Puritan Prayer-Desires

This is a portion of a prayer from The Valley of Vision titled Desires.

Let thy Spirit help my infirmities,
for I know not what to pray for as I ought.
Let him produce in me wise desires by which
I may ask right things,
then I shall know thou hearest me.
May I never be importunate for temporal blessings,
but always refer them to thy fatherly goodness,
for thou knowest what I need before I ask;
May I never think I prosper unless my soul prospers,
or that I am rich unless rich toward thee,
or that I am wise unless wise unto salvation.
May I seek first thy kingdom and its righteousness.
May I value things in relation to eternity.
May my spiritual welfare be my chief solicitude.
May I be poor, afflicted, despised and have
thy blessing,
rather than be successful in enterprise,
or have more than my heart can wish,
or be admired by my fellow-men,
if thereby these things make me forget thee.

Reading these prayers is like reading Scripture that’s put together as a poem. I added these verses to go with almost every line of the prayer.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Romans 8:26 KJV (all)

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
1 John 5:14

Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Matthew 6:8

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 6:33

Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
1 Timothy 6:19

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:15

Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness,
than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.
Proverbs 28:6

give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with food convenient for me:
Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say,
Who is the Lord?
or lest I be poor, and steal,
and take the name of my God in vain.
Proverbs 30:8b-9

See their online devotional.

Praying

3 Responses to “Puritan Prayer-Desires”


  1. 1 Thomas Provost

    Great meditation Jeff. The Puritans were filled with the Word of God.

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    They must have just known it as they were writing these prayers. I doubt they were looking up Scripture to fit what they wanted to pray. I have much of them memorized, but I have to look up quite a few, even if I’m familiar with most of them.

    Jeff

  3. 3 Scripture Zealot

    BTW, the Scripture I added goes with each line of the prayer.

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