Friday, June 14, 2013

A Prayer for Happiness

Every now and then, I enjoy reading the prayers of the Puritans that are written in The Valley of Vision. I love this book. But whenever I read this book, I am conflicted. On the one hand, I love the old English terminologies. It makes these prayers seem so formal and pious. But on the other hand, it makes prayer so formal and pious. I know, that's the same thing. I love the wording because it sounds like it flows from hearts that were deep and passionate. But honestly, sometimes it can be difficult to fully grasp what they are saying. And so, sometimes when I read them, I sometimes try to reword them to be more relevant to our culture. 

Yesterday, I shared a few thoughts about treasures and how we often overvalue the treasures of this world by undervaluing Jesus. As I was meditating on that thought a little deeper, I came across the prayer called "Happiness." This prayer helped me as I cried out to the Lord. And yes, I have taken the liberty to reword this prayer into a more modern English. But I hope the message is the same.

Happiness

O Lord,
Help me never to expect any happiness from the world. 
Help me to find it only in You.
Let me not think that I will be more happy living for myself,
     for I can only be happy living for You,
     and if I desire to live in this world
     only to do and suffer what you bring my way.
Teach me
     that if I do not live a life that satisfies You,
     I shall not live a life that will satisfy me.
Help me to desire the spirit and attitude of angels
     who willingly come down to this lower world to perform Your will,
          though their desires are heavenly.
Help me to not think of living for You on my own strength,
     but always to look to and rely on You for assistance.
Team me that there is no greater truth than this,
     that I can do nothing by myself.
Lord, this is the life that no unconverted man can live,
     yet, it is an end that every godly soul strives after;
Let it be my concern to devote myself and all to You.
Make me more fruitful and spiritual,
     for emptiness is my daily affliction.
How precious is time and how painful to see it go
     with little done for good purposes!
I need Your help:
O may my soul sensibly depend upon You
     for all sanctification,
     and every accomplishment of Your purposes
          for me,
          for the world,
          and for Your Kingdom. 

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