Posted by: JennyRain | June 17, 2010

Thomas Merton’s Prayer for Discernment

I am a huge fan of Thomas Merton’s completative writing. He makes me think, but more, he reminds my heart to long for the things of heaven.

My posts have been talking of searching lately… searching for a path, searching for God, searching for God’s path for our lives. This prayer by Thomas Merton is a constant encouragement to me.

At a very difficult and dark period in Thomas Merton’s life he penned this prayer that has been such a help to so many people. If you are struggling today may this be a blessing to you as it has to me…

O Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going,
I do not see the road ahead of me,
I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself,
And that fact that I think
I am following Your will
Does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe
That the desire to please You
Does in fact please You.
And I hope I have that desire
In all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything
Apart from that desire to please You.
And I know that if I do this
You will lead me by the right road,
Though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore I will trust You always
Though I may seem to be lost
And in the shadow of death.
I will not fear,
For You are ever with me,
And You will never leave me
To make my journey alone.

Source: Thomas Merton, Pax Christi, Benet Press, Erie, PA.





  1. Wow…that’s good.

  2. hmmm… I’m hoping I can find a song in there.

    • You should read Merton’s new seeds of contemplation – it will make your brain cramp a bit – but the language is beautiful!

  3. This is truly the cry of my heart. What a raw, unrelenting, determined yet fragile prayer. Thank God for the desire to pray & His willingness to hear

    • Kelli – Merton is amazing – you’d love him 🙂

  4. Jenny,
    I have never read him, but this prayer is so awesome in its humility and submission. Thanks for posting.

  5. We (Shawn) bought a couple books by Merton from Abe Books. One of them we’re getting rid of cause it reeks of cigarette smoke. Anyways we were motivated to because of Anne Jackson’s Merton posts. So insightful. And your post today………………………………….I’ve walked that prayer for the last few years. I feel like Abraham…go, for I am sending you to a place you do not know.

    This is gorgeous my friend. Tucking it away in my Evernote.

    • I have carried his poem around with me for years… it comforts me too. Have shared it w/a lot of friends going thru difficult times. I was uber-excited to see Anne’s Thomas Merton stuff a few weeks back too!

      love you friend 🙂 big hugs!

  6. jenny ~

    thank you for this! that prayer sums up my feelings exactly. what a comfort to know that others have walked the road of uncertainty also.

  7. Wonderful prayer. I was touched by how open to God he was an had such an expressed authenticity. Been there, somedays still there, so his words RAIN true today for me and others.
    Thank you, Jenny for this post.

    God bless,

  8. Great prayer! Thanks for sharing it.

  9. PS – Gonna link it to my Xanga site.

  10. Such a great prayer! I love his honest heart. Refresh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: