A Prayer by Margaret Stanton
Sunday, January 15, 2023 by Lynne Stevens

“Give me the courage to live!

Really live – not merely exist.

Live dangerously,

Scorning risk!

Live honestly,

Daring the truth –

Particularly the truth of myself!

Live resiliently –

Ever changing, ever growing, ever adapting.

Enduring the pain of change

As though ‘twere the travail of birth.

Give me the courage to live,

Give me the strength to be free

And endure the burden of freedom

And the loneliness of those without chains;

Let me not be trapped by success,

Nor by failure, nor pleasure, nor grief,

Nor malice, nor praise, nor remorse!

Give me the courage to go on!

Facing all that waits on the trail –

Going eagerly, joyously on,

And paying my way as I go,

Without anger or fear or regret

Taking what life gives,

Spending myself to the full,

Head high, spirit winged, like a god –

On…on…till the shadows draw close.

Then even when darkness shuts down,

And I go out alone, as I came -

Naked and blind as I came,

Even then, gracious God, hear my prayer:

Give me the courage to live!”


I found this poem in “What Shall I Do With My Life? (1939)” in A Strange Freedom: The Best of Howard Thurman on Religious Experience and Public Life.

It speaks truth to anyone who has experienced incest.

I have made a good faith effort to find the author to obtain permission to use the poem without success.

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