Even Jesus’ own disciples asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
For years in working with students I would find myself listening to a teen yearn to learn to pray. We would pray together but I would also encourage them to read the prayers recorded for us by others over the centuries.
I would encourage them to read the prayers of scripture – Jesus’ prayer in John 17, the prayer of Nehemiah in chapter 9 (which is the longest prayer recorded in scripture), Daniel’s prayer in chapter 9, and, of course, the biblical book of Psalms which is a collection of 150 raw, honest prayers.
Excerpts from yet another wonderful collection of raw, celebratory and desperate prayers are below.
The Valley of Vision is a collection of Puritan prayers, and a well-worn book in my library.
The Puritan Movement was mostly during the 16th & 17th centuries. As with any “religiosity” the corrupt heart of mankind can twist God’s Word to mean what they want it to mean – hence, the Salem Witch Trials that took place during the Puritan era.
However, although the wicked events claim most of the press, many Puritans were just like us: broken people trying to navigate this sometimes painful and confusing thing we call life.
The prayers in the book mentioned above, and cited below, represent those broken people.
Enjoy and be inspired. Much love, Nick
“O incomprehensible but prayer-hearing God,
I thank you for the riches to me in Jesus – for the unclouded revelation of him in your Word where I behold his person, character, grace, glory, humiliation, sufferings, death and resurrection.
I come to you with nothing of my own to offer – no works, nothing of worth, no promises. Just me.
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.
O Lord, I am astonished at the difference between what I receive and what I deserve – the heaven I am bound for, the hell I deserve.
O God, it is amazing that we can talk so much about our mere human power and goodness when, if you did not hold us back at every moment, we would be devils incarnate.
Nothing exceeds your power. Your might is infinite, your grace limitless, your name glorious.
Let angels sing for sinners repenting, for prodigals restored, for Satan’s captives released, for blind eyes opened, for broken hearts healed, for giving us hope in a sometimes hopeless world.
Destroy in me every lofty thought. Break my pride to pieces and scatter it to the winds.
Let my words and actions be firmly rooted in your Word.
I ask great things of a great God.