A 300 year Old Prayer: “All I Want Is To Know and Serve You, Lord”

The following prayer is drawn from the largely forgotten deposit of the Puritan Movement of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They testify to the richness and color of evangelical thought and language, as well as their devotion to the Savior. They can be found in a book titled “The Valley of Vision”, by Arthur Bennet. I have included them in this blog so that others can use them in their own prayer life as a springboard to a more faithful walk with Jesus. These prayers are 200-400 years old! They were written in old English. but that should not get in the way if you don’t let it.

Following Him together…


Thou God of my end,

You have given me a fixed disposition

to go forth and spend my life for thee;

If it be your will let me proceed in it;

if not, then revoke my intentions.


All I want in life is such circumstances

as may best enable me to serve you in the world;

To this end I leave all my concerns in your hand

but let me not be discouraged,

for this hinders my spiritual fervency;


Enable me to undertake some task for thee,

for this refreshes and animates my soul,

so that I could endure all hardships and labours,

and willingly suffer for your name.


But, Oh what a death it is to strive and labour,

to always be in a hurry and yet do nothing!

Alas, time flies and I am of little use.

Oh that I could be a flame of fire in your service

always burning out in one continual blaze.


Fit me for singular usefulness in this world

Fit me to exult in distresses of every kind

if they but promote the advancement of your kingdom.

Fit me to quit all hopes of the world’s friendship,

and give me a deeper sense of my sinfulness.

Fit me to accept as just desert from thee

any trial that may befall me.

Fit me to be totally resigned to the denial of pleasures I desire,

and to be content to spend my time with you.

Fit me to pray with a sense of the joy of divine communion,

to find all times happy seasons to my soul,

to see my own nothingness,

and wonder that I am allowed to serve thee.

Fit me to enter the blessed world where no unclean thing is,

and to know thee with me always.


You may also find these prayers helful:  Need of Jesus  and The Precious Blood.

About Jim

Not For Itching Ears is a blog dedicated to discussing the American Evangelical church. It is a place for people to share their thoughts on a host of issues relating to this subject. Jim is available to speak at weekend services, and retreats at no cost to churches in Florida. Contact us for more information.

Posted on December 6, 2010, in Christianity, Prayer, The Christian Life, Worship and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi, I thought you might like to use this on your web site, or for yourself. A free prayer book by Matthew Henry called ‘A Method for Prayer’ 1710 edition, with additional Bible helps. You can use the audio files for the book if you like. http://www.mrmatthewhenry.com


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