Alphabetic Prayer

IMG_2324I recently looked at Psalm 145 and discovered that it is an alphabetic Psalm. I hadn’t realised this before, but each verse begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  So there are 22 verses – well there are in Common Worship, the Book of Common Prayer and King James version of the Bible only have 21 because of the source they used missed one out.  The missing verse is:

The Lord is Faithful in all his words,

and gracious in all his deeds. (Psalm 145: 13 – NRSV; v14 Common Worship)

As a spiritual challenge, I decided to see if I could write an alphabetic prayer and this was the result. (There are one or two displays of poetic licence and I’ve used the Greek letter χ, the first letter of Christ, in place of ‘X’.)


Alphabetic Prayer

All-loving God,

Bringer of hope to all in darkness,

Confirm our trust in your providence.

Drive out our fears

Even when all seems lost.

Forgive us when we falter.

Give strength as we face this hour.

Heal the sick,

Inspire your people to live

Justly, that your

Kingdom may be proclaimed.

Liberate all held in oppressions of mind or violence.

Move between us in love, that

No one may be excluded

Or shut out of this embrace.

Preserve us in peace,

Quench our thirsting from the spring of life,

Restore us in the image of your purpose and

Sanctify us by your Holy Spirit,

That we may rejoice with thankful hearts.

Unite us in common cause, for the true

Victory is yours alone.

Welcome us to your eternal home through

χhrist our Lord; for to 

You alone is praise and glory due in the new

Zion and through all eternity.  Amen.

© Ian Black 2017


About Revd Canon Ian Black

Ian is Vicar of Peterborough, Canon Residentiary of Peterborough Cathedral and Rural Dean of Peterborough. He previously served for 10 years in Leeds, as Vicar of Whitkirk and as a member of the Chapter of Ripon Cathedral. He has also worked in Kent in Maidstone and as priest-in-charge of a group of parishes 10 miles north west of Canterbury. He was a Minor Canon of Canterbury Cathedral, a prison chaplain and Assistant Director of Post-Ordination Training for the Diocese of Canterbury. Prior to ordination Ian had a career in tax, both with the Inland Revenue as a PAYE Auditor and a firm of Chartered Accountants as a Tax Accountant. Ian is married with two sons. He is the author of three books of prayers: Prayers for all occasions (SPCK 2011), Intercessions for Years A, B & C (SPCK 2009) and Intercessions for the Calendar of Saints and Holy Days (SPCK 2005). His latest book is 'Follow me: living the sayings of Jesus (Sacristy Press 2017). He has been writing online since the mid 1990s.
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