Prayers for Students

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Teach Me Prayer for My Intellect Prayer Before Studying
To Be Generous Our Lady of Studies Prayer to Mary for a Good Mind
Offering of One's Body Offering of the Heart Prayer for Engaged Couples
Prayer for Growth in Love Prayer for Healing Offering of the Senses
Offering of the Will Prayer for Listening Prayer for Peace of Mind
Prayer of St. Francis Prayer for Vocations For Confidence in God
Lord, Make a Real Man out of Me The Christopher Prayer A Prayer for Peace
Prayer of Praise To Find God in Nature Let Creations Praise the Lord
Hiking Prayer Graduation Prayer: Facing Life Prayers Before Communion
Universal Prayer After Communion


Teach Me

Dear Lord,

Teach me to live my life.
Teach me to know how to use all the good I have inside of me.
Teach me to think right, speak good words, and do good deeds.
Teach me to see the good in all.
Teach me to share with my fellow human beings in respect and love.
Teach me love.


Sent on 20 April 2000 by: Lisbet Linnet, Leader of University of Wisdom, Nygade 17, 4700 Naestved Denmark


Prayer for My Intellect

Lord, you are the Source of all Life, all Truth, and all Beauty,

I pray to you today, with all my heart, for my intelligence,
this light in me, this plant which demands years and years of care,

this thing in me, mysterious and moving, this activity which sometimes bounds up, sometimes slows down,

which sometimes lifts me up with enthusiasm and sometimes exasperates me,

I pray for this thing which runs after ideas, symbols and numbers,

this thing which all of a sudden has penetrated inside the thought of another and melds with it like the fusion of two lights
a fusion which bring about warmth and light.

I pray to you for my mind as you are the Supreme Intelligence which penetrates, illuminates, and embraces all our intelligences.

Lord, help make my intelligence amenable to all truths, able to understand the thoughts of others;

give to me the wisdom to know the meaning and purpose of my life and learning, so that my knowledge, understanding, and skills may help in some little ways to make this world a better place, for your greater glory.


Translated and adapted from French by Dr. Chau T. Phan, Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648-3099, from Fernand Lelotte, S.J., Rabboni: Consignes et prières pour mieux servir, 9è edition, 1958 (Paris, Casterman; Bruxelles, Foyer Notre-Dame. Imprimatur, 1955.)


Prayer Before Studying
St. Thomas Aquinas

Come, Holy Spirit, Divine Creator,
true source of light and fountain of wisdom!

Pour forth your brilliance upon my dense intellect,
dissipate the darkness which covers me,
that of sin and of ignorance.

Grant me
a penetrating mind to understand,
a retentive memory,
method and ease in learning,
the lucidity to comprehend, and
abundant grace in expressing myself.

Guide the beginning of my work,
direct its progress,
and bring it to successful completion.

This I ask through Jesus Christ,
true God and true man,
living and reigning with you
and the Father, forever and ever. Amen.

[Translated from Fernand Lelotte, S.J., Rabboni (Paris: Casterman, 1955) by Dr. Chau T. Phan, Rider University.]


Prayer to Our Lady of Studies
by Saint Thomas Aquinas

O Mary, Seat of Wisdom,
so many persons of common intellect
have made through your intercession
admirable progress in their studies.

I hereby choose You as
guardian and patron of my studies.
I humbly ask You to obtain for me
the grace of the Holy Spirit,
so that from now on I could
- understand more quickly,
- retain more readily, and
- express myself more fluently.

May the example of my life serve
to honor You and your Son, Jesus.

Prayer to Mary for a Good Mind
A. Hanrion, S.J.

O Mary, my Mother,
I offer you my soul, my mind, and my heart.
Make of me God's instrument.

Give me a penetrating mind to discover,
firm to judge,
open to understand,
free to serve the truth;

an honest mind in telling what it sees rather than what it wants to see;

a tolerant mind which does not dictate to other people,
but which explain what it sees clearly;

a mind infused by the light and the truth of your Son Jesus,
patient in faith,
while waiting for the vision of eternal life.


Translated and adapted from Fernand Lelotte, S.J., Rabboni, Consignes et prieres pour mieux servir (Paris, Casterman, 1958), by Chau T. Phan, Rider University Catholic Campus Ministry.


To Be Generous

Teach me, Lord Jesus, to be generous:
to serve You as You deserve;
to give, not counting the cost;
to fight, not heeding the wounds;
to toil, not asking for rest;
to labor, not seeking any reward,
save that of knowing that we do Your will.

Saints Ignatius of Loyola & Francis Xavier


Offering Of One's Body

Lord, You have given me a body for it to help me fulfill my mission on earth and for eternity.

By baptism, it was consecrated just as was my soul. Today I renew that consecration and submit my body to your service.

Help me acquire over my body absolute control, so that it will always be an instrument, not a tyrant.

Give it strength and endurance.

Help me reject whatever is harmful to it: too much eating, drinking, smoking; abuse of drug or sex.

Help me have the will to deprive it at times of normal pleasures as acts of sacrifice and as exercises in character building.

May the frequent contact with your Body in the holy Eucharist make it sound and pure.



Offering of the Heart

Virgin Mary, most loving Mother, please give me

  • a heart like yours, firm in its attachments and of unshakable loyalty,
  • an affectionate heart which radiates a discreet tenderness and which is open,
  • a pure heart which lives in the flesh without being burdened by it,
  • a generous heart, quick in forgetting its hurts and always ready to forgive,
  • a considerate heart which hides a great deal of love in the smallest details, in the most humble service,
  • a magnanimous heart which rejoices in others' triumphs and shares in their sorrows,
  • a heart which condemns no one, and does not tire of being confided to,
  • a heart taken up by Christ, totally given to His infinite love.


[Translated from Fernand Lelotte, S.J., Rabboni (Paris: Casterman, 1955) by Dr. Chau T. Phan, Rider University.]


Prayer for Engaged Couples

Father, You made both of us.
You love us and you know us so well.
It was Your hand that led us to one another.

Now, as we prepare to begin our journey together,
united in love, we turn to You.

Help us to be for one another a gentle lover,
a generous listener,
a firm supporter,
a best friend.

Never let us take each other for granted.
Help us understand even in times of anger,
that love brought us together.

Fill each day with some new discovery about our love,
about Your spark in us.

Through our good times and bad, in our joys and sorrows,
be with us, guiding us and holding us in Your gentle embrace.


From "A Lifetime Together: Thoughts for Engaged Couples." Christopher News Notes, June 1997.


Prayer For Growth in Love

Father, You have loved us from eternity without conditions.

Whether we are beautiful or plain, rich or poor, saintly or sinful,
makes no difference to You.

Why can't we be that way toward each other?

Why do we magnify each other's shortcomings and ignore the good features?

Help us to grow in love, a love that doesn't gloss over failings,
but one that accepts them and then goes on to stress what is good in all we meet,
what can be built on, to help the other person become fully himself or herself.

Then Lord, as we increase our ability to love as Jesus did,
we will come closer to the kingdom He preached. Amen.

Christopher News Notes, January 1999


A Prayer for Healing

You invite all who are burdened to come to You.
Allow Your healing hand to heal me.
Touch my soul with Your compassion for others.
Touch my heart with Your courage and infinite love for all.
Touch my mind with Your wisdom,
that my mouth may always proclaim Your praise.
Teach me to reach out to You in my need,
and help me to lead others to You by my example.
Most loving Heart of Jesus, bring me health in body and spirit
that I may serve You with all my strength.
Touch gently this life which You have created,
now and forever. Amen.

Priests of the Sacred Heart Sacred Heart Monastery
Holes Corners, WI 53130


Offering of One's Senses

sometimes I have a hard time finding something to pray about,
yet the reasons to give you thanks are not lacking.

Aren't there young people whose life's wish is found in these words:
"God, I wish I could see!" or
"Lord, I wish I could hear!"

Yet, Lord, I who see, hear, speak with such ease,
often forget to thank You for these gifts which I take for granted.

Today, I thank you for my eyes which see light, colors,
and the faces of those who love me.

I thank you for my hearing which allows me to enjoy people's voice
and music.

I thank you for my voice which allows me to express my thoughts and
innermost feelings.

I thank you also for the sense of smell, and the sense of touch ....

Lord, you have given me the senses. I now offer them back to You.
Help me to use my senses sensibly,

to see your beauty in the beauty of human faces and bodies,
of flowers and rainbows, of nature and art;

to use my eyes to read what will enrich my mind, ennoble my soul;

to use my ears to listen to your Word
and to what philosophers and scientists have to say
about the mysteries of man,
of the universe, of creation,
so that I may better understand myself,
others, and You, the Creator of all things
seen and unseen, known and unknowable;

about the past and the present,
so that I may better understand myself, others, and You;

to use my voice to proclaim the truth and to spread the joy around me.


Translated and adapted from French by Dr. Chau T. Phan, Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648-3099, from Fernand Lelotte, S.J. Rabboni: Consignes et prieres pour mieux servir, 9e edition, 1958 (Paris, Casterman; Bruxelles, Foyer Notre-Dame. Imprimatur, 1955.)


Offering of The Will

Lord, I come to offer You my will.
I live these years when it is being forged.
I want to offer it to You, so that You make it all yours.
Save it from the diseases which threaten it.

By the grace of your Spirit, make my will
strong, not afraid of obstacles,
persevering, not giving up because of stumbles,
aiming at horizons higher and wider than my immediate needs,
capable of making sacrifices to build a more vibrant future.

Give me a will which is strong but not obstinate,
willing to listen to voices of calm and experience, not presumptuous,
but conscious of my limitations,
not arrogant,
choosing not to belittle those less fortunate than me,
not selfish,
willing to assist those in need of help.

Help me to understand that it is
in doing small things that a great will is forged,
in doing humble things that a noble will gets its wings,
in doing routine duties well that I prepare myself for heroic deeds.

Be at my side, Lord, to lift me up, and push me forward,
when the going gets rough, and I am bone­weary,
when I don't want to get up after so many falls,
when I don't feel like doing anything to get myself out of the dumps.

Help me say with You: "Not my will, Father, but Yours be done!"
Help me conquer myself, before I am to conquer the world, and
to be master of myself, before I am to lead others. Amen.

Translated and adapted from French by Dr. Chau T. Phan, Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648-3099, from Fernand Lelotte, S.J. Rabboni: Consignes et prieres pour mieux servir, 9e edition, 1958 (Paris, Casterman; Bruxelles, Foyer Notre-Dame. Imprimatur, 1955.)


A Prayer for Listening

Dear Loving and Compassionate God,

Giver of all gifts, we pray especially today for the mercy and love you give us.

Open our hearts and minds to you. Give us the grace to accept your mercy.

As we live each day, we pray for those less fortunate, especially those who are hurting, and whose wounds need to be healed.

Help us become involved in ways that show them how deeply we care.

Give us the personal courage to listen to their concerns and help them find the solutions to which they are entitled...

... as your children and our brothers and sisters.



Prayer for Peace of Mind

by St. Francis Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917)
Feast: November 13

FORTIFY me with the grace of Your Holy Spirit and
give Your peace to my soul
that I may be free from all needless anxiety, solicitude and worry.

Help me to desire always that which is pleasing and acceptable to You
so that Your will may be my will.


Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
and Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


Prayer for Vocations

Jesus, you are the Good Shepherd.
You know each of us and you call us by name to serve you in faith.
Help us respond generously to your voice.
Give courage and guidance to those you call
to the priesthood and Diaconate,
to religious life and lay ministry,
so they may respond whole heartedly and serve devoutly.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


For Confidence in God
by Thomas Merton

Dear God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself...
and the fact that I think that I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe this:
I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You.
I hope I have that desire in everything I do.
I hope I never persist in anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this, You will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it at the time.

Therefore I will trust You always,
for though I may be lost - and in the shadow of death -
I will not be afraid, because I know You will never leave me to face my troubles all alone.


Lord, Make a Real Man out of Me

This, I would like to be: braver and bolder,
Just a bit wiser because I am older,
Just a bit kinder to those I may meet,
Just a bit manlier taking defeat.
Lord, make a regular man out of me.

This I would like to be: just a bit finer,
More of a smiler and less of a whiner,
Just a bit quicker to stretch out my hand,
Helping another who's struggling to stand.
Lord, make a regular man out of me.

This, I would like to be: just a bit fairer,
Just a bit better, and just a bit squarer,
Not quite so ready to censure and blame,
Quicker to help every man in the game.
Lord, make a regular man out of me.

This, I would like to be: just a bit truer,
Less of a wisher and more of a doer,
Broader and bigger, more willing to give,
Living and helping my neighbors to live!
Lord, make a regular man out of me.

Edgar A. Guest


The Christopher Prayer


Grant that I may be a bearer of Christ Jesus, your Son.

Allow me to warm the often cold, impersonal scene of modern life with your burning love.

Strengthen me by your Holy Spirit to carry out my mission of changing the world
or some definite part of it for the better.

Despite my lamentable failures, bring home to me that my advantages are your blessings to be shared with others.

Make me more energetic in setting right what I find wrong with the world instead of complaining about it.

Nourish in me a practical desire to build up rather than tear down, to reconcile instead of polarize, to go out on a limb rather than crave security.

Never let me forget that it is far better to light one candle than to curse the darkness, and to join my light, one day, with yours.



A Prayer for Peace
(Translated from Gregorian chant by Chau T. Phan)

Give peace, o Lord, in our days
Because there is no one else
Who will fight for us
If not You, our God.

Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris
Quia non est alius
Qui pugnet pro nobis
Nisi tu Deus noster.


Prayer of Praise

For cities and towns, factories and farms, flowers and trees, sea and sky
Lord we praise You for the world and its beauty.

For family and friends, neighbors and cousins
Lord, we thank You for friendship and love.

For kind hearts, smiling faces, and helping hands
Lord, we praise You for those who care for others.

For commandments that teach us how to live
Lord, we thank You for those who help us to understand your laws.

And for making us one family on earth, the children of One God
Lord we praise You, who made all people different, yet alike.

Jewish Liturgy


To Find God in Nature
Native American Prayer

Oh Great Spirit,
Whose voice I hear in the wind,
Whose breath gives life to the world,
Hear me!
I come to you as one of your many children.
I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.
May I walk in beauty.
Make my eyes behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things that you have made,
And my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may know the things
That you have taught your children--
The lessons that you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
Make me strong, not to be superior to my brothers, but to be
able to fight my greatest enemy: myself.
Make me ever ready to come to you with straight eyes, so that
When life fades as the faded sunset
My spirit will come to you without shame.


Let Creations Praise the Lord
St. Francis of Assisi

Be praised, my Lord, with all Your creatures,
Especially Brother Sun,
By whom You bring us the day and who brings us the light;
Fair is he and shines with a very great splendor...

Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Moon and the stars, which you have set
clear and lovely in heaven.

Be praised, my Lord, for Brother Wind, and for air and cloud, calms and
all weather...

Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Water, who is very useful and humble and
precious and clean.

Be praised my Lord for Brother Fire, through whom You give us light in
darkness, and he is bright and pleasant and very mighty and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, for our Sister Mother Earth, who sustains us and
keep us, and brings forth fruits and flowers of many colors and leaves...

Praise and bless my Lord, and thank Him,
And serve Him with great humility


Hiking Prayer

Lord Jesus,
Help me to be straightforward like the sky-seeking redwood tree.
May my generosity be like the sap which ascends and nourishes.
May my soul be clear like the spring water at its origin.
May my will be like the faultless granite.
May You be always throughout my life a constant companion.
May the cross which rises at the crossroads
be for me like the meeting of a friend.

Translated and adapted from French by Dr. Chau T. Phan, Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648-3099, from Fernand Lelotte, S.J. Rabboni: Consignes et prieres pour mieux servir, 9e edition, 1958 (Paris, Casterman; Bruxelles, Foyer Notre-Dame. Imprimatur, 1955.)


Facing Life: A Prayer on Graduation Day


Lord Jesus, you have said that your followers must be the light to the world*.
Light propagates itself, dispels darkness.
It sows rays of joy and hope. It is life­giving.
Help me, Lord, to be a light to this world,
so that my life radiate your message of love, hope, and joy.
May I be the beacon leading to You those who seek truth.


You also said, Lord Jesus,
that your disciples must be the salt to this earth.
Salt gives taste to food.
It retards spoilage.
It is also a healing agent.
Lord, may I be the salt
that takes away the blandness in the routine of living,
that prevents the rottenness of hatred and greed from expanding around me,
that brings compassionate healing to anguished souls I encounter.
Lord, help me to be "worth my salt."
And infuse your "saltiness" in me, so that I do not become "flat" and useless.


"Be the leaven to the world," said You to your friends.
Bread, a staple of life, and cakes, always present at celebrations,
would be dull and lifeless without the tiny bit of yeast.
Without it, the dough remains inert, hard.
Elsewhere, You also told us to multiply our talents.
You thus expect that we use the talents you gave us as the leaven to this world.
Teach me, Lord Jesus, that alone I am insignificant,
but mixed with the talents of my brothers and sisters,
I can lift this world out of its insipid mediocrity.
May I be a bit of leaven in the Bread of Life,
and a sign of Your celebration in this life and life eternal.


Lord, on this "commencement" day,
let there be a beginning of my life.
In the days of darkness, be my Light,
so that in turn I can radiate your truth and your message of love, hope, and joy.
In the days of blandness and of blahs,
Lord, be my Salt, so that in turn I can fend off the corruption, the staleness, the mediocrity around me.
In the days when I am flat on my back or fall flat on my face,
Lord, be my Leaven, so that not only can I rise again,
but also raise the downhearted to the celebration of your Love.
And Lord, thank You, for the school years, for the talents I received.


* Matthew, 5:13-16
Adapted from the French by Dr. Chau Thien Phan, Rider University, Lawrenceville, N.J. 08648-3099: “Prières apostoliques: Lumière, Sel, Levain”, Fernand Lelotte, S.J. Rabboni: Consignes et prières pour mieux servir. Paris: Casterman, 1958, pp. 220-221.)

This prayer is now reprinted in Catholic Family Prayers, Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 2001, p. 293-4. See note 108, p. 372.


Prayers before Mass

Prayer by St. Thomas Aquinas

Almighty and ever-living God, I approach the sacrament of Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

I come sick to the doctor of life, unclean to the fountain of mercy, blind to the radiance of eternal light, and poor and needy to the Lord of heaven and earth.

Lord, in Your great generosity, heal my sickness, wash away my defilement, enlighten my blindness, enrich my poverty, and clothe my nakedness.

May I receive the bread of angels, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, with humble reverence, with the purity and faith, the repentance and love, and the determined purpose that will help to bring me to salvation.

May I receive the sacrament of the Lord's body and blood, in its reality and power. Kind God, may I receive the body of Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, born from the womb of the Virgin Mary, and so received into His mystical body, and numbered among His members.

Loving Father, as on my earthly pilgrimage I now receive Your beloved Son under the veil of a sacrament, may I one day see Him face to face in glory, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever.


Prayer by St. Ambrose

Lord Jesus Christ, I approach Your banquet table in fear and trembling, for I am a sinner, and dare not rely on my own worth, but only on Your goodness and mercy. I am defiled by my many sins in body and soul, and by my unguarded thoughts and words.

Gracious God of majesty and awe, I seek Your protection, I look for Your healing. Poor troubled sinner that I am, I appeal to You, the fountain of all mercy. I cannot bear Your judgment, but I trust in Your salvation. Lord, I show my wounds to You and uncover my shame before You. I know my sins are many and great, and they fill me with fear, but I hope in Your mercies, for they cannot be numbered.

Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal King, God and man, crucified for mankind, look upon me with mercy and hear my prayer, for I trust in You. Have mercy on me, full of sorrow and sin, for the depth of Your compassion never ends.

Praise to You saving sacrifice, offered on the wood of the cross for me and for all mankind. Praise to the noble and precious Blood, flowing from the wounds of my crucified Lord Jesus Christ and washing away the sins of the whole world.

Remember, Lord, Your creature, whom You have redeemed with Your blood; I repent my sins, and I long to put right what I have done. Merciful Father, take away all my offenses and sins; purify me in body and soul, and make me worthy to taste the Holy of Holies. May Your Body and Blood, which I intend to receive, although I am unworthy, be for me the remission of my sins, the washing away of my guilt, the end of my evil thoughts, and the rebirth of my better instincts. May it incite me to do the works pleasing to You and profitable to my health in body and soul, and be a firm defense against the wiles of my enemies.



Universal Prayer after Communion

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, because You ask.

Lord, enlighten my understanding,
strengthen my will,
purify my heart,
and make me holy.

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 repent of my past sins
and to resist temptation in the future.

Help me to rise above my human weakness
and to grow stronger as a Christian.

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 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 though Christ our Lord. Amen.