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Fr. Cecil Champneys Burnham

1914 - 2002

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Sometimes a danger comes upon me unawares

And I have need to send off instant arrow prayers.

I’m in my car when quick decisions must be made.

My senses quicken; immediately I am afraid.

That other driver? What is he going to do?

What crash avoiding movement must I now pursue?


No time exists to get upon my knees to pray.

And if there was, what should I ask? What should I say?

Instant reaction sends a sudden arrow prayer,

Which from my heart goes flashing straight through Heaven’s air:

“Help me, Lord. No time for fuller words than these.

Help me, God omnipotent, now help me, please”


Although I truly try to live a moral life,

Temptations, subtle, unexpected, yet are rife.

Unwanted urges, uninvited, spring to mind,

Prompting actions foolish or acts unkind.

In my defense at once an arrow prayer I need,

Which like a flash of light to God will surely speed.


Then swiftly comes God’s answer to my urgent prayer,

Deflecting me from paths that lead to dark despair,

Reminding me that whatever other forces say,

Christ is my life, Christ is my light, Christ is my way.

Copyright © 2000 [Rev. C. Champneys Burnham]. All rights reserved.
Revised: May 24, 2018 .