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A Birthday Prayer

When it's your birthday, and you've completed another year of life, make some time to pray this prayer:

Heavenly Father, I thank You with my whole heart that You have placed me in this world and given me life. By Your grace alone, You have made me a member of Your holy Church. And today, I remember the day of my birth which You have so lovingly given to me. And since you have allowed me to reach this day, and since you have so mercifully given me another year of life, I thank You from the depths of my heart and joyfully say with Your Word, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your sins; who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercy” (Psalm 103).

And yet, even in this moment of joy, I still humbly remember that every day of my life is one step nearer to death, which can strike me this hour, yes, even this very minute. So, dear Lord, I beg you to rule, guide, and defend me every day of my life so that I may live according to Your Will. Be gracious to me. Strengthen my faith. Turn not Your face from me. And keep me as Your dear child who conforms to the promise You made to me in my Baptism, where You clothed me with the perfect obedience of Christ, Your Son, who died to give me life. And if this proves to be my last year and birthday, I place all things into Your loving hands. If it is Your holy and gracious Will that I should cease to live, then I have lived enough. For whatever is sufficient for You is sufficient for me. Whatever amount of time and life you have chosen to bless me with is the time and life I am content with. So, I humble myself before You, and ask You to deliver me from all evil. If I live this year, may I live in You; and if I die, may I die in You. May I live and move and have my being in You, and whether living or dying, may I be Yours forever. Amen.

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