A Prayer of St. Anselm

Lord Jesus Christ; Let me seek you by desiring you,
and let me desire you by seeking you;
let me find you by loving you,
and love you in finding you.

I confess, Lord, with thanksgiving,
that you have made me in your image,
so that I can remember you, think of you, and love you.

But that image is so worn and blotted out by faults,
and darkened by the smoke of sin,
that it cannot do that for which it was made,
unless you renew and refashion it.

Lord, I am not trying to make my way to your height,
for my understanding is in no way equal to that,
but I do desire to understand a little of your truth
which my heart already believes and loves.

I do not seek to understand so that I can believe,
but I believe so that I may understand;
and what is more,
I believe that unless I do believe, I shall not understand.

Source: Anselm of Canterbury, d. 1109

Source of this version: The Oxford Book of Prayer, George Appleton (gen. ed.), 1985, 2002.

Also found here: http://godprayers.org/Prayer-of-St-Anselm.htm 


A Prayer of St. Anselm on Desiring and Loving God

O Lord our God,
grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart,
that so desiring we may seek and find you;
and so finding you we may love you;
and loving you we may hate those sins
from which you have redeemed us;
for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Source: St. Anselm of Canterbury, d. 1109

Source: St. Anselm, eleventh century
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

The Empty Vessel


Behold, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled.
My Lord, fill it.
I am weak in the faith; strengthen me.
I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent, that my love may go out to my neighbor.
I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust you altogether.
O Lord, help me.
Strengthen my faith and trust in you.
In you I have sealed the treasure of all I have.
I am poor; you are rich and came to be merciful to the poor.
I am a sinner; you are upright.
With me, there is an abundance of sin; in you is the fullness of righteousness.
Therefore I will remain with you, of whom I can receive, but to whom I may not give. Amen

Source: Martin Luther  [Die Gebete Luthers, #205]

Source of this version: http://restlesspilgrim.net/blog/2011/06/01/empty-vessel/

Original in German:

Sihe, Herr, hie ist eyn lähr Faß, das bedarff wol, das man es fülle, Mein Herr, fülle es, ich bin schwach im glauben, stärcke mich, ich bin kalt inn der liebe, wärme mich und mache mich hitzig, das meine liebe herauß flisse auff meinen Nechsten; ich habe nicht eynen festen starcken glauben, ich zweifele zu zeiten und kan dir nicht gäntzlich vertrauen. Ach Herr, hilff mir, mehre mir meinen glauben und vertrauen, inn dich habe ich den schatz aller meiner güter verschlos sen, ich bin arm, du bist reich und bist kommen, dich der armen zu erbarmen, ich bin ein sünder, du bist gerecht. Hie bei mir ist der fluß der Sünde1, inn dir aber ist die Fülle der gerechtigkeyt etc.; darumb bleibe ich bei dir, von welchem ich nemmen kan, nicht dem ich geben darf.

Grace before a meal

Bless us O Lord, and these thy gifts,
which we are about to receive, from thy bounty,
through Christ, our Lord.

Source: Traditional Catholic mealtime prayer

Source of this version: http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/faith-tools/meditation/2001/11/table-grace.aspx#MbTWGovHEYLYweMF.99

Also found here: http://www.worldprayers.org/archive/prayers/celebrations/bless_us_oh_lord.html 

German version by Luther   [Die Gebete Luthers, #27]


Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts which we receive through your bountiful goodness, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Lord God, heavenly Father, bless us through these gifts which we receive from your bountiful goodness, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Source of this variant: Luther’s Catechism, Kuske revised edition © 1998 Northwestern Publishing House, Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Domine Deus, Pater coelestis, benedic nobis et his donis tuis, quae de tua largitate sumimus, per Iesum Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. (1996). Concordia Triglotta—Latin: The Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (electronic ed., p. 558). Milwaukee, WI: Northwestern Publishing House.

We Thank Thee Lord, for Happy Hearts

We thank Thee Lord, for happy hearts,
For rain and sunny weather.
We thank Thee, Lord, for this our food,
And that we are together.

Source: Emilie Fendall Johnson in A Little Book of Prayers © 1941

Source of this version: http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/faith-tools/meditation/2001/11/table-grace.aspx


We thank you Lord, for happy hearts,
For rain and sunny weather.
We thank you, Lord, for food and drink,
And that we are together.

Be Present at Our Table, Lord

Be present at our table, Lord;
Be here and everywhere adored;
Thy creatures bless, and grant that we
May feast in paradise with Thee.

We thank Thee, Lord, for this our food,
For life and health and every good;
By Thine own hand may we be fed;
Give us each day our daily bread.

We thank Thee, Lord, for this our good,
But more because of Jesus’ blood;
Let manna to our souls be giv’n,
The Bread of Life sent down from Heav’n.

Source: John Cen­nick, 1741.

Source of this version: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/b/p/o/bpotlord.htm


Be present at our table, Lord;
Be here and everywhere adored;
These morsels bless, and grant that we
May feast in paradise with thee.

An Evening Collect

Lighten our darkness,
Lord, we pray;
and in your mercy
defend us from all perils and dangers of this night;
for the love of your only Son,
our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Source: Gelasian Sacramentary

Source of this version: Eerdman’s Book of Famous Prayers © 1983

found also here: https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/texts/daily2/night/variations.aspx

and in The Lutheran Hymnal, p. 107 #47

Also found here: Prayers Ancient and Modern by Mary Wilder Tileston, Boston, Little Brown, 1914, p. 341 #2

Graphic, Gelasian Sacramentary, from Wikipedia.com