My life with God is enriched by prayers that Christians have written through the centuries. Here are a few of these prayers. They call us beyond the shallow dabbling in religion that serves primarily to ensure our own safety and prosperity, to a deep union with God and wholehearted consecration to his purposes.

By Benedict of Nursia (St. Benedict), 480-547, Italian, founder of the Benedictine monastic order.
When we visited Westminster Abbey two weeks ago, this prayer was available at the candle-lighting prayer station.

O gracious and holy Father,
give us wisdom to perceive you,
diligence to seek you,
patience to wait for you,
eyes to behold you,
a heart to meditate on you,
and a life to proclaim you;
through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord.

The following was composed by John Wesley, English evangelist and revivalist, 1703-1791.
It is the center piece of a Covenant Service that Wesley issued in 1780.

I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will; rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you; exalted for you, or brought low for you; let me be full, let me be empty; let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant now made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.

And one more prayer, this one by George Wallace Briggs, an Anglican clergyman and hymn writer who lived in England from 1875-1959.

O Holy Spirit, giver of light and life, impart to us thoughts higher than our own thoughts, and prayers better than our own prayers, and powers beyond our own powers, that we may spend and be spent in the ways of love and goodness, after the perfect image of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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