Three Short Prayers: Praising the Lord, Cleansing the Heart, and Wisdom

While long prayers are have certain merits, I always think that it is great to have short prayers in your prayer vault — prayers that can be memorized and said wherever you are and at any time. Psalm 23 — the one which begins, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” — is about the maximum length for a prayer that can be comfortably memorized (at least by me).


Below, I feature three prayers. One is an condensed version of Psalm 34, an excellent psalm for praising the Lord.  The other two prayers, which are actually part of one longer prayer, ask God to cleanse the heart and for wisdom. The words come directly from the Imitation of Christ, a book that I always have at my bedside, and one which I earnestly recommend all people to read.



The interior of Redemptorist Church in Cebu City, Philippines


From Psalm 34:

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall boast in the Lord: the poor shall hear thereof, and be glad.

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.


From the Imitation of Christ, Book 3 Chapter 27:

A Prayer for Cleansing of the Heart

Strengthen me, O God, by the grace of Thy Holy Spirit. Give me virtue to be strengthened with might in the inner man, and to free my heart from all fruitless care and trouble, and that I be not drawn away by various desires.


A Prayer for Heavenly Wisdom

Give me, O Lord, heavenly wisdom, that I may learn to seek Thee above all things and to find Thee; to relish Thee above all things and to love Thee; and to understand all other things, even as they are, according to the order of Thy wisdom.




By Tom McKinley, author of Winning the Fight to Be Happy and Make the Right Decisions Early.


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