A Prayer for Today
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 desire 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 thy Spirit help my infirmities, for I know now 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 thou 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 thy favor, image, presence, service.
-- Valley of Vision, p. 106