A Prayer That Children Can Understand and Pray

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

Learn to Depend on God in Prayer

Prayer is a vital part of our spiritual journey and is essential for maintaining a strong and healthy relationship with God. Ole Hallesby, a Norwegian theologian, wrote a book titled “Prayer” in which he outlines five points for prayer. In this post, we will discuss these five points and their significance in our prayer life.


The first point for growing in prayer is helplessness. Hallesby believes that we should approach God with an awareness of our helplessness and our inability to achieve anything on our own. We need God’s help to succeed in all aspects of our lives, and this should be reflected in our prayers.

When we recognize our helplessness, we humble ourselves before God and acknowledge our need for His guidance and support. We can then approach Him with a spirit of dependency, knowing that without Him, we can do nothing.


The second thing we learn is dependence. We should come to God with a childlike dependence, trusting in His goodness and mercy. Hallesby encourages us to remember that God is our loving Father and that He cares for us deeply.

As we depend on God, we can experience His peace and rest. We can cast all our cares upon Him, knowing that He will take care of us. This dependence on God helps us to develop a deeper relationship with Him, as we rely on Him more and more in our daily lives.


Hallesby’s third emphasis is importunity. He defines importunity as “shameless persistence in asking.” He encourages us to come to God with boldness and persistence, asking for what we need and believing that God will provide for us.

Importunity requires faith and perseverance. We must believe that God is able to answer our prayers and persist in asking until we see the answers. This kind of persistence in prayer strengthens our faith and helps us to grow closer to God.


The fourth point is faith. Hallesby believes that our prayers must be accompanied by faith in God’s ability and willingness to answer them. Faith is essential for our prayers to be effective.

As we exercise faith in God, we can pray with confidence, knowing that He hears us and will answer us. Our faith enables us to trust in God’s wisdom and timing, even when we do not understand His ways.


The final advice for growing in prayer is thanksgiving. Hallesby encourages us to cultivate a spirit of thankfulness in our prayers, thanking God for His many blessings and for His answers to our prayers.

Thanksgiving is an essential part of our prayer life, as it helps us to focus on the positive things in our lives and to recognize God’s goodness and faithfulness. A spirit of gratitude also helps us to maintain a positive attitude and to keep our hearts and minds focused on God.

Jesus comes to a sinner, awakens him from his sleep in sin, converts him, forgives him his sins and makes him His child. Then He takes the weak hand of the sinner and places it in His own strong, nail-pierced hand and says:

“Come now, I am going with you all the way and will bring you safe home to heaven. If you ever get into trouble or difficulty, just tell me about it. I will give you, without reproach, everything you need, and more besides, day by day, as long as you live.”

Ole Hallesby’s wise advice on prayer provides a helpful framework for developing a strong and healthy prayer life. By recognizing our helplessness, depending on God, persisting in prayer, exercising faith, and cultivating thankfulness, we can grow closer to God and experience the peace and rest that comes from a vibrant prayer life.

Piercing Heaven: Prayers for the Comfort of the Holy Spirit

I’ve been working my way through Piercing Heaven, a beautiful collection of Puritan prayers. Here are a series of prayers for the comforting work of the Holy Spirit from Robert Hawker.

Blessed promise! Holy Spirit, make it happen in and upon my soul, day by day.

Bring me under the continued baptisms of your sovereign influence, and cause me to feel all the sweet anointings of the Spirit sent down upon the hearts and minds of your redeemed. These are the fruits and effects of Jesus, the promise of God the Father.

Yes, blessed Spirit, cause me to know you in your person, work, and power.

I need you day by day as my Comforter.

I need you as the Spirit of truth, to guide me into all truth.

I need you as the one who reminds me of the Lord Jesus, to bring to my forgetful heart all the blessed things he has revealed to me.

I need you, as the witness of my Jesus, to testify of my wants, and of his fullness to supply.

I need you as my advocate and helper, in all my infirmities in prayer.

I need you as the deposit of the promised inheritance, that

I may not faint or lack faith to hold on and hold out in every dark season.

I need you, Lord. I cannot do a moment without you, nor act in faith, nor believe a promise, nor exercise a grace, without your constant hand on my poor soul.

Come then, Lord, I beg you, and let me be brought under your unceasing baptisms. Shed abroad the love of God my Father in my heart, and direct me into the patient waiting for Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Precious Promises of Christ


There are times in life when we have to fight to believe what we know to be true. We may become bogged down by the disappointments and trials of life and slip into seasons of doubting and questioning our hope. If you’re discouraged and downcast in spirit, this post is for you.

Thomas Brooks once wrote, “Three things are called precious in the Scripture: the blood of Christ is called ‘precious blood,’ 1 Peter 1:19; and faith is called ‘precious faith’ 2 Peter 1:1; and the promises are called ‘precious promises,’ 2 Peter 1:4.”  Are the promises of Christ precious to you today?

I recently compiled a list of all Christ’s promises (Download the PDF). I highlighted conditions of the promises in red and the actual promise in yellow. This has become a sweet document to me. I regularly come and let the promises of Christ wash over me. Christ’s people are a blessed people. When I read through the promises I quickly become overwhelmed. There is so much the Lord has promised to do for us in his Word.

Here are a few of the the precious promises of Christ I’ve been savoring recently:

Matthew 5:8  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Matthew 6:3-4 “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Matthew 6:6 “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

John 8:31-32 “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'”

John 10:9-10 “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

John 14:12-14 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”

John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

Revelation 22:12-13 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Revelation 22:20  “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”


“Furnish thyself with arguments from the promises to enforce thy prayers, and make them prevalent with God. The promises are the ground of faith, and faith, when strengthened, will make thee fervent, and such fervency ever speeds and returns with victory out of the field of prayer… The mightier any is in the Word, the more mighty he will be in prayer.” ~William Gurnall

Praying for the Soul (Yours or Another’s)

I recently read, in John Piper’s devotional Taste and See, an entry on how to pray for the human soul (both your own soul and the souls of others). I hope to begin praying this prayer for myself and others everyday. I have summarized Piper’s points and given the primary scriptures referenced.

1. Pray for an inclination to God and his Word.

“Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to gain” ~Psalm 119:36

2. Pray to have the eyes of your heart opened.

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.” ~Psalm 119:18

3. Pray for your heart to be enlightened with these “wonders.”

“…that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.” ~Ephesians 1:18

4. Pray for your heart to be united for God.

“O LORD, I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear Your name.”
~Psalm 86:11

5. Pray that your heart will be satisfied with God and not with the world.

“Satisfy us in the morning with Thy steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” ~Psalm 90:14

6. Pray that you would be strong in joy, persevering during the dark seasons.

“That [God] would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man.”
~Ephesians 3:16

7. Pray that you would produce good deeds and works of love for others.

“That [we] will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord…bearing fruit in every good work.” ~Colossians 1:10

8. Pray that the name of the Lord would be known and feared and loved and cherished and admired and praised and trusted because of your life and ministry.

“Hollowed be Thy name.” ~Matthew 6:9