This is a pretty well-worn, oft-used, school prayer. Given it is recited or 
sung by the entire student body and staff at a good many schools and other 
institutions you would have to assume that it's all fundamentally good stuff.



Teach us, good Lord, to serve thee as thou deserves;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to till, and not to seek for rest;
to labour, and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing we do thy will.


Amen.


But it's all incredibly bad advice, really - don't you think? Why do people 
assume God wants Earthlings to be such a bunch of try-hards?
I hate this prayer. It advertises values that no one can live up to and no one 
need live up to. Surely we can invent a better, less servile, less obsequious, 
less cringing, less Gollum-like take on what we think God wants for us.

All this servility, this grovelling at the feet of somebody. Is God really into 
all that? I don't believe it.



Kim Jones


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