Prayers

 

Regina Coeli

Said instead of the Angelus from the Easter Vigil till Pentecost.

V   O Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia!

R    For he whom thou didst merit to bear, alleluia!

V   Has risen, as he said, alleluia!

R    Pray for us to God, alleluia!

V   Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia!

R    For the Lord has risen indeed, alleluia!

Let us pray. O God, who gavest joy to the world through the resurrection of thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ; grant that we may obtain, through his Virgin Mother, Mary, the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy! Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us; and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

V   Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.

R    That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. 
Almighty, everlasting God, who, through the working of the Holy Spirit, didst prepare the body and soul of the 
glorious Virgin Mary to be a worthy dwelling for thy Son: grant that we who remember her with joy may be 
delivered by her prayers from the evils that beset us in this world and from everlasting death in the next. 
Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen

 

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The Memorare

Remember, O most loving Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother! To you we come, before you we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer us. Amen.

 

Morning Offering

O Jesus, through the most pure heart of Mary, I offer you all the prayers, thoughts, works and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of thy Divine Heart.

Grant, O Lord, that none may love you less this day because of me; 
that never word or act of mine may turn one soul from thee; and ever daring, yet one other grace would I implore, that many souls this day, because of me, may love thee more. O Lord, when I awake and day begins waken me to thy presence; waken me to thy indwelling; waken me to inward sight of thee, and speech with thee and strength from thee; that all my earthly walk may waken into song and my spirit leap up to thee all day, all ways.

 

Prayer of Thomas Merton

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.  I do not see the road ahead of me.  I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that 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 will I trust you always  though I may seem 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.

 

Prayer to my Guardian Angel

Angel of God, appointed by divine mercy to be my guardian,  enlighten and protect, direct and govern me this day.

 

Prayer of St Ignatius Loyola

Take, Lord, all my liberty. 
Receive my memory, 
my understanding, and my whole will. 
Whatever I have and possess, you have given me; 
to you I restore it wholly 
and to your will I utterly surrender it for my direction. 
Give me the love of you only, with your grace, 
and I am rich enough; nor do I ask anything beside.

 

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Prayers of Cardinal Newman

O Lord, support us all the day long until the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then, Lord, in thy mercy, grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last.

Complete Thy work, O Lord, 
and as Thou hast loved me from the beginning 
so make me to love Thee unto the end.

 

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

O God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden, 
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inpouring of your Holy Spirit, that every thought and word of ours 
may begin from you, and in you be perfectly completed, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Be Thou My Vision

From the Irish

Be though my vision, O Lord of my heart, 
Be all else but naught to me, save that thou art; 
Be thou my best thought in the day and the night, 
Both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word, 
Be thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord; 
Be thou my great Father, and I thy true son; 
Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight; 
Be thou my whole armour, be thou my true might; 
Be thou my soul’s shelter, be thou my strong tower;
O raise thou me heavenward, great power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise; 
Be thou mine inheritance now and always; 
Be thou and thou only the first in my heart: 
O sovereign of heaven, my treasure thou art.

High king of heaven, thou heaven’s bright sun 
O grant me its joys after victory is won; 
Great heart of my own heart, whatever befall, 
Still be thou my vision, O ruler of all.

 

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: 
where there is hatred let me sow peace, 
where there is injury let me sow pardon, 
where there is doubt let me sow faith, 
where there is despair let me give hope, 
where there is darkness let me give light, 
where there is sadness let me give joy. 
O Divine Master, 
grant that I may not try to be comforted but to comfort, 
not try to be understood but to understand, 
not try to be loved but to love. 
Because it is in giving that we receive, 
it is in forgiving that we are forgiven, 
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

 

A Prayer to Draw Closer to God

Gracious God, 
Send us anywhere in this world you would have us go, 
only go thou with us.

Place upon us any burden you desire 
only stand by us to sustain us.

Break any tie that binds us 
except the tie that binds us to thee.

And the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us now and for evermore.

 

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Collect for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

The Book of Common Prayer (1662)

O God, 
who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, 
that by reason of the frailty of our nature 
we cannot always stand upright: 
Grant to us such strength and protection, 
as may support us in all dangers, 
and carry us through all temptations; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Prayer of St Francis Xavier

(1506-52)

O God of all the nations of the earth, 
Remember those who, 
though created in your image, 
are ignorant of your love; 
and, in fulfilment of the sacrifice of your Son, Jesus Christ, 
let the prayers and labours of your Church 
deliver them from false faith and unbelief, 
and bring them to worship you; 
through him who is the resurrection 
and the life of all who put their trust in you, 
Jesus Christ, our Lord.

 

Prayer of Dr Samuel Johnson

(1709-84) (Entry for Easter Day, 30 March 1777)

When I survey my past life, I discover nothing but a barren waste of time with some disorders of body and disturbances of the mind very near to madness; which I hope he that made me, will suffer to extenuate many faults, and excuse many deficiencies. Yet much remains to be repented and reformed. I hope that I refer more to God than in former times, and consider more what submission is due to his dispensations. But I have very little reformed my practical life, and the time in which I can struggle with habits cannot be now expected to be long.

Grant O God 
that I may no longer resolve in vain, 
or dream away the life that thy indulgence gives me, 
in vacancy and uselessness.

 

Prayer of Father Bede Jarrett


(1881-1934 Dominican priest and Prior of Blackfriars, Oxford)

May he give us all the courage that we need to go the way he shepherds us.
That when he calls we may go unfrightened. If he bids us come to him across the waters, that unfrightened we may go.  And if he bids us climb a hill, may we not notice that it is a hill, mindful only of the happiness of his company.  He made us for himself, 
that we should travel with him and see him at the last in his unveiled beauty  in the abiding city where he is light and happiness and endless home.

 

Prayer of a Seventeenth Century Nun

Lord, 
Thou knowest better than I know myself, 
that I am growing older and will some day be old. 
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something 
on every subject and on every occasion. 
Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. 
Make me thoughtful but not moody; 
helpful but not bossy. 
With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, 
but Thou knowest, Lord, 
that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; 
give me the wings to get to the point. 
Seal my lips on my aches and pains. 
They are increasing, 
and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. 
I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others’ pains, 
but help me to endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory, 
but for a growing humility, 
and a lessening cocksureness 
when my memory seems to clash with the memory of others. 
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken. 
Keep me reasonably sweet. 
I do not want to be a saint 
(some of them are so hard to live with) 
but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. 
Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places 
and talents in unexpected people. 
And give me, O Lord, 
the grace to tell them so.

 

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Prayer of St Richard Wych

(1197-1253 Bishop of Chichester, 1245-53)

Thanks be to thee, O Lord Christ, 
for all the benefits which thou hast given us; 
for all the pains and insults 
which thou hast borne for us. 
O most merciful redeemer, 
friend and brother, 
may we know thee more clearly, 
love thee more dearly, 
and follow thee more nearly; 
for thine own sake.

 

Prayer of St Ignatius Loyola

(1491/5-1556 Founder of the Jesuits)

Teach us, 
good Lord, 
to serve thee as thou deservest; 
to give and not to count the cost 
to fight and not to heed the wounds, 
to toil and not to seek for rest, 
to labour and not to ask for any reward 
save that of knowing that we do thy will.

 

A Prayer to Jesus

Jesus, I believe in you, 
Jesus, I hope in you, 
Jesus, I love you.

I believe in you for those who do not believe. 
I hope in you for those who have never hoped 
and for those who have lost hope. 
I love you for those who have never known you 
and have never loved you.

Sweet Heart of Jesus, I trust in you. 
I trust in you for all, with all, in spite of all, 
and forever.

O Mary, Mother of my Jesus, 
keep me close to Jesus, 
keep Jesus close to me.

 

Prayer of Reinhold Niebuhr

(1892-1971)

Nothing worth doing is completed 
in our lifetime, 
therefore we must be saved by hope.

Nothing true or beautiful makes complete sense 
in any context of history, 
therefore we must be saved by faith.

Nothing we do, no matter how virtuous, 
can be accomplished alone, 
therefore we are saved by Love.

 

A Prayer for Peace

O God, source of all holy desires, right counsels and just actions, grant to your servants that peace which the world cannot give, so that our hearts may be wholly devoted to your service, and all our days, freed from dread of our enemies, may be passed in quietness under your protection.

 

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A Prayer for Busy People

Lord Jesus,
have pity on me.

With Martha 
I was busy all day long.

Allow me now 
with Mary
 to sit at your feet
 simply to look at you.

 

Prayer of the Grail

Lord Jesus, 
I give you my hands to do your work. 
I give you my feet to go your way. 
I give you my eyes to see as you do. 
I give you my tongue to speak your words. 
I give you my mind that you may think in me. 
I give you my spirit that you may pray in me. 
Above all, I give you my heart 
that you may love in me your Father and all mankind. 
I give you my whole self that you may grow in me, 
so that it is you, Lord Jesus, 
who live and work and pray in me.

 

Prayer of Charles de Foucauld

(1855 1916)

Father, 
I abandon myself into your hands, 
do with me what you will. 
Whatever you may do, 
I thank you. 
I am ready for all. 
I accept all. 
Let your will be done in me and all your creatures. 
I wish no more than this, O Lord. 
Into your hands I commend my soul; 
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, 
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself, 
to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve 
and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.

 

Prayer of Abu Bekr

(Father-in-law of Mohammed)

I thank Thee, Lord, for knowing me better than I know myself, 
and for letting me know myself better than others know me.

Make me, I pray Thee, better than they suppose, 
and forgive me for what they do not know.

 

Prayer from a Book of Hours of 1514

God be in my head, and in my understanding,
God be in mine 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.

 

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A Cistercian Vigil Prayer

Lord our God, 
as we keep watch with you this night 
we commend all people 
and their lives to you. 
We remember in particular all those who are working,
those who in their suffering cannot sleep, 
those who use the night to do evil, 
those who are afraid of the day about to dawn. 
May they all come out into the light of your Day. 
We ask you this, through Jesus, our Lord.

 

A Cistercian Prayer During Lent

In taking the road to Jerusalem,
there to die, Lord Jesus,
you reveal to your Church
the true meaning of suffering.
Grant us the grace to walk in your footsteps
towards the light of life
where you dwell for ever and ever.

 

A Cistercian Prayer for the Feast of the Holy Family

God our Father, we thank you
for the selflessness of Mary and of Joseph,
and for the favour you gave them
of making a home for the Word made flesh.
May that Word come to dwell in our hearts,
to be our joy from day to day.
Hear us, God, who are faithful for ever and ever.

 

A Cistercian Prayer for the Dead

God our Father,
you have glorified your Son
and your Son has glorified you.
Through him grant eternal life
to all those you have given him,
so that together they may know you,
and sing your glory,
for ever and ever.

 

The Prayer for the Dying

Go forth, 
O Christian soul,
in the name of God the Father almighty, 
who created you,
in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God,
who suffered for you,
in the name of the Holy Spirit, 
who was given to you,
in the name of the holy and glorious Mary, 
Virgin Mother of God,
in the name of blessed Joseph,
in the name of the angels, archangels and prophets,
of the holy apostles and evangelists,
of the holy martyrs, confessors, monks and hermits,
of the holy virgins and of all the saints of God,
may peace be yours this day,
and may your home be in heaven.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

 

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Apache Wedding Prayer

Now you will feel no rain, 
For each of you will be shelter to the other. 
Now you will feel no cold, 
For each of you will be warmth to the other. 
Now there is no more loneliness, 
for each of you will be companion to the other. 
Now you are two bodies, 
But there is only one life before you. 
Go now to your dwelling place 
To enter into the days of your togetherness 
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

 

A Prayer of George Herbert

Lord, Thou hast given so much to me:
 One thing more I ask: a grateful heart.
Not thankful when it pleases me,
 As if Thy blessings had spare days;
But such a heart whose every pulse may be:
 Thy praise.

 

A Prayer for a New Child

O Lord our God, 
Creator of heaven and earth, and our creator: 
we give you thanks and praise for the gift of this child… 
We thank you for creating him/her in your image, 
and breathing into him/her the breath of life. 
We thank you for the love 
which her parents have for each other, 
and for the welcome they are giving to… 
By the power of the Holy Spirit, 
fill their home with love, trust and understanding; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Amen.

 

Take, Lord, and Receive

(St Ignatius Loyola)

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding, and my entire will.
All I have and call my own.
Whatever I have or hold, you have given me.
I restore it all to you and surrender it
wholly to be governed by your will.
Give me only your love and grace
and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more.

 

A Simple Blessing

May you walk in Peace,
 Live with Love,
 work with Joy 
and May Your God go with you.

 

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A Prayer of Cardinal Newman

Dear Jesus, 
help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go. 
Flood my soul with Thy spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole 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 Thou shinest, 
so to shine as to be a light to others;
the light, O Jesus, will be all from Thee;
none of it will be mine;
it will be Thou shining on others through me. 
Let me thus praise Thee in the way Thou dost love best 
by shining on those around me. 
Let me preach Thee without preaching,
not by words but by my example, 
by the catching force of the sympathetic influence 
of what I do,
the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to Thee.
Amen.

 

Prayer by Kahlil Gibran

(1883 – 1931)

You pray in your distress and in your need; 
would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy 
and in your days of abundance.

For what is prayer but the expansion of yourself into the living ether? 
And if it is for your comfort to pour your darkness into space,
it is also for your delight to pour forth the dawning of your heart. 
And if you cannot but weep when your soul summons you to prayer, 
she should spur you again and yet again, though weeping,
until you shall come laughing.

When you pray you rise to meet in the air 
those who are praying at that very hour, 
and whom save in prayer you may not meet. 
Therefore let your visit to that temple invisible be for naught 
but ecstasy and sweet communion. 
For if you should enter the temple for no other purpose 
than asking you shall not receive: 
And if you should enter into it to beg for the good of others 
you shall not be heard.
It is enough that you enter the temple invisible.

 

Prayer for those who live alone

I live alone, dear Lord, stay by my side. 
In all my daily needs be Thou my guide.
Grant me good health, for that indeed, I pray,
to carry on my work from day to day. 
Keep pure my heart, my thoughts, my every deed. 
Let me be kind, unselfish in my neighbour’s need. 
Spare me from fire, from flood, malicious tongues,
from thieves, from fear and evil ones. 
If sickness or an accident befall,
then humbly, Lord, I pray,
hear Thou my call,
and when I’m feeling low,
or in despair, lift up my heart
and help me in my prayer .
I live alone dear Lord,
yet have no fear,
because I feel Your presence
ever near.

 

I asked for strength

I asked for strength that I might achieve; 
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health that I might do greater things; 
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.

I asked for riches that I might be happy; 
I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life; 
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I had asked for, 
but everything that I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered; 
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

 

A Prayer of the Prophet Mohammed

(570-632)

O God, 
You are peace. 
From You is peace 
and to You is peace. 
Let us live, 
O Lord, 
in peace and receive us
in Your paradise, 
the abode of peace. 
Yours is the majesty 
and the praise, 
we hear and we obey.
Grant us your forgiveness,
Lord, 
and to You be our becoming.

 

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A Prayer of  Anne Bronte

(1820-1849)

While faith is with me, I am best; 
It turns my darkest night to day; 
But, while I clasp it to my breast, 
I often feel it slide away.

What shall I do if all my love, 
My hopes, my toil, are cast away? 
And if there be no God above
To hear and bless me when I pray?

Oh, heal me, God! 
For thou alone 
Canst my distracted soul relieve. 
Forsake it not: it is thine own, 
Through weak, yet longing to believe.

 

A Prayer of Thomas Bacon (1513-1567)

O Lord, 
we most humbly beseech thee 
to give us grace 
not only to be hearers of the Word, 
but also doers of the same; 
not only to love,
but also to live thy gospel; 
not only to profess, 
but also to practice thy blessed commandments, 
unto the honour of thy holy name.

 

A Parting of Friends by Cardinal Newman

And, Oh my brethren, 
O kind and affectionate hearts, 
O loving friends,
should you know anyone whose lot it has been,
by writing or by word of mouth,
in some degree to help you thus to act;
if he has ever told you 
what you knew about yourselves, 
or what you did not know;
has read to you your wants or feelings, 
and comforted you by the very reading; 
has made you feel that there was a higher life 
than this daily one, 
and a brighter world than that you see; 
or encouraged you, 
or sobered you, 
or opened a way to the inquiring, 
or soothed the perplexed;
if what he had said or done 
has ever made you take interest in him, 
and feel well inclined toward him;
remember such a one in time to come, 
though you hear him not, 
and pray for him,
that in all things he may know God’s will, 
and at all times he may be ready to fulfill it.

 

A Meditation by Cardinal Newman

God has created me 
to do him some definite service; 
He has committed some work to me 
which He has not committed to another. 
I have my mission – 
I may never know it in this life, 
but I shall be told of it in the next.

I am a link in a chain, 
a bond of connection between persons. 
He has not created me for naught, 
I shall do good,
I shall do his work. 
I shall be an angel of peace, 
a preacher of truth 
in my own place 
while not intending it – 
if I do but keep 
His Commandments.

Therefore, I will trust Him. 
Whatever, wherever I am, 
I can never be thrown away. 
If I am in sickness, 
my sickness may serve Him; 
in perplexity, 
my perplexity may serve Him;
if I am in sorry, 
my sorrow may serve Him. 
He does nothing in vain.
He knows what He is about. 
He may take away my friends. 
He may throw me among strangers. 
He may make me feel desolate,
make my spirits sink, 
hide my future from me – 
still He knows 
what He is about.

 

Prayer for Fathers of Families of Pope John XXIII

St. Joseph, guardian of Jesus 
and chaste husband of Mary,
you passed your life 
in loving fulfilment of duty. 
You supported the Holy Family of Nazareth 
with the work of your hands. 
Kindly protect those who trustingly come to you. 
You know their aspirations, 
their hardships, 
their hopes. 
They look to you because they know 
you will understand and protect them. 
But amid the worries of material life 
your soul was full of deep peace 
and sang out in true joy 
through intimacy with God’s Son 
entrusted to you with Mary, 
His tender Mother. 
Assure those you protect 
that they do not labor alone. 
Teach them to find Jesus near them 
and to watch over Him faithfully 
as you have done. 
Amen.

 

 

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