Prayers: Ancient & Modern
June the First
I humbly adore Thy glorious Majesty, for having given me a capacity of loving, obeying, and contemplating Thee; and, consequently, a foretaste of happiness eternal, in the adoration of Thee. Give me, I implore Thee, a power to exercise this privilege in the most perfect manner that Thy infinite bounty shall enable me to do; and grant that the remainder of my life may be spent in the exactest performance of every part of my duty to Thee; for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
-- Charles How (1661-1745)
Be our Shepherd, O Lord, we entreat Thee, and may we receive all good things from Thy sweetness; so that, obtaining an eternal habitation in Thy tabernacles, we may be filled with the plenteousness of Thine everlasting cup, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
-- Sarum Breviary, A.D. 1085
June the Second
O merciful God and Father, we commend ourselves and all that we have to Thine Almighty hands, and pray Thee to preserve us by Thy good Spirit from all sin, misfortune, and grief of heart. Give us the Spirit of grace and prayer, that we may have a consoling trust in Thy love, and that our sighs and petitions may be acceptable in Thy sight. Give us the Spirit of faith to kindle a bright flame of true and blessed faith in our hearts, that we may have a living knowledge of salvation, and our whole life may be a thank-offering for the mercies we have received. Give us the Spirit of love, that we may experience the sweetness of Thy love toward us, and also love Thee in return; and render our obedience not from constraint like slaves, but with the willing and joyful hearts of children. Amen.
-- Gottfried Arnold, 1697
June the Third
Grant, Lord, that I may not, for one moment, admit willingly into my soul any thought contrary to Thy love. Amen.
-- E.B. Pusey
Almighty God, grant that by the faithful practice of the things that we know to be true, our hearts may be purged of all evil thoughts and desires, and we be brought back again to something of the pureness of spirit by which alone Thou mayest be served. Forgive all our wanderings from the light. Grant that we may escape this great condemnation - that light having come into the world, we have chosen darkness rather than light. Show us the light, and cause us to live in it, and by it to pass through the shadow of death with safety, and to abide with it for evermore. Hear us of Thy mercy, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-- George Dawson
June the Fourth
O Lord my God, for life and reason, nurture, preservation, guidance, education; for Thy gifts of grace and nature, for Thy calling, recalling, manifold recalling me again and again. For Thy forbearance, long-suffering, and long long-suffering toward me, even until now; for all from whom I have received any good or help; for the use of Thy present good things; for Thy promise, and my hope, of good things to come.
For all these things, and for all other, which I know, which I know not, manifest or secret, remembered or forgotten by me, I praise Thee, I bless Thee, I give Thee thanks; and I will praise, and bless, and give Thee thanks, all the days of my life.
What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits to me? Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power. Amen
-- Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626)
June the Fifth
Lord, who knowest all things, and lovest all men better than Thou knowest, Thine is might and wisdom and love to save us.
As our fathers called unto Thee, and were holpen, and were led along the ways Thou seest good; so, in all time of need, from all evil, the evil of our time and of our hearts, deliver us, good Lord. Especially from whatever sin besets us, save and deliver us with might, O Lord.
From all bereavement, sorrow, and desertion; from all things that separate us from each other and from our God; from all evils we have prayed against, and from all we have not thought of, deliver, O Lord, Thy servants, whose hope is in Thy goodness for ever. Amen.
-- Rowland Williams
June the Sixth
In Thee, O Lord God, I place my whole hope and refuge; on Thee I rest all my tribulation and anguish; for I find all to be weak and inconstant, whatsoever I behold out of Thee. For many friends cannot profit, nor strong helpers assist, nor the books of the learned afford comfort, nor any place, however retired and lovely, give shelter, unless Thou Thyself dost assist, strengthen, console, instruct, and guard us. For all things that seem to belong to the attainment of peace and felicity, without Thee, are nothing, and do bring in truth no felicity at all. Thou therefore art the Foundation of all that is good; and to hope in Thee above all things, is the strongest comfort of Thy servants. To Thee, therefore, do I lift up mine eyes; in Thee, my God, the Father of mercies, do I put my trust. Amen.
-- Thomas a Kempis
June the Seventh
O Lord, give us more charity, more self-denial, more likeness to Thee. Teach us to sacrifice our comforts to others, and our likings for the sake of doing good. Make us kindly in thought, gentle in word, generous in deed. Teach us that it is better to give than to receive; better to forget ourselves than to put ourselves forward; better to minister than to be ministered unto. And unto Thee, the God of Love, be glory and praise for ever. Amen.
-- Henry Alford
O Lord, move us by Thine example to show kindness and do good. Grant us such patience and forbearance with all sufferers gracious or ungracious, grateful or ungrateful; that in our stumbling walk and scant measure they may yet discern a vestige of Thee, and give Thee the glory. Amen.
-- Christina G. Rossetti
June the Eighth
O God, the Light of every heart that sees Thee, the Life of every soul that loves Thee, the Strength of every mind that seeks Thee, grant me ever to continue steadfast in Thy holy love. Be Thou the joy of my heart; take it all to Thyself, and therein abide. The house of my soul is, I confess, too narrow for Thee; do Thou enlarge it, that Thou mayest enter in; it is ruinous, but do Thou repair it. It has that within which must offend Thine eyes; I confess and know it; but whose help shall I implore in cleansing it, but Thine alone? To Thee, therefore, I cry urgently, begging that Thou wilt cleanse me from my secret faults, and keep Thy servant from presumptuous sins, that they never get dominion over me. Amen.
-- St. Augustine (354-430)
O Lord, what I have been, sanctify what I am; and order what I shall be. Amen.
June the Ninth
Incline, O Lord, Thy merciful ears, and illuminate the darkness of our hearts by the light of Thy visitation. Amen.
-- Gelasian Sacramentary, A.D. 492
Almighty God, Lord of the storm and of the calm, the vexed sea and the quiet haven, of day and of night, of life and of death, grant unto us so to have our hearts stayed upon Thy faithfulness, Thine unchangingness and love, that, whatsoever betide us, however black the cloud or dark the night, with quiet faith trusting in Thee, we may look upon Thee with untroubled eye, and walking in lowliness towards Thee, and in lovingkindness towards one another, abide all storms and troubles of this mortal life, beseeching Thee that they may turn to the soul’s true good. We ask for Thy mercy’s sake, shown in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-- George Dawson
June the Tenth
O Thou God of Peace, unite our hearts by Thy bond of peace, that we may live with one another continually in gentleness and humility, in peace and unity. O Thou God of Patience, give us patience in the time of trial, and steadfastness to endure to the end. O Thou Spirit of prayer, awaken our hearts, that we may life up holy hands to God, and cry unto Him in all our distresses. O Thou gentle Wind, cool and refresh our hearts in all heat and anguish. Be our Defence and Shade in the time of need, our Help in trial, our Consolation when all things are against us. Come, O Thou eternal Light, Salvation, and Comfort, be our Light in darkness, our Salvation in life, our Comfort in death; and lead us in the straight way to everlasting life, that we may praise Thee, forever. Amen.
-- Bernhard Albrecht (1569-1636)
June the Eleventh