Father God, keep us from the things which are bound to make our life unhappy.
Keep us from:
the eyes which can always find some fault to see;
the tongue which can always find something to grumble about;
the heart which can always find some grudge and some bitterness to cherish.
Keep us from:
the perverseness which does not want anything it gets, and which always wants what it has not got;
the ingratitude which does not even realize what it is getting;
the attitude of mind that lives in continual resentment.
Give us in the place of these dark things:
an even temper that can take things as they come;
a sense of humor which can always find some cause to smile;
a gratitude which can always find something for which to be thankful;
a cheerfulness which not all of Earth’s shadows and disappointments can diminish.
Use us, Father God, for whatever purpose, and in whatever way, you desire. We place before you our poor, needy hearts, our ever-leaking, empty vessels, so that you may fill them with your grace. Bring us to life again and again and again, daily. Refresh us with your love. Speak through our lips. Give us the thoughts that we would think. Move our hands and feet to act for you. Never let our faithfulness and confidence in you waiver. Establish our hearts so that we ever say with conviction and clarity, “Jesus is Lord!” Amen.
Excerpted, and lightly edited from, A Barclay Prayer Book by William Barclay (Westminster John Knox Press, 1990), first published under the titles Epilogues and Prayers (1963) and Prayers for the Christian Year (1964)