When it came to praying, the Christian tradition in which I was raised practiced extemporaneous prayer exclusively.  Except for the Lord’s Prayer (“Our Father who is in heaven…”) there were no written prayers to help guide our spiritual life in my Christian community.

In retrospect, this was a glaring weakness in my spiritual development curriculum.

Thankfully, this deficiency has been rectified, as over the years I have been introduced to profound prayers written down by saints on whose shoulders we now stand.

One of these prayers was written by St. Patrick of the 5th century.  It’s a prayer that focuses on the centrality of Christ and reminds us that there is no room for lukewarm discipleship on our Christian journey.

His prayer brings to mind the soaring words of the Apostle Paul who wrote,

“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”  (Philippians 3:8)

St. Patrick’s prayer powerfully reminds us to place Christ at the centre of it all.

Spend some time now meditating on St. Patrick’s

keystone prayer.  Put it on the marquee of your soul.  Make it your own as you journey through the coming summer months.

The Prayer of Saint Patrick

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.

Christ, shield me today
Against wounding.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation


May Christ be the centre-point of our lives this summer…and always.


Gordon Dirks

President, Corpath