Prayers of Work and Study

It’s coming to that time of year for many of my friends. Essays to write, books to devour. These are the words I have prayed on their behalf. This time next year it’ll be me typing away at silly hours of the night to get all the work done. Hope someone prays for me then.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, without whose help labour is useless, without whose light search is vain, invigorate my studies, and direct my inquiries, that I may, by due diligence and right disernment, establish myself and others in thy holy faith. Take not, O Lord, thy Holy Spirit from me; let not evil thoughts have dominion in my mind. Let me not linger in ignorance, but enlighten and support me, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

– Samuel Johnson, 18th Century

Grant, O Lord, we pray thee, that as we seek for thy truth we may find that the search leads us to thyself. Give us courage to seek honestly and reverence to seek humbly; and when our minds are perplexed, and we cannot find thee, give us patience to go on with our daily duties; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Father of our spirits, our daily work is so often concerned with material things and forces that the spiritual world seems unreal, and our knowledge of it does not grow as does our knowledge of the material world. Teach us to look for thee in our work and daily duty, so that we may come to see thee in the wonders of nature and all the processes of physical life. And when we cannot find thee in them, and at all times, help us so to order our daily life that we may take time to approach thee and be made strong by thee. So may we find thee real and ever hold fast to thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

God of Truth, who hast guided men in knowledge throughout the ages, and from whom every good though cometh, help us in our study to use thy gifts of wisdom and knowledge. Let us read good books carefully, and listen to all wise teaching humbly that we may be led into all truth, and strengthened in all goodness of life, to the praise of thy holy Name. Amen

– Rowland Williams, 19th Century. (Adapted)

All prayers found in A Book of Prayers for Students, SCM Press 1929


One Comment

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  1. in the words of former principal of Cliff – a saint in his day – Samuel Chadwick

    “The presence of the Spirit is vital … scholarship is blind to spiritual truth till He reveals. Worship is idolatory till He inspires. Preaching is powerless if it be not a demonstration of His power. Prayer is vain unless He energises. Human resources of learning and organisation, wealth and enthusiasm, reform and philanthropy, are worse than useless if there be no Holy Spirit in them.

    that is my prayer for those trying to meet deadlines now (and for you next year) … that what you write will be from God and inspired by the Spirit.

    be blessed


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