A Praying Life

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This is a hymn adapted from a Valley of Vision prayer "Living By Prayer" and is an honest look at the struggle of prayer. We would do well to spend more time asking God to prepare us for prayer, Bible study, and worship rather than simply ploughing through them as a discipline, that God might "grant a yielded heart" that we might find "rest from inner strife as longings are fulfilled."


O Father of the open ear,
Come grant a yielded heart
That You might, through a life of prayer,
Your peace and love impart.

Tear down the rule of selfish lust
Which often drives my prayer
That I may to Your love entrust
My every need and care.

And when I try to force Your hand
My every wish to bring,
Convict me that I dare command
The true and loving King.

Compel me to with boldness plead
For things both great and small-
Not only for my every need
But for the good of all.

Remind me that a praying life
Is bending to Your will
And finding rest from inner strife
As longings are fulfilled.

Text: David L. Ward, © 2013 ThousandTongues.org
Based on the Valley of Vision prayer "Living by Prayer"
Tune: St. COLUMBA ("The King of Love My Shepherd Is")

Original Prayer

Living By Prayer (from The Valley of Vision)

O God of the open ear,
Teach me to live by prayer
as well as by providence,
for myself, soul, body, children, family, church;
Give me a heart frameable to thy will;
so might I live in prayer,
and honour thee,
being kept from evil, known and unknown.
Help me to see the sin that accompanies all I do,
and the good I can distil from everything.
Let me know that the work of prayer is to bring
my will to thine,
and that without this it is folly to pray;
When I try to bring thy will to mine it is
to command Christ,
to be above him, and wiser than he:
this is my sin and pride.
I can only succeed when I pray
according to thy precept and promise,
and to be done with as it pleases thee,
according to thy sovereign will.
When thou commandest me to pray
for pardon, peace, brokenness,
it is because thou wilt give me the thing promised,
for thy glory,
as well as for my good.
Help me not only to desire small things
but with holy boldness to desire great things
for thy people, for myself,
that they and I might live to show thy glory.
Teach me
that it is wisdom for me to pray for all I have,
out of love, willingly, not of necessity;
that I may come to thee at any time,
to lay open my needs acceptably to thee;
that my great sin lies in my not keeping
the savour of thy ways;
that the remembrance of this truth is one way
to the sense of thy presence;
that there is no wrath like the wrath of being
governed by my own lusts for my own ends.


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