PACTS – A Pattern for Prayer


Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)

I call to mind that, for a few short moments,
I can be still and be quiet.
The Creator and Redeemer of all things,
Is now, as always, present to me.
“Closer is he than breathing;
nearer than hands and feet”.
Perhaps I focus my attention with the aid of a crucifix, a candle or a picture as I say,
+In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Praise the Lord O my soul:
And all that is within me praise his holy name (Psalm 103:1)

Even when I pray alone,
My prayers are joined with all who have ever uttered a prayer.
I cannot think of God as He really is
But I can have an image, at least, of his greatness;
As Creator and sustainer of the whole universe,
Who gives life to me and to all things;
As the Divine Lover who is so great
But who lavishes His love,
Giving value to one so small as me.
Words cannot express the greatness of our God
But I re-echo something of his glory
In some words from the Psalms, or in the words of the Eucharist:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosannah in the Highest!
Blessings and honour and glory and power be yours for ever and ever. Amen.


 Have mercy on me O God in your enduring goodness:
According to the fullness of your compassion
Blot out my offences (Psalm 51:1)

I need to be aware of my failings and shortcomings, so I review
What has happened since I last prayed.
I remember all those ways in which I have failed to live after the pattern of Christ.
Have I neglected or offended God,
Through failing to pray or be at the Eucharist?
Have I hurt or offended others,
By irritability or disregard?
Have I exploited anyone for my own advantage
Or for my own satisfaction?
Have I been irresponsible toward myself in my work or leisure or in looking after myself?
Without too much effort my sins come to mind and I say:

Lord Jesu, you came to call sinners, Lord have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you reconcile us to the Father. Christ have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you raise us to new life. Lord have mercy.


I will give you thanks O Lord with my whole heart (Psalm 138:1)

That I am here at all is a reason
For great thanksgiving to God;
Especially since He has called me, in His love,
Into the way of Jesus, His Son.
I thank him for these things above all and for his special
Mercies and signs of love toward me;
For family and friends, health and security, work and rest.
But I also thank Him for whatever He wishes me to learn
From my frustrations, disappointments and sorrows;
remembering that God works in everything for good.
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:

For you call us in your Son, to live in freedom and love for ever. Amen


Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness (Psalm 4:1)

The needs of the world press upon me
In the newspapers and in the media:
I ask God for what is needful.
Perhaps I keep a list of those for whom
I want to pray regularly:
My family and friends and those with whom I work;
My bishop and the people and priests of my parish;
The sick and the suffering;
The dead who are dear to me;
And for my enemies.
I conclude in my own words, or something such as:

Merciful Father, accept these prayers, for the sake of your Son,
Our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

I might also say some suitable prayer for
God’s help in my life, such as:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me.
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I say the prayer taught by Jesus himself: Our Father…

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

I say a Blessing: The God of Peace himself give me his peace
at all times and in all ways. Amen.