Prayer of the Puritans: The Minister’s Prayer
Prayer of the Puritans
The Puritan movement of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was characterized by a firm commitment to prayer, meditation on Scripture, the pursuit of holiness through the application of all aspects of theology in practical life and preaching.
Often the Puritans wrote down their prayers. They did this not so that their prayers would become elements of the liturgy assigned to other people in return for their personal communion with God, but in order to encourage themselves to pray more concretely and in the greatest harmony with Scripture. They didn’t want to fill their prayers with meaningless words that could easily overwhelm prayer from a lazy and unconsecrated mind. Who among us has not experienced such moments in prayer, when the tongue murmurs, while the mind remains indifferent?
In addition, they often recorded their prayers in diaries, not for publication, but for the purpose of researching their spiritual growth and as a defining means of the operation of God’s grace in their lives. The Puritans were engaged in a thorough examination of themselves. By reviewing their old prayers recorded six months or a year earlier, they could see how much they had really grown in grace, and whether God had answered their requests.
The purpose of publishing these prayers in Russian is not to provide us with the correct prayers, but to encourage us to pay more attention to our own prayer life. Like the Puritans, let us heed the words we speak to better match our prayers with the truth, and to evaluate our growth in grace through the study of our prayers.
Good God, may the fruit of my ministry be not only the approval of people
or the respect and praise of the people;
But You Yourself do grace-filled work in hearts,
summoning the elect
sealing and edifying the regenerated
and commanding eternal bliss to their souls.
Save me from conceit and selfishness,
Water abundantly the hearts of those who hear the Word,
so that the seed sown in weakness
rose in strength;
Grant me together with the listeners
to see You now in the light of saving faith
and always – in the radiance of endless glory;
Make my every sermon a gift of grace to my own soul.
and help me to experience the full power of your death,
for your blood is a balm,
fellowship with you is eternal bliss,
Your smile is heaven
and your cross is the place where mercy and truth combined;
Look out for doubts and disappointments in my ministry
and keep me from relying on my own strength;
Forgive me many sins, shortcomings and infirmities
both in life and in my ministry;
Send a blessing on my weak and unworthy labors,
and also the message of salvation in my mouth;
Stay with your people
and may fellowship with Thee be our eternal inheritance.
May the words of my sermon be skillful, not only human art,
my reasoning – honed not only by the human mind,
my speech is not empty and powerless,
but grant me to exalt you and humble sinners.
Lord, mighty and gracious God,
because all hearts are in your hands and all events are in your power,
place the seal of Thy favor upon my service.