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Birthday Prayer, by Lilian Helen Montagu (1895)


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Birthday Prayer.
Almighty Father,—
I have this day finished another year of my life,
during which I have seen many signs
of Thy mercy and of Thy tender love.
Often in the past year
I have given way to temptation.
I have wavered in my trust in Thee.
In my boldness I have groped my way in the dark,
forgetting that Thy arm is stretched out
to help those who will be led by Thee.
I have neglected opportunities to improve myself.
These opportunities I know that I can never recall.
Many a time I have spoken
cross words to the children,
rude words to my parents;
I have been impatient with my companions,
and discontented with my life.
O God in Heaven,
I humbly ask Thy forgiveness
for all this.
In the year which is just beginning for me,
help me to try to advance
in truthfulness and godliness.
Bring me nearer unto Thee,
O Thou who art my Redeemer,
teach me to try to lead a holy, beautiful life.
Let me never forget
the grand mission of Thy people Israel,
and make me try to be worthy
to be Thy messenger.
Tighten the bonds of love and sympathy
between me and my parents,
sisters, brothers, and friends,
and unite us all in love
and in devotion to Thy service.
So teach us to number our days
that we may get us a heart of wisdom. (Psalms 90:12)
May Thy mercy be upon us, O Lord,
according as we hope in Thee.

“Birthday Prayer” was written by Lilian Helen Montagu and published in Prayers for Jewish Working Girls (1895), pp. 29-30.






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