James Martin in a recent interview with Krista Tippett at OnBeing offered this prayer from Thomas Merton.
My Lord 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 that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do 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.
Therefore will I trust you always,
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
Thomas Merton (Thoughts in Solitude)
With a favorable eye, O gracious Comforter, behold all that are in affliction; let the sighing of the prisoners, the groans of the sick, the prayers of the oppressed, the desire of the poor and needy, come before you.
Give unto my enemies grace and pardon, charity to me and love to you; remove the cloud from their eyes, the stone from their hearts, that they may know and feel what it is to love their neighbor as themselves.
And may it please you to enable me to love all mine enemies, to bless them that now curse me, to do good to them that hate me, and to pray for those who spitefully use me and persecute me.
Be pleased, O Lord, of your goodness, shortly to accomplish the number of your elect, and to hasten your kingdom; that we, with all your whole Church, may have our perfect consummation of bliss, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honor and glory be unto you, O Father Almighty, now and forever.
John Wesley (1703-1791)
We have greater work here to do than mere securing our own salvation. We are members of the world and church, and we must labor to do good to many. We are trusted with our Master’s talents for his service, in our places to do our best to propagate his truth, and grace, and church; and to bring home souls, and honor his cause, and edify his flock, and further the salvation of as many as we can. All this is to be done on earth, if we will secure the end of all in heaven.
Richard Baxter (1615-1691)
Let it be understood that those who are not found living as he taught are no Christians, even though they profess with the lips the precepts of Christ; for it is not those who make profession, but those who do the works, who shall be saved, according to His word.
Justin Martyr (100-160)
He then is first who loves Christ; and second, he who loves and cares for those who have believed on him. For whatever is done to a disciple, the Lord accepts as done to himself, and reckons the whole as his.
Clement of Alexandria (150-215)
O keep me while I tarry on this earth, in daily serious breathings after you, and in a believing, affectionate walking with you: and when you come, O let me be found so doing, not hiding my talent, nor serving my flesh, nor yet asleep with my lamp unfurnished, but waiting and longing for my Lord’s return.