, Lord.
Please let my heart be brought to cheer
By Your comforting love and Word.
My body and mind may be frail,
But your healing love keeps me strong.
Your love will never ever fail,
So to me, nothing will go wrong.
7 Poems about Prayer
These poems are specifically about prayer, highlighting the reality of Christianity and prayer.
1. A Wing And A Prayer -Michelle Butler
Under the wing of an angel, we feel protected
Through prayers to God, we feel connected.
Peace is said to be offered on the wings of a dove
Prayers can bring peace along with hope, faith, and love.
Wings of a jet plane provide steady flight
I pray you to remain steady and strong through this fight.
Butterflies have wings to fly playfully free
And free from this monster is what I pray you’ll soon be.
Birds spread their wings as they may leave their nest
We’re spreading our prayers that you’ll always be Blessed
Go fight and win this battle you didn’t start
On the wings of an angel and prayers from my heart
2. These Inward Trials -John Newton
I asked the Lord, that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek more earnestly His face.
T’was He who taught me thus to pray
and He I trust has answered prayer,
but it has been in such a way
it almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour
At once He’d answer my request,
and by His love’s constraining power
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel
the hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
‘Lord, why is this?’ I trembling cried,
‘Wilt thou pursue Thy worm to death?’
‘This in this way,’ the Lord replied,
‘I answer prayer for grace and faith.
3. Whenever I Pray – Deborah Ann
Whenever I pray,
my faith increases
as I release my pleas
my fear decreases.
My confidence grows stronger,
my hope is reinforced
any lingering doubtfulness
quickly gets disbursed.
My mind gets elated,
my heart more exhilarated
my cares and concerns
are promptly alleviated.
My troubles get fewer,
my enemies are defeated
any doubts that I have
swiftly are depleted.
Whenever I pray,
my faith starts exploding
for prayer keeps my trust . . .
in God from corroding!
4. Approach, My Soul, the Mercy Seat – William Gadsby
Approach, my soul, the mercy seat,
Where Jesus answers prayer;
There humbly fall before his feet,
For none can perish there.
Thy promise is my only plea;
With this I venture nigh;
Thou callest burdened souls to thee,
And such, O Lord am I.
Bowed down beneath a load of sin,
By Satan sorely pressed,
By war without and fears within,
I come to thee for rest.
Be thou my shield and hiding place,
That, sheltered near thy side,
I may my fierce accuser face,
And tell him thou hast died.
O wondrous love! To bleed and die,
To bear the cross and shame,
That guilty sinners, such as I,
Might plead thy gracious name.
Poor tempest-tossed soul, be still;
My promised grace receive;
I’ll work in thee both power and will;
Thou shalt in me believe.
5. Arise, My Soul, Arise -Charles Wesley
Arise, my soul, arise;
Shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice
In thy behalf appears:
Before the throne my surety stands;
My name is written on his hands.
He ever lives above,
For me to intercede;
His all-redeeming love,
His precious blood to plead;
His blood atoned for all our race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.
Five bleeding wounds he bears,
Received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers,
They strongly speak for me.
Forgive him, O forgive, they cry,
Nor let that ransomed sinner die.
The Father hears him pray—
His dear Anointed One:
He cannot turn away
The presence of his Son;
His Spirit answers to the blood,
And tells me I am born of God.
My God is reconciled,
His pardoning voice I hear;
He owns me for his child,
I can no longer fear:
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And Father, Abba Father, cry.
6. Prayer -O. Hallesby
My heart now overflows
With prayers and praises.
My Heavenly Father knows
Each sigh that raises
My heart ever nearer His heart so tender;
For there’s my joy and peace;
In Thee I’ve found release,
My soul’s Defender.
7. O God of Bethel! By whose hand -John Logan
O God of Bethel! By whose hand
Thy people still are fed;
Who, through this weary pilgrimage
Hast all our fathers led—
Our vows, our prayers we now present
Before thy throne of grace:
God of our fathers! bed the God
Of their succeeding race.
Through each perplexing path of life,
Our wandering footsteps guide;
Give us each day our daily bread,
And raiment fit provide.
Oh spread thy covering wings around,
Till all our wand’rings cease,
And at our Father’s loved abode,
Our souls arrive in peace.
Such blessings from thy gracious hand,
Our humble prayers implore;
And thou shalt be our chosen God
And portion evermore.
7 Poems that Encourage Prayer
In this section, these poems will be sure to encourage you into a deeper prayer life because they reveal the power and necessity of prayer.
1. Encouragement to Pray -William Gadsby
“My soul, take courage from the Lord;
Believe and plead his holy word;
To him alone do thou complain,
Nor shalt thou seek his face in vain.
Upon him call in humble prayer,
Thou still art his peculiar care;
She’ll surely turn and smile again,
Nor shalt thou seek his face in vain.
However sinful, weak, and poor,
Still wait and pray at mercy’s door;
Faithful Jehovah must remain,
Nor shalt thou seek his face in vain..
Though the vile tempter’s hellish rage
WiII, with his darts, thy soul engage,
God through the fight shall thee sustain,
Nor shalt thou seek his face in vain .
Though the corruptions of thy heart
Daily new cause of grief impact,.
Pray that thy lust may all be slain,
Nor shalt thou seek his face in vain.
Though sharp afflictions still abound,
And clouds and darkness thee surround,
Still pray, for God will all explain,
Nor shalt thou seek his face in vain.
In him, and him alone, confide;
Still at the throne of grace abide;
Eternal victory thou shalt gain,
Nor shalt thou seek his face in vain.”
These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou mayst seek thy all in Me.’
2. Ah, Dearest Lord! I Cannot Pray -F. W. Faber
Ah, dearest Lord! I cannot pray,
My fancy is not free;
Unmannerly distractions come,
And force my thoughts from Thee.
My very flesh has restless fits;
My changeful limbs conspire
With all these phantoms of the mind
My inner self to tire.
I cannot pray; yet, Lord! Thou knowst
The pain it is to me
To have my vainly struggling thoughts
Thus torn away from Thee.
Yet Thou art oft present, Lord!
In weak distracted prayer:
A sinner out of heart with self
Most often finds Thee there.
My Saviour! why should I complain
And why fear aught but sin?
Distractions are but outward things;
Thy peace dwells far within.
3. Don’t Wait Until Tomorrow -Donna Chappell
Do you long for the day my friend, when forever you will be
Side by side walking with your Lord in perfect harmony?
Do you long to sing His praise with angels from above?
To bask and rest in His embrace, surrounded by His love?
My precious friend, don’t wait until tomorrow to be blessed.
Reach out and touch His heart today and find sweet peace and rest.
Lay hold on faith, rest in your King, Then watch your desert bloom.
His roses will grow in your life today and shed their sweet perfume.
4. Be Not Afraid to Pray; to Pray is Right
Be not afraid to pray; to pray is right;
Pray if thou canst with hope, but ever pray,
Though hope be weak or sick with long delay;
Pray in the darkness if there be no light;
And if for any wish thou dare not pray
Then pray to God to cast that wish away.
5. Breath on Me -Edwin Hatch
Breathe on me, breathe on me, Holy Spirit, breathe on me:
Take Thou my heart, cleanse every part, Holy Spirit, breathe on me.
Holy Spirit, breath on me, Until, my heart is clean;
Let Sunshine fill it in most part, With not a cloud between.
Holy Spirit, breath on me, My stubborn will subdue;
Teach me in words of living flame, What Christ would have me do.
Holy Spirit, breath on me, Fill me with power divine;
Kindle a flame of love and zeal, Within this heart of mine.
Holy Spirit breath on me, Till I am all Thine own,
Until my will is lost in Thine, To live for Thee alone.
6. On Opening a Place for Social Prayer -William Cowper
Jesus, where’er thy people meet,
There they behold thy mercy-seat;
Where’er they seek thee thou art found,
And ev’ry place is hallow’d ground.
For thou, within no walls confin’d,
Inhabitest the humble mind;
Such ever bring thee, where they come,
And going, take thee to their home.
Dear Shepherd of thy chosen few!
Thy former mercies here renew;
Here, to our waiting hearts, proclaim
The sweetness of thy saving name.
Here may we prove the pow’r of pray’r,
To strengthen faith, and sweeten care;
To teach our faint desires to rise,
And bring all heav’n before our eyes.
Behold! At thy commanding word,
We stretch the curtain and the cord;
Come thou, and fill this wider space,
And help us with a large increase.
Lord, we are few, but thou art near;
Nor short thine arm, nor deaf thine ear;
Oh rend the heav’ns, come quickly down,
And make a thousand hearts thine own!
7. The Power in Prayer – Abimbola T. Alabi
Prayer is the breath
That revives my soul.
Prayer is the balm
That makes my spirit whole.
Prayer is my path
Into the realm up above.
Prayer is the wave
That fills my heart with love.
Prayer is the key
That opens the bolted door.
It is the battle plan
When I find myself at war.
Prayer is the gift
That I send a distant friend.
It’s prayer, the lifeline
I will use right to the end.