Today marks the National Day of Prayer in the US. With that in mind, we asked a number of women to share prayers from Scripture and Christian history that hold significance for them as pastors, professors, community developers, writers, and parents. These 15 responses give a glimpse into the prayer lives of Christian women across the country who are on their knees on behalf of families, churches, and leaders.

1. One of my personal favorites is the prayer, “Great are you, Lord, and greatly to be praised.” Augustine uses this prayer—which draws on Psalm 48—to open his Confessions. He starts not with a reference to himself or even to what God can do or has done for him but simply by admitting his awe at God’s majesty: God is a great God!

This prayer reminds us of the ultimate reason why praying is worth doing: not first and foremost because of what we need or feel but because God deserves our unstinting and unremitting praise. The wellspring of profound prayer is the greatness of the Lord.

2. The Celtic Christians who lived on the British Isles during the early Middle Ages practiced a faith that reflected simple lives lived close to the earth, absent the later pomp and hierarchy that would come from the Roman church. Many of the prayers these Christians offered in their Gaelic tongue were collected later in the 19th-century work Carmina Gadelica.

The prayers are notable for the way they invoke God in every aspect of daily life—while kindling the morning fire, making the bed, and collecting the eggs. My favorite prayer seeks God’s blessing on the cow, her milk, and the milker. It models the way we modern-day believers, too, ought to ask God to bless every part of all we have and all we ...

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