Saturday, April 28, 2012

Valley of Vision: Desires

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 that would 
  have injure 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 not what to pray for as I ought. 
Let him produce in me wise desires by which 
   I may ask right things, then shall I 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 towards thee, 
  or that I am 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.

From The Valley of Vision pages 194-195

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