Prayer for humility

Jehovah Shalom, shower Your grace and tender mercies upon our loving hearts and upon our difficult lives today. Vanquish our iniquities, clear our thoughts so we can hear the sound of Your great voice as we stand firm and still, awaiting Your instruction.

Psalm 51:1 – Be gracious to me, O God, according to Thy loving kindness; according to the greatness of Thy compassion blot out my transgressions.

Ephesians 4:32  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,  forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another. Eph 4:32 Click To Tweet

Give us Compassion and Humility

Give us compassion and humility in our hearts. Let us be kind, gentle, generous, loving, giving and forgiving wherever we may go.

Allow pride to never get the best of us as You fulfill our dreams. Help us not to have a boastful tongue against our brothers. Let humility invade our souls.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy,  brotherly love,  a tender heart, and  a humble mind.

Psalm 111:4- He has made His wonders to be remembered; The LORD is gracious and compassionate.

May we be a blessing to others

Allow us to be as compassionate as the air we breathe. Give us the strength to help our brother, especially if he falls by the wayside.

Allow us to be a blessing to others as we travel through life’s journey. Aid us in leaving an impact on the people that surrounds us. Change our hearts today, Oh Father, let hatred vanish in Your Holy presence.

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons  of God.

We declare and decree that we will follow the example Jesus has set before us, in his Mighty name we pray! Amen and Amen!

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matt 5:9 Click To Tweet

Galatians 6:2  Bear one another’s burdens, and  so fulfill  the law of Christ.

prayer for humility

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

Merciful Father,

Your truth runs counter to our self-exalting world: humble service is the path to kingdom greatness. This truth isn’t weak or foolish as the world would think, but is a blessed and honorable gospel garment donned by those who fear You, the One who exalts the humble and brings down the proud. Oh, that the entire world would live in humility before You and each other!

While I aspire a life of godly humility, the pull of pride seems too strong to overcome. I so often desire to sit on your throne instead of bowing before You as the only true Sovereign and Holy God. I think highly of myself and my accomplishments and forget I am a man made of dust who at best can be called a servant of a great God. I even diminish the offense of pride by holding it lightly; forgetting that pride cast Satan from Your presence and brought the corruption of your creation. Oh, Lord, rescue me from foolish pride and help me learn from Your gentle and humble heart!

Gracious Father, reprogram my soul with your Word to remember the world is all about Jesus and not myself. Help me not think more highly of myself than I ought, but to delight in regarding others as more important. Rescue me from the self-deception of pride by giving me a realistic view of my life, talents, and relationship with you; always looking to the cross which reveals both the wrath I deserve and Your costly grace.

In my battle against pride, keep me from a false humility that fails to recognize Your gracious gifts. Rather, help me steward what you have given me as a faithful servant—a servant ready to wear the garment of humility and serve you in whatever way would most help Your Kingdom and bring praise to Your Name.

Lord, Your Son left the pleasures of heaven for a life of service on earth—and He gave his life for undeserving and ungrateful people. Help me have His attitude, remembering that You oppose the proud and give grace to the humble. You must become greater; I must become less—only then does the glorious reality shine forth that Christ is highly exalted above every name in heaven and on earth.

May my entire being bow before You in loving allegiance, confessing You as Lord over all of my life and all of creation, to the praise of Your glory.


Prayer for Humility

prayer for humility

In the world we are trained to learn and become something in life. In the process we have coined many terms to describe those abilities – confident, competent, self-motivated, high self-esteem, and go- getter etc. Those who are not showered with these epithets are not valued in the society as successful. Interestingly, the education system, and society encourage these qualities but when these overgrow, they are labelled as pride, narcissistic tendencies, vanity, chutzpah etc. The prayer for humility will only spring out of the heart that has realized one’s own shortcomings and limitations. So, now we can see that there is a dichotomy between what education system and society is teaching and what Guru Ji want us to become. When one realizes that there is nothing that he can be really truly proud of, and then one has imbibed humility.

Thus by making us the dust of the feet or insignificant; Guru Ji is trying to elevate us into a person of prominence. Guru Nanak Dev Ji has not left us wondering or searching for words but has shared with us the words of prayer. These words are not just a beautiful prayer but reflect an ornate, poetic and artistic penmanship. Guru Ji says:

“jyqw smuMdu swgru nIir BirAw qyqy Aaugx hmwry ]dieAw krhu ikCu imhr aupwvhu fubdy pQr qwry ]”
“Jeta samund sagar neer bhariaa thaethae aougun humaarae. Dayaa karahu kichh mehar oupaavahu dubadhae pathhar taarae.” (SGGS, Pg. No. 156)
Meaning: (Just) As seas and oceans are brimming with water, so I am filled with shortcomings. Please, shower me with Your Mercy, and take pity upon me. I am a sinking stone – please carry me across.

These words show us what true humility is. There is no external display of power, position, ego or pride in spite of teaming with those qualities. Guru Ram Das Ji has expressed similar views by showing us how to pray with these words:

“hm grIb mskIn pRB qyry hir rwKu rwKu vf vfw hy ]”
“Hum gareeb maskeen parbh taerae har raakh raakh vad vaddaa hae.” (SGGS, Pg. No. 13)
Meaning: Oh God! I am poor and meek, but I am yours! Save me, please save me, O Greatest of the Great.

These prayers are from the heart and reflect a desire, in fact a keen desire to be accepted and be blessed. The attitude of the learner and the seeker has infinite possibilities to explore and learn, but for a learned Pundit the door of possibilities is closed. Just as a house with closed doors and windows emits stale stench, but when doors and windows are opened fresh air ventilates through the house. Same way a person with high opinion of self has closed himself to new ideas and fresh perspectives. Because he has fixated his mind on the position he has taken based on his knowledge. His effort is to win accolades for his achievement, scholarship and to bask in that glory. He has locked himself with that position and is unwilling to open up or explore. The learner or the Sikh has no such preconceived notion and has opened all the doors of possibilities. He is willing to ask, experiment, learn and to improve thus becoming better. This is the attitude that keeps the seeker firmly planted in the earth, and the mind keeps growing up to heavens. This attitude brings out the flower of beauty and a sweet fruit that is beneficial to mankind. This state of mind has been depicted in Gurbani in these words:

“miq hodI hoie ieAwxw ] qwx hody hoie inqwxw ] Axhody Awpu vMfwey ] ko AYsw Bgqu sdwey ]”
“Muth hodhee hoe eiaanaa. Taan hodhae hoe nithaanaa. Anehodhae aap va(n)ddaaeae. Ko aisaa bhagath sadhaaeae.” (SGGS, Pg. No.1384)
Meaning: If you are wise, be unpretentious; if you are powerful, be humble; and when there is nothing to share, then share your share with others. How rare is one who lives (like this) is known as a devotee.

With this frame of mind the seeker prays and counsels the mind with these words:

“mn ijau Apuny pRB Bwvau ] nIchu nIcu nIcu Aiq hoie grIbu bulwvau ]”
“Mun jio apunae prabh bhaavo. neechahu neech neech ath naanhaa hoe gareeb bulaavo.” (SGGS, Pg. No. 529)
Meaning: O my mind, act (in a manner) that it pleases God. Become the lowest of the low, the very least of the tiny, and pray in utmost humility.

Thus, we can see that Guru Ji is telling us to become the humblest of the humble and ask for God’s grace in the prayer. In fact the bard Bhaatt Keerat’s prayer for humility to Guru Ram Das Ji is great example of true prayer for humility. He prays:

“hm Avguix Bry eyku guxu nwhI AMimRqu Cwif ibKY ibKu KweI ]
mwXw moh Brm pY BUly suq dwrw isau pRIiq lgweI ]
ieku auqm pMQu suinE gur sMgiq iqh imlµq jm qRws imtweI ]
iek Ardwis Bwt kIriq kI gur rwmdws rwKhu srxweI ]”

“Hum avagun bharae aek gun naahee amrit shhaadd bikhai bikh khaaee. Maya moh bharam pai bhoolae suth dhaaraa sio preet lagaaee. Ik uttam panth suniou gur sangat thih milanth jam taraas mittaaee. Ik aradhaas bhaatt keerath kee gur raamadaas raakhahu saranaaee.”(SGGS, Pg. No.1406)

Meaning: I am overflowing with sins and demerits; I have no merits or virtues at all. I abandoned the Ambrosial Nectar, and I drank poison instead. I am attached to Maya, and deluded by doubt; I have fallen in love with my children and spouse. I have heard that the most exalted Path of all is the Sangat, the Guru’s Congregation. Joining it, the fear of death is taken away. Keerat the poet offers this one prayer: O Guru Raam Daas! Save me! Take me into Your Sanctuary!

How Bhaatt opens his heart in full humility and admits not only to his lack of virtues, but also an attachment to perishable world, doubts, double mindedness, attachment to spouse and children etc. He says that we forsake the exalted path and opt for the path where doom in the end is inevitable. Therefore Bhaatt prays to Guru Ram Das and seeks the sanctuary of the Guru, thus freeing the self from the fear of death. It is not surprising that the prescribed Sikh prayer has similar words in a form of prayer for humility:

“isKW dw mn nIvwN, mq ayucI, mq pq dw rwKw Awip vwihgurU soaU gnIAY sB qy aUcw ]”
“Aapas ko jo jaanai neechaa. So-ou ganeeai sabh thae oochaa.” (SGGS, Pg. No. 266)
Meaning: One who sees himself as lowly, shall be accounted as the highest of all.

Guru Ji advises us to accumulate the wealth of humility in these words:

“buiD grIbI Krcu lYhu haumY ibKu jwrhu ]”
“Budhh gareebee kharach laihu houmai bikh jaarahu.” (SGGS, Pg. No. 399)
Meaning: Take wisdom and humility as your spending money, and burn away the poison of pride.

So, Guru Ji is asking us to build a capital of humility as that is the valid currency in the world after. In addition Guru Ji is asking us to purge egoistic tendencies by burning as those are poisonous. Guru Arjan Dev Ji shares with us what to pray for and outcome with us in these words:

“imst bcn bynqI krau dIn kI inAweI ] qij AiBmwnu srxI prau hir gux iniD pweI ]”
“Misatt bachan baenathee karo deen kee niaaee. Thaj abhimaan saranee paro har gun nidhh paaee.” (SGGS, Pg. No. 745)
Meaning: I offer my prayer with sweet words, in sincere humility. Renouncing egotism, I enter His Sanctuary. I have found the Lord, the treasure of virtue.

It is only upon realization of virtues of humility and folly of pride, can one develop a yearning to cultivate humility. Then one can clearly see the relationship between acquiring virtues and becoming humble. In fact Guru Ji has spelled the relationship between these two in a short crisp sentence as:

“qau ikCu pweIAY jau hoeIAY rynw ]”
“Tau kich paaeeae jau hoeeai raenaa.” (SGGS, Pg. No. 739)
Meaning: One alone obtains something, who becomes the dust under the feet of all.

With these words on our lips let us pray and hope that may we also experience the God within ourselves.


Related Articles:

Here is a beautiful prayer by Deacon Bill Steltemeier which I found on EWTN’s Newsletter. This prayer reflects our thoughts and how badly we desire to be first everywhere and in everything we do.

Jesus, help me to be authentically humble in the challenges of each day. Teach me what it means to be humble. Help me to wait my turn to speak and to be at peace when others outshine me. Grant that I may listen with a spirit of objectivity rather than an ‘I know it all’ attitude. Lord, grant that I not only be content with who I am, but have confidence that your grace can make me better! Help me to be obedient without resentment and ready to do Your Will. I ask that You make up for whatever I lack and increase those desires within me that lead to true humility. Most of all, help me to believe in your revelations, hope in Your word and love you more than myself. Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine! Amen.

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