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A Primer of Prayer

'O Lord, open Thou our lips;
And our mouth shall show forth Thy praise.'

Psalm 51: 15

Prayer is, put simply, speaking lovingly to God. It is also allowing opportunity for the Lord to answer us in our need and in His mercy. The short treasury of prayers below enable us to share in the devotions of the saints, and to join in communion with them in worship of the Lord our God, in loving dialogue with Him, as he wills to bestow sanctifying grace upon us. 

Prayer from the Sarum Primer 

God be in my head, and in my understanding;

God be in my 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.


Prayer of Pope St Gregory the Great 

O Good Jesu, Word of the Father and brightness of His glory, Whom angels desire to behold: teach me to do Thy will that, guided by Thy Spirit, I may come to that blessed city of everlasting day, where all are one in heart and mind, where there is safety and eternal peace, happiness and delight, where Thou livest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Prayer of St Augustine of Hippo 

Eternal God, the light of the minds that know Thee, the joy of the hearts that love Thee, and the strength of the wills that serve Thee: grant us so to know Thee that we may truly love Thee, so to love Thee that we may truly serve Thee, Whose service is perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer of St Alcuin of York

Eternal Light, shine in our hearts; Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil; Eternal Power, be our support; Eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance; Eternal Pity, have mercy upon us; that with all our heart and mind and soul and strength we may seek Thy face and be brought, through Thine infinite mercy, to Thy Holy Presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer of St Anselm of Canterbury 

O Lord our God, grant us grace to desire Thee with our whole heart; that so desiring, we may seek and find Thee; and so finding, may love Thee; and so loving, may hate those sins from which Thou hast delivered us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer of St Bede the Venerable 

Open our hearts, O Lord, and enlighten us by the grace of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may seek what is well-pleasing to Thy will; and so order our doings after Thy commandments, that we may be found meet to enter into thine unending joys; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer of St Richard of Chichester

Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which Thou hast given me, for all the pains and insults which Thou hast borne for me. O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother, may I know Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, and follow Thee more nearly; for ever and ever. Amen.


Prayer of St John Fisher

Good Lord, set in Thy Church strong and mighty pillars that may suffer and endure great labours, which also shall not fear persecution, neither death but always suffer with good will, slander, shame, and all kinds of torments, for the glory and praise of Thy Holy Name. By this manner, good Lord, the truth of Thy Gospel shall be preached throughout the world. Therefore, merciful Lord, exercise Thy mercy, show it indeed upon Thy Church. Amen.

Prayer of St Thomas More

O Lord, give us a mind that is humble, quiet, peaceable, patient and charitable, and a taste of Thy Holy Spirit in all our thoughts, words, and deeds.

O Lord, give us a lively faith, a firm hope, a fervent charity, a love of Thee.

Take from us all lukewarmness in meditation and all dullness in prayer.  Give us fervour and delight in thinking of Thee, Thy grace, and Thy tender compassion toward us. Give us, good Lord, the grace to work for the things for which we pray.


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