The Universal Prayer

The Universal Prayer

(attributed to Pope Clement XI)

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 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 prosperity.

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.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend five to fifteen minutes in silence paying attention to the breath.
  • Pray this prayer for you.
  • What stands out as the greatest prayer for you today?
  • Pray this prayer for your neighbor. (Using he/she and him/her)
  • What stands out as the greatest prayer for your neighbor today?
  • Pray this prayer for the Church. (Using us and our)
  • What stands out as the greatest prayer for the Church today?
  • What message does God have for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and the new messages you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, August 21, 2011,  the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 1:8 – 2:10
Psalm 124
Romans 12:1-8
Matthew 16:13-20
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.

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