Saturday, 1 August 2015


I picked this gem up a couple of years ago. Reprinted by the Banner of Truth in its Pocket Puritan series, it is a small book (measuring 5.25 inches x 3.5 inches) and contains a short prayer of around 80 words summarizing the contents of each of the 150 Psalms. Immediately you can see a problem there. Some Psalms do not lend themselves particularly to this kind of thing and inevitably the compiler might well leave out something that you think should have been included. So be it. No human composition is perfect. 

Being an ancient  Presbyterian production - it is based on the 1595 Scottish Psalter - it is not intended that the prayers be recited by rote. The Anglicans tend to do that, rather than the Presbyterians. The idea is more to stimulate the thinking and to stir the soul to pray. One can always enlarge upon these prayers.

The prayer accompanying the reading of Psalm 13 is as follows:

O Eternal God, and most merciful Father, who brings to life things that are dead, of your infinite goodness give us quiet hearts, to the purpose that we, not being won over with the heavy burdens of afflictions that fall on us, may in our consciences rejoice always in your salvation, and grant, we urgently and fervently request of you, that we may continually addict ourselves to praise and magnify your most holy name, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, our Redeemer. Amen.

I have toyed around with the idea of compiling something of my own. Not on the Psalms - why reinvent the wheel - but I started a similar exercise on John's gospel. Maybe this is a bit like poetry. We can all make words rhyme, but can we write poems?  We can all write prayers, but do they stir the heart to pray? Not sure if I am trying to be too clever here. But anyway, maybe reading this article will stir you to do likewise. Here is my offering for John 1:

Eternal God who seest all things, we Thy regenerated children approach Thee through the Eternal Word, Thy Son and our Creator God. He is not only the King of Israel but the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. Let us like John sent from God bear witness to the Light. This we ask through Him who not only said "Come and see" but who also promised that we would see greater things than these. Amen.

I have 10 prayers composed already. I don't do one every day, but enjoy those moments when I lay aside a while to try and compose them.  


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