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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

December 1, 2015

Student Prayers for the End of the Semester

As the semester winds down, share these prayers for student life with your own students. All are taken from Day by Day: The Notre Dame Prayerbook for Students (Ave Maria Press).

Before Study

Creator of all things,

true source of light and wisdom, lofty origin of all being,

graciously let a ray of your brilliance

penetrate into the darkness of my understanding

and take from me the double darkness in which I have

        been born,

an obscurity of both sin and ignorance.

Give me a sharp sense of understanding,

a retentive memory,

and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally.

Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations,

and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and


Point out the beginning, direct the progress,

and help in the completion;

through Christ our Lord.


                                                                --St. Thomas Aquinas

Open My Mind

Lord Jesus,

you were once a student like me.

You studied God’s law, the history of your people

and a trade by which to earn a living.

You lived in a human family,

made steady progress in understanding

and yearned to discover your vocation in life.

Open my mind to the truth of things,

make me humble before the awesome mysteries of the


make me proud to be a human being and a child of God

and give me courage to live my life in the light your



Prayer Before Examinations


It seems as though our lives

are one test after another,

weighing us in somebody’s balance.

Save us from taking the coming tests

too seriously or too lightly,

but grant that we may reflect

the best of the work we’ve done

and the best of the teaching we received;

through Christ our Lord.


                                                --John W. Vannorsdall

Another Prayer Before an Exam

Dear Lord,

Sometimes I feel a little strange praying to you because

        of an exam.

It doesn’t really seem all that significant when you consider

        the “big picture.”

But right now, the test looms so large that it is all I can

        see before me.

I pray to you for three things:

        --the strength to handle the pressure I feel

        --the confidence to feel secure in my knowledge and preparation

        --and the ability to keep an appropriate perspective on it all.

Help me to keep in mind what is really important,

even as I focus all of my time and energy

on this test in the immediate future.


                                                --Dana Parisi

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