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Willard L. Sperry: Prayers

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O God, forgive our wanton waste of the wealth of the soil and sea and air; our desecration of natural beauty; our heedlessness of those who shall come after us, if only we be served; our undue love of money; our contempt for small things and our worship of what is big; our neglect of struggling peoples, For such wrongs to our natural and human heritage, and for many things left undone, forgive us, O God.


We give You thanks, O God, for the harvest of knowledge, patiently gathered over long years by ongoing generations of scholars, and now laid up for the needs of humanity in our universities. For the increasing mastery of special skills, for victory over ills which people have suffered through ignorance, for confidence in the reliable order of nature, for the wisdom which long experience adds to much learning, for ever new light falling on old mysteries, as for all the joys of our part and portion in theunconquerable mind: we give thanks.


Grant, O God, to Your people more courage to live for You. Guard us from rashness, and deliver us from fear. Teach us when by patience we may serve You best, and when by impatience.

Willard L. Sperry (1882-1954) was Dean of Harvard Divinity School and Minister of Harvard Memorial Church. Among his prolific publications are Religion in America and Reality in Worship.