The prayers on this page have been found through experience to work well with children and young people.
1 Prayer for Generosity
Jacques Sevin SJ (1887-1951)
Lord, teach me to be generous:
to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek to rest;
to labour and to ask for no reward
save that of knowing I do your will.
2 Offering the Day
Lord, we come to you before we begin our day's work:
we ask you to bless this day.
May we find whatever is good in the tasks we are set
and the time that we share.
Help us when we find some things too hard to understand;
Teach us to be fair and generous with one another;
So may we thank you for a day well spent. Amen.
3 Before the Day’s Work
George Dawson (1821-76)
Lord, as we go to our work this day,
help us to take pleasure therein.
Show us clearly what our duty is,
help us to be faithful in doing it.
May all we do be well done, fit for thine eye to see.
Give us enthusiasm to attempt, patience to perform.
When we cannot love our work,
may we think of it as thy task,
and make what is unlovely beautiful through loving service,
for thy name’s sake. Amen
4 Beginning the Day
I offer you this day:
All that I think and do and say,
uniting it with what was done by Jesus Christ, your only Son. Amen.
5 Prayer for Guidance
Charles Kingsley (1819-75)
Lord, guide me, teach me, strengthen me,
‘till I become such a person as thou would have me be;
pure and gentle,
truthful and high-minded,
brave and able,
courteous and generous,
dutiful and useful. Amen.
6 Morning Offering
Lord Jesus, as I start this day.
I gaze at your face, your pierced side and your wounded heart showing God’s love for us.
Take, Lord, and receive my heart:
The words of faith that I speak,
the works of justice I would do,
my joys and sufferings.
May these be united with your own offering
for the life of the whole world. Amen
7 An Evening Prayer
Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-90)
May he support us all the day long,
'till the shades lengthen
and the evening comes
and the busy world is hushed
and the fever of life is over
and our work is done.
Then in his mercy may he give us a safe lodging
and a holy rest and peace at the last. Amen.
8 Live Simply
Compassionate and loving God,
you created a beautiful world for us to share:
Give us the desire to live simply,
so that our lives show your generosity.
You made us responsible for the earth:
guide us so that those who come after us may enjoy your creation. Amen.
9 Solidarity Prayer
God of peace and justice,
help us to change,
so that we work for a world that mirrors your wisdom.
Give us the desire to act in solidarity,
so that the pillars of injustice crumble
and those now crushed are set free. Amen.
10 Making a Difference
Grant, gentle Father,
that your Spirit may give us the will and the courage
to act to make a difference,
in order to make real your kingdom among us,
so that we may we all live together
in peace, truth, justice and love,
sharing the resources of the earth. Amen.
11 Make Poverty History
look with mercy upon the human race you have created.
May our hearts see your kingdom
in which the destructive poverty of our world is destroyed
and so that we will make poverty history. Amen.
12 Peace and Justice
lead us from death to life,
from falsehood to truth.
Lead us from despair to hope,
from fear to trust.
Let peace fill our hearts, our world and our universe.
Let us dream together, pray together and work together,
to build one world of peace and justice for all. Amen.
13 To Renew the World
hear our prayer for a world that will respect the God-given rights of all.
We dedicate ourselves to work for the rights of each human person,
especially for those who find life a burden
and who know the suffering of hatred, poverty and war
.Help us to share the fire of your peace with all people in all places at all times. Amen
14 Prayer for Wisdom
In everything we do, O Lord, give us a desire to seek out the truth;
give us a willingness to heed the advice of others;
give us wisdom in reaching decisions;
give us faith to believe in our conclusions;
give us courage to put our ideas to the test;
and, if we prove ourselves wrong, give us the grace to admit it. Amen.
15 Prayer of Petition
from the Roman Missal (1973)
All powerful and ever-living God,
in your abundant love you give us more than we deserve
and more than we ask for;
grant us your mercy in great measure;
forgive us when we have gone against our conscience
and give us what we dare not even pray for.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
15 Dedication of Studies
Adrian Porter SJ
Father, you are creator of the universe
and author of all that surrounds our lives.
Send us your Spirit of wisdom as we study.
Let our efforts lead us to a deeper knowledge of you, of your people and of your world.
May we find you, our Creator and Lord, our God and Saviour, in all things, Father, Son and Spirit. Amen.
16 Prayer before Examinations
Adrian Porter SJ
Lord, as I prepare for this examination,
let your strength and your wisdom be present to me.
May I revise my work thoroughly.
May I understand what it is I have to know.
May my memory be reliable and orderly.
May I be calm and focused on the task ahead.
May I know and feel the love and support of my family and friends.
And may you, the author and creator of all things, enlighten me.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
17 The Lord's Friendship
you invited ordinary people like me to see where you lived.
You welcomed them and asked them to work and rejoice with you.
You are the greatest person who ever lived
and I hardly believe you want me for your friend.
Draw me more and more into your friendship
And lead me along your way which brings deep and lasting happiness. Amen
18 Prayer of Saint Richard of Chichester
St Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)
Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits which you have given us,
for all the pains and insults
which you have borne for us.
Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day. Amen.
19 Prayer for Serenity
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.
20 Prayer of Thanksgiving
Adrian Porter SJ
We thank you, God our Father,
for the shelter and comfort of our homes;
for the love and companionship of our family and friends;
for our health, and our many gifts and abilities;
and for all the blessings which we take for granted.
Hear our prayer for all who are less fortunate than we are
and bless those who work to help them.
For Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
21 Prayer of Intercession
William Barclay (1907-78)
O God our Father,
help us all through this day so to live that we may bring help to others,
credit to ourselves and to the name we bear,
and joy to those that love us, and to thee.
Help us to be cheerful when things go wrong;
persevering when things are difficult;
serene when things are irritating.
Enable us to be helpful to those in difficulties;
kind to those in need;
sympathetic to those whose hearts are sore and sad.
Grant that nothing may make us lose our tempers;
nothing may take away our joy;
nothing may ruffle our peace;
nothing may make us bitter towards anyone.
This we ask for thy love’s sake. Amen.
22 Soul of Christ
A 14th Century prayer used by St Ignatius
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from Christ’s side, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Let me not be separated from you.
From the enemy defend me,
At my death call me
And bid me, come to you
That with your saints I may praise you
For ever and ever. Amen.
23 Evening Prayer
from the Liturgy of the Hours
Stay with us, Lord Jesus,
be our companion on our way.
In your mercy inflame our hearts and raise our hope,
so that, in union with our brothers and sisters,
we may recognize you in the scriptures and in the breaking of bread,
who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
24 Prayer for the Sick
Adrian Porter SJ
Father, as Jesus cured the sick and raised Lazarus from the dead,
give comfort to those in our community who are sick.
We pray that your Spirit may heal their bodies
and soothe their minds
leading them to find peace and hope in your grace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
25 Prayer for the Dead
adapted from the Funeral Liturgy
Lord, we entrust those who have died to your mercy:
welcome them into your presence.
You loved them greatly in this life,
now give them happiness and peace for ever.
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.
26 Prayer of Blessing
Sarum Breviary 13thC
May the eternal God bless us and keep us,
guard our bodies,
save our souls,
direct our thoughts,
and bring us safe to the heavenly country, our eternal home,
where Father, Son and Holy Spirit ever reign, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
27 Prayer of St Thomas More
St Thomas More (1478-1535)
give us a mind that is humble, quiet, peaceable,
patient and charitable,
and a taste of your Holy Spirit
in all our thoughts, words and deeds.
give us a lively faith, a firm hope, a fervent charity,
a love of you.
Take from us all lukewarmness in meditation,
and all dullness in prayer.
Give us fervour and delight in thinking of you,
your grace, and your tender compassion toward us.
Give us, good Lord,
the grace to work for
the things we pray for.
28 Campion Prayer
Adrian Porter SJ
throughout the ages you inspire heroic men and women
to preach your gospel
and proclaim the truth of your love.
We pray that the example of St Edmund Campion
may encourage us to stand up for what it right;
to hold to what is true;
and to love even those who persecute us,
for Christ's sake. Amen.
29 Prayer for Christmas, Epiphany or Holy Name of Jesus
from the Orthodox Liturgy
What shall we present to you, O Christ,
for your coming to earth for us?
Each of your creatures brings you a thank-offering:
the angels - singing;
the heavens - a star;
the wise men - treasures;
the shepherds - devotion;
the earth - a cave;
the desert - a manger:
but we offer you the virgin-mother.
O eternal God, have mercy upon us.
30 Day for Life Prayer
Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
I thank you Lord for the precious gift of my body.
Whatever its strengths or limitations;
whatever it brings me in terms of joy or suffering,
help me always to see it as your gift.
As I run the race of life, help me to have a healthy attitude to my body
and a reverence for its part in my eternal future.
Help me to give glory to you by treating my body and the body of others,
with care and respect.
As I marvel at the wonder of your creation,
may the whole human family work together to protect creation
and especially the precious gift of human life, from conception to natural death.
Enable us by your grace to promote the well-being and dignity of every person,
serving you and the gospel of life in a spirit of generosity, faith and love,
through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.