Monday, January 21, 2013

The Universal Prayer

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 the 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 whose lives I touch,
those in authority over me
or those under my authority,
my friends and my enemies.

Help me to conquer anger with gentleness,
greed by generosity,
apathy by fervor.
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

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 realize that this world is passing,
that my true future is the happiness of heaven,
that life on earth is short,
and the life to come eternal.

Help me to prepare for death
with a proper fear of judgment,
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.

(The Universal Prayer is attributed to Pope Clement XI.  I heard this prayer recited by a priest after Communion in a mass during the summer of the year following my graduation from college.  My now husband and I went up to the priest afterward to ask the name of the prayer, and the priest generously gave us the prayer card he read from.)


  1. Hi Colleen,
    I think this may be the most thorough prayer I've ever seen - it covers so much. Thanks for publishing it here.

  2. This is really beautiful! Thank you for sharing this with us.