The Prayer of St. Patrick
March 17 is a good day to post a St. Patrick’s day thought. Yes, I’ll wear green and be thankful for my Irish friends.
It is also a day to be reminded of the Saint behind this day, which is more known for its merry leprechauns, pots of gold and rainbows, and wearing the green.
I love the green; we long for it after the long winter.
But I especially love the prayer of St. Patrick, and I found a variety of versions as I searched on the internet. There is a lot of history and legend around this prayer which became a hymn,here was one explanation:
It is written in the style of a druidic incantation for protection on a journey. It is part of the Liber Hymnorum, a collection of hymns found in two manuscripts kept in Dublin.
The words were translated into English verse by Cecil Frances Alexander in 1889 and set to two traditional Irish tunes, “St. Patrick” and “Deirdre” the hymn, also known by its opening line “I bind unto myself today”, is currently included in a number of church hymnals. (IrishCentral.com)
The words were a reminder that we put on spiritual armour to shield ourselves from attacks that can assail us. Ephesians 6 gives us a clear lesson on how to put on the armour of God.
I’ve come to recognise that our own minds can be a battlefield of negative thinking: of fears and doubts, of self-loathing, disappointments and anger which can lead to despair. This is a battle which can be won! Prayers like the prayer of St. Patrick can help to change our thinking and focus.
The prayer is such a powerful reminder that God is all around us, and yet, Christ also makes a dwelling place within us! I find that mind-boggling and comforting at the same time. We don’t have to do life alone.
So I took parts of the prayer and created a reminder of these encouraging words. Gods presence, a gift for today, and every day!