The prayer

My mother showed me this prayer a long time ago, and I haven’t been able to forget it since. She got it from her dad, and everyone I’ve shown it to since has been touched by the way it can be both simple and profound at the same time. The author is anonymous; some say he was a confederate soldier, others say the prayer was written by St. Francis of Assisi. In any case, it’s a beautiful prayer that ought to be shared with everyone.


I asked for strength, that I might achieve,
I was made weak, that I might learn to obey.

I asked for health, that I might do greater things,
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy,
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of many,
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life,
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for, but everything that I hoped for,
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.


2 thoughts on “The prayer

  1. viv June 27, 2005 / 11:11 pm

    thanks for posting this… was looking for it sometime back…

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