I don’t know anything about Monty Python (I know, my ignorance is showing), but this is a good illustration about how many approach God in prayer. It underlines the need to know from Scripture before we pray, and the priority of hearing God in Scripture before speaking to him in prayer.

From S.C. Weber: Father, may we be people who are quick to notice the ways in which we can be of special blessing to others. It seems quite easy when it comes to those whom we befriend. We often recognize their need before they express it and find genuine fulfillment in being Your hand extended to them. But You challenge us to go even further in making ourselves available to our enemies with whom it is not natural to provide for their needs. In expressing agapé to those around us we love in spite of what we see or have experienced. May all that we do on behalf of others be an expression of Your heavenly touch extended through Christian human service. It is in Your strength and compassion that we can do that which is unnatural to our human flesh, but natural to our redeemed spirit. Amen.

Grant us, O God, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would [have] us do, that the spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in your light we may see light, and in your path may not stumble; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

—William Reed Huntingdon (1838-1909), methodist.org.uk

Dear Father in heaven, give us childlike hearts so that we may understand everything in the right way. Grant us work that bears fruit in spite of our faults and weaknesses, because we want to work with the understanding given by love. Father in heaven, you know that we are faced day and night with many difficulties and setbacks. But you see us, and you will help us so that your name may be honored, your kingdom may come, and your will may be done on earth as in heaven. Amen.

Amen to that.

Though we cannot love you as we ought, O Lord, let us love you as we are able, that guided by your light and kept by your power, we come at the last, into your glorious presence. Amen. —Thomas Ken (1637-1711)

Jesus, the first and the last,
you are alpha and omega,
beginning and end.
You are there at the beginning of the year,
you are with us at its end.
You are at the beginning of our lives,
you are with us at our end.
Hope-kindler,
life-bringer,
gift-giver,
work in us your gifts of grace,
bring us forgiveness,
and perfect us in love. Amen.
—Jonathan Pye, Bristol District Chair

From the methodist.org.uk site, that doesn’t provide specific links to their prayer of the day.

A.B. Simpson has this main point right:

We need to watch our prayers as well as watch for the answers to our prayers. It requires as much wisdom to pray rightly as it does faith to receive the answers to our prayers. A Christian confided that he had been in years of darkness because God had failed to answer certain of his prayers. As a result, he had been in a state bordering on infidelity. A very few moments were sufficient to convince this friend that his prayers had been entirely unauthorized and that God had never promised to answer such prayers. They were for things which, in the exercise of ordinary wisdom, he should have accomplished himself. The result was deliverance from the cloud of unbelief which was almost wrecking his Christian life. There are some things about which we do not need to pray as much as to take the light which God has already given. Many people are asking God to give them peculiar signs, tokens and supernatural intimations of His will. Our business is to use the light He has given, and then He will give whatever more we need. Watch and pray -Matthew 26:41

Selfishness show up in prayer and protests that God is not answering its justifiable demands requests. If God is not going to give me what I want, why pray? Why have faith? Why be a Christian? What hasn’t God put me at the center of the universe? Why doesn’t he solve all my problems?

There is no place in prayer or in Christ for the selfish saint. God will at least ignore such a one and at most will work to wring out the selfishness. Neither divine proceeding will please the one who insists on retaining one’s own self-interest.

  • To rest in God takes no small effort.

  • For you I pray. Please pray for me.

  • The faithful God will never disappoint.

  • Love covers a multitude of sins.

  • Come, O Spirit, order my life.