Northwoods Prayer

This morning I woke in the northwoods of Idaho, at the home of my goddaughter Rosemary and her husband. I sat on their deck and watched the green aspen leaves as they quietly fluttered and twirled against patches of blue sky background above.

Unfamiliar birds squawked and twittered in the neighborhood, glorifying God. And I found this prayer in my prayer book, that asks God to teach us to use our voices to pray as well. The prayer itself is good instruction.

“My Lord, I know not what to ask of thee. Thou alone knowest my need. Thou lovest me more than I know to love Thee. Father, I am thy servant: grant me all I dare not ask. I ask neither for a cross nor for comfort; I simply stand in thy presence. My heart is open to thee. Thou seest my needs, of which I myself am unaware. Look upon me and act toward me in accordance with thy mercy: smite and heal, cast down and raise up. In thy presence I stand, reverent and silent before thy holy will and thy judgments, to which I cannot attain. To thee I offer myself in sacrifice. I commend myself to thee. I have no desire except to fulfill thy will. Teach me to pray. Do thou thyself pray within me. Amen.”

-St. Philaret of Moscow

6 thoughts on “Northwoods Prayer

  1. This is a prayer that I will copy down and refer to often. I find that as I get older, my prayers center mostly around those I love. This prayer will work for them as well, for I know not what they truly need, etc. Isn’t is a blessing to be able to draw upon the faith of others. Thank you.


  2. Great prayer. “I ask neither for a cross nor for comfort; I simply stand in thy presence.” A blessed Monday to you, Gretchen!


  3. Gotta love the north woods! I love to sit outside in the evening and think about how the birds sing their evening songs to God. (And morning songs, too!) The neighbor’s guineas were running around in the alfalfa field this morning and it occurred to me that they are so carefree, trusting that God will provide their food as they hunt about. To be so trusting is a worthy goal! 🙂 Enjoy your visit!


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