Classic Prayers

A Prayer of St Benedict (480-547)

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Gracious and holy Father,
please give me:

intellect to understand you;
reason to discern you;
diligence to seek you;
wisdom to find you;
a spirit to know you;
a heart to meditate upon you;
ears to hear you;
eyes to see you;
a tongue to proclaim you;
a way of life pleasing to you;
patience to wait for you;
and perseverance to look for you.

Grant me:
a perfect end,
your holy presence.
A blessed resurrection,
And life everlasting.


Painting by Botticelli                                    Two Prayers of St Augustine (354-430)


O thou, who art the light of the minds that know thee,

the life of the souls that love thee,

and the strength of the wills that serve thee;

help us so to know thee that we may truly love thee;

so to love thee that we may fully serve thee,

whom to serve is perfect freedom.


Lord Jesus, our Saviour, let us come to you.
Our hearts are cold;

Lord, warm them with your selfless love.
Our hearts are sinful;

cleanse them with your precious blood.
Our hearts are weak;

strengthen them with your joyous Spirit.
Our hearts are empty; fill them with your divine presence.
Lord Jesus, our hearts are yours; possess them always and only for yourself.



A Prayer of St Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)

Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits which you have given us,
for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us.
Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day.

A Song of Anselm

Jesus, as a mother you gather your people to you: you are gentle with us as a mother with her children; Often you weep over our sins and our pride: tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement. You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds: in sickness you nurse us, and with pure milk you feed us. Jesus, by your dying we are born to new life: by your anguish and labour we come forth in joy. Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness: through your gentleness we find comfort in fear. Your warmth gives life to the dead: your touch makes sinners righteous. Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us: in your love and tenderness remake us. In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness: for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us.

Saint Anselm of Canterbury (c. 1033 - 1109)


Two Prayers of St Columba  c.521-97

Lord Jesus, be a bright flame before us, a guiding star above us 

A smooth path below us, a kindly shepherd behind us

Today, tonight and for ever.

Alone with none but thee, my God,
I journey on my way.
What need I fear, when thou art near

O King of night and day?
More safe am I within thy hand
Than if a host did round me stand.


A  prayer from Æthelwold (c 908-984)

"May God the Father bless us;
may Christ take care of us;
the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life.
The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul,
both now and for ever, to the ages of ages."

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