Posted by: ritagone | February 1, 2017

A Peter Marshall Prayer

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling like I could use all the prayers – both prayed orally and written – that I can get right about now.

So here’s one from Peter Marshall, that great prayer warrior who was both a pastor in Washington, D.C. and twice appointed as the Chaplain of the U.S. Senate in the 1940’s. It’s taken from a compilation of his prayers by his wife, Catherine Marshall, who was a writer herself and a woman of note after his passing, and found in a book called “The Prayers of Peter Marshall,” which I’m using as part of my early morning devotions.





O LORD, I come to Thee out of my great need. Thou hast pledged Thy word that whosoever cometh to Thee shall in no wise be cast out.

I dare to pray that something will happen to me in Thy presence. Lord, I know I need to be changed! For the visions that once swept across the leaden skies of monotony, like white-winged gulls, have dimmed and faded, and I would see them again. Open Thou my eyes!

Shame fills my heart as I remember the aspirations that I have breathed before Thee, the vows I made, the resolves that were born, the seedlings of consecration that were planted in my heart. I blush to remember the withering blight that touched them all – my failures, my shortcomings.

Lord, I confess before Thee that:

I have had longings and nudges from Thee which I did not translate into action;

I have made decisions without consulting Thee, then have blamed Thee when things went wrong.

I have said that I trusted Thee, yet have not turned my affairs over to Thee.

I have been greedy for present delights and pleasures, unwilling to wait for those joys which time and discipline alone can give.

I have often drawn back from the road that is hard.

I have been fond of giving myself to dreams of what I am going to do sometime, yet have been so slow in getting started to do them.

Forgive me for all the intentions that were born and somehow never lived. These, Lord Jesus, are sins, grievous in Thy sight, grievous even in mine.

And now I claim Thy promise to change me. Do Thou for me what I cannot do for myself. Lead me into a new tomorrow with a new spirit. Cleanse my heart, create within me new attitudes and new ideas, as only Thou canst create them.

For these good gifts, I thank Thee, Lord.




If we would all just pray this prayer once a day for a month, I wonder what changes God could effect in our world? Today is the first day of a short month. Just a 28-day experiment. I’m going to try it. If you feel so led, join me. I’d rather pray than grouse about the world, the political situation, and the countless number of people who seem utterly bent on making a mess of things, including, all too often, myself.

So first of all, and most of all, enjoy the prayer, read it again if you feel like it. And if you also feel like it, join me in reading it every day for the next 27 and let’s see what happens! Maybe the world won’t suddenly become Paradise on earth, but I guarantee you that you’ll feel better about being here!!!



  1. Great and meaningful prayer. Thanks for sharing it!!

  2. I’m with you- 27 days ahead of reading this wonderful prayer!

  3. Rita –

    Thank you for sharing Peter Marshall’s prayer. I have printed it and posted on my mirror, so I can read it our loud before I brush my teeth.
    P.S. I loved the movie about his life starring Mike Todd. I’m sure you’ve seen it.

  4. Love, love, love this. We confess corporately at our church and I love it when it’s deep and real and searching, as this is. Thank you for sharing, Rita!

    • Hey, I thought we were going to talk on the phone!! What happened???

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