Augustine’s Prayer for Self Knowledge

Lord Jesus, let me know myself and know you and desire nothing save only you.
Let me hate myself and love you.
Let me do everything for the sake of you.
Let me humble myself and exalt you.
Let me think of nothing except you.
Let me die to myself and live in you.
Let me accept whatever happens as from you.
Let me banish self and follow you and ever desire to follow you.
Let me fly from myself and take refuge in you that I may deserve to be defended by you.
Let me fear for myself.
Let me fear you and let me be among those who are chosen by you.
Let me distrust myself and put my trust in you.
Let me be willing to obey for the sake of you.
Let me cling to nothing save only to you and let me be poor because of you.
Look upon me that I may love you.
Call me that I may see you and forever enjoy you.
Amen.

3 Comments

  1. Josh

    “The deeper our faith, the stronger our hope, the greater our desire, the larger will be our capacity to receive the gift, which is very great indeed. …. The more fervent the desire, the more worthy will be its fruits. When the Apostle tells us: Pray without ceasing (1 Thes 5:16), he means this: Desire unceasingly that life of happiness which is nothing if not eternal, and ask it of him alone who is able to give it.”
    (Letter 130)

  2. John West

    Amen, may this be all our prayers.

  3. Allan

    Augustine believed that we should never ask God for anything because the Father already knows everything that we need much better than we do. And the Father is so willing to give us all those things. In fact, he’s giving us all those things all the time. Constantly. Augustine taught that a Christian should pray to be drawn closer to God, that God would increase the person’s hunger and thirst for God. The only request of God should be for more desire for God. The only kind of prayer should be one that asks God to empty the person of themselves and fill the person with God’s Spirit, to deepen the relationship, so that one is ready to accept those gracious gifts at all times. If the relationship with God is rich and meaningful, then the Christian will be acutely aware of everything he or she is being given by the Father every day. So, ultimately, there is no need to ask; only the eyes and heart to receive what God is already giving.
    This prayer expresses that distinctly Augustinian theology. None of self, all of thee.

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