Tag Archive for 'Puritan Prayer'

A Prayer for Bible Reading

Help me to gain profit by what I read,
as treasure beyond all treasure,
a fountain which can replenish my dry heart,
its waters flowing through me as a perennial river
on-drawn by thy Holy Spirit.
Enable me to distil from its pages faithful prayer
that grasps the arm of thy omnipotence,
achieves wonders, obtains blessings,
and draws down streams of mercy.
From it show me how my words have often been
unfaithful to thee,
injurious to my fellow-men,
empty of grace, full of folly,
dishonouring to my calling.
Then write thy own words upon my heart
and inscribe them on my lips;
So shall all glory be to thee
in my reading of thy Word!

Partial prayer from The Valley of Vision. See the whole prayer.

Puritans Praying

A Prayer On Prayer

May the matter of my prayer be always
wise, humble, submissive,
obedient, scriptural, Christ-like.

Give me unwavering faith
that supplications are never in vain,
that if I seem not to obtain my petitions
I shall have larger, richer answers,
surpassing all that I ask or think.

Unsought, thou hast given me
the greatest gift, the person of thy Son,
and in him thou wilt give me all I need.

Partial prayer from The Valley of Vision. See the whole prayer.

Puritans Praying

Praying About Prayer

I’ve been reading in various places about how difficult prayer is for the vast majority of Christians. The possible irony (and by that I don’t mean humor) is that we can forget to pray about prayer. Whether it’s praying about wanting to pray, or praying more, or our experience of praying becoming more and more like the one below–which is what spurred me on to write this post–as the person who wrote this models in the last line, this is something that God is very willing to help us with.

In prayer I see myself as nothing;
I find my heart going after You with intensity,
and long with vehement thirst to live to You.
Blessed be the strong gales of the Spirit
that speed me on my way to the New Jerusalem.

In prayer all things here below vanish,
and nothing seems important
but holiness of heart and the salvation of others.

In prayer all my worldly cares, fears, anxieties disappear,
and are of as little significance as a puff of wind.

In prayer my soul inwardly exults with lively thoughts at what You are doing for Your church,
and I long that You should get Yourself a great name from sinners returning to Zion.

In prayer I am lifted above the frowns and flatteries of life, and taste heavenly joys;
entering into the eternal world
I can give myself to You with all my heart,
to be Yours for ever.

In prayer I can place all my concerns in Your hands,
to be entirely at Your disposal,
having no will or interest of my own.

In prayer I can intercede for my friends, ministers, sinners, the church, Your kingdom to come,
with greatest freedom, ardent hopes,
as a son to his father,
as a lover to the beloved.

Help me to be all prayer
and never to cease praying.

This is a portion of a prayer found in The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions.

This isn’t something to feel guilty about, but to aspire to through the Holy Spirit, asking him for zeal, discipline, and affection.

Puritans Praying

New Year’s Puritan Prayer

I’m not much for holidays, but as I was reading/praying this prayer, it sounded like it fit well for this time of year. This is part of the prayer Christian Love, from The Valley of Vision, a book of Puritan prayers.

Order all my ways by thy holy Word
and make thy commandments the joy of my heart,
that by them I may have happy converse with thee.
May I grow in thy love and manifest it to mankind.

Spirit of love, make me like the loving Jesus;
give me his benevolent temper,
his beneficent actions,
that I may shine before men to thy glory.

The more thou doest in love in me and by me,
humble me the more;
keep me meek, lowly,
and always ready to give thee honor.

Puritans

Longings After God – A Puritan Prayer

This is part of a prayer that I especially like from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers. I try to read/pray at least one a week on Sundays. They help fill in gaps in my own praying and give me ideas. These have also been very helpful when very stressed and needing to just read a prayer.

My soul longs for communion with thee,
for mortification of indwelling corruption,
especially spiritual pride.

How precious it is to have a tender sense
and clear apprehension of the mystery
of godliness,
of true holiness!

What a blessedness to be like thee
as much as it is possible for a creature
to be like its Creator!

Lord, give me more of thy likeness;
Enlarge my soul to contain fullness of holiness;
Engage me to live more for thee.

Help me to be less pleased with my spiritual experiences,
and when I feel at ease after sweet communings,
teach me it is far too little I know and do. […]

Wrap my life in divine love,
and keep me ever desiring thee,
always humble and resigned to thy will,
more fixed on thyself,
that I may be more fitted for doing and suffering.

The Valley of Vision

Also see:
Why You Should Read the Puritans – Meet the Puritans – I won’t tell you what you should do, but there’s a good explanation of who the Puritans were if you scroll down to Definition of Puritanism.

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

Partial Puritan Prayer

I try to remember to read at least one Puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision every Sunday. I’d rather not post a whole prayer, otherwise people could collect them from all over the internet. Here is yet another one that I really like.

Lord God Almighty,
I ask not to be enrolled amongst
the earthly great and rich,
but to be numbered with the spiritually blessed.

Make it my present, supreme, persevering concern to obtain those blessings which are spiritual in their nature,
eternal in their continuance,
satisfying in their possession.

Preserve me from a false estimate of the whole or a part of my character;
May I pay regard to my principles
as well as my conduct,
my motives as well as my actions.

Help me never to mistake the excitement of my passions
for the renewing of the Holy Spirit,
never to judge my religion
by occasional impressions and impulses,
but by my constant and prevailing disposition.

–From the first half of the prayer “True Religion”

I especially like the last part, which is a message that was important then, and I think even more so in our Christian culture today. I have a post coming up on God’s guidance which is a little along those lines.

God’s grace and peace be with you. Thanks for reading.

Puritan Prayer – Living for Jesus

Many see the Puritans as dour people, concentrating on their sin. If you read their prayers and other writings, you can see that they have a very good balance of their sin and God’s grace, contrition and blessedness–which is reminiscent of the Psalms. Knowledge of our sin is good because:

  1. God is convicting us, which means he’s speaking to us.
  2. Our lives are bettered by becoming more like Christ as God sanctifies us while we strive to obey him out of love and not fear of judgement. (I really couldn’t find a good place to put a comma there.)
  3. We appreciate all the more what Jesus did for us on the cross.

They compare themselves to God as opposed to other people. That will lay any of us flat. And then to think that Jesus took on all of that for us, being completely innocent. We won’t know in this life the depth of our sin, or how wide and long and high and deep God’s love is for us. But we can grow in the knowledge of both with healthy introspection and time spent with Scripture.

Below is part of a prayer from the Valley of Vision, a book of Puritan Prayers. Below it is a link to the whole prayer.

I bless thee for the discoveries, invitations,
promises of the gospel
for in them is pardon for rebels,
liberty for captives,
health for the sick,
salvation for the lost.
I come to thee in thy beloved name of Jesus;
re-impress thy image upon my soul;

[…]

In many things I have offended,
in all come short of thy glory;
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.

Living For Jesus – Banner of Truth USA

Partial Puritan Prayer

I don’t like the terms head and heart. I think faith and reason often makes more sense. So I especially liked this portion of a Puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision called Belonging To Jesus.

I thank thee for showing me the vast difference
between knowing things by reason,
and knowing them by the spirit of faith.
By reason I see a thing is so;
by faith I know it as it is.
I have seen thee by reason,
and have not been amazed,
I have seen thee as thou art in thy Son and have
been ravished to behold thee.
I bless thee that I am thine in my Saviour, Jesus.

The blogging drought continues. I’ve been spending more time reading my Bible, so I’ll blame it on that for now, even though it doesn’t prevent me from blogging. I’ve never realized that there are so many short chapters in the Bible.

Partial Puritan Prayer – Freedom

Who can fathom immeasurable love?
As far as the rational soul exceeds the senses,
so does the spirit exceed the rational in its
knowledge of thee.
Thou hast given me understanding to compass
the earth,
measure the sun, moon, stars, universe,
but above all to know thee, the only true God.
I marvel that the finite can know the Infinite,
here a little, afterwards in full-orbed truth;
Now I know but a small portion of what
I shall know,
here in part, there in perfection,
here a glimpse, there a glory.
To enjoy thee is life eternal,
and to enjoy is to know.
Keep me in the freedom of experiencing
thy salvation continually.

From The Valley of Vision

Puritan Prayer

Here is the first part of a prayer called The Saviour from the book, The Valley of Vision:

Thou God of all grace,
thou hast given me a Saviour,
produce in me a faith to live by him,
to make him all my desire,
all my hope,
all my glory.
May I enter him as my refuge,
build on him as my foundation,
walk in him as my way,
follow him as my guide,
conform to him as my example,
receive his instructions as my prophet,
rely on his intercession as my high priest,
obey him as my king.

Puritan Prayer: The Awakened Sinner

Here is a partial prayer that I especially like from The Valley of Vision.

I confess that thou hast not been in all my thoughts,
That the knowledge of thyself as the end of my being
Has been strangely overlooked,
That I have never seriously considered my heart-need.

But although my mind is perplexed and divided,
My nature perverse,
Yet my secret dispositions still desire thee;
Break the fatal enchantment that binds my evil affections,
And bring me to a happy mind that rests in thee,
For thou hast made me and canst not forget me.

Let thy Spirit teach me the vital lessons of Christ,
For I am slow to learn;
And hear thou my broken cries.

Puritan Prayer: Christ Alone

This is the second half of a Puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision. I especially like the first paragraph.

I’ve always liked study and discipline and being confident in what I believe. I love worshipping God in all of those ways (spiritual disciplines) and in meditating on Him. The daily care of it has always been a big concern. Sundays and ‘quiet times’ (and a Puritan prayer on Sundays nights) are for worshipping with others and for concentrated prayer and time in Scripture, being but a part of our lives lived before God.

I like how he says “to seek and know his will from love, to hold it in love”. Lately, I’ve been seeing God’s will as mainly something to submit to. I suppose with a lot of hardship, this is easy to fall into. I’ve been trying to see it more as “good, pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2). Not that it’s either or; not that it’s only those two ways of looking at it. To hold it in love is a little different way of seeing it for me, and I’m not sure if I’m able to completely embrace it that way yet with the losses I’ve had, even as God has grown me so much closer to him.

Christ Alone (second half)
Let me study and stand for discipline,
and all the ways of worship,
out of love for Christ;
and to show my thankfulness;
to seek and know his will from love,
to hold it in love,
and daily to care for and keep this state of heart.

Thou hast led me to place all my nature and happiness
in oneness with Christ,
in having heart and mind centred only on him,
in being like him in communicating good to others;

This is my heaven on earth,
but I need the force, energy, impulses of thy Spirit
to carry me on the way to my Jerusalem.

Here, it is my duty
to be as Christ in this world,
to do what he would do,
to live as he would live,
to walk in love and meekness;
then would he be known,
then would I have peace in death.

Puritan Prayer For The Week

Here are portions of a Puritan prayer I thought would be nice to start off the week if you’re reading it on a Monday, or whenever you happen to see this. It’s from God Honoured in The Valley of Vision:

Praise waiteth for thee,
and to render it is my noblest exercise;
this is thy due from all thy creatures,
for all thy works display thy attributes
and fulfill thy designs;

May my religion be always firmly rooted in thy Word,
my understanding divinely informed,
my affections holy and heavenly,
my motives simple and pure,
and my heart never wrong with thee.

Deliver me from the natural darkness of my own mind,
from the corruptions of my heart,
from the temptations to which I am exposed,
from the daily snares that attend me.

Until I finish my course with joy may I pursue it with diligence,
in every part display the resources of the Christian,
and adorn the doctrine of thee my God in all things.

Puritan Prayer: God Enjoyed

I pray through a Puritan prayer every Sunday night. (I’m not sure if I got this one at Amazon or not. The Kindle or other ebook edition was very inexpensive. It’s not the Valley of Vision book.) I like this prayer. It’s a little different. I hope you do.

God Enjoyed

Thou Incomprehensible
But Prayer-hearing God,

Known, but beyond knowledge,
revealed, but unrevealed,
my wants and welfare draw me to thee,
for thou hast never said, ‘Seek ye me in vain’.

To Thee I come in my difficulties, necessities, distresses;
possess me with thyself,
with a spirit of grace and supplication,
with a prayerful attitude of mind,
with access into warmth of fellowship,
so that in the ordinary concerns of life
my thoughts and desires may rise to thee,
and in habitual devotion I may find a resource
that will soothe my sorrows,
sanctify my successes,
and qualify me in all ways for dealings with my fellow men.

I bless thee that thou hast made me capable.
of knowing thee, the author of all being,
of resembling thee, the perfection of all excellency,
of enjoying thee, the source of all happiness.

O God, attend me in every part of my arduous and trying pilgrimage;
I need the same counsel, defense, comfort I found at my beginning.
Let my religion be more obvious to my conscience,
more perceptible to those around.
While Jesus is representing me in heaven, may I reflect him on earth,
While he pleads my cause, may I show forth his praise.

Continue the gentleness of thy goodness towards me,
And whether I wake or sleep, let thy presence go with me,
thy blessing attend me.

Thou hast led me on and I have found thy promises true,
I have been sorrowful, but thou hast been my help,
fearful, but thou hast delivered me,
despairing, but thou hast lifted me up.
Thy vows are ever upon me,
And I praise thee, O God.