I was reading Nehemiah’s prayer in the OT last night and I though, what a great encapsulation of the action of God in the world up to that point, a really profound statement of Israel’s role in salvation history. There are many such prayers in the OT and I’m wonder if CAF members have a personal favorite?
The prayer of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2 is one of two prayers upon which Mary’s Magnificat is based. I have always liked her prayer.
Also the prayer of King David in 2 Samuel 7:18-29.
There are several beautiful prayers in the Book of Tobit. It would be difficult for me to pick a favorite, or even a least favorite!
David’s prayer in Psalm 119 33:48, though the entire Psalm is a beautiful prayer!
*Lord, teach me the way of your statutes;
I shall keep them with care.
Give me understanding to keep your law,
to observe it with all my heart.
Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for that is my delight.
Direct my heart toward your testimonies
and away from gain.
Avert my eyes from what is worthless;
by your way give me life.
For your servant, fulfill your promise
made to those who fear you.
Turn away from me the taunts I dread,
for your judgments are good.
See how I long for your precepts;
in your righteousness give me life.
Let your mercy come to me, Lord,
salvation in accord with your promise.
Let me answer my taunters with a word,
for I trust in your word.
Do not take the word of truth from my mouth,
for in your judgments is my hope.
I will keep your law always,
for all time and forever.
I will walk freely in an open space
because I cherish your precepts.
I will speak openly of your testimonies
without fear even before kings.
I delight in your commandments,
which I dearly love.
I lift up my hands to your commandments;
I study your statutes, which I love.*
The Nine Canons, read at Orthodox Matins, are the pinnacle of Old Testament prayer. They are:
The Ode of Moses in Exodus (Exodus 15:1-19)
The Ode of Moses in Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 32:1-43)
The Prayer of Anna the mother of Samuel the Prophet (I Kingdoms 2:1-10)
The Prayer of Habbakuk the Prophet (Habbakuk 3:2-19)
The Prayer of Isaiah the Prophet (Isaiah 26:9-20)
The Prayer of Jonah the Prophet (Jonah 2:3-10)
The Prayer of the Three Holy Children (Daniel 3:26-56)*
The Song of the Three Holy Children (The Benedicite, Daniel 3:57-88)*
The Song of the Theotokos (The Magnificat, Luke 1:46-55) and the Prayer of Zacharias the father of the Forerunner (The Benedictus, Luke 1:68-79)