My 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 the 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.
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 face my perils alone.



  1. This is indeed a perfect prayer. It resonates so powerfully with most people. All too often, in our fallible humanity, we veer off the path of discipleship (in all of its connotations) . For me, personally, it reassures me that He is always there to give me hope and trust in Him, to protect me from myself, to set me, once again, on the right path — the one that leads to Him, the font of all love and hope.

    I have sent this prayer to so many people; I have lost count. Most have told me that it is the “perfect” prayer.

    Thank you, Fr. Dan for making this available again — especially to those who have never seen it.

  2. I am reading a book of articles about Thomas Merton and was lucky enough to visit the Thomas Merton Library in Louisville, Kentucky and got some free copies of The Merton Seasonal. I am discovering what a complex person he was.

  3. This is my first time to read his wonderful prayer. I feel connected to God in a profound way. I. Don’t know if it’s because my cancer came back so every thing I do seens heightened or if the words just work so well together. It is reassuring that God IS ALWAYS WITH US. Or more specifically with me. I have felt all my life that God was like a friend who has just stepped out of the room. He wants the best for you. You can always bring Him to mind cause He just stepped out a second ago. You have known Him all your life. You’ve laughed together many times. In fact that’s how you remember Him. Many times He helped you understand things that you had trouble understanding. And prayer is just talking to a friend who you love and who loves you. You can say anything to Him because you always did. He made feel loved like nobody else knew how to. You thought of Him like family. He left you feeling confused and frustrated some times but you were comfortable when you were with Him. I have run out of words. Blessings

  4. I wat given this prayer by a Fransican priest at a retreat for greiving parents. I had just lost my third and most precious child. I was so angry with God. He said to pray it every day. It had a miraculous balm to my broken heart. I still pray it and I cry every time.

  5. What a beautiful gift we have from Jesus in this prayer that He
    inspired Thomas to write. It covers all facets of our lives.
    Thank you for sharing it with us hwo have never heard it before.
    May God continue to bless our work

  6. This prayer has been my lifeline for years… I first “met” Merton in 1965 when I found a copy of 7 Storey Mt. in my dad’s library. In 1966, I became a Catholic and Merton has been my spiritual mentor ever since. What an incredible gift his writing has been for me.

  7. One of my favorite prayers since I was a young child.

    Two minor typos: l. 2 “ahead” / l. 7 “You”

    Thank you so much for posting this timeless prayer!

  8. The first time I learned of this prayer was in Conyers, GA at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit during a men’s retreat. It hung in a room where I had a chat with the priest/facilitator. It immediately so resonated with me that I has been with me ever since, 20+ years ago.

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