Your Words Are Channels of Grace into Our Hearts

inspire us to read your Scriptures
and to meditate upon them day and night.
We beg you to give us real understanding of what we need,
that we in turn may put its precepts into practice.
Yet we know that understanding and good intentions are worthless,
unless rooted in your graceful love.
So we ask that the words of Scriptures
may also be not just signs on a page,
but channels of grace into our hearts.

Source: Origen (ca. 185-254)

Source of this version:

Keep Your Scriptures in Our Minds

Lord God, let us keep your Scriptures in mind
and meditate on them day and night,
persevering in prayer, always on watch.
We beg you, Lord, to give us real knowledge of what we read,
and to show us not only how to understand it,
but how to put it into practice,
and to obtain spiritual gifts
enlightened by the teaching of the Holy Spirit,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
whose power and glory will endure throughout all ages.

Source: Origen of Alexandria

Source of this version:

Also found here: The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (July 12)

“Meditate on them day and  night” is a reference to Psalm 1.

“Persevering in prayer” is a reference to Romans 12:12.

“Put it into practice” is a reference to James 1:22.

“Obtain spiritual gifts” in the original is “obtain spiritual graces.” In the ancient church, sometimes grace was understood as undeserved love, sometimes it was understood as a specific gift from God, or something that enables us to please him.

“Enlightened by the teaching” original is “enlightened by the law.”

A Prayer for Cleansing


O Jesus, my feet are dirty.
Come even as a slave to me,
pour water into your bowl,
come and wash my feet.
In asking such a thing I know I am overbold
but I dread what was threatened when you said to me,
“If I do not wash your feet I have no fellowship with you.”
Wash my feet then, because I long for your companionship.
And yet, what am I asking?
It was well for Peter to ask you to wash his feet,
for him that was all that was needed for him to be clean in every part.
With me it is different:
though you wash me now I shall still stand in need of that other washing,
the cleansing you promised when you said,
“there is a baptism I must needs be baptized with.”

Source: Origen (c. 185–254)

Source of this version:

Part also found here: