Prayer to the Christchild

O good Jesus,
the Word of the Father,
brightness of the Father’s glory,
whom angels desire to behold;
teach me to do your will,
that guided by your good Spirit,
I may come to that blessed city
where there is everlasting day
where all are of one spirit;
where there is certain security
and secure eternity
and eternal tranquility
and quiet felicity
and happy sweetness
and sweet pleasantness;
where you,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit
live and reign,
now and forever.

Source: St. Gregory, d. 638

Source of this version: Modified from  http://catholictradition.org/Christmas/christ-child13.htm

Also found here: The Oxford Book of Prayer, ed. Appleton, © 1985, 1992

God Be in My Head

6069369723_ee697728eb_z_dGod be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at my end, and at my departing.

Source: Attributed to Old Sarum Primer, also attributed to Pynson’s Horae, 1514

Source of this version:  http://www.hymnary.org/text/god_be_in_my_head_and_in_my_under

Also found here: The Oxford Book of Prayer, ed. Appleton, © 1985, 1992

Graphic: Page from an English Psalter, from Flickr, Walters Art Museum, Public Domain.

 

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In You Alone do I Have All

God, of your goodness, give me yourself,
for you are sufficient for me.
I cannot properly ask anything less,
to be worthy of you.
If I were to ask anything less
I should always be in want,
for in you alone do I have all.

Source: Julian of Norwich, d. 1443

Source of this version: Modified from  http://www.beliefnet.com/prayers/christian/comfort/i-have-all-in-god.aspx#miyhOGfJa0pdHywi.99

Also found here: The Oxford Book of Prayer, ed. Appleton, © 1985, 1992

Late Have I Loved You

220px-sandro_botticelli_050Late have I loved you,
Beauty so ancient and so new,
late have I loved you!

Lo, you were within,
but I outside, seeking there for you,
and upon the shapely things you have made
I rushed headlong,
I, misshapen.
You were with me but I was not with you.
They held me back far from you,
those things which would have no being
were they not in you.

You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;
you lavished your fragrance,
I gasped, and now I pant for you;
I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst;
you touched me, and I burned for your peace.

Source: St. Augustine of Hippo, 354-430, Confessions, X, 27

Source of this version: http://www.deeper-devotion.net/augustine-confessions.html

Also found here: The Oxford Book of Prayer, ed. Appleton, © 1985, 1992

“Now I pant for you” may be a reference to Psalm 42:1

“I tasted you” may be a reference to Psalm 34:8

Graphic by Sandro Botticeli from Wikipedia.com.

Another version, freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

For Illumination

Late have I loved you,
Eternal Truth and Goodness.
Late have I sought you, my Father!
But you did seek me,
and when you shined forth on me,
then I knew you and learned to love you.
I thank you, my Light,
that you have shined on me,
and taught my soul what you wanted me to be,
and turned your face in pity to me.
You, Lord, have become my Hope,
my Comfort, my Strength, my All!
In you my soul rejoices.
The darkness vanished from before my eyes,
and I saw you,
the Son of Righteousness.
When I loved darkness, I did not know you,
but wandered on from night to night.
But you led me out of that blindness.
You took me by the hand and called me to you,
and now I can thank you,
and your mighty voice which has penetrated to my inmost heart. Amen.

 

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Praise and Glory to the Trinity

Praise and glory be to the omnipotence of the eternal Father, who in his Providence created the world out of nothing.

Praise and glory be to the wisdom of his only-begotten Son, who redeemed the world with his blood.

Praise and glory be to the loving kindness of the Holy Spirit, who enlightened the world in faith.

Praise and glory be to the holy and undivided Trinity, who formed us without our deserving it in their image.

We give praise and glory to you, most blessed Trinity, for the blessing of our creation, by which you granted us bodies and souls, you adorned us with your image and likeness, and added us to your Christian flock, making us sound and whole in our sense and in our members, above all the creatures who are beneath the heavens, and gave us your holy angels as our guides and ministers.  For all this be pleased that we may praise you, world without end.

Source: Latin, 11th century

Source of this version: The Oxford Book of Prayer, ed. Appleton, © 1985, 1992

Also found here: https://prayers4reparation.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/a-medieval-prayer-of-thanks-and-praise-to-the-holy-trinity/

A Song of Praise by St. Francis

You are holy, Lord, the only God,
and your deeds are wonderful.
You are strong.
You are great.
You are the Most High.
You are Almighty.
You, Holy Father are King of heaven and earth.
You are Three and One, Lord God, all Good.
You are Good, all Good, supreme Good, Lord God, living and true.
You are love. You are wisdom.
You are humility. You are endurance.
You are rest. You are peace.
You are joy and gladness.
You are justice and moderation.
You are all our riches, and you suffice for us.
You are beauty.
You are gentleness.
You are our protector.
You are our guardian and defender.
You are our courage. You are our haven and our hope.
You are our faith, our great consolation.
You are our eternal life, great and wonderful Lord,
God Almighty, merciful Savior.

Source: St. Francis, d. 1226

Source of this version: http://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=180

Also found here: Eerdman’s Book of Famous Prayers, © 1983 Lion Publishing

A Prayer Attributed to 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,
to be understood as to understand,
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 are born to eternal life.

Source: Attributed to St. Francis, d. 1226. See note below.

Source of this version:  Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal, © 1993 Northwestern Publishing House, Milwaukee, Wisc. U.S.A.

Original in French:

Seigneur, faites de moi un instrument de votre paix.
Là où il y a de la haine, que je mette l’amour.
Là où il y a l’offense, que je mette le pardon.
Là où il y a la discorde, que je mette l’union.
Là où il y a l’erreur, que je mette la vérité.
Là où il y a le doute, que je mette la foi.
Là où il y a le désespoir, que je mette l’espérance.
Là où il y a les ténèbres, que je mette votre lumière.
Là où il y a la tristesse, que je mette la joie.
Ô Maître, que je ne cherche pas tant
à être consolé qu’à consoler,
à être compris qu’à comprendre,
à être aimé qu’à aimer,
car c’est en donnant qu’on reçoit,
c’est en s’oubliant qu’on trouve,
c’est en pardonnant qu’on est pardonné,
c’est en mourant qu’on ressuscite à l’éternelle vie.

NOTE: This prayer has its own wikipedia article, which states, “The prayer in its present form cannot be traced back further than 1912.”

Variants:

…it is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
…it is in dying that we awake to eternal life.

Prayer for a Renewed Heart

O Lord,
you have mercy on all.
Take away my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of your Holy Spirit.
Take away my heart of stone
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore you,
a heart to delight in you,
to follow and to enjoy you,
for Christ’s sake. Amen.

Source: Ambrose, d. 397

Source of this version: Modified from https://anglicanprayer.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/lent-prayers-st-ambrose-give-me-a-heart-of-flesh/

Also quoted in The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (May 17)

The heart of stone and heart of flesh is a reference to Ezekiel 11:19 and Ezekiel 36:26.

God Begins and Finishes All Things

O God, in your loving kindness
you both begin and finish all good things;
grant that as we glory in the beginnings of your grace,
so we may rejoice in its completion;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Leonine Sacramentary, 440

Source of this version: Modified from http://womenofchristianity.com/page/2/

Also found here: Ancient Collects and Other Prayers, Ed. by W. Bright: J.H. & Jas. Parker, London, 1902, p. 92 #1

Also found here:  Prayers Ancient and Modern by Mary Wilder Tileston, Boston, Little Brown, 1914, p. 165 #2

 

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A Prayer before Preaching

O God Almighty,
who cleansed the lips of the prophet Isaiah with a burning coal:
Cleanse my heart and my lips.
So grant to cleanse me, of your mercy,
that I may be able to proclaim worthily your holy gospel:
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Ambrose, d. 397

Source of this version: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/trevinwax/2007/07/29/cleanse-me-so-i-can-preach/

Also quoted in The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (April 14)

The burning coal is a reference to Isaiah 6:6-7