Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society and host of the Prayer Motivator Devotional and Prayer Motivator Minute podcasts, has updated “The Common Prayer” for modern-day use.
“The Common Prayer” comes from the Book of Common Prayer, a liturgical guide for the Anglican Church (Church of England). The original book was published in 1549 and came out of the English Reformation. This prayer book contains the words for structured services of worship. The 1549 Book of Common Prayer was the first such publication to include complete service schedules for daily and Sunday worship in the English language.
What is referred to as “The Common Prayer” is officially titled “Morning Prayer” in the book, and goes like this.
Almighty and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore thou those who are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind In Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.
The text below, with updates by Daniel Whyte III in red and underlined, reflects a clearer, more modern understanding of this prayer which is still used today.
Almighty and most merciful Father; We have sinned, and strayed from Thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no peace and joy in us. But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare Thou us, O God, who confess our sins, our faults, and our failures. Restore those of us who confess our sins and repent; According to Thy promises declared unto us in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for His sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of Thy holy Name. In Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.
In light of the changes noted above, some might think it strange to keep the word “devices” in the second sentence of the prayer since we do not use that word in the same way as sixteenth century English speakers did. However, Whyte points out that with the ubiquity of devices such as smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and iPads — and how glued people are to these devices — even to the neglect of prayer and other spiritual disciplines, that particular word is apropos to our time.
Whyte encourages the use of this prayer in private devotions, family devotions, and congregational prayer times, as all Christians can identify with the thoughts expressed therein.
For more inspiration, insight, encouragement, motivation, and biblical teaching on prayer, check out the Praying Through the Bible sermon series on Gospel Light House of Prayer International. Whyte has preached this Wednesday night sermon series on every passage and verse regarding prayer in the Bible for over five years, and it is still ongoing.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.