For You, O Lord

Lord, what is my confidence which I have in this life?
Is it not you, O Lord, my God,
whose mercies are without number?
Where has it ever been well with me without you,
or where could it be ill with me when you were present?
I would rather be a pilgrim on earth,
than possess heaven without you.
Where you are, there is heaven;
and where you are not, there is death and hell.
There is no one who can help me in my needs,
but only you, my God;
you are my hope, you my confidence.
Although you allow temptations and adversities,
yet you order all these to my advantage.
In my trials you should be loved and praised no less
than if you filled me full of heavenly comfort. 

Source: Thomas à Kempis
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

 

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My Salvation and My Redemption

In confidence of your goodness and great mercy, O Lord,
I draw near to you,
as a sick person to the healer,
as one hungry and thirsty to the fountain of life,
a creature to the creator,
a desolate soul to my own tender comforter.
Behold, in you is everything I can or should desire.
You are my salvation and my redemption,
my hope and my strength.
Bring joy, therefore, to the soul of your servant;
for to you, O Lord,
have I lifted my soul. 

Source: Thomas à Kempis
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

For Trust in You

O Lord my God,
do not be far from me.
My God, have regard to help me.
I have many thoughts and great fears afflicting my soul.
How will I pass through unhurt?
How will I break them to pieces?
This is my hope, my one only consolation,
to flee to you in every tribulation,
to trust in you,
to call on you from my inmost heart,
and to wait patiently for your consolation.

Source: Thomas à Kempis
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

For Love of God and His Laws

O most gracious God,
every good and perfect gift comes from you.
Work in us both to will and to act according to your will.
Enlighten our minds that we may know you,
and let us not be unfruitful in that knowledge.
Lord, work in our hearts a true faith,
a purifying hope, and an unfeigned love towards you.
Give us a full trust in you, zeal for you,
reverence of all things that relate to you.
Make us fearful of offending you,
thankful for your mercies,
humble under your corrections,
devout in your service,
and sorrowful for our sins.
Grant that in all things
we may behave ourselves so as befits a creature to his Creator,
a servant to his Lord.
Make us diligent in all our duties,
watchful against all temptations,
pure and temperate and moderate in your most lawful enjoyments,
that they may never become a snare to us.
Help us, O Lord,
to act towards our neighbor
that we may never transgress your royal law
of loving him as ourselves.
Finally, O Lord,
sanctify us throughout,
that our whole spirit, soul and body,
may be preserved blameless to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ;
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be all honor and glory forever. 

Source: Thomas à Kempis
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

For the Holy Spirit

Strengthen me, O God,
by the grace of your Holy Spirit.
Strengthen my inner man,
and empty my heart of all useless care and anguish.
O Lord, grant me heavenly wisdom,
that I may learn to seek and to find you above all things,
to relish and to love you above all things,
and to think of all other things
as being at the disposal of your wisdom. 

Source: Thomas à Kempis
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

For Friends

Almighty and eternal God,
have mercy on your servants, our friends.
Keep them continually under your protection,
and direct them according to your gracious favor
in the way of eternal salvation.
May they desire whatever pleases you,
and with all their strength strive to do it.
As they trust in your mercy, O Lord,
graciously assist them with your heavenly help,
that they may always diligently serve you,
and be separated from you by no temptations;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Source: Thomas à Kempis
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

To Do Your Will

O Lord, my God,
to me you are everything good.
Remember me because I am nothing,
I have nothing, and I can do nothing.
You alone are good, just, and holy.
You can do all things,
you accomplish all things,
you fill all things.
Remember your mercies,
and fill my heart with your grace.
You do not want your works to be done in vain.
Do not turn your face away from me.
Do not withdraw your consolation,
lest my soul become as a thirsty land to you.
Teach me, O Lord, to do your will.
Teach me to live worthily and humbly in your sight. 

Source: Thomas à Kempis
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

For Others

I offer up to you my prayers and intercessions,
for those especially who have in any matter hurt,
grieved, or found fault with me,
or who have done me any damage or displeasure.

For all those also whom, at any time,
I may have vexed, troubled, burdened, and scandalized,
by words or deeds, knowingly or in ignorance;
that you would grant us all equally pardon,
for our offences against each other.

Take away from our hearts, O Lord,
all suspiciousness, indignation, wrath, and contention,
and whatsoever may hurt charity, and lessen brotherly love.

Have mercy, O Lord,
have mercy on those who crave your mercy,
give grace to those who stand in need thereof,
and make us grow to enjoy your grace,
and go forward to life eternal. 

Source: Thomas à Kempis
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

My Hope and Refuge

Ah, Lord God,
holy Lover of my soul,
when you come into my soul,
all that is within me will rejoice.
You are my glory and the exultation of my heart.
You are my hope and refuge in the day of my trouble.
Set me free from all evil passions,
and heal my heart of all inordinate affections,
cure and cleanse me within,
that I may be made fit to love,
courageous to suffer,
steady to persevere.
Nothing is sweeter than love,
nothing more courageous,
nothing fuller nor better in heaven and earth;
because love is born of God,
and cannot rest but in God,
above all created things. Let me love you more than myself,
and love myself except for you; and in you all that truly love you,
as the law of love commands,
shining out from yourself. 

Source: Thomas à Kempis
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

Praise

I will say to my God, my Lord, and my King,
“Oh, how abundant is your goodness, O Lord,
which you have stored up for those who fear you.”
But what are you to those who love you?
What are you to those who serve you with their whole heart?
In this especially you have showed me the sweetness of your love;
that when I was not,
you made me,
when I went far astray from you,
you brought me back again, that I might serve you,
and have commanded me to love you.
I wish that I were able,
at least for one day,
to do some worthy service for you.
Truly, you are my Lord,
and I your servant,
bound to serve you with all my might.
This I wish to do, this I desire,
and supply whatever is lacking in me,
I pray.

Source: Thomas à Kempis
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.