I believe in spontaneous and heartfelt prayer. I'm skeptical of pastors who only "pray" (or read) written prayers during a service of worship (as I witnessed every week in church in my childhood). It's not wrong if it's prayed in earnest and expresses what the heart craves, I simply prefer the more spontaneous type.
Yet I must confess that God has also used written prayers to feed my soul. Books like "C. H. Spurgeon's Prayers," or "Luther's Prayers," or "A Diary of Private Prayer" by John Baillee, "Prayers Ancient and Modern" (published in 1897!) and "Valley of Vision - A Collection of Puritan Prayers" by Arthur Bennett, have often been a great aid in my own prayer and devotional life.
So today I offer you three prayers to consider. Two come from "Prayer's Ancient and Modern," and the third from, "Valley of Vision," by Arthur Bennett. Enjoy.
"Father, calm the turbulence of our passions;
Quiet the throbbing of our hopes;
Repress the waywardness of our wills;
Direct the motions of our affections;
and Sanctify the varied activities of our lives.
Be all in all to us; and may all things earthly,
while we bend them to our growth in grace,
and to the work of blessing, dwell lightly in our hearts -- so that we may readily, even joyfully, give up whatever you might ask.
May we seek first your kingdom and your righteousness; resting assured that then all things needful shall be added unto us.
Father, pardon our past ingratitude and disobedience; and purify us -- whether by your gentler or sterner dealings --till we have done your will on earth, and you take us into your own presence, with all the redeemed in heaven.
"O God our heavenly Father, renew in us the sense of Your gracious Presence,
and let it be a constant impulse within us to peace, truthfulness, and courage on our pilgrimage.
Let us hold You fast with a loving and adoring heart, and let our affections be so fixed on You, that unbroken communion in our hearts with You may accompany us in whatsoever we do, through life and in death.
Teach us to pray heartily;
To listen for Your voice within,
And never to stifle it's warnings.
We bring our poor hearts as a sacrifice unto You, come and fill Your sanctuary...
O Thou who art Love, let Your divine Spirit flow like a river through our whole souls,
And lead us in the right way till we pass, by a peaceful death, into the Land of Promise.
"Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly, You have brought me to the Valley of Vision,
where I live in the depths, but see You in the heights.
Hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Your glory.
Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from the deepest wells, and the deeper the well, the brighter Your stars shine.
Let me find Your light in my darkness,
Your life in my death,
Your joy in my sorrow,
Your grace in my sin,
Your riches in my poverty,
Your glory in my valley.
May the blessings of renewed communion with Christ be yours, Pastor Jeff