We all pray for more – more money to get us to the end of the month, more time with our kids, more patience with the people who annoy us, more time in the day to get things done. In one of the famous prayers in history, St. Patrick prayed for more too. But unlike most of our ordinary prayers, St. Patrick prayed for more Christ.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
The first time I heard this portion of what has been called St. Patrick’s “Breastplate prayer,” I was in my college Chorale and it was the text of an anthem we were singing. Since that time, I have remembered this prayer and often come back to it, especially when my prayer life is in a rut and my prayers start to sound selfish. St. Patrick’s desire to increase the presence of Christ in every nook and cranny of life is something I want for my life too. And I believe it is what Jesus wants for all of us.
When your prayer life feels dry and you find yourself using the same words and making the same requests, take a cue from St. Patrick and pray for more Christ. What richness we have in our Savior! Oh, how Jesus longs to give us more of Himself! We have only to ask.
This article originally appeared in “The Connection,” – the weekly bulletin for FSBC Lawrence.