O thou that hearest prayer,

Teach me to pray.

I confess that in religious exercises the language of my lips and the feelings of my heart have not always agreed,

That I have frequently taken carelessly upon my tongue a name never pronounced above without reverence and humility,

That I have often desired things which would have injured me,

That I have depreciated some of my chief mercies,

That I have erred both on the side of my hopes and also of my fears,

That I am unfit to choose for myself, for it is not in me to direct my steps.


Let the 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 though 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.

May I regard the world as dreams, lies, vanities, vexation of spirit, and desire to depart from it.

And may I seek my happiness in they favour, image, presence, service.


The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett. The Banner of Truth Trust, 194-195.