Women who wish to be taken seriously

St Hild of Whitby stained glass prayer for women who wish to be taken seriously

I came across this stunning prayer today in Celtic Daily Prayer, the introduction suggests that it can be prayed by women who wish to be taken seriously. Written by St Hild of Whitby, it seems not a lot has changed in over fourteen hundred years, women still long to be taken seriously both in the church and beyond. The words are beautiful however, and it may be prayed by anyone who is asking God what they should be doing with their life. Enjoy.


Wrestling with the call of God

This form of prayer may be used:  

  • on 17 November, Hild’s feast day;  
  • on pilgrimage to Whitby, Monkwearmouth or Hartlepool;  
  • by women who wish to be taken seriously;  
  • by anyone, man or woman, who is wrestling with a sense of vocation.

* indicates a change of reader.

With a large group, split into two halves and read alternately. All say together the sections in bold type.


*  Take me often from the tumult of things into Thy presence. There show me what I am, and what Thou hast purposed me to be. Then hide me from Thy tears.   

O King and Saviour, what is Thy gift to me? And do I use it to Thy pleasing?

*  Now we must praise the guardian of heaven, the might of the Lord and His purpose of mind, the glorious all Father, for He, God eternal, is kind.        

*  The will of God be done by us, the law of God be kept by us,        

*  our evil will controlled by us, our sharp tongue checked by us,        

*  quick forgiveness offered by us, speedy repentance made by us,        

*  temptation sternly shunned by us,        

*  blessed death welcomed by us, angels’ music heard by us,        

*  God’s highest praises sung by us.        

*  Christ, You are the Truth; You are the light. 

*  You are the Keeper of the treasure we seek so blindly.        

*  My soul’s desire is to see the face of God and to rest in His house. My soul’s desire is to study the Scriptures and to learn the ways of God. My soul’s desire is to be freed from all fear and sadness, and to share Christ’s risen life. My soul’s desire is to imitate my King, and to sing His purposes always. My soul’s desire is to enter the gates of heaven and to gaze upon the light that shines forever.

Dear Lord, You alone know what my soul truly desires, and You alone can satisfy those desires.        

*  I have prepared a place for you, says the Lord, a place that is for you, and only you, to fill. Approach My table, asking first that you might serve. Look even for the lowest tasks.

 Then, the work of service done, you may look for your own place at table. But do not seek the most important seat which may be reserved for someone else. In the place of My appointing will be your joy.  

Lord, show me the right seat; find me the fitting task; give me the willing heart.

*  May I be equal to Your hope of me. If I am weak, I ask that You send only what I can bear. If I am strong, may I shrink from no testing that shall yield increase of strength or win security for my spirit.

I trust in Thee, O Lord. I say, ‘Thou art my God. My times are in Thy hand, my times are in Thy hand.’


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