Thursday, September 4, 2008

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.

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