Nervous for a Big Test? Say These Prayers

Recite these prayers before taking a test.

The big moment is coming: that test that could determine a big part of the final grade. You’ve studied as much as you could — or at least as much as seemed reasonable. What else can you do?

Rather than one more flip through your flashcards, why not pause and say a prayer? Whether it feels like a Hail Mary pass to get across the finish line, or a simple request to be calm enough for your hard work to pay off, a prayer is a way to situate what we study with God, who is truth, and who truly desires to help us in our times of need.

As with all prayers, it can be helpful to use words that many people have prayed through the years, though it is always good to simply share our thoughts and desires with God in our own words. Here are a few possible starting points:

O God,
You are proclaimed 
the true font of light and wisdom.
Pour forth a ray of your brightness
into the darkened places of my mind.
Grant to me keenness of mind,
capacity to remember, skill in learning,
subtlety to interpret, and eloquence in speech.
May you guide the beginning of my work,
direct its progress, and bring it to completion.
—Adapted from St. Thomas Aquinas’s prayer for students

Dear God, 
in the Bible, St. Paul says that he is 
“confident that the One who began a good work in you 
will continue to complete it
until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Thank you for the good work you have begun in me 
in giving me my mind, this opportunity for study, 
and all I have learned so far.
Help me cooperate with your good work 
and reap the fruits of my study on my upcoming test.
May all that I learn and all that I do be a way to
know, love, and serve you, the loving God who made me for yourself.

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