Prayers of famous Christians
A prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there is darkness, light,
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, not so much to be understood as to understand, not so much to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, it is in dying that we awake to eternal life.
(St Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226; this and the next 4 prayers can be found at Beliefnet )
A prayer of St. Theresa of Avila
Govern everything by your wisdom, O Lord, so that my soul may always be serving you
in the way you will
and not as I choose.
Let me die to myself so that I may serve you;
let me live to you who are life itself.
(St. Theresa of Avila, 1515-1582)
A prayer of St Thomas Aquinas
O God, who in this wondrous sacrament hast left unto us a memorial of thy passion;
grant us so to venerate the sacred mysteries of thy body and blood,
that we may ever continue to feel within ourselves the blessed fruit of thy redemption.
Who livest and reignest one God, for ever and ever.
(St. Thomas Aquinas, 1225-1274)
A prayer of St. Ethelwold
May God the Father bless us,
may Christ take care of us,
the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life.
The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul,
both now and for ever, to the ages of ages.
(St. Ethelwold, c.904-984)
The lorica of St Patrick
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.
I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.
Christ shield me today
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation.
(St. Patrick, 387-461)
Prayer of St. Richard of Chichester (supposedly said on his deathbed)
Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ,
For all the benefits thou hast won for me,
For all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother,
May I know thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
And follow thee more nearly:
For ever and ever.
(St. Richard Chichester, 1197-1253)
A prayer of Martin Luther
An empty vessel that needs to be filled.
My Lord, fill it.
I am weak in faith;
Strengthen thou me.
I am cold in love;
Warm me and make me fervent
That my love may go out to my neighbour.
I do not have a strong and firm faith;
At times I doubt and am unable to trust thee altogether.
O Lord, help me.
Strengthen my faith and trust in thee.
In thee I have sealed the treasures of all I have.
I am poor;
Thou art rich and didst come to be merciful to the poor.
I am a sinner;
Thou art upright.
With me there is an abundance of sin;
In thee is the fullness of righteousness.
Therefore, I will remain with thee of who I can receive
But to whom I may not give.
(Martin Luther, 1483-1546)
A prayer of Thomas Merton
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahed of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that
I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am
actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that, if I do this, You will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust You always though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for You are ever with me,
and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.
(Thomas Merton, 1915-1968; quoted here).
Three prayers by John Wesley
O God, seeing as there is in Christ Jesus
an infinite fullness
of all that we can want or desire,
May we all receive from him,
grace upon grace;
grace to pardon our sins,
and subdue our iniquities;
to justify our persons
and to sanctify our souls;
and to complete that holy change,
that renewal of our hearts,
Which will enable us to be transformed
into the blessed image
in which you created us.
O make us all acceptable to be partakers
of the inheritance of your saints in light.
O LORD God Almighty,
Father of angels and men,
We praise and bless your
holy name for all your goodness
and loving kindness to humanity.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and for your unceasing generosity to us
throughout our lives;
But above all, we bless you for your great love
in the redemption of the world
by our Lord Jesus Christ.
We bless you for bringing us safe
to the beginning of a new day.
Grant that this day we fall into no sin,
Neither run into any kind of danger.
Keep us, we pray,
from all things hurtful to body or soul,
and grant us your pardon and peace,
So that, being cleansed from all our sins,
We might serve you
with quiet hearts and minds,
and continue in the same until our life's end,
through Jesus Christ,
our Savior and Redeemer.
Now, to God the Father, who first loved us, and made us accepted in the Beloved;
to God the Son, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood;
to God the Holy Ghost, who sheddeth the love of God abroad in our hearts,
be all love and all glory in time and to all eternity.
(John Wesley, 2703-1791; found at the website of the oldest active Methodist chapel, Newbiggin Chapel.)
Prayer on the Word of God
Grant, Almighty God, that as thou shinest on us by thy word, we may not be blind at midnight, nor wilfully seek darkness, and thus lull our minds asleep: but may we be roused daily by thy words, and may we stir up ourselves more and more to fear thy name and thus present ourselves and all our pursuits, as a sacrifice to thee, that thou mayest peaceably rule, and perpetually dwell in us, until thou gatherest us to thy celestial habitation, where there is reserved for us eternal rest and glory through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(John Calvin, 1509-1564; found online here. This is one that I particularly like. As in his other writings, Calvin is quite verbose and I could devote a separate section to his eloquent prayers. See also here: Prayers from Calvin's commentary on Hosea.)
Our Heavenly Father, we pray thee to open our darkened ears that we may understand thy word; and may the truth sink down deep into all oar hearts. May every one within these walls become partakers of the grace of God. We pray that to-day thou wilt give us wisdom and light. O God! teach us how to break the bread of life to this perishing multitude; and may there be many today crying to God for mercy. Grant that many to-day may be willing to accept of Christ, to accept of the unspeakable gift of God. We pray for thy blessing to rest on all those who have lately come out on thy side. May they grow in grace and wisdom and knowledge, and not turn back to the dark world they have come from. And we pray for those that have been brought by the Spirit under the conviction of sin. May the way be made so plain to-day that they may now lay hold of eternal life and live. And thy name, blessed Savior, shall have the praise and glory. Amen.
(Dwight L. Moody, 1837-1899; in Moody, et al, The Gospel Awakening: Comprising the Sermons and Addresses, Prayer-meeting Talks and Bible Readings of the Great Revival Meetings Conducted by Moody and Sankey ... with the Proceedings of Christian Conventions of Ministers and Laymen ... Also the Lives of D.L. Moody, I.D. Sankey. Chicago, Fairbanks and Palmer, 1883. Available in public domain, here ).
A prayer of Mother Theresa
help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Thy spirit and love. Penetrate and possess my whole Return to "Paying Tribute to Mother Teresa of Calcutta"being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus. Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.
(Mother Theresa of Calcutta, 1910-1997)
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