Patrick was an English teen held captive as a slave in Ireland before he escaped his masters to return home during the 5th century. After his conversion to Christ, he felt God calling him to go back as a missionary to the land that had enslaved him. He is celebrated by many as the founder of the Church in Ireland, which developed independently from other churches in the Middle Ages due to its being on an isolated island.
This Celtic prayer from the 6th century, written by another celebrated church founder in Ireland, Dallán Forgaill, is known in a different format today as the beautiful Celtic hymn, Be Thou My Vision.
Be my vision, O Lord of my heart. There is none other but the King of the seven heavens. Be my meditation by day and night. May it be you that I behold even in my sleep.
Be my speech, be my understanding. Be with me, may I be with you. Be my Father, may I be your son. May you be mine, may I be yours.
Be my battle shield, be my sword. Be my dignity, be my delight. Be my shelter, be my stronghold. Raise me up to the company of the angels.
Be every good to my body and soul. Be my kingdom in heaven and on earth. Be solely the chief love of my heart. Let there be none other, O high King of heaven Until I am able to pass into your hands, My treasure, my beloved, through the greatness of your love. Be alone my noble and wondrous estate. I seek not men nor lifeless wealth.
Be the constant guardian of every possession and every life. For our corrupt desires are dead at the mere sight of you. Your love in my soul and in my heart — Grant this to me, O King of the seven heavens.
O King of the seven heavens grant me this — Your love to be in my heart and in my soul. With the King of all, with him after victory won by piety, May I be in the kingdom of heaven O brightness of the son.
Beloved Father, hear, hear my lamentations. Timely is the cry of woe of this miserable wretch. O heart of my heart, whatever befall me, O ruler of all, be my vision.
Hymn sung by Audrey Assad:
Throughout This Day: Ask God to help you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2).
References: A Collection of Prayers, 6th Century Dallan Forgaill
Photo Credit: Thea Hdc