Prayers of our Forefathers

Lately, I've been reading about prayer. It seems ironic that one would read about prayer instead of just praying. Nevertheless, I've certainly found value in it. Andrew Murray is always a challenging and maturing read, and I do find myself drawn more to intentional prayer as I tune my heart to be concerned with the subject of prayer.

But during my time off, I came across this website called "Puritan Prayers". And WOW. As I've read through the prayers, I find myself challenged, encouraged, and taught by them.

Though they are written in older language that seems unfamiliar to the average modern Christian's ear, as you meditate on these words, they plumb to depths that will enrich you. You can't just casually browse or skim these prayers... they aren't meant to be read hastily. They are prayers MEANT to be read aloud. And slowly. With conviction. With sorrow. With joy. With the depths of the soul engaged. To our Creator, Sustainer, and Father-- God of the Universe.

Consider this from "The Deeps":
"Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as saviour, master, lord, and king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee."
Or this from "Divine Support":
"Thou hast produced and sustained me, supported and indulged me, saved and kept me; Thou art in every situation able to meet my needs and miseries.

May I live by Thee, live for Thee, never be satisfied with my Christian progress but as I resemble Christ; and may conformity to His principles, temper, and conduct grow hourly in my life."

I'd encourage you to read through them, and as they are even labeled by topic/situation, you can find one that suits your own heart and needs and then let these words echo from centuries ago in your mouth and heart. As the person whose blog pointed me to this website wrote (I'm sorry I can't remember where I read this), we "sing" other people's words all the time-- in church, on the radio, to our husband, and to our God. So while this may seem different since it's prayer, it's really not.

Let the words of these faithful forefathers roll around in your mind and in your mouth, and just see how they'll challenge, convict, change, and bless you.


hopeathome said...

These prayers are beautiful; thanks for sharing. (Just came across your blog a couple days ago, and am loving it!)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this!

Courtney said...

I gave my husband a book of Puritan prayers for Christmas a couple years ago. It's entitled "Valley of Vision" and he absolutely loves it. Definitely something worth looking into. I think you can get a paperback copy for about $10. Also, a shameless plug for one of my favorite ministries, Sovereign Grace Music has an album of the same title that is made up of Puritan prayers put to music. Great stuff!!

Terry, Ornament of His Grace said...

Thank you Jess. It so happens that I am reading about prayer, too. And I look forard to reading these prayers.

Anonymous said...

Definitely bookmarked that for later exploration; reminds me of studying Jonathan Edwards in my American Lit class last year.

I go to a liberal university (wasn't a Christian when I started) and the entire class was dumbfounded by his sermon on Christian love: "I thought all they talked about was fire and brimstone; who knew Christians talked about love?"

They'd probably be bowled over by those prayers!

Thanks for sharing them; I'm excited to find time to dig in!

deb said...

The prayers you quoted are very beautiful.

kate said...

You should check out the Episcopal 1928 prayer book (or any of the older ones from the Church of England). Beautiful, well thought out, convicting prayers.

Laura said...

Jess, many of those prayers are in the collection Courtney mentioned above, Valley of Vision. You almost couldn't find a better resource for prayer that is both theologically on-point and emotionally open and real. Two very big thumbs up! :)