A Prayer for Understanding

A Prayer for Understanding

A Prayer for Understanding

Thy Book is here, I hold it now
With hesitating hand;
But, ere I ope, give me the power,
Dear Lord,—to understand!
What lies within? What may I learn?
A thought too great and grand
For such as I—so frail, so small,
So weak—to understand?
Father above, I’m wandering towards
The good and better land:
Ah! guide my footsteps in Thy way
And help me—understand.
Written by one who is not a Scientist, but who like a little child lost in the dark is crying vainly for the light. She does not know as yet what the “Key to the Scriptures” contains. The book lies before her. She will read it soon, and though she has been a freethinker all her life, she prays for understanding before opening it.


If you'd like to write a headnote for this text (that would be peer-reviewed before publication), please contact the Project Director Mary Chapman to discuss.

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People Mentioned

Ken Ip

Ken Ip is a graduate of the M.A. program in English at the University of British Columbia and was a research assistant for The Winnifred Eaton Archive. During this time, his research interests were focused towards digital humanities and Indigenous literatures. During his time with the project, he contributed mainly as a transcriber and encoder for several of Eaton’s works. He is currently working with the International Society of Cell and Gene Therapy as Coordinator, Training and Education.

Winnifred Eaton

  • Born: August 21, 1875
  • Died: April 08, 1954
See the Biographical Timeline for biographical information on Winnifred Eaton.

Pseudonym used in this text

Joey Takeda

Joey Takeda is the Technical Director of The Winnifred Eaton Archive and a Developer at Simon Fraser University’s Digital Humanities Innovation Lab (DHIL). He is a graduate of the M.A. program in English at the University of British Columbia where he specialized in Indigenous and diasporic literature, science and technology studies, and the digital humanities.

Mary Chapman

Mary Chapman is the Director of The Winnifred Eaton Archive, a Professor of English, and Academic Director of the Public Humanities Hub at University of British Columbia. She is the author of the award-winning monograph Making Noise, Making News: Suffrage Print Culture and US Modernism (Oxford UP) and of numerous articles about American literature and women writers. She has also edited Becoming Sui Sin Far: Early Fiction, Journalism and Travel Writing by Edith Maude Eaton (McGill-Queen’s UP) and published essays on the Eaton sisters in American Quarterly, MELUS, Legacy, Canadian Literature, and American Periodicals. Her current research project is a microhistory of the Eaton family. For more information, see http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/mchapman/.

Organizations Mentioned

Christian-Science Monitor

First print edition published in 1908; now a daily online newspaper that publishes on a variety of topics. Headquartered in Boston.
Written by Samantha Bowen