"Praying for Three Things" - by Rev. Weldon Bares


I saw the musical “Godspell” at Circle in the Square Theater on Broadway several years ago. It was an amazing experience. The musical goes back to 1971. It was written by John-Michael Tebelak. He wrote it in 1970 as a part of his master’s thesis at Carnegie Melon University.

It was first performed as a play by drama students at Carnegie Melon. Shortly after that, Stephen Schwartz wrote music for it, and the Godspell musical took off.

These words seem to stick with those who see the musical: “Day by day, dear Lord, of thee three things I pray: To see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly, day by day.”

Centuries earlier, that was the prayer of Richard de Wych. He was a priest who lived in the early 1200’s. He was a Catholic Bishop and was canonized in 1262. He is the patron saint of Sussex, England. Richard was a devoted Christian who lived a simple life.

On his death bed, surrounded by clergy, he recited the following prayer: “Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits Thou hast given me, for all the pains and insults Thou hast borne for me. O most merciful Redeemer, friend and brother, may I know Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, follow Thee more nearly.”

A bishop from centuries ago prayed this prayer. “Godspell” reinforced it to us. May the Lord lead us to pray for these three things today. Pray to see God more clearly, to love God more dearly, and to follow God more nearly.