I don't know what you think about written prayers, but I find that using written prayers in my own devotional life with God broadens my Christian horizon, articulates unexpressed thoughts and desires, and connects me with Christians from very different historical and cultural situations yet who have experienced the same God I know and love.
Two written prayers have captured me recently.
The first is from Basil the Great (c.330-379), Bishop of Caesarea, theologian, and one of the three great Cappadocian Fathers of the church. I love the way he captures the imagery of traveling by sea, contemporary for his world and relevant to mine.
"Steer the ship of my life, Lord, to Your quiet harbor, where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict. Show me the course I should take. Renew in me the gift of discernment, so that I can see the right direction in which I should go. And give me the strength and the courage to choose the right course, even when the sea is rough and the waves are high, knowing that through enduring hardship and danger in Your Name, we shall find comfort and peace. Amen. "
The second if from Henry Martyn (1781-1812), scholar and pioneer missionary to India and Persia.
"Lord, I am blind and helpless, stupid and ignorant, cause me to hear; cause me to know; teach me to do; lead me."
To that I can identify! I feel that way too!
What do you think about written prayers? Do you have any written prayers that have been meaningful to you? Can you identify with, echo, pray one of these prayers to God from your heart?