How should we pray? When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, Jesus gave them an example - The Lord's Prayer. In John 17 we are able to read what is frequently called the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus. We find, in the letters of Paul, many examples of how Pastors and church leaders ought to pray for their churches. We learn to pray by observing the prayers of others. In light of this I simply want to share one prayer that has been a constant source of encouragement to me in my studies. This prayer can be found on a number of websites around the internet, however, I have rarely found the full version of it. So, I decided that I would put it here on my blog. I hope that it will be an encouragement for others.
Aquinas’s Prayer Before Study*
Who, from the treasures of Your wisdom,
Have established three hierarchies of angles,
Have arrayed them in marvelous order
Above the fiery heavens,
And have marshaled the regions
Of the universe with such artful skill,
You are proclaimed
The true font of light and wisdom,
And the primal origin
Raised high beyond all things.
Pour forth a ray of Your brightness
Into the darkened places of my mind;
Disperse from my soul
The twofold darkness
Into which I was born:
Sin and ignorance.
You make eloquent the tongues of infants.
Refine my speech
And pour forth upon my lips
The goodness of Your blessing.
Grant to me
Keenness of mind,
Capacity to remember,
Skill in learning,
Subtlety to interpret,
And eloquence in speech.
Guide the beginning of my work,
Direct its progress,
And bring it to completion.
You Who are true God and true Man,
Who live and reign, world without end.
*Prayer quoted from The Aquinas Prayer Book: The Prayers and Hymns of St. Thomas Aquinas, trans. and ed. Robert Anderson and Johann Moser (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2000), 41-44.