Ancient Prayer

July 29/15 |
offered by Rev Gordon Taylor

~~A friend who has been going through her father’s effects, following his death in his 90’s, just emailed this treasure of a prayer to me which she found among his papers. From what I know of the man, it seems to be a prayer he actually took to heart.

The source of this prayer is a mystery. Search the web, and you will find it attributed mostly to Anonymous … which my partner says, “it must have been a woman!”

I have seen it called an “Old Nun’s Prayer, from the 17th Century, found in an old English Church.” It sounds much more modern than that to me. Whoever wrote it: “Thank you.” Let’s all bookmark this one and pray it repeatedly!

Lord, you know better than I know myself

that I am growing older and one day will be old.

Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must

say something on every subject

and on every occasion.

Release me from craving to

straighten out everybody’s affairs.

Make me thoughtful but not moody;

helpful but not bossy.

With my vast store of wisdom

it seems a pity not to use it all;

but you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details,

give me wings to get to the point.

Seal my lips on my aches and pains,

they are increasing and love of rehearsing them

is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

I dare not ask for grace enough

to enjoy the tales of others pains,

but help me to endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory,

but for growing humility and a lessening cocksureness

when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally

I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet;

I do not want to be a saint, some of them are so hard to live with,

but a sour old person is one of the

crowning works of the devil.

Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places

and talent in unexpected people,

and give me O Lord the grace to tell them so. AMEN.




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