Johann Habermann (1516-1590): Prayer of a School Child for the Holy Spirit


Johann Habermann (1516-1590), praised by his contemporaries as a talented Old Testament exegete, joined the Lutheran church in 1540. In 1565, Habermann published his most important work, Christliche Gebet für alle Not und Stende der gantzen Christenheit, known in English as Morning and Evening Prayers for All Days of the Week, a prayer-book that assigned prayers for various Christian needs to each day of the week. Within fifteen years after its publication, the book had become widely circulated in Protestant circles, and was available in Latin, English, and French translations. Many contemporary Protestant prayer-books still include some adapted versions of Habermann’s prayers. The prayer below is for meant for school children, but I reckon it is also very appropriate (with slight alteration) for older students and scholars:

Prayer of a School Child for the Holy Spirit.

O my dear Lord, Jesus Christ, I thank Thee, that to the present day, Thou ordainest church and school ordinances and regulations, and hast given unto my parents and me grace, that I too may be thus trained. I beseech Thee, fill me with Thy Holy Spirit, that I may ever obey my dear parents and teachers, who only seek my welfare. Give unto me a docile heart, that I may learn my catechism, noble arts and language, and thus increase in godliness, wisdom, understanding, and every virtue. O my dear Lord Jesus Christ, create in me a pure, chaste, and modest heart. May I ever serve Thee in upright faith and true fear, and love Thee from all my heart. Subdue in me all evil lusts. Endow me with Thy Holy Spirit. Help me to continue in true humility. Grant me an obedient heart, to honor my parents according to Thy commandment, and neither anger nor grieve them. May they live long on this earth, and protect Thou and preserve them from disease, evil, and harm. Be gracious unto us and merciful. Bless us in body and soul, now and forevermore. Amen.