A Prayer for Daily Guidance, a poem by Rosa Emma Salaman (1851)

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Oh! Thou most holy, blessed God!
I come to seek thine aid,
and to ask Thy Divine counsel this day.

Teach me how to act, in all things,
and let me be so entirely governed
by Thy glorious presence
that my own power may be lost
in the heavenly radiance of Thine.

May no thoughts of self intrude
for one single moment on my mind,
but let every thought
and every wish
be absorbed
in one earnest desire
of loving and pleasing Thee;
so that each gift I possess,
and each action I do,
may redound to thine honour and glory.

Enable me, oh! my heavenly Maker!
to lead all who come in my path
to worship and adore Thee,
and to make the knowledge of Thee
their highest knowledge,
and their trust in Thee
their highest trust.

Oh! Thou incomprehensible and eternal goodness —
oh! aid my endeavours this day,
and every day,
to attain that degree of perfection
in all my pursuits and undertakings,
that I may feel conscious of Thy guidance,
and not be led
to give to myself
the praise which is due to Thee alone.

Endow me, I beseech Thee,
with the spirit of wisdom and judgment,
that descending from the inexhaustible fountain of wisdom,
I might not cease
to act worthily of the teaching
of my Heavenly Father.

May my entire dependence upon Thee
fill me with confidence and humility,
so that resting in Thy wonderful love,
and constant, though invisible care,
I may not only be Thine now, oh! God,
but for ever and ever.
Amen.

Rosa Emma Salaman’s “Prayer for Daily Guidance” was written December 20, 1851 and published in the Occident 10:2, Iyar 5612/May 1852, p. 85. 226. Introducing the prayer, Isaac Leeser wrote:

In our last volume, we gave two short prayers by our esteemed friend, Rosa, whose productions we hope to present yet more frequently in our pages. Since then we have received the subjoined, which, we doubt not, will interest our readers as much as it has done us. We still en­tertain the opinion, expressed in our article, vol. ix., pp. 253-5, that we Israelites need devotional exercises in addition to the contents of the prayer-book adapted to the wants of the lonely heart, especially of the female when she is watching, perchance, by the bedside of a dearly beloved object stricken down by the hand of sickness, or when she is surrounded in the busy world by those who feel not with her, and heed not the breathings of faith which animate her innermost spirit. It is therefore that we shall welcome any contributions to our literature which shall fill this void, even in a small degree, and we shall deem him worthy of being called a benefactor of our people, who shall succeed in indicting petitions which shall, as occasional exercises, be able to be placed alongside of those ennobling prayers composed by our ancients, though we confess that we despair of ever seeing this idea realized in its fullest extent.

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