Prayer for Preparation to Study
Lord, I know you are with me and love me.
Give me peace of mind as I prepare for this time of study.
Help me to focus on my books and notes,
keep me from all distractions so that I will make the best use
of this time that is available to me.
Give me insight that I might understand what I am studying ,
and help me to remember it when the time comes.
Above all, I thank you for the ability to be able to study
and for the many gifts and talents you have given me.
Help me always to use them in such a way
that they honour you and do justice to myself. Amen
Prayer Before an Examination
Dear Lord, as I take this exam, I thank you that my value
Is not based on my performance, but on your great love for me.
Come into my heart so that we can walk through this time together.
Help me, not only with this test, but the many tests of life that are sure to come my way.
As I take this exam, bring back to my mind everything I studied
and be gracious with what I have overlooked.
Help me to remain focussed and calm, confident in the facts and in my ability,
and firm in the knowledge that no matter what happens today you are there with me. Amen
A Prayer to Pray before Studying God’s Word
By Christina Patterson
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” – James 1:5
The Bible compares the Word of God to a double-edged sword showing its ability to cut the heart and change lives forever. (Hebrews 4:12) Whenever I pick up my Bible I feel the weight of this sword and its power. It makes me feel like a little girl holding a weapon too big to carry. Handling something so powerful is exciting yet intimidating at the same time.
So I never go into studying God’s Word lightly. We never should. The Word of God has the power to change minds, heal hearts, and cut out sin. However, something so powerful handled the wrong way can also cause harm. I never want to be the one using God’s Word to cause hurt, pain, or confusion. And I’m sure you don’t either.
For this reason, before I open my Bible and heart to the Word of God I first open my mouth in prayer to request specific things from God. And over years of studying my Bible God has faithfully answered this prayer. I want to share my prayer with you in hopes it will increase the quality of your time in God’s Word and help you to handle it’s truths with clarity and confidence.
I always start off praying for discernment and wisdom. James 1:5 tells us:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (NIV)
Coming across a scripture I do not understand can be discouraging. But I’ve found that unlocking the mysteries of scripture starts with prayer. All wisdom, knowledge, and correct understating come from God and He is ready to grant us understanding if we are willing to ask. This also ensures that I am receiving God’s understanding and intention about a scripture and that I am not relying on my own understanding.
“Lord, thank you for this time you’ve given me to open your Word and discover who you are. Thank you that you don’t leave us in the dark about who you are and what you are doing in the world, but that you have revealed yourself and your will through the Bible, your sacred words to us. Lord, I need wisdom as I read your Word. You promise us in James 1:5 that we only have to ask for wisdom to receive it. Lord, please give me your wisdom now as I approach your word. Help me discern the truth of this text. Help me not rely on my own understanding. Thank you God for the clarity, encouragement and hope your Word brings. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”
Editor’s Note: Portions of this devotional were taken from Christina Patterson’s article, 3 Prayers You Should Pray before Reading Your Bible. You can find that article in full here.
We offer this prayer for our students, composed by our patron St. Thomas Aquinas, that may be helpful before studying, teaching, speaking, or any other activity that involves these faculties. The original prayer in Latin is also provided below.
A Prayer Before Study
Who, from the treasures of Your wisdom,have established three hierarchies of angels,have arrayed them in marvelous orderabove the fiery heavens,and have marshaled the regionsof the universe with such artful skill,
You are proclaimed
the true font of light and wisdom,and the primal originraised high beyond all things.
Pour forth a ray of Your brightness
into the darkened places of my mind;disperse from my soulthe twofold darknessinto which I was born:sin and ignorance.
You make eloquent the tongues of infants.
refine my speechand pour forth upon my lipsThe goodness of Your blessing.
Grant to me
keenness of mind,capacity to remember,skill in learning,subtlety to interpret,and eloquence in speech.
guide the beginning of my work,direct its progress,and bring it to completion.
You Who are true God and true Man,
who live and reign, world without end.
qui de thesauris sapientiae tuaetres Angelorum hierarchias designasti,et eas super caelum empyreummiro ordine collocasti,atque universi partes elegantissime disposuisti,
tu inquam qui
verus fonsluminis et sapientiae dicerisac supereminens principium
super intellectus mei tenebrastuae radium claritatis,duplices in quibus natus suma me removens tenebras,peccatum scilicet et ignorantiam.
Tu, qui linguas infantium facis disertas,
linguam meam erudiasatque in labiis meis gratiamtuae benedictionis infundas.
intelligendi acumen,retinendi capacitatem,addiscendi modum et facilitatem,interpretandi subtilitatem,loquendi gratiam copiosam.
progressum dirigas,egressum compleas.
Tu, qui es verus Deus et homo,
qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum.