Written by Mary Stewart in 1904

The Collect

Keep us, O' God, from pettiness;
Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with fault-finding and leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretense and meet each other face to face,
Without self-pity and without prejudice.
May we never be hasty in judgment
And always be generous.
Let us take time for all things;
Make us to grow calm, serene, and gentle.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses,
Straightforward and unafraid.
Grant that we may realize it is the little things that create differences,
That in the big things of life we are at one.
And may we strive to touch and to know the great, common human heart of us all,
And O' Lord God, let us forget not to be kind.

Woman in nature smiling
BPW Collect

What Would a 21st Century Collect Sound Like?

The Collect prayer has resonated globally, underscoring the unique bond shared by women. Its official adoption by the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs at their second convention at St. Paul in 1920 and acknowledgment in the U.S. Congress in 1949 solidified its historical importance.

Now, as we navigate the complexities of the 21st century, the emergence of technologies like ChatGPT prompts us to reexamine our cherished Collet. Let's explore the differences between the 1904 and 2024 versions through the perspective of a 40-year-old woman engaging with ChatGPT.

Written from the perspective of a 40-year old woman in 2024

The Collect

Guide us, O' God, through midlife's journey;
Let our thoughts be seasoned with wisdom, our words carry the weight of experience.
Help us shed fault-finding, embracing understanding in our interactions.
May we discard pretense and engage authentically, free from self-pity and prejudice.
Grant us patience in judgment, fostering a spirit of generosity.
In the hustle, grant us the grace to savor moments, growing in calmness and gentleness.
Encourage us to act on noble instincts, boldly and without fear.
Remind us that nuances shape our connections, and in life's significant moments, we find unity.
May we reach for the shared human heart, recognizing the ties that bind us all.
And O' Lord God, in the tapestry of time, let kindness be our enduring Thread.