PRAYERS BEFORE STUDYING
Do you have a big exam coming up? These prayers before studying can help you focus on doing well, with God’s help! Maybe you’re taking the SAT, GRE, GED, LSAT, MCAT, or some other standardized test. Or perhaps just you’re just studying for a history quiz at school. Whatever the case, it never hurts to ask our Lord for His grace and guidance before you hit the books.
He can help steer you through the fog of anxiety and distractions so you can concentrate on your work. Two of these prayers before studying also ask for help from another powerful and loving source: our Blessed Mother!
This first prayer comes from a 1916 Catholic prayer book. The lofty language employed here centers in at its end to our most essential task. Passing the “exam” for Eternal Life!
Incomprehensible Creator, the true Fountain of light and only Author of all knowledge: vouchsafe, we beseech Thee, to enlighten our understandings, and to remove from us all darkness of sin and ignorance. Thou, who makest eloquent the tongues of those that want utterance, direct our tongues, and pour on our lips the grace of Thy blessing. Give us a diligent and obedient spirit, quickness of apprehension, capacity of retaining, and the powerful assistance of Thy holy grace; that what we hear or learn we may apply to Thy honor and the eternal salvation of our own souls.
The second one has a more contemporary feel:
Holy Spirit, Giver of all good gifts, enter into my mind and heart. Give me the gift of knowledge and the grace to use it wisely. Help me in all my endeavors. Give me perseverance and fortitude. Help my memory, that I may remember what I learn and recall it when necessary. Guide me in the classroom. You who are the Way, the Truth, and the Life, let me not be deceived by false teaching. Our Lady of Good Studies, pray for me. Amen.
And, finally the third of our prayers before studying was composed by the “Angelic Doctor,” one of the Church’s greatest theologians, St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). His writings, such as his celebrated Summa Theologica, provide essential commentary and teachings about our Catholic faith.
When St. Thomas first attended the University of Paris, his quiet manner and heavyset frame earned him the nickname “the Dumb Ox”. Yet his teacher and mentor, St. Albert the Great, upon seeing his amazing memory and grasp of detail, said famously “we call him the dumb ox, but one day he will emit such a bellowing in his teaching that it will be heard throughout the world."
Note in this prayer as well how Aquinas appeals to Mary, “the mediatrix of grace” as St. Alphonsus Liquori called her, to help him receive the grace of the Holy Sprirt. St. Thomas honors, not worships, our Blessed Mother with his petitions.
O Mary, Mother of fair love, of fear, of knowledge, and of holy hope, by whose loving care and intercession many, otherwise poor in intellect, have wonderfully advanced in knowledge and in holiness, thee do I choose as the guide and patroness of my studies; and I humbly implore, through the deep tenderness of thy maternal love, and especially through that eternal Wisdom who deigned to take from thee our flesh and who gifted thee beyond all the saints with heavenly light, that thou wouldst obtain for me by thy intercession the grace of the Holy Spirit that I may be able to grasp with strong intellect, retain in memory, proclaim by word and deed, and teach others all things which bring honor to thee and to thy Son, and which for me and for others are salutary for eternal life. Amen.
Remember the key element in all three of these prayers before studying: calling on God (as well as the Blessed Virgin Mary) to help you succeed! You don’t have to feel alone at your desk. Keep in mind as well that whatever the outcome, you’ll at least know did your best for God by sincerely seeking His help and preparing thoroughly for your test with the help of His grace. Good luck!
Come, Holy Spirit, Divine Creator, true source of light and fountain of wisdom! Pour forth your brilliance upon my dense intellect, dissipate the darkness which covers me, that of sin and of ignorance. Grant me a penetrating mind to understand, a retentive memory, method and ease in learning, the lucidity to comprehend, and abundant grace in expressing myself. Guide the beginning of my work, direct its progress, and bring it to successful completion. This I ask through Jesus Christ, true God and true man, living and reigning with You and the Father, forever and ever.
More Saint Prayers
Adoro Te Devote by St. Thomas AquinasPrayer against Depression - by Saint Ignatius of LoyolaPrayer of St. Aloysius to the Blessed MotherSt. Alphonsus De Liguori to Jesus Christ, to Obtain His Holy LoveSt. Alphonsus De Liguori's Short Act of Perfect LoveThe Anima Christi of St. Elizabeth Ann SetonThe Anima Christi of St. Elizabeth Ann SetonTo Saint AnneSaint Anthony, Consoler of the AfflictedSaint Anthony, Disperser of DevilsSaint Anthony, Example of HumilitySaint Anthony, Generator of CharitySaint Anthony, Guide of PilgrimsSaint Anthony, Liberator of PrisonersSaint Anthony, Martyr of DesireSaint Anthony, Model of PerfectionSaint Anthony of PaduaSaint Anthony, Performer of MiraclesSaint Anthony, Restorer of Sight to the BlindSaint Anthony, Restorer of Speech to the MuteSaint Anthony, Zealous for JusticePrayer of Saint Augustine of Hippo (340-430 A.d.)Prayer for the Beatification of Jacina MartoPrayer for the Beatification of Jacinta Marto (update: Beatified May 13, 2000)Prayer befor a Picture or a Statue of Saint AnneSt. BlasePrayer to Blessed Josemaria EscrivaThe Blessing of St. Francis of Assisi to Brother LeoPrayer by Saint Thomas -Tantum Ergo-Prayer by Saint Thomas Aquinas TANTUM ERGOCanticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon of St. Francis of AssisiThe Canticle of Creation (by Saint Francis of Assisi)The Canticle of Simeon. (in Honor of the Presentation of Jesus and the Purification of Mary)Prayer of Saint Claude de la Colombiere - A Despair Prayer.Collect for Feast of Saint Andrew CorsiniCollect for Feast of Saint DavidCollect for the Feast of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of SorrowsCollect for the Feast of Saint GilesCollect for the Feast of Saint HermenegildCollect for the Feast of Saint John of MathaCollect for Feast of Saint Joseph CupertinoCollect for the Feast of the Most Holy TrinityCollect for the Feast of Saint Nicholas of TolentinoCollect for the Feast of Saint Placid and His CompanionsCollect for the Feast of Saint Raymond NonnatusCollect for the Feast of Saints Abdon and SennenCollect for the Feast of Saints Processus and MartinianCollect for the Feast of Saints Processus and MartinianCollect for the Feast of Saints Protus and HyacinthCollect for the Feast of Saint SebastianCollect for the Feast of Saint UrsulaCollect of the Mass of Pope Saint MelchiadesCome, Holy GhostCome, Holy Ghost, Creator, ComeThe Prayer Come Holy SpiritCome, Thou Redeemer of the Earth (by Saint Ambrose of Milan)Cyril of AlexandriaDedication of the Day - by St. Ignatius LoyolaDedication of England to Saint PeterPrayer to St. Dymphna - CharityPrayer to St. Dymphna - ChastityPrayer to St. Dymphna - FaithPrayer to St. Dymphna - FortitudePrayer to St. Dymphna - HopePrayer to St. Dymphna - JusticePrayer to St. Dymphna - PerseverancePrayer to St. Dymphna - PrudencePrayer to St. Dymphna - Temperance