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Prayers & Meditations


The churches of the Reformation have historically included forms of prayer alongside their songs and liturgies in their service books. The Church of Geneva, for example, had The Form of Church Prayers and Hymns first published in 1542, and the Church of England had the Book of Common Prayer first published in 1549.

In our particular tradition, the Psalter and service book of Petrus Dathenus (1556) also contained a series of prayers. These prayers were first translated into English and included in the Christian Reformed Church’s Psalter Hymnal in 1934 and were included in the 1959 and 1976 editions. Experience has shown that our prayers are an overlooked part of our liturgical life.

Some of the reasons offered are that they are antiquated and verbose. What follows uses the older versions as a baseline while updating the language, shortening when appropriate, adding more prayers from the best of the broader Reformed tradition (England, Geneva, Heidelberg, Strasbourg, as well as Martin Luther), and considering the liturgical and personal needs of our people. We believe this will enhance the prayer life of our people at home and of those who lead in prayer in public worship.

These prayers are not obligatory, but are for voluntary use. While our Church Order requires the use of liturgical forms and their prayers for certain moments in congregational life (e.g., baptism, Lord’s Supper), nowhere are prescribed forms of public prayer in weekly worship imposed. These prayers are offered as aids and examples for those who are called to lead in public prayer, as well as for the direction and edification of our people in their daily lives. To that end, they are arranged in four major sections (after the Lord’s Prayer):

  1. Prayers for Lord’s Day Worship

  2. Prayers for Special Services

  3. Prayers for Ecclesiastical Assemblies

  4. Prayers and Meditations for Personal and Family Use

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who is in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom
and the power
and the glory, forever.