“Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray…” Luke 11:1
As someone said, “You can’t teach experience.” It’s true, however, in order to get experience you have to apply and practice what you’re being taught. God graciously loves us and redeems us just as we are, but he loves us too much to leave us that way. We are learning new things and changing all the time, primarily through the people and products that we are around the most. So spending quality time in God’s Word, in fervent prayer, and fellowship with like-minded followers of Jesus, will help us to grow strong in our faith and in the likeness of Christ.
I find it helpful to be around, or read the writings of, those who deeply and dearly love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. They are further down the road in faithfully following Jesus than I am, so they can provide me with wisdom from their experiences and a flesh and blood example to emulate. I have been especially helped over the years in reading the prayers of saints gone before me. Like the Psalms, such prayers can inspire me to cultivate a worshipful and transparent closeness with the Lord in my own prayer life. Here (below) is one such prayer called, Grace Active, from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, that just might inspire, instruct, and bless you as well.
Thanks for meandering along with me,
Lord Jesus, Great High Priest,
- You have opened a new and living way by which a fallen creature can approach you with acceptance. Help me to contemplate the dignity of your Person, the perfectness of your sacrifice, the effectiveness of your intercession.
- O what blessedness accompanies devotion, when under all the trials that weary me, the cares that corrode me, the fears that disturb me, the infirmities that oppress me, I can come to you in my need and feel peace beyond understanding!
- The grace that restores is necessary to preserve, lead, guard, supply, help me. And here your saints encourage my hope; they were once poor and are now rich, bound and are now free, tried and now are victorious.
- Every new duty calls for more grace than I now possess, but not more than is found in you, the divine Treasury in whom all fullness dwells. To you I repair for grace upon grace, until every void made by sin be replenished and I am filled with all your fullness. May my desires be enlarged and my hopes be emboldened, that I may honour you by my entire dependency and the greatness of my expectation.
- Be with me, and prepare me for all the smiles of prosperity, the frowns of adversity, the losses of substance, the death of friends, the days of darkness, the changes of life, and the last great change of all.
May I find your grace sufficient for all my needs.