a digital library of Unitarian Universalist biographies, history, books, and media
the digital library of Unitarian Universalism
Home » Poetry, Prayers & Visual Arts » Prayers for Today: Sören Kierkegaard

Prayers for Today: Sören Kierkegaard

Harvard Square Library exists solely on the basis of donations.  If you have benefitted from any of our materials, and/or if making Unitarian Universalist intellectual heritage materials widely available and free is a value to you, please donate whatever you can–every little bit helps: Donate 

Sören Kierkegaard

Sören Kierkegaard

SÖREN KIERKEGAARD (1813-1855). The Danish philosopher-theologian focused his writings on an anti-institutional Christian existentialist question: what it means to be a Christian. The University of Chicago Press published The Prayers of Kiekergaard by Perry LeFevre.


Calm the waves of this heart, O God; calm its tempests.
Calm yourself, O my soul, so that God is able to rest in you, so that God’s peace may cover you.
Yes, You give us peace, O God, peace that the whole world can never take away.


Dear Deathless Power in each atom, amoeba, and galaxy;
And also within each teacher, parent, and child:
Our thought is turned toward You
As we seek You with the sureness of a homeward bound bird.

Our confidence in You would be no momentary leap,
No unproductive birth pangs nor waterless clouds;
But from the fullness of our hearts, our hopes arise toward You,
Quenching our thirst and giving life’s noblest satisfaction.


Dear God who is unchangeable, unchangeable in love:
May we submit ourselves to the discipline of Your unchangeableness
Through our unconditional love of You,
Whereby we find rest and remain at rest in You.

O God who is unchangeable,
Yet who in infinite love is moved’
Even by the need of a sparrow ’
May there be wrought in us through prayer
Such changes as will bring our lives into unity with You,
O God who is unchangeable in love.


God, give me once more the courage to hope.
Fertilize my barren mind.
Let me hope again.


Great Companion, You have loved us first.
May we never forget that You are love,
So that this sure conviction might triumph in our hearts
Over the whirling of the world,
Over the inquietude of the soul,
Over the anxiety for the future,
Over the fright of the past,
Over the distress of the moment.
May this conviction discipline our soul
So that our hearts might remain faithful and sincere
In the love which we bear to all those we love as ourselves.


Great is Your kingdom, O You who bears the weight of the stars and governs the forces of the world.

Numberless are those who have life through You, yet You hear the cry of all creatures. You hear the cry of all without confusing their voices and without playing favorites. You hear not only the voice of one who is responsible for many others. You hear not only the voice of one who prays for dear ones. No, You also hear the most miserable, the most abandoned, the most solitary person—in the desert, in the multitude.

If the forgotten one has become unknown in the crowd, having ceased to be anything more than a number on a list, You remember the person and the name. If in the thick shadows of dread, in the prey of terrible thoughts, we are abandoned, abandoned almost by the language we speak, still You would not have forgotten us. You would understand our language, You who hears the cry of all. You find a way to us which is prompter than light and more constant than the stars.


How could anything rightly be said about love if You were forgotten,
O God,
You from whom all love comes;
You who holds back nothing but gives Yourself in love;
You who are love, so the lovers are only what they are through being
in You?

How could anything rightly be said about love if You were forgotten,
You who manifests what love is,
You who reminds us to love as we are loved;
You who are everywhere present and never without the works of love,
the acts of love?
How could anything rightly be said about love if You were forgotten,
O Love Eternal?


O God, when at times our strength is taken from us, when sorrow overcomes us like a kind of fog in which our vision is plunged as into a dark night; when our hearts do tremble with our loss: then teach us and strengthen the conviction in our hearts that in death, no less than in life, we belong to You.


We are grateful that You are present everywhere, O God. You are near should anyone call upon You from a bed of sickness, or cry out in great need upon the sea. All are drawn to seek You, the Friend of the thankful, the Consolation of the weak, the Refuge of the anxious, the Confidante of the suffering as You count their tears, the Comfort of the dying. We are grateful that You give Your gifts to everyone who needs them.