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20/02/2012 / Bryony Taylor

Intercessions based around the Sarum Primer ‘God be in my head’ prayer

I led the intercessions last night at church and thought I would share them here as they are a set of prayers that could be used in any service based around one of my favourite prayers, the famous Sarum Primer:

God be in my head
and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes
and in my looking;
God be in my mouth
and in my speaking;
God be in my heart
and in my thinking;
God be at my end
and in my departing

Amen

Feel free to use or adapt the intercessions below for your own context.

Today, to help us pray we are going to use a medieval prayer known as the Sarum Primer which first appeared in 1514. I love using old prayers like this – as we pray think of all those Christians through the centuries that have prayed this same prayer, trusting that God would hear them.

God be in my head
and in my understanding;

Father, our minds are constantly fed from newspapers, tv and conversations with others. Help us to filter what we read about and what we hear to discern what you might be saying. Renew our minds and give us wisdom. Help us be more concerned to understand than be understood. Help us to bring your wisdom to bear in our conversations and dealings with others. Help us as we interpret the times we are living in. We pray for all those involved in leadership in our communities and in governments around the world. Give wisdom and understanding to all those involved in decision making – especially in those situations which will impact the most on the poor and the weak.

God be in my eyes
and in my looking;

Father, as we look around us we see all sorts of things, our senses are assaulted with so many images every day. Thank you for those things we see that bring us joy – like the first flowers of spring or the sunshine in the early morning or the birth of a baby. Help us to look at the world through your eyes. Show us the things we need to see. Show us the people and situations that need your help and prompt us to help if we can. Let our eyes be your eyes.

God be in my mouth
and in my speaking;

Jesus, thank you that you choose to use us to reach the world with your love. Help us when we speak to speak words that build up and don’t tear down. Guide us to think before we speak and consider our words carefully. We pray for all those who have been hurt by something someone has said to them – these wounds can often be more painful than physical wounds. We pray for healing where words have hurt and we ask forgiveness for the times when we have said the wrong thing. Thank you for the words of love you speak to us. Speak through us, Lord we pray, that people might know your love in their lives.

God be in my heart
and in my thinking;

Lord, lots of things dominate our thoughts. Many of these things are the worries we have for friends or family. We lift to you now those people and situations that are on our minds. We invite you to intervene in these situations. Help us to trust that you hear our prayers. Lift the burdens we are carrying in our hearts and help us to know that your burden is light. Help us to let go of our anxieties and hand over our lives to your control.

God be at my end
and in my departing

Father, we pray for all those coming to an ending. For those who are coming to the end of their lives – we pray for their carers and families. We pray for those who are finishing a project, or coming to the end of a job and for those preparing for retirement. Be with us in our endings and remind us that each day is a new beginning with you.

So as we go into a new week, let us pray together the prayer from the Sarem Primer:

God be in my head
and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes
and in my looking;
God be in my mouth
and in my speaking;
God be in my heart
and in my thinking;
God be at my end
and in my departing

Amen

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