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The Universal Prayer




There are, of course, many wonderful prayers, but this one encompasses so much and is a personal favourite. The prayer has been attributed to Pope Clement XI (23 July 1649 to 19 March 1721).  




Lord, I believe in you; increase my faith.

I trust in you; strengthen my trust.

I love you; let me love you more and more.

I am sorry for my sins; deepen my sorrow.


I worship you as my first beginning,

I long for you as my last end.

I praise you as my constant helper,

and call on you as my loving protector.


Guide me by your Wisdom,

correct me with your Justice,

comfort me with your Mercy,

protect me with your Power.


I offer you, Lord:

my thoughts, to be fixed on you;

my words, to have you for their theme;

my actions, to reflect my love for you;

my sufferings, to be endured for your greater glory.


I want to do what you ask of me,

in the way you ask,

for as long as you ask,

because you ask it.


Lord, enlighten my understanding,

strengthen my will,

purify my heart,

and make me holy.


Help me to repent of my past sins

and to resist temptation in future.

Help me to rise above my human weaknesses

and to grow stronger as a Christian.


Let me love you, my Lord and my God,

and see myself as I really am:

a pilgrim in this world,

a Christian called to respect and love

all those lives I touch,

those in authority over me

or those under my authority,

my friends and my enemies.


Help me to conquer anger by gentleness,

greed by generosity,

apathy by fervour.

Help me to forget myself

and reach out toward others.


Make me prudent in planning,

courageous in taking risks.

Make me patient in suffering,

unassuming in prosperity.


Keep me, Lord, attentive at prayer,

temperate in food and drink,

diligent in my work,

firm in my good intentions.


Let my conscience be clear,

my conduct without fault,

my speech blameless,

my life well-ordered.


Put me on guard against my human weaknesses.

Let me cherish your love for me,

keep your law,

and come at last to your salvation.


Teach me to realise that this world is passing,

that my true future is the happiness of heaven,

that this life on earth is short,

and the life to come, eternal.


Help me to prepare for death,

with a proper fear of judgement,

but a greater trust in your goodness.

Lead me safely through death

to the endless joy of heaven.


Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.







© Ray Chidell 2010