Reprinted from The Private Prayers of Pope John Paul II with permission of Simon and Schuster.

Prologue: Why Pray?

  • To God: "You We Adore"
  • To Christ: "Stay With Us"
  • To the Holy Spirit: "Help Us Choose"
  • For Creation: "Do Not Abuse or Exploit"
  • For Young People: "Your Call Is Urgent"
  • To Mary: "Secure Peace"
  • For Our Work: "May It Serve You"

    To God the Creator

    God, you are our Creator.
    You are good
    and your mercy is infinite.
    God, you have given to us men
    an inner law
    that we must live by
    to do your will and accomplish your task.
    To follow your paths
    and know peace in our soul.
    To you we offer obedience.
    Guide us in all the initiatives
    that we undertake on earth.
    Free us of evil tendencies,
    which turn our hearts away from your will.
    Do not allow us
    to invoke your name
    to justify human strife.
    O God, you are the one and only.
    You we adore.
    Do not let us distance ourselves from you.
    God, judge of all men,
    help us to be among the chosen
    on the last day.
    God, author of justice and peace,
    grant us true joy,
    and genuine love,
    and enduring brotherhood
    among peoples.
    Fill us with your eternal gifts.

    August 19, 1985

    Stay with us

    Lord, the day is already waning,
    stay with us.
    Stay to illumine our doubts
    and our fears.
    Stay so that we may fortify
    our light with yours.
    Stay to help us be
    strong and generous.
    Stay so that in a world
    that has little faith and hope
    we may be able to encourage
    one another
    and sow faith and hope.
    so that we, too, may learn from you
    to be the light for other young people
    and for the world.

    April 11, 1984

    To the Holy Spirit

    Holy Spirit, we appear before you as sinners, but gathered together in your name. Come among us, stay with us, enter into our hearts, teach us what to do and what direction to take. Show us what to choose so that, with your help, we may please you in all things. Be our counselor and the author of our purposes; you who with God the Father and his Son bear the name of glorious; you who love justice, do not let us become its destroyers. May our ignorance not lead us astray, success not deceive us, may our own interest or that of others not fail us. Bind us closely to you with the gift of your grace so that in you we may be one and never distant from the truth. And since we are gathered together in your name, may justice guided by love govern us in all things, so that we may do nothing against your will in the present, and by our good acts earn eternal reward for the future.


    June 8, 1991

    Do not forget the Creator

    To you, humanity, who look with pleasure on the works of your hand, the fruit of your genius, Christ says to you: Do not forget the One who gave birth to us all! Do not forget the Creator!

    Further, the more profoundly you know the laws of nature, the more you discover its wealth and potential, the more intensely you must remember him.

    Do not forget the Creator-Christ tells us-and respect Creation! Do your work using the resources that God has given you as they should be used! Transform these riches with the help of science and technology, but do not abuse them; be neither a usurper nor an exploiter, without considering the goods that have been created! Do not destroy or contaminate! Remember your neighbor, and the poor! Think of the future generations!

    May 10, 1990

    Young people, Christ calls you

    God our Father,
    We entrust to you the young men
    And young women of the world,
    With their problems, aspirations, and hopes.
    Keep your loving gaze on them
    And make them workers of peace
    And builders of the civilization of love.
    Call them to follow Jesus, your son.
    Help them to understand the value
    of giving their lives fully
    For you and for humanity.
    Let their response be generous and eager.
    Accept also, Lord,
    Our praise and our prayer
    For the young people who,
    Following the example of Mary, the Mother of the Church,
    Believed in your word
    And are preparing for Holy Orders,
    For the profession of the evangelical counsels,
    For the missionary commitment.
    Help them to understand that the call
    You have given them
    Is always present and urgent.
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