It’s a classic American image, the praying cowboy. Even today, at rodeos and horse shows around the country, before or after the national anthem is usually a moment of prayer. Life in the Wild West was tough, so it should be no surprise that cowboys, farmers, and their families had a lot to pray about. Rural communities still resonate with these cowboy prayers and the lifestyle they came from.
It wouldn’t be odd to see a modern Montanan nod along to this prayer: “May your horse never stumble, your cinch never break, your belly never grumble, your heart never ache.” But not all cowboy prayers are exclusive to riding horses and working the land. Here are some of our favorites that we know you’ll want to memorize:
Wild West Rodeo Cowboy Prayer
Our Heavenly Father...
We as cowboys do not ask for special favors...
We do ask Lord, that you will help us live our lives here on earth as cowboys, in such a manner, that when we make that last inevitable ride, to the country up there, where the grass grows lush, green, and stirrup high, and the water runs cool, clear, and deep, that you'll take us by the hand and say -
"Welcome to Heaven cowboy, your entry fees are paid."
Pioneer Woman on Praying Cowboys
Ree Drummond, also known as “The Pioneer Woman” is famous for her blog on being married to a modern cowboy, for her cookbooks, and her cooking show on the Food Network. She writes on her blog:
Of course, I was not aware of this separate category of “cowboy prayer” until I actually married a cowboy, began having his babies, and started getting Christmas cards in the mail with various cowboy prayers printed on the front. Until I started going to rodeos and hearing the prayers recited over the loudspeaker beforehand. Until I finally figured out that there are few people more grateful for this earth–and more dependent upon it for their survival–than the dying breed of American cowboy.
They’re a prayin’ bunch. Ain’t no two ways about it.
Prayer for a Rodeo
Our Gracious and Heavenly Father,
We pause in the midst of this festive occasion, mindful and thoughtful of the guidance that you have given us. We would ask today, Lord, that you be with us in this rodeo arena as we pray you will be also with us in life’s arena. As cowboys, Lord, we don’t ask for any special favors in this arena today. We only ask that you will let us compete in this event, and in life, as You did for us. We don’t ask that we never break a barrier, draw the steer that won’t lay, draw around a chute fighting horse, or a bull that is impossible to ride. Help us to compete in life as honest as the horse we ride; in a manner as clean and pure as the wind that blows across this Oklahoma country; so when we make that Last Ride, that we know is inevitable, to the Country Up There…where the grass is green and lush and stirrup-high and the water runs clean and clear…You will tell us, as our Last Judge, that our entry fees are paid. Amen.
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