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I woke up this morning thinking of Bubble and Squeak. It was an odd but brilliant idea--the obvious solution to my nagging problem about what to bring to an Irish-themed potluck I'm attending tonight. Truth be told, I don't much care for Irish cuisine. But at the very least, my humble potato and cabbage casserole will provide us with interesting conversation as we take turns trying to guess how it got its peculiar name.

One Irish-themed thought led quickly to another and soon I was thinking along more spiritual lines. I remembered parts of the famous Breastplate of St. Patrick prayer that we'd written about in the July/August 2007 issue of Pray!. I remembered hearing about the perils the Celtic Christians in St. Patricks time (c. 390-460) faced every single day of their lives. Praying on the armor of God was a life-and-death matter for them.

My physical life is not on the line every day like theirs were, but I am in no less danger spiritually. Every day I need God's spiritual protection to keep me from falling into traps and snares the enemy has set all around me. So, wondering if the Holy Spirit was prompting me to pray this wonderful prayer for myself today, I looked to see if I could locate a copy of it. I was happy to find it in my friend Liz Babb's wonderful little book, Celtic Treasure: Unearthing the Riches of Celtic Spirituality ( I prayed it for myself for today. And I include a portion of it for you to pray for yourself in case you feel the need of a breastplate today.

I gird myself today with the power of God:

God's strength to comfort me,

God's might to uphold me,

God's wisdom to guide me,

God's eye to look after me,

God's ear to hear me,

God's word to speak for me,

God's hand to lead me,

God's way to lie before me,

God's shield to protect me,

God's angels to save me.

From the snares of the Devil,

From temptations to sin,

From all who wish me ill,

Both far and near,

Alone and with others.

May Christ guard me today

Christ behind and before me,

Christ beneath and above me,

Christ with me and in me,

Christ around and about me,

Christ on my left and my right,

Christ when I rise in the morning,

Christ when I lie down at night,

Christ in each heart that thinks of me,

Christ in each eye that sees me,

Christ in each ear that hears me.

--Cynthia Bezek

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Comment by Cathy Neubauer on March 20, 2010 at 8:45am
Never written before in any kind of blog...don't have facebook, yet this "gathering of the saints" grabs me at my very core. Believers upholding and encouraging one another. Thank you for the prayer.
Comment by Paula Walberer on March 19, 2010 at 11:54pm
I LOVE St. Patrick's Breastplate, especially the version translated by Cecil Alexander. It's LONG but lends itself to memorization due to the rhythm and imagery. It has been a source of encouragement and comfort to me more than once, reminding me of God's Presence and power in every setting and circumstance. Thanks for reminding me again of this favorite prayer-poem.
Comment by Marsha Mundy on March 12, 2010 at 4:43pm
I remember hearing that prayer somewhere long ago - thanks for bringing it back to us! And, by the way, Amen!
Comment by Terje Leigre on March 12, 2010 at 12:11pm
Through our prayer work I have done some study of celtic spirituality and their impact on western church life. Here in Norway the celtic culture has been of importance according to our historical relationship with Ireland. One of our viking- kings imported clergy and bishops from the celts and this way Norway was introduced to Christianity.Some of the celtic tradition is still to be found in our psalms and prayer books.Indeed celtic prayer is a source of beautiness and worship.Thank you for the lovely prayer you have referred to in this blog.

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