Prayers for Interfaith Worship

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 Invocations

             Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden, cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your holy sprit, so that we may perfectly love you, and worthily praise your holy name.  Amen.

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             Almighty God, from whom every good prayer comes, and who gives to all who desire it the spirit of true prayer, deliver us, when we come near to you, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, so that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections we may worship you in spirit and in truth.  Amen.

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             Almighty and everlasting God, in whom we live and move and have our being, who has created us for yourself, so that our hearts are restless until they find rest in you, grant us purity of heart and strength of purpose so that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing your will, and no weakness may hinder us from doing it.  In your light may we see life clearly, and in your service may we find perfect freedom.  Amen.

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             O God, inspirer and teacher of all people, send out your light and illumine us.  Give us a deep and clear knowledge of ourselves.  Help us to have a growing knowledge of the world.  Confirm in us the holiness of true reason.  Strengthen in us the aspiration towards noble thoughts.  Amen.

(by an anonymous youth, revised from Verkuyl, Gerrit, Teen-Age Worship.  Chicago:  Moody Press, 1950, p. 125.)

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 General Prayers

 On My Honor” (by Dr. Carroll Osburn, 1997)

 (L = Leader; P = Patrol)

P: ON MY HONOR

L: Almighty God, keep us always mindful that our honor is a possession to be cherished as dearly as life itself.  Endow us with firmness of purpose and uncommon integrity that will enable us to fulfill those responsibilities with which we are charged. Make us ever conscious of the trust others have placed in us as Scouts.

 P: TO DO MY DUTY TO GOD

L: Creator of the universe, how often we forget the true source of life’s joys and pleasures. How often, too, have we failed to remember the origin of the inward

strength which has enabled us to be aware of Your continual presence in our daily lives. Help us to understand the more meaningful rewards of service in Your name.

 P: AND MY COUNTRY

L: We thank Thee, Almighty God, for the privilege of living in a country such as the United States of America. Keep foremost in our minds that the freedoms which we enjoy were bought through the unselfish sacrifices of those who have gone before us. As the strength of a country is in her people, let us never avoid our responsibility to maintain this nation as a beacon of hope and freedom to all humankind.

 P: AND TO OBEY THE SCOUT LAW

L: Heavenly Father, accept the heartfelt thanks of us Scouts and Scouters for such men of vision and leadership as Robert Baden-Powell, William Boyce, James West, Earnest Thompson Seton and Waite Phillips.  Keep always before us the ideals which they set forth, and grant us the courage to live by them when others may not. Allow us never to forget that our actions may be the examples others choose to follow.

 P: TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES

L: Grant us forgiveness, Patient Lord, when we place the insignificant wants in our lives above the necessities in others’ lives. Teach us to recognize and understand the problems facing others and prepare us for each day’s task of helping others.

 P: TO KEEP MYSELF PHYSICALLY STRONG, MENTALLY AWAKE, AND MORALLY STRAIGHT

L: God of our ancestors, let us never forget that our bodies and minds are but temporary gifts from Thee.  Help us to preserve, strengthen, and use them for the betterment of our world. May our thoughts and actions be directed toward more meaningful service in Your name. Amen.

 Note:  In the original composition of this prayer the Leader said the phrases from the Scout Oath, and the Patrol said the related prayers.  We have reversed those roles so that the prayer can be used in a camp setting where it is inconvenient to have a copy of the prayer for each participant.

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A Prayer for Scouting.

            Creator of all that is good everywhere, bless your children gathered here, and bless those in Scouting, far and near. Inspire us and guide us so we may dare to lead, teach and serve those who you entrust into our care. Grace us so that our courage, patience and wisdom increase, to foster Duty to God in Scouting, and to promote world peace. Protect us all in traveling the paths you set before us in the family of Scouting. God bless America, and God bless the Boy Scouts of America. Amen.

--by David Gironda, Sr.  Published here by permission of David Gironda, Sr.

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            Our Father which art in heaven, we pray for all the people of our country, that they may learn to appreciate more the goodly heritage that is ours.

             We need to learn, in these challenging days, that to every right there is attached a duty and to every privilege an obligation.  We believe that, in the eternal order of things, Thou has so ordained it, and what Thou hast joined together, let us not try to put asunder.

             Teach us what freedom is.  May we all learn the lesson that it is not the right to do as we please but the opportunity to please to do what is right.

             Above all, may we discover that wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  May we have that freedom now, in His presence here, to lead us and to help us keep this Nation free.  Amen.

 --A prayer by Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the U.S. Senate, April 25, 1947.  Published by the U.S. Government Printing Office.

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Master of the Universe, 
grant me the ability to be alone; 
may it be my custom to go outdoors each day, 
among the trees and grass, among all living things.  
And there may I be alone, and enter into prayer, 
to talk with the One to whom I belong.  
May I express there everything in my heart, 
and may all the foliage of the field--
all grasses, trees, and plants--
awake at my coming, 
to send the powers of their life into the words of my prayer, 
so that my prayer and speech will be  made whole 
through the life and spirit of all growing things, 
which are made as one by their transcendent source.

(Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav [1722-1811])

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 “The Prayer of St. Francis” (traditional)

 Lord make me an instrument of thy peace

Where there is hatred let me sow love

Where there is injury pardon

Where there is discord union

 Where there is doubt faith

Where there is despair hope

Where there is darkness light

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

To love

Where there is despair hope

Where there is sadness joy

For it is in giving that we receive

Is in pardoning that we are pardoned

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

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 May the time not be distant, O God, when Thy name shall be worshipped in all the earth, when unbelief shall disappear and error be no more.  We fervently pray that the day may com when all men shall invoke Thy name, when corruption and evil shall give way to purity and goodness, when superstition shall no longer enslave the mind, nor idolatry blind the eye, when all inhabitants of the earth shall know that to Thee alone every knee must bend and every tongue give homage.  O may all, created in Thine image, recognize that they are brethren, so that, one in spirit and one in fellowship, they may be for ever united before Thee.  Then shall Thy kingdom be established on earth and the word of Thine ancient seer fulfilled:  The Lord will reign for ever and ever.  On that day the Lord shall be One and His name shall be One. Amen.

 (Source:  Jewish liturgy, Armed Forces Hymnal (nd), p. 95.)

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 Benedictions

 May the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent, one from another.

--Genesis 31:49.

 The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

--Numbers 6:24-26.

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