Why is prayer often more difficult when crisis comes, when we feel many losses? Shouldn’t we pray more easily and more often when anxiety visits and losses are felt? But at difficult (or just different) times, putting our stirred hearts into thoughts and our thoughts into words can feel impossible. At times like these, the prayers of others help us.

In the 1930s during the Great Depression, another time of great national stress, a prayer was written by a pastor and then prayed by many other believers over the years. This is not a “change my circumstances” prayer—though we pray those prayers too—but it is a “change me” prayer. It is adapted for us today.

O Lord, in You are laid up all treasures of wisdom and truth and holiness. I pray for true Christian character to take shape within my soul, more and more.
Please grant me:
The grace of a thankful and uncomplaining heart;
The grace to patiently wait on You as I must;
The grace to respond quickly when You call me to act;
The grace of courage, whether in suffering or in danger;
The grace to endure hardship as I must;
The grace of boldness in standing for what is right;
The grace of strict truthfulness;
The grace to treat others as I would have others treat me;
The grace of charity, that I may refrain from hasty judgment;
The grace of silence, that I may refrain from hasty speech;
The grace of forgiveness toward all who have wronged me;
The grace of tenderness toward all who are weaker than I;
The grace of steadfastness in continuing to desire these things I pray for today.
And now, O Lord, give me a quiet mind. Let me not be fretted by any anxiety over the lesser interests of life. Let me rejoice in the knowledge that, whether awake or asleep, I am still with You. And to Your Name be all the glory, Amen.

(adapted from “Twelfth Day, Evening Prayer” in A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie, first published in 1936)

submitted by Pastor June Barrow