Updated: Aug 20, 2018
Prayer of desire and protection for self
- Spend some time quieting your mind and become aware of God’s loving presence with you.
- Draw a circle in the middle of a paper, and either write your name in the middle or imagine yourself standing in the middle of the circle.
- Start examining your current needs and desires. What do you want from God? What fruit do you want to see grow out of your life? What do you want more of in your life? Write these things inside the circle.
- Reflect on your anxieties, worries and temptations. What do you need God’s protection from? What do you want to let go of? What attitudes, behaviors or attachments do you want to get rid of? Write these outside the circle.
Prayer of intercession for others (individuals, families, churches, cities, countries, etc.)
- Draw a circle in the middle of a paper.
- Bring the person, community or situation you are praying for before God, and write their name in the middle of the circle. Ask for God’s wisdom to pray for their needs, desires, temptations, and dangers.
- Write down words of God’s graces and gifts inside the circle, and outside the circle words of specific harm and temptations that you are asking God’s protection from, as you feel led to.
- Release the person or situation into God’s loving care as you close the time of prayer.
Shield of Protection
The image of asking God to ‘circle’ or ‘surround’ us connects with a Breastplate Prayer that is accredited to St. Patrick. By praying this prayer we ask God to ‘shield’ us from harm and for the grace to recognize God in all of life.
There are several ancient as well as modern versions of both the Celtic ‘Circle me O God’ and ‘Breastplate’ prayers. Here are just an example of each.
Celtic Prayer, Circle me O God
Circle me O God Keep hope within Despair without
Circle me O God Keep peace within Keep turmoil out.
Circle me O God Keep calm within Keep storms without.
Circle me O God Keep strength within Keep weakness out
St. Patrick's Breastplate Prayer (extract of the prayer)
Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort me and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in the hearts of all that love me, Christ in the mouth of friend and stranger.
What is it like for you to pray prayers that have been written by someone else?
How does this differ from your experience of conversational prayer?
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