The first Holy Spirit prayer I encountered was at a United Methodist "Walk to Emmaus" retreat:
Come, Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of the faithful,
and kindle in us the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit,
and they shall be created,
and You shall renew the face of the earth.
The second Holy Spirit prayer I committed to memory was one I learned from a deacon at my parish. I assist him with the Confirmation class, and he requires the students to memorize this one. I realized that it would be foolish to expect the students to learn it if I was unwilling to learn it myself. So, I memorized this one:
Send your Holy Spirit upon us
to be our helper and guide.
Give us the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of right judgment and courage,
the Spirit of knowledge and reverence.
Fill us with wonder and awe in your Presence.
And now for the one I am currently committing to memory. It is St. Augustine's Prayer to the Holy Spirit:
that my thoughts may all be holy.
Move in me, Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.
Attract my heart, Holy Spirit,
that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, Holy Spirit,
that I may defend all that is holy.
Protect me, Holy Spirit,
that I may always be holy..... Amen.
I used to think it was inappropriate to memorize and recite prayers. Certainly, it stifled the unpredictable, spontaneous, serendipitous movement of the Holy Spirit in one's life. Right? Didn't it box God (and the human soul) into a pre-fab rote prayer and render the whole thing pointless?
Oh, my friend! I couldn't have been more wrong.
If it is good to commit Sacred Scripture to memory (and it certainly is - and I've firmly believed that since my days as an Evangelical Protestant), then it is helpful to have an arsenal of prayers as we battle the enemy of our souls.
I still memorize passages of Sacred Scripture. In fact, I do it more than I ever did as an Evangelical. Maybe the Liturgy has sparked that desire within me. The Liturgy is the ultimate venue for hiding "Thy Word in my heart...that I might not sin against You." If you love memorizing the Word and hiding it in your heart, you gotta love the Liturgy!
So, we Catholics commit prayers and Scripture to heart - and the practice is invaluable in this battle for the salvation of one's own soul. St. Augustine got it right. It is all about becoming holy. Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may...be holy!