Anabaptist Prayers

Anabaptist prayers are typically not scripted, but often run along the same lines, due to generations of caring about the same things. You’ll hear similar phrases showing up in many of the same types of prayers, but usually each person who prays has their own phrases that mean something especially to them or that they have inherited from their family’s way of praying. Each prayer will be a little different, and each prayer will tend to mention things that are relevant to the occasion. Places where different things would typically be said are in brackets. However, you should adapt these prayers and especially pray about things that you are thankful for or that you desire.

A prayer of blessing for a meal

Father, we thank you for this food.
We thank you for plenty to eat and for friends to share it with.
Bless the hands that prepared it
and bless all those who will partake of it.
Bless [names of hosts] for opening their home to us
and making this time of fellowship possible.
Bless this food for the strengthening of our bodies,
and bless our time together [this morning/today/this evening/tonight].

We thank you for all that you have blessed us with—
for [list of blessings that come to mind].
Most of all, we thank you for the gift of your Son,
who died for us so that we could have eternal life.
May all that we do or say [this morning/today/this evening/tonight] be to your honor and glory.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

A prayer before bedtime

Father, we thank you for today
and all the opportunities that you gave us for serving you.
Thank you for [a few things that happened today].
Forgive us for where we have failed you
and give us strength to serve you tomorrow.

Keep us safe throughout this night,
and be with all those who especially need your presence tonight:
with [list any people].

Father, keep us in your care.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Praying for your desires

When Anabaptists make requests in prayer, such as when they pray for health, safety, or anything else, they usually pray “if it is your will.” You will also often hear them pray, “But we know that you know best, and you care for what we actually need, not what we think we need. May your will be done.”

The Lord’s Prayer

We frequently recite the Lord’s Prayer together. Pretty much all of us have memorized it in the King James Version:

Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in 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 thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen.

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