Three hundred years ago, Matthew Henry completed his Commentary on the Bible that is still used and respected today, known for its devotional insight, sound theology, and practical wisdom. But Matthew Henry considered another work to be so important that he stopped writing his Commentary to complete it. That work is his book on praying the Scriptures systematically.
The entire volume is a treasury of prayer, but this one he wrote for children is a favorite. Henry compiled a prayer full of Scripture, but able to be understood and memorized by children. Here is the prayer as edited and revised by O. Palmer Robertson in this edition of Henry’s work from Banner of Truth.
O Lord, you are my God. I will seek you while I am young. I will praise you. I will exalt you because you are my father’s God.
Who is a God like you? Who can do wonders like you? Who is glorious in holiness, awesome in praises like you?
Whom do I have in heaven apart from you? There is nothing on this earth that I desire more than you. When my flesh and my heart fail, you remain as the strength of my life and my most treasured possession forever. You made me for yourself to praise you.
But I am a sinner. I was sinful at birth. I was even sinful when my mother conceived me.
God, be merciful to me a sinner.
Deliver me from the wrath to come. Save me through Jesus, who died for me and rose again.
Lord, give me a new nature. Let Jesus Christ be formed in my soul. Let me live my life for Christ. Let death bring gain to me.
Lord, I was given to you in my baptism. Please receive me graciously and love me freely.
Lord Jesus, you have encouraged little children to come to you. You have said that the Kingdom of God belongs to children and to people who are like children. I now cons to you. Make me a faithful subject of your kingdom. like me up in your arms. But your hands on me and bless me.
Let me be redeemed by your grace from all iniquity. Especially deliver me from the vanity into which all children are led.
Lord, give me a wise and understanding heart. Let me know and do your will in everything. Help me so that I may not sin against you in anything. Deliver me from lips that lie.
Bless me from my childhood so that I may know the Holy Scriptures. Bless my parents and grandparents as they teach me. Graciously write your law in my heart. Let me remain faithful to the good things I have learned.
Be a father to me. Meet all my needs as my loving heavenly Father. Teach me. Guide me. Provide for me. Protect me. Bless me, O my Father.
Bless all my relatives. Bless my father, mother, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles. Give me grace to do my duty to all of them.
Lord, prepare me for death. Give me grace and wisdom to consider how my life will end.
Thank you for all your mercies to me. Thank you for life, health, food, clothes, and my education. Thank you for creating and preserving me. Thank you for all the blessings of this life. Above all, thank you for your great and infinite love, for the gift of Jesus your Son, and for the hope of glory.
I thank you, O my God, for the amazing gift of your Son. I lift my voice in praise for JESUS CHRIST. I desire Jesus alone. There is no one else I need apart from him.
Now to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that great name into which I was baptized, be honour and glory, dominion and praise, forever and ever. Amen.
A Way to Pray, pp. 221-222