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    The Book of Common Prayer - 1559




A generall confession of sinnes, to be said every morning.

O ALMIGHTIE God, our heavenly Father, I confesse and knowledge, that I am a miserable and a wretched sinner, and have manifold waies most grievouslie transgressed thy most godly commaundements, through wicked thoughts, ungodly lusts, sinfull words and deeds, and in my whole life. In sinne am I borne and conceived, and there is no goodnesse in mee; inasmuch as if thou shouldest enter into thy narrowe judgement with me, judging me according unto the same, I were never able to suffer or abide it, but must needes perish and be dampned [damned] for ever: So little help, comfort, or succoure is there either in me, or in any other creature. Onely this is my comfort (O heavenly Father), that thou diddest not spare thy onely deare beloved sonne, but diddest give him up unto the most bitter, and most vile and slaunderous death of the Crosse for me, that hee might so pay the ransome for my sinnes, satisfie thy judgement, still and pacifie thy wrath, reconcile me againe unto thee, and purchase me thy grace and thy favour, and everlasting life. Wherfore, through the merite of his most bitter death and passion, and through his innocent bloodshedding, I beseech the, O heavenly Father, that thou wilt vouchsafe to bee gracious and mercifull unto me, to forgive and pardon me al my sinnes, to lighten my harte with thy holy Spirit, to renue, confirme, and strengthen me with a right and a perfecte faith, and to inflame mee in love toward thee and my neighbour, that I may hencefurth with a willing and a glad harte, walke as becommeth me, in thy most godly commaundements, and so glorifie and praise the everlastingly. And also that I may with a free conscience and quiet hert, in all manner of temptations, afflictions, or necessities, and even in the verie pangs of death, crie boldly and merily unto thee, and say : I beleve in God the Father Almightie, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, &c. But, O Lord God heavenly father, to comfort myselfe in affliction and temptation with these articles of the Christian faithe, it is not in my power, for faith is thy gift: and forasmuch as thou wilt bee prayed unto, and called upon for it, I come unto thee, to pray and beseech the, both for that and for all my other necessities, even as thy desre beloved Sonne our Sauiour Iesus Christ himselfe hath taught us. And from the very bottome of my heart I cry, and say: Our Father, which art in heaven. &c.




These prayers were never officially part of the Book of Common Prayer, but were often bound up with it. The prayers given here come from three sources. The first is from a 1567 BCP, as found in an 1847 reprint, Liturgical Services in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth. The second and third are from actual Books of Common Prayer published in 1599 and 1634. The presence of each prayer in each BCP is indicated at the right.

These prayers are also found bound up with the 1552 BCP, in substantially the same form as in the 1567 Book



1567, 1599, 1634


Prayers to be said in the Morning.

O MERCIFULL Lord God, heavenly Father, I render most high laudes, praise, and thankes unto thee, that thou hast preserved me both this night, and all the time and daies of my life hitherto, under thy protection, and hast suffered mee to live untill this present houre. And I beseech thee hartily, that thou wilt vouchsaufe to receive me this day, and the residue of my whole life, from hencefurth into thy tuition [=protection], ruling and governing me with thy holie Spirit, that all maner of darknes, of misbeleefe, infidelitie, and of carnall lusts and affections, may be utterly chased and driven out of my harte, and that I may be justified and saved both bodie and soule through a right and a perfect faith, and so walke in the light of thy most godly trueth, to thy glorie and praise, and to the profite and furtherance of my neighbour, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

1567, 1599, 1634
ALL possible thankes that wee are able, wee render unto thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, for that thou hast willed this night past to bee prosperous unto us; and we beseech thee likewise to prosper all this same day unto us for thy glorie, and for the helth of our soule: and that thou which art the true light, not knowing any going downe, and which art the Sunne eternall, giving life, foode, and gladnes unto all things, vouchsaufe to shine into our minds, that we may not any where stumble to fall into any sin, but may thorow [through] thy good guiding and conducting, come to the life everlasting. Amen.
1567, 1599
O LORD Jesus Christ, which art the true Sun of the world, evermore arising, and never going downe, which by thy most holesome appearing and sight, doest bring foorth, preserve, nourish, and refresh all things, as well that are in heaven, as also that are on earth : we beseech thee mercifully and favourably to shine into our hearts, that the night and darknesse of sins, and the mists of errors on every side driven away, thou brightly shining within our harts, we may all our life space go without any stumbling or offence, and may decently and seemely walk, (as in the day time,) being pure and cleane from the works of darknes, and abounding in all good works which God hath prepared for us to walk in: which with the Father and with the holie Ghost livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.
1567, 1599, 1634;
also found in the 1545 Primer

O GOD and Lord Iesus Christ, thou knowest, yea, and hast also taught us, how great the infirmitie and weakenesse of man is, and how certaine a thing it is that it can nothing doe without thy godly helpe. If man trust to himselfe, it cannot bee avoyded, but that hee must headlong runne and fall into a thousand undoings and mischiefs. O our Father, have thou pitie and compassion upon the weakenesse of us thy children, bee thou prest [=willing] and readie to helpe us, alwaies shewing thy mercie upon us, and prospering whatsoever we godly go about: so that, thou giving us light, wee may see what things are truely good in deede; thou encouraging us, wee may have an earnest desire to the same; and thou being our guide, wee may come where to obtaine them : for wee having nothing but mistrust in our selves, doe yeeld and commit our selves full and whole unto thee alone, which workest all things in al creatures, to thy honour and glorie. So be it.


1567, 1599

A prayer against temptation.

O LORD Jesus Christ, the only stay and fence of our mortall state, our onely hope, our onely salvation, our glorie, and our triumph, who in the flesh (which thou hadst for our only cause taken upon thee) diddest suffer thy selfe to be tempted of Sathan, and who onely and alone of all men diddest utterly overcome and vanquish sinne, death, the world, the divell, and all the kingdome of hell : and whatsoever thou hast so overcommed, for our behoofe [behalf] it is that thou hast overcommed it : neither hath it been thy will to have any of thy servants to keepe battel or fight with any of the foresaid evils, but of purpose to rewarde us with a crowne of the more glorie for it. And to the intent that thou mightest likewise overthrow Sathan in thy members, as thou haddest afore done in thine owne person, give thou (wee beseech thee) unto us thy souldiers (O Lion most victorious of the tribe of Juda) strength against the roring Lion, which continually wandreth to and fro, seeking whom he may devoure. Thou being that same Serpent, the true giver of health and life, that were nailed on high upon a tree, give unto us, thy little seelie ones, wilinesse against the deceitfull awayting of the most subtile serpent. Thou being a Lambe as white as snow, the vanquisher of Satans tyranie, give unto us thy little sheep the strength and vertue of thy spirit, that being in our owne selves weake and feeble, and in thee strong and valiant, wee may withstand and overcome all assaults of the divell, so that our ghostly enemie may not glorie on us, but being conquered through thee, we may give thankes to thy mercie, which never leaveth them destitute that put their trust in thee : who livest and reignest God for ever without end. Amen.


1567, 1599

A prayer for the obtaining of wisedome.

O GOD of our fathers, and Lord of mercie, thou that hast made all things with thy word, and ordeined man through thy wisdome, that he should have dominion over the creatures which thou hast made, that he should order the world according to equitie and righteousnesse, and execute judgement with a true heart : give me wisedome, which is ever about thy state, and put me not out from among thy children : for I thy servant and sonne of thy handmaid am a feeble person, of a short time, and too young to the understanding of thy judgementes and lawes : yea, though a man be never so perfect among the children of men, yet if thy wisedome be not with him, he shall be nothing worth. O send thy wisedome out of thy holie heavens, and from the throne of thy majestie, that she may be with me and labour with me, that I may know what is acceptable in thy sight; for she knoweth and understandeth all things, and she shall conduct me right soberly in thy workes, and preserve me in her power: so shall my workes be acceptable. Amen.


1567, 1599;
also found in the 1545 Primer

Sapien. ix

A prayer against worldly carefulnesse.

O MOST deare and tender father, our defender and nourisher, endue us with thy grace, that we may cast off the great blindnesse of our mindes, and carefulnesse of worldlie things, and maye put our whole studie and care in keeping of thy holie law ; and that wee may labour and travaile for our necessities in this life, like the birds of the ayre, and the lillies of the field, without care. For thou hast promised to be carefull for us, and hast commaunded that upon thee we should cast al our care : which livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.


1567, 1599;
also found in the 1545 Primer

A prayer necessary for all persons.

O MERCIFULL God, I wretched sinner reknowledge [acknowledge] myselfe bound to keepe thy holie commaundements, but yet unable to performe them, and to bee accepted for just without the righteousnesse of Jesus Christ thy onely Sonne, who hath perfectly fulfilled thy law, to justifie all men that beleeve and trust in him. Therefore graunt me grace, I beseech thee, to be occupied in doing of good workes, which thou commaundest in holie scripture, all the daies of my life, to thy glorie, and yet to trust onely in thy mercie, and in Christes merites, to bee pourged from my sinnes, and not in my good workes, be they never so many. Give me grace to love thy holie word fervently, to search the Scriptures diligently, to reade them humblie, to understand them truly, to live after them effectually. Order my life so, O Lord, that it be alwaye acceptable unto thee. Give me grace not to rejoyce in any thing that displeaseth thee, but evermore to delight in those things that please thee, be they never so contrary to my desires. Teach me so to pray, that my petitions may be graciously heard of the. Keepe me upright among diversities of opinions and judgements in the worldy that I never swarve [swerve] from thy trueth taught in holie Scripture. In prosperitie, O Lord, save me, that I waxe not proude. In adversitie helpe me, that I never despaire nor blaspheme thy holie name, but taking it patiently, to give thee thankes, and trust to be delivered after thy pleasure. When I happen to falle into sinne through frailtie, I beseech thee to worke true repentance in my heart, that I may bee sorie without desperation, trust in thy mercie without presumption, that I may amend my life, and become truely religious without hypocrisie, lowly in heart without faining, faithfull and trustie without deceit, merie without lightnesse, sad without mistrust, sober without slouthfulnesse, content with mine owne without covetousnesse, to tell my neighbour his faults charitably without dissimulation, to instruct my household in thy lawes truely, to obey our Kyng and all governours under him* unfainedly, to receive all lawes and common ordinances (which disagreeth not from thy holie word) obediently, to pay every man that which I owe unto him truely, to backbite no man, nor slander my neighbour secretly, and to abhorre all vice, loving all goodnesse earnestly. O Lord, graunt me thus to doe, for the glorie of thy holy name. Amen.


1567, 1599;
also found in the 1545 Primer, excepting the first two sentences

* our Queene and all governours under her ... in 1599




A prayer necessary to be said at all times.

O BOUNTIFUL Jesu, O swete saviour, O Christ the sonne of God, have pitie upon me, mercifully heare me, and despyse not my prayers. Thou hast created me of nothing, thou hast redemed me from the bondage of sinne, death, and hel, nether [neither] with golde nor silver, but with thy moste precious body once offred upon the crosse, and thine own bloud shed once for al for my raunsome : therefore cast me not away, whom thou by thy great wisdom haste made : despise me not, whom ye hast redemed with such a precious treasure. Nor let my wickednes destroy that, which thy goodnes hath builded. Nowe whiles I live, O Jesu have mercy on me, for if I dye oute of thy favour, it wil be to late afterward to cal for thy mercy : whiles I have time to repent, loke upon me with thy merciful eyes, as thou diddest vouchsafe to loke upon Peter thine Apostle, that I may bewaile my sinfull lyfe, and obteyne thy favour, and die therin. I reknowledge [acknowledge], that if thou shouldest deale with me according to very justice, I have deserved everlasting death. Therefore I appele to thy high throne of merci trusting to obtaine Gods favoure, not for my merites, but for thy merites, O Jesu, who hast geven thy self an acceptable sacrifice to thy father, to appease his wrath, and to bring all sinners, (truly repenting and amending their evyl lyfe) into his favour again. Accept me, O lord, among the numbre of them that shal be saved, forgeve my sines, geve me grace to leade a godly and innocent life, graunt me thy heavenly wisdom, inspyre my heart with fayth, hope, and charitie ; geve me grace to bee humble in prosperitie, patient in adversitie, obedient to my rulers, faithful unto them that trust me, dealing truely with al men, to live chastely in wedlocke, to abhorre adultery, fornication, and al unclennes, to doe good after my power unto al men, to hurt no man, that thi name may be glorified in me, during this present life, and that I afterward may obteine everlasting life, thorow [through] thy merci, and ye merites of thi passion. Amen.


Certaine prayers, taken oute of the service dayly, used in the quenes house.

ALMIGHTIE God, the Father of mercie, and God of all comfort, the which onely forgivest sinne, forgive unto us our sinnes, good Lorde, forgive unto us our sinnes ; that by the multitude of thy mercies they may be covered, and not imputed unto us, and by the operation of the holy Ghost, we may have power and strength hereafter to resist sin by our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Queen referred to is Catherine Parr, not Elizabeth.

These eight "daily prayers" are found in the 1567 and 1599 Books; the title in the 1599 BCP is:
Certaine godly prayers for sundry dayes.


O LORD GOD, which despisest not a contrite hart, and forgettest the sins and wickednes of a sinner, in what houre soever hee doth mourne and lament his olde maner of living : graunt unto us (O Lord) true contrition of hart, that we may vehemently despise our sinfull life past, and wholy be converted unto thee, by our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
O MERCIFULL FATHER, by whose power and strength wee may overcome our enemies both bodily and ghostly : graunt unto us, O Lord, that, according to our promise made in our baptisme, we may overcome the chief enemies of our soule, that is, the desires of the world, the pleasures of the flesh, and the suggestions of the wicked spirit ; and so after leade our lives in holines and righteousnes, that we may serve thee in spirit and trueth, and that by our Sauiour and Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
O ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, which not onely givest every good and perfite gift, but also encreasest those gifts that thou hast given : we most humbly beseech thee, (mercifull God) to increase in us the gift of faith, that we may truely beleeve in thee, and in thy promises made unto us; and that neither by our negligence, nor infirmitie of the flesh, nor by grieveusnesse of temptation, neither by the subtill crafts and assaults of the divell [devil] wee bee driven from faith in the blood of our Saviour and Lord Iesus Christ. Amen.
GRAUNT unto us, O mercifull God, (wee most heartily beseech thee), knowledge and true understanding of thy word, that all ignorance expelled, we may know what thy will and pleasure is in all things, and how to doe our duties, and truely to walke in our vocation, and that also we may expresse in our living, those things that we doe knowe, that we be not only knowers of thy worde, good Lord, but also bee workers of the same : by our Saviour and Lorde Jesus Christ. Amen.

O ALMIGHTY God, which hast prepared everlasting life to all those that be thy faithfull servaunts : graunt unto us, Lord, sure hope of the life everlasting, that we, being in this miserable world, may have some taste and feeling of it in our hearts ; and that not by our deserving, but by the merits and deserving of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

O MERCIFULL God, our only aide, succour, and strength at all times; graunt unto us, O Lord, that in the time of prosperitie we be not proude, and so forget thee, but that with our whole power and strength wee may cleave unto thee; and in the time of adversitie, that wee fall not to infidelitie and desperation, but that alwaies with a constant faith we may call for helpe unto thee graunt this, O Lord, for our advocates sake, and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


O ALMIGHTIE and mercifull Lord, which givest unto thy elect people the holy Ghost, as a sure pledge of thy heavenly kingdome : Graunt unto us, O Lord, thy holie spirit, that he may beare witnesse with our spirit, that wee be thy children, and heires of thy kingdome, and that by the operation of this thy spirit we may kill all carnall lusts, unlawfull pleasures, concupiscences, evill affections, contrarie unto thy will, by our Saviour and Lord Iesus Christ. Amen.



A prayer for trust in God.

THE beginning of the fall of man was trust in himselfe. The beginning of the restoring of man, was distrust in himselfe, and trust in God. O most gracious and most wise guide, our Saviour Christ, which doest lead them the right way to immortall blessednesse, which trulie and unfainedlie trusting in thee, commit themselves to thee : Graunt us, that like as we be blind and feeble in deed, so we may take and repute our selves, that we presume not of ourselves, to see to ourselves, but so farre to see, that alway wee may have thee before our eyes, to followe thee, being our guide, to bee readie at thy call most obediently, and to commit our selves wholy unto thee; that thou, which only knowest the way, maist leade us the same way unto our heavenly desires; to thee with the Father and the holie Ghost be glorie for ever. Amen.


1567, 1599;
also found in the 1545 Primer

A prayer for the concorde of Christes church.

ARYSE Lorde, let thine enemies be scattered, thy haters put to flight, the righteous and Christes disciples make pleasaunt and mery, let them sing prayses and pleasaunt songes unto thee, let them blowe abrode thy magnificence, let them moste highly avaunce [advance] thy majestie, let thy glorye grow, let the kingdom of Christ from heaven among the chosen be enlarged : bee thou the father of the fatherles, the judge of the widowes, and the protectour of them, namely [=especially] whom the world forsaketh, whose consciences be troubled, whom the world pursueth for Christes sake, whiche be nedy and wrapped full of misery. In thy house O lord, let us dwel in peace and concord, geve us al one heart, one minde, one true interpretacion upon thy word. Pluck of the bandes, aswell from the consciences as from the bodies of the miserable captives, and of them also whiche as yet bee hedged in within the lystes [=boundaries] of death, and unadvisedly strive against grace. How drye (lord) is the flocke of thyne heritage! I praye thee, powre [pour] downe largely the showres of thy graces, lette a more plenteous fruitefulnes chaunce, let thy people be strengthened with thy spirite : Graunt us lord thy word aboundantly, so that there may be many preachers of thy Gospel, which maye within them selves holily conspire and agree. Lette the church, the spouse of Christ, deale large spoyles of the conquered Sathan. All that beleeve in thee, by Christe (O lorde God of health), mought [might] lyft thee up with prayses, might renoume [=bring fame to] thee and extolle thee. We bee entered into the voyage of salvation. Conducte us luckelye unto the porte, that beeynge delyvered by thee from the verye death, we maye escape and come to the verye lyfe. Finishe the thinge that thou hast begon in us, make us to increase from faith to faith, leave us not to our own wil and choise, for it is slippery and redy to fal. To the thunderboltes of thy word put violence, that we may geve the glory to thee alonely. Geve to thy people courage and power to withstande synne, and to obeye thy worde in all thinges : O Lorde God most glorious and excellent over all.



A prayer agaynst the enemies of Christes trueth.

DELYVER me O Lorde, from the ungodly and stiffenecked persons, for thou seest how in theyr hartes they ymagine mischiefe, and have great pleasure to picke quarelles, theyr tongues bee more sharpe than any adders sting, and under theyr lippes lurketh poison of adders. But, O merciful Lord, let me not fal into theyr handes, that they handle not me after theyr owne lustes. Thou onely art my God, thou must heare my pieteous plaint : Lord, that rulest al together, that art the strength and power of my defence, bee thou as a sallet [=helmet] on my head whensoever the ungodlye shal assault me : neyther suffre thou not the wicked thus to prosper in their matters. Suffre not their croked and malicious stomackes to encrease, and spitefully revyle thee. Loke upon thy porre wretches cause, and ridde me oute of these dayly grevaunces, then shall I with a right up heart and pleasaunt countenaunce extoll and magnifye thy holye name. Amen.



A prayer for pacience in trouble.

HOW hast thou (O Lord) humbled and plucked me downe. I dare now uneths [=scarcely] make my prayers unto thee, for thou art angrie with me, but not without my deserving. Certainly I have sinned, Lord, I confesse it; I will not deny it; but, oh my God, pardon my trespasses, release my debts, render now thy grace againe unto me, stop my wounds, for I am all to plagued and beaten: yet Lord this notwithstanding I abide patiently, and give mine attendance on thee, continually waiting for reliefe at thy hand, and that not without skill; for I have received a token of thy favour and grace towards me, I meane thy word of promise concerning Christ, who for me was offered on the Crosse for a ransome, a sacrifice and price for my sins : wherefore, acccording to that thy promise, defend me Lord by thy right hand, and give a gracious eare to my requests, for al mans staies are but vaine. Beate downe therefore mine enemies thine owne selfe with thy power, which art mine onely ayder and protector, O Lord God almightie. Amen.


1567, 1599;
also found in the 1545 Primer

A prayer to be said at night going to bed.

O MERCIFULL Lorde God, heavenly Father, whether we sleepe or wake, live or die, we are alwaies thine. Wherefore I beseech thee hartily that thou wilt vouchsafe to take care and charge of me, and not to suffer me to perish in the workes of darknesse, but to kindle the light of thy countenaunce in my heart, that thy godly knowledge may daily increase in mee, through a right and pure faith, and that I may alwayes bee found to wake and live after thy will and pleasure, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.


1567, 1599

A prayer to be said at the houre of death.

O LORD Jesus, which art the onely health of all men living, and the everlasting life of them which die in faith : I wretched sinner give and commit my self wholy unto thy most blessed will. And I being sure that the thinge cannot perish which is committed unto thy mercie, willingly now I leave this fraile and wicked flesh, in hope of the resurrection, which in better wise shal restore it to me againe. I beseech thee, most mercifull Lord Jesus Christ, that thou wilt by thy grace make strong my soule against all temptations, and that thou wilt cover and defend me with the buckler of thy mercie against al the assaults of the divell [devil]. I see and knowledge [acknowledge], that there is in myselfe no helpe of salvation, but all my confidence, hope, and trust, is in thy most mercifull goodnesse. I have no merites, nor good workes, which I may alleage before thee. Of sinnes and evill workes (alas) I see a great heape, but through thy mercie, I trust to bee in the number of them, to whom thou wilt not impute their sinnes, but take and accept me for righteous and just, and to bee the inheritour of everlasting life. Thou, mercifull Lord, was borne for my sake, thou diddest suffer both hunger and thirst for my sake, thou diddest preach and teach, thou diddest pray and fast for my sake, thou diddest all good workes and dedes for my sake, thou sufferedst most grievous paines and tormentes for my sake : And finally thou gavest thy most precious bodie to die, and thy blood to bee shed on the crosse for my sake. Now most mercifull Saviour, let all these things profit me, which thou freely hast given me, that hast given thy selfe for me. Let thy blood cleanse and wash away the spots and foulenes of my sinnes. Let thy righteousnesse hide and cover my unrighteousnesse. Let the merites of thy passion and blood, bee the satisfaction for my sinnes. Give me Lord thy grace, that my faith and salvation in thy blood waver not in me, but be ever firme and constant, that the hope of thy mercie and life everlasting never decay in me, that charitie waxe not cold in me. Finally, that the weakenesse of my flesh bee not overcome with the feare of death. Graunt me, mercifull Saviour, that when death hath shut up the eyes of my bodie, yet that the eyes of my soule may still beholde and looke upon thee : that when death hath taken away the use of my tongue and speech, yet that my heart may crie and say unto thee, In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum (that is to say) O Lord, into thy hands I give and commit my soule : Domine Iesu, accipe spiritum meum : Lord Iesu, receive my soule unto thee, Amen. Amen.


1567, 1599

Another prayer for the Morning

O Almightie and most gracious God, we heartily thanke thee for the sweet sleepe and comfortable rest which thou hast given us this night : and forasmuch as thou hast commanded by thy holy Word, that no man should be idle, but all occupied in godly and vertuous exercises, every man according to his calling : we most humbly beseech thee, that thine eyes may attend upon us, dayly defend us, cherish, comfort, and governe us and all our counsailes [=deliberations], studies, and labours, in such wise, that wee may spend and bestow this day according to thy most holy will, without the hurting of our neighbours, and that wee may diligently and warily eschew and avoid all things that should displease thee, set thee alwayes before our eyes, live in thy feare, working that which may bee found acceptable before thy divine Majestie, through Christ our Lord. Amen.



A prayer for the Evening

O Most mighty Lord our Father, and God everlasting, full of pity and compassion, we acknowledge and confesse, that we be not worthy to lift up our eyes to heaven, much less to present our selves before thy Majestie, with confidence that thou wilt heare our prayers, and grant our requests, if we consider our own deserving : For our consciences doe accuse us, and our sins witnesse against us, and we know that thou art an upright Judge, which doest not justifie the sinners and wicked men, but punishest the faults of such as transgresse thy Commandements. Yet most mercifull Father, sith [=since] it hath pleased thee to command us to call upon thee in all out troubles and adversities, promising even then to helpe us, when we feele our selves (as it were) swallowed up by death and desperation : wee utterly renounce all wordly confidence, & flee to thy Soveragine bounty, as our onely stay and refuge, beseeching thee not to call to remembrance our manifold sins and wickednesse, whereby we continually provoke thy wrath and indignation against us, neither our negligence & unkindnesse, which have neither worthily esteemed, nor in our lives sufficiently expressed the sweet comfort of thy Gospel revealed unto us, but rather accept the obedience and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, who by offering by his body in sacrifice once for all, hath made sufficient recompence for all our sinnes. Have mercie therefore upon us, O Lord, and forgive us our offences. Teach us by thy holy Spirit, that we may rightly weigh them, and earnestly repent for the same : and so much the rather, O Lord, because that the reprobate, and such as thou hast forsaken, cannot praise thee, nor call upon thy Name : but the repenting heart, the sorrowfull minde, the conscience oppressed, hungring and thirsting for thy grace, shall ever set forth thy praise and glorie. And albeit wee be but worms and dust, yet thou art our Creatour, and wee be the worke of thine hands : yea, thou art our Father, and we thy chidren : thou art our Shepherd, and wee thy flocke : thou art our Redeemer, and we thy people whom thou hast bought : thou art our God, and wee thine inheritance. Correct us not therefoe in thy anger, O Lord, neither according to our deserts punish us, but mercifully chastise us with a fatherly affection, that all the world may know that at what time soever a sinner doeth repent him of his sinne from the bottome of his heart, thou wilt put away his wickednesse out of thy remembrance, as thou hast promised by thine holy Prophet.
    Finally, forasmuch as it has pleased thee to make the night for man to rest in, as thou hast ordained him the day to travaile [toil] in : Grant, O deare Father, that we may so take our bodily rest, that our soules may continually watch for ye time that our Lord Jesus Christ shall appeare for our deliverance out of this mortall life, and in the meane season, that we, not overcome by any fantasies, dreames, or other temptations, may fully set our mindes upon thee, love thee, feare [=revere] thee, and rest in thee : Furthermore, that our sleepe be not excessive, or overmuch, after the unsatiable desires of our flesh : but onely sufficient to content out weake nature, that wee may bee the better disposed to live in godly conversation [=behaviour], to the glory of thy holy Name, and profit of our brethren. Amen.


The prayer of Manasseth King of the Jewes.

O Lord Almighty, God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and of their righteous seed, which hast made heaven and earth with all their ornament, which hast bound the Sea by the word of thy Commandement, which hast shut up the deepe and sealed it by thy terrible and glorious Name, whom all doe feare, and tremble before thy power : for the Majestie of thy glorie cannot bee borne, and thine angry threatening toward sinners is importable [=unendurable], but thy mercifull promise is unmeasureable and unsearchable. For thou art the most high Lord, of great compassion, long suffering, and most mercifull and repentest for mans miseries. Thou, O Lord, according to thy great goodness hath promised* repentance and forgivenesse to them that sin against thee, and for thine infinite mercies hast appointed repentance unto sinners, that they may bee saved. Thou therefore, O Lord, that art the God of the just, hast not appointed repentance to the just, as to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, which have not* sinned against thee, but thou hast appointed repentance unto me that am a sinner. For I have sinned above the number of the sand of the Sea. My transgressions, O Lord, are multiplyed : my transgressions are exceeding many : and I am not worthy to behold and see the height of the heavens for the multitude of mine unrighteousnesse. I am bowed down with many iron bands, that I cannot lift up mine head, neither have I any release : For I have provoked thy wrath, and done evill before thee. I did not thy will, neither kept I thy Commandements. I have set up abominations, and have multiplyed offences. Now therefore I bow the knee of mine heart, beseeching thee of grace. I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, and I acknowledge my transgressions : but I humbly beseech thee, forgive me : O Lord forgive me, & destroy me not with my transgressions. Be not angry with mee for ever, by reserving evill for mee, neither condemne me unto the lower parts of the earth. For thou art the God, even the God of them that repent : and in mee thou wilt shew all thy goodnesse : for thou wilt save me that am unworthy, according to thy great mercy : therefore I will praise thee for ever all the dayes of my life. For all the powers of the heavens praise thee, and thine is the glorie for ever and ever. Amen.










* Thou hast promised that repentence shall be the way for them to return to thee.

* He speaketh this in compassion of himself and those holy Fathers which have their commemorations in the Scriptures, so that in respect of himself, he calleth their sinnes nothing but attributeth unto them righteousnesse.

A Prayer containing the duty of every true Christian

O Most mightie GOD, mercifull and loving Father, I wretched sinner come unto thee in the Name of thy dearely beloved Sonne Jesus Christ my onely Saviour and Redeemer : and I most humbly beseech thee for his sake to bee mercifull unto mee, and to cast all my sinnes out of thy sight and remembrance through the merits of his bloody death and Passion. Powre [Pour] upon me (O Lord) the holy Spirit of wisedome and grace : governe and leade me by thy holy word, that it may be a lanterne unto my feet, and a light unto my steps. Shew thy mercy upon me, and so lighten my naturall blindnes and darknesse of my heart through thy grace, that I may daily be renewed by the same Spirit and grace : By the which (O Lord) purge the grossenesse [=coarseness] of my hearing and understanding, that I may profitably read, heare, and understand the word and heavenly will, beleeve, and practise the same in my life and conversation [=behaviour], and evermore hold fast that blessed hope of everlasting life.
    Mortifie and kill all vice in mee, that my life may expresse my faith in thee : mercifully heare the humble suit of thy servant, and grant me thy peace all my dayes : Graciously pardon my infirmities, and defend mee in all dangers of body, goods and name : but most chiefly my soule against all assaults, temptations, accusations, subtill baits, and sleights of that old enemy of mankind, Satan that roaring Lion, ever seeking whom he may devoure.
    And here (O Lord) I prostrate with most humble mind, crave of thy divine Majestie, to bee mercifull unto the universall Church of thy Sonne Christ : and specially according to my bounden dutie, beseech thee for his sake to blesse, save, and defend the principall member thereof, thy servant our most deare and Souveraigne Lord King Charles, increase in his Royall heart true faith, godly zeale, and love of the same : And grant him victorie over all his enemies, a long, prosperous, and honourable life upon earth, a blessed end, and life everlasting.
    Moreover, O Lord, grant unto his Majesties most honourable Counsailers, and every other member of this Church of England, that they and wee in our severall callings, may truely and godly serve thee : Plant in our hearts true feare and honour of thy Name, obedience to our Prince, and love to our neighbours : Increase in us true Faith and Religion : Replenish our minds with goodnesse, and of thy great mercie keepe us in the same, till the end of our lives : Give unto us a godly zeale in prayer, true humilitie in prosperity, perfect patience in adversity, and continuall joy in the holy Ghost.
    And lastly, I commend unto thy Fatherly protection, all that thou hast given me, as wife, children, and servants : Ayd me, O Lord, that I may governe, nourish, and bring them up in thy feare and service. And forasmuch as in this world I must alwayes be at war and strife, not with one sort of enemies, but with an infinite number, not onely with one flesh and blood, but with the devill which is the prince of darknesse, and with which wicked men executors of his most damnable will : Grant me therefore thy grace, that being armed with thy defence, I may stand in the battell with an invincible constancy against all corruption which I am compassed with on every side, untill such time as I having ended the combate, which during this life, I must sustaine, in the end I may attaine to thy heavenly rest, which is prepared for me and all thine Elect, through Christ our Lord and onely Saviour. Amen.

1599, 1634
Final page of 1634 edition of Godly Prayers
Final page of the 1634 printing of Godly Prayers; clicking on the image will bring up a larger, redable image. First page of the 1599 printing of Godly Prayers; clicking on the image will bring up a larger, redable image.


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