Some years ago the late Reverend F P McMaster MBE, who served as the Minister at Canberra Baptist Church for 29 years and who was highly recognised for his 'Pulpit Prayers' sent the Olympic ministry's Mark Tronson a paper he had written titled 'Prayer through the Centuries'.
The paper titled Prayer through the Centuries, was lengthy, six pages. In this series taking into account this F P McMaster paper Mark Tronson has divided it into four separate articles. This first one he titled the Chords of Prayer, the second Prayers of Accountability and this the third, Reforming prayers.
F P McMaster explained that reforming prayers come not only from the Reformation, but are prayers are elicit prayers to reform one's heart and purpose in Christian service.
Martin Luther (1500): O Thou, my God, against all the worlds wisdom and reason. O do it! Thou must do it! Yea, Thou alone must do it! Not mine but thine is the cause. For my own self, I have nothing to do with these great and mighty lords. I would prefer to have peaceful days, and to be out of the turmoil. But, thine, O Lord is the cause: it is righteous and eternal. Stand by me, thou true eternal God. In no man do I trust. All that is of the flesh and savours of the flesh is here of no account. God, O God, dost thou hear me? O my God! Art thou dead? No, thou canst not die, thou art only hiding thyself. Hast thou chosen me for this work? How may I be sure of this, if it be thy will, for I would never have thought, in all my life, of undertaking aught against such great lords. Stand by me, O God, in the name of thy dear Son, Jesus Christ, who shall be my defence and shelter, yea, my mighty fortress, through the might and strength of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Erasmus (1500): O thou who art the true sun of the world, evermore rising and never going down, who by thy most wholesome appearing and sight dost nourish and make joyful all things that are in heaven and on earth, we beseech thee mercifully and favourably shine into our hearts, that the night and darkness of sin and the mists of error on every side, being driven away, thou brightly shining within our hearts, we may all our life long go without any stumbling or offence, and may walk in the daytime, being pure and clean from the works of darkness, and abounding in all good works which thou has prepared for us to walk in. Amen
Philip Melancthon (1500): Almighty and Holy Spirit, the comforter, pure, living, true, illuminate, govern, sanctify me and confirm my heart and mind in the faith and in all genuine consolation, preserve and rule over me, that, dwelling in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord, I may remain forever in the temple of the Lord and praise Him with a joyful spirit and in union with all the heavenly Church. Amen.
Lady Jane Grey (1500): O merciful God, be thou now unto me a strong tower of defence, I humbly entreat thee. Give me grace to await thy leisure and patiently to bear what thou doest unto me, nothing doubting or mistrusting thy goodness towards me, for thou knowest what is good for me better than I do. Therfore do with me in all things what thou wilt, only arm me, I beseech thee with thine armour that I may stand fast, above all things, taking tome the shield of faith, praying always that I may refer myself wholly to thy will, abiding thy pleasure and comforting myself in those troubles which it shall please thee to send me seeing such troubles are profitable for me and I am assuredly persuaded that all that thou does cannot but be well and unto thee be all honour and glory. Amen.
St Theresa (1500): Govern all by thy wisdom, O Lord, so that my soul may always be serving thee as thou dost will and not as I may choose. Do not punish me, I beseech thee, by granting that which I wish or ask if it offend thy love which would always live in me. Let me die to myself, so that I may serve thee, let me live to thee, who in thyself art the true life. Amen.
BlasÃ© Pascal (1600): O Lord, let me knot henceforth desire health or life, except to spend them for thee, with thee and in thee. Thou alone knows what is good for me. Do therefore what seemest best. Give to me or take from me, conform my will to thine, and grant that, with humble and perfect submission and in holy confidence, I may receive the orders of thine eternal providence and may equally adore all that comes to me from thee. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Christina Rosette (1800): Our Lord, our refuge from the storm, hide us we entreat thee in thine own presence from the provoking of all men. By thy holy love and fear, keep us from sins of temper and of the tongue. Amen.
Lord Shaftesbury (1800): O God the father of the forsaken, the help of the weak, the supplier of the needy, who has diffused and proportioned thy gifts to body and soul in such sort that all may acknowledge and perform the joyous duty of mutual service. Who teaches us that love towards the race of man is the bond of perfectness and the imitation of thy blessed self, open our eyes and touch our hearts that we may see and do, both in this world and for that which is to come, the things which belong to our peace. Strengthen me in the work I have undertaken, give me counsel and wisdom, perseverance, faith and zeal and in thine own good time and according to thy pleasure prosper the issue. Pour into me a spirit of humility, let nothing be done but in devout obedience to thy will, thankfulness for thine unspeakable mercies, and love in thine adorable Son, Christ Jesus. Amen.
George Matheson (1850): O Thou Divine Spirit that, in all events of life, art knocking at the door of my heart, help me to respond to thee. I would not be driven blindly as the stars over their courses. I would not be made to work out thy will unwillingly, to fulfil thy law unintelligently, to obey thy mandates unsympathetically. I would take the events of my life as good and perfect gifts from thee, I would receive even the sorrows of life as disguised gifts from good and perfect gifts from thee, I would receive even the sorrows of life as disguised gifts from thee. I would have my heart open at all times to receive at morning, noon and night, in spring and summer and winter. Whether thou camest to me in sunshine or in rain, I would take Thee into my heart joyfully. Thou art thyself more than the sunshine, thou art thyself compensation for the rain, it is thee and not thy gifts that I crave; knock and I shall open unto thee. Amen.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html