Prayer before reading Scripture

Let your Scriptures be my chaste delight…
O Lord, perfect me and reveal those pages to me!
See, your voice is my joy. Give me what I love…
May the inner secrets of your words be laid open to me when I knock.
This I beg by our Lord Jesus Christ in whom are hidden all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3)
These are the treasures I seek in your books.

St. Augustine


Lord, inspire me to read your Scriptures and to meditate upon them day and night. I beg you to give me real understanding of what I need, that I in turn may put its precepts into practice. Yet, I know that understanding and good intentions are worthless, unless rooted in your graceful love. So I ask that the words of Scripture may also be not just signs on a page, but channels of grace into my heart. Amen.

– Origin, 184-253 AD


Teach me to seek you,
and reveal yourself to me as I seek:
For unless you instruct me
I cannot seek you,
and unless you reveal yourself
I cannot find you.
Let me seek you in desiring you:
let me desire you in seeking you.
Let me find you in loving you:
let me love you in finding you.

St Anselm of Canterbury


I am not trying, O Lord, to penetrate your loftiness,
for I cannot begin to match my understanding with it,
but I desire in some measure to understand your truth,
which my heart believes and loves.

For I do not seek to understand in order to believe,
but I believe in order to understand.
For this too I believe,
that ‘unless I believe, I shall not understand.

St Anselm of Canterbury



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