Morning Prayer

I was reading through a book on prayer, and I came across this ancient prayer, which I later found out is an excerpt from a prayer called St. Patrick’s Breastplate. I love the cadence and beauty of the spoken words of this prayer.

┬áSt. Patrick’s Breastplate

Christ as a light

Illumine and guide me.

Christ as a shield O’ershadow me.

Christ under me;

Christ over me;

Christ beside me

On my left and my right.

This day be within and without me.

Lowly and meek yet All-powerful.

Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;

In the mouth of each who speaks unto me.

This day be within and without me,

Lowly and meek yet All-powerful.

Christ as a light;

Christ as a shield;

Christ beside me

On my left and my right.


This is such a beautiful, simple prayer to start off your morning prayer time, yet so comprehensive. The prayer begins by reminding us that Jesus is our light for the journey of life that we are on (John 1:4-5), and that each morning we can pray for Him to guide us through our day, to help us stay on His path and not wander off of it.

The next verse reminds us that Christ is our shield, our protection, as Psalm 3:3 tells us. And we need only read through Ephesians 6:10-20 to see the importance of having our shield of faith securely in place for the day. It is only with this shield that we can quench all the fiery darts of our enemy.

The next four verses are so lovely. They remind us that Christ has us completely enveloped with His love and presence. This evokes Psalm 139: 7-12 for me. How completely reassuring to realize that Christ has us hemmed in! Sometimes the words hemmed in have a bad connotation, but not in this instance. We can be assured that Jesus is with us everywhere, always. He’ll be with us in that presentation for work, at home with the children, as we travel, when we have that difficult conversation.

We are then reminded to pray for ourselves and those we meet throughout the day as James 5:16 says, to remember that life is not just “all about us.” Christ wants us to shift our focus onto the people in our circle of influence.

Finally, this prayer points us to Jesus’ character and attributes. Though he was born to a lowly family, He is the All-powerful One as seen in Ephesians 3:20, which means that nothing we face is beyond Jesus. He can handle it all and, consequently, so can we. Actually, His word says we can do above all that we think possible with Him by our sides.

I love praying some of the ancient prayers of the faith. They encourage me in my walk and then inspire me to tell God the thoughts and prayers of my own heart.

I hope they do for you too.

Do you have a favorite prayer? Share it below if you’d like.

Pray on!