Church Prayer

Prayer and the Church

May 23, 2013, 0 Comments

Last evening, our church gathered for a substantially different type of prayer gathering than would be normal for us. My friend John Griffin posted this tweet:

Periodically, we gather for a congregational service of directed prayer. For this time, the staff members put together more a journey than a service. Our people were encouraged to participate however would be most beneficial at the moment; as an individual, couple, families, or groups of friends. It was wonderful to see an array of ages, teenagers praying together, couples weeping at Communion tables, families kneeling together in the sanctuary.

It all reminded me of the journey that Patrick took when he felt called back to Ireland. He followed the call of God to evangelize the people that once held him as a slave. It is a fascinating thought: a man freed from being a prisoner of war returns to his oppressors to deliver a greater freedom to them.

This prayer is often called “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” because of those parts of it which seek God’s protection.  It is also sometimes called “The Deer’s Cry” or the “Lorica.” According to tradition, St. Patrick Uttered it while on his way to Tara, where he was for the first time to confront the power of the Pagan High-King of Ireland. Assassins were in wait for him and his companions, but as he chanted the hymn it seemed to the hidden band that a herd of deer went by.

Perhaps it will be useful in your day as you face a world that seeks to hold you captive while you seek to deliver it to freedom.

The Breastplate of St. Patrick

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

Taken from



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