Many people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by wearing green, eating corned beef and cabbage, or visiting an Irish pub. Others think about lucky four leaf clovers. But how many think of Christ with St. Patrick’s reverence and devotion? That’s what you and I want to do!

St. Patrick’s Story

Patrick was born in 385 to Roman parents in Scotland. At the tender age of 14 he was captured by pagan Druids from Ireland who took him across the ocean to Ireland and made him their slave. They forced him to shepherd sheep in remote mountains where he was often exposed to freezing rain and snow. But even though he was just a teenager he learned to sustain himself by praying continually.

Then when he turned 20 he had a dream that God would help him escape and so he got away from the Druids and snuck onto a ship to return home to his family in Scotland. He studied to become a priest and then he had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him to come back to help them. So he returned to share the gospel of Christ in the country where he’d been enslaved and abused!

For 40 years Patrick lived a simple life, traveling throughout Ireland to share the love of Christ with people. He established churches all over the country and taught thousands of people to become disciples of the Lord Jesus.

For more of St. Patrick’s inspiring story watch this short video clip from a seminar I gave: “St Patrick’s Story and Recovery From Addiction.”

St. Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer

Patrick is famous for his prayers, especially the “Breastplate Prayer.” It begins,

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

He continues, “Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left…”

I long to be encircled in Christ like that! Don’t you?! Imagine Christ all around you! A simple way I do this is to pray Psalm 3:3 as a Christ Shield Prayer of protection and blessing for myself or others: “O Lord, be a shield around us. Be our glory and the lifter of our heads!”

A Celtic Prayer

Another blessing is to meditate and pray using the Canticle that’s adapted from St. Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer. (The Northumbria Community uses this and many other Celtic prayers.)

Christ, as a light illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield overshadow me.
Christ under me; Christ over me;
Christ beside me; on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me,
Lowly and meek, yet all powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
In the mouth of each who speaks unto me.

This day be within and without me,
Lowly and meek, yet all powerful.
Christ as a light; Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me on my left and my right.

More Christ Shield Prayers

Praying Psalm 3:3 as a Christ Shield is a practical, powerful prayer. You can use your Christ Shield to deal with criticism. Or Try this meditation on Psalm 3 to deal with emotional battles.

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