“Lord, teach us to pray.”
Prayer is essential to the Christian. And learning how to pray biblically, with confidence in the promises of God’s word is something we must all do. One way we learn prayer is by listening to the faithful prayers of others. This begins by paying attention to the prayers of Scripture, as we saw last week in Nehemiah 1. But we can also learn by listening to the praying of saints both past and present! A resource I’ve found helpful for this is a book called “The Valley of Vision, A collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions.” Let me share one of the prayers from that book, lightly edited, that has been a blessing to me.
No day of my life has passed that has not proved me guilty in your sight.
My prayers have been uttered from a prayerless heart;
My praises have often been a praiseless sound
My best service to you has been filthy rags
Blessed Jesus, let me find a covering in your shed blood.
Though my sins rise to heaven, your merits soar above them
Though unrighteousness weighs me down to hell, your righteousness
exalts me to your throne
All things in me call for my rejection. All things in you plead my acceptance
I appeal from the throne of perfect justice to your throne of boundless grace.
Grant me to hear your voice assuring me:
that by your stripes I am healed, that you were bruised for my iniquities,
that you have been made sin for me, that I might be righteous in you,
that my grievous sins, my many sin, are all forgiven,
buried in an ocean of your redeeming blood!
In you, I though guilty am pardoned. Though lost, I have been saved
though wandering, I have been found
though full of sins, I am counted clean.
Give me a perpetually tender heart. Keep me clinging always to your cross.
Flood me every minute with gifts of your grace
Open up to me the springs of a greater knowledge and desire for you
sparkling like crystal, flowing clear and uncontaminated,
leading me to you in the midst of the wilderness of this life. Amen
May the Lord teach to pray and grow daily in greater dependence upon Him.