I came across the Motorist’s Prayer while searching for the prayers to use with a Saint Christopher chaplet. A chaplet is small devotional set of beads for a specific intention, like a rosary, but often smaller. The prayers are unique for each chaplet.
The Motorist’s Prayer (original)
Grant me, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye
that no one shall be hurt as I pass by.
You gave life, I pray no act of mine
may take away or mar that gift of Thine.
Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear my company
from the evils of fire and all calamity.
Teach me to use my car for others need;
Nor miss through love of undue speed
the beauty of the world; that thus I may,
with joy and courtesy, go on my way.
Saint Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me and lead me safely to my destiny. Amen.
But I don’t like it because it is in sing-song rhyme. The rhyme gets in the way of being able to really understand the words. Perhaps it makes it easier for some people to memorize when it is in rhyme, but for me then that means there is a chance that the words become vain repetitions – something Jesus warns us against.
I’ve rewritten it without the rhyme, keeping as many of the original words as possible.
The Motorist’s Prayer (revised)
Heavenly Father, grant that my hand is steady and my eye watchful so that I bring no harm to those I pass by today.
Help me to remember that that You are the giver of life, so that I do not take away or harm Your gift.
Take care of my passengers so that no harm comes to them.
Teach me to use my car to help others and to not miss the glory of Your creation because I am speeding.
Help me to travel through Your creation with joy and courtesy.
Lord, with Saint Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me and lead me safely to my destiny. Amen.
Please note that I also changed the ending. It is important to know Who is the one you are praying to. Saint Christopher cannot do anything – only God can. God can work through people, but we must always remember that they are not the Source of healing – only God is.
Sacred Heart of Mary, holy heart of Mary, listen to my plea.
I ask for your love and your guidance and your strength in this time of loss and brokenness.
I ask for your help, your assistance, and your strength in this time of confusion.
You were called to serve God by harboring and nurturing an innocent child. For so much of your life you took care of him, and it was through your example that he was able to heal the world.
Help me guide others in the way that you guided Jesus.
Help me to see and nurture the light of God that is within them.
I am unable to do this for myself. I ask for your divine guidance and love. Please help me to see the many examples of mercy and glory that appear in tiny ways before me. They remind me of God’s eternal presence.
Help me to nourish, support, and nurture others in the same way that St. Monica prayed for her son St. Augustine.
I pray to be able to help others reach their full potential, to grow into God’s light, to be able to take care of themselves and take care of others, to know the glory that is being connected to God.
To do this, help me to reconnect and recommit to the Sacred Heart of your son, Jesus, the heart that is exposed for all the world to see. It is a reminder to trust in being vulnerable. It is a reminder to not be afraid of being open.
This is a Jewish prayer that is said when you go on a journey. The Hebrew name for it is Tefilas Haderech. This is a slightly modernized version with I believe better wording. You can look up about this prayer online for instructions on when exactly to say this or simply say it just as you are about to depart on your journey.
“May it be Your will, our God and God of our ancestors, that You lead us away in peace, guiding and directing our journey in peace. Bring us to our desired destination in health, joy, and peace.
Keep us from all the harm and misfortunes that roam this world. Bless our work. Let us find kindness and openness in those we encounter wherever we go, and before You as well.
Hear our prayer, God, for You are the One who listens to prayers. Praised are You, the One who hears prayers.”
When you return, the prayer of thanks for a safe journey is the Birkat Hagomel prayer – which is also said having narrowly escaped danger or having recovered from a serious illness.
That prayer is this :
“Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who grants favors to the undeserving, Who has granted me all kindness.”
“Give us our daily bread”
isn’t really about food.
It refers to manna.
Heavenly bread, spiritual sustenance.
Just enough for today,
only one day at a time (Like AA).
“Help me appreciate right now
– no worry about the future.
Help me trust that
have that under control.”
When we worry about our future
we are forgetting
We are saying that
are in charge. We are making idols
God gave us the test
of the manna,
to see if we would gather
for this day,
to see if we would
walk in his ways
and trust him.
Eternal God, honor us
by giving us this day
our daily bread,
and may we
by gathering only enough
Jesus help me know you and serve you.
Help me see you and be you.
Every day in every way help me find you in the faces of everyone I see.
Help me hear you in the voices of everyone I meet.
Help me be the face of you to them and the voice of you to them.
Work through me to bring forth heaven here on earth.
Make me a vessel of your peace and of your love.
Trim away all that is not of you.
You are the sculptor of my life.
Without you I am a block of stone.
With you I’m a magnificent sculpture.
Help me endure the blows of your tools as you cut me and shape me.
Help me to know that each blow of your hammer and chisel is not an assault against me.
Help me to know that each blow gets me closer to being the person who you need me to be.
(A prayer that can be said at the beginning of a home church service)
we are gathered together
in the promise of your son
who told us
that whenever two or more
are gathered together
in his name
that he is there
Send him now
to be with us
that we may
lift each other up
and honor You.
Send him now
that we may
fully and better
and serve You
Praying using an icon or a statue is exactly the same as using Skype to talk to God. It is a way of communicating with God.
Statues or icons are like telephones. When you want to call someone, you can pick up your telephone and dial their number. Then you can communicate with them. The telephone is simply a tool that you can use to reach them. Praying using an icon or an image of a God is exactly the same thing.
When Hindus pray using an image of the deity, they don’t believe that the deity is that image. They aren’t worshipping the image. They are worshipping what is inside that image. The image is a way of receiving the divinity. They believe that when they pray, God sets up residence inside that statue during that time, and that they can see and be seen by God. When the prayers are over, God departs from the statue.
Icons, used in Catholic and Orthodox traditions, are simply “windows” to the divine. The divine isn’t there, but it can be used as an interface. It is an access point.
Now, God is always present. God can be accessed anytime, anyplace, and anywhere, by anyone. But we humans can’t really handle that. That is a little too much for us. So we can set aside time to be with God. This makes it more manageable for us, and more likely we will listen to the message.
God can speak to us through dreams or burning bushes like was done with people in the past, or in any number of other ways. God is constantly trying to get our attention. The problem is that we aren’t always ready to receive. We may brush it off as coincidence, or an accident, or just simply not meaningful. We aren’t ready to receive the message when it comes.
Using an icon or an image of an aspect of God puts it on our terms and on our time. We choose the time we approach, and how we would like to interact with God. This makes the infinite more human-sized. We can then enter into the mental space ready to receive whatever message we are given.