One of our primary goals for our Friday prayer time is not only to pray but also to point you to resources to help you pray.
And one of the best is Matthew Henry’s A Method for Prayer, where he weaves together hundreds of scriptural phrases into a seamless garment of praise and petition.
In today’s prayer, we will follow along with him in two prayers that he wrote for the children of his church to learn.
I have included his version below (remember he wrote these in 1712, so the scriptures are from the King James Version of the Bible. (In the audio I update the language to flow a little smoother.)
A Prayer for Children:
O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee; my father’s God, and I will extol thee.
Who is a God like unto thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. When my flesh and my heart fail, thou art the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Thou madest me for thyself, to show forth thy praise.
But I am a sinner; I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
God be merciful to me a sinner.
O deliver me from the wrath to come, through Jesus, who died for me, and rose again.
Lord, give me a new nature. Let Jesus Christ be formed in my soul, that to me to live may be Christ, and to die may be gain.
Lord, I was in my baptism given up to thee; receive me graciously and love me freely.
Lord Jesus, thou hast encouraged little children to come to thee and hast said that of such is the kingdom of God; I come to thee: O make me a faithful subject of thy kingdom, take me up in thy arms, put thy hands upon me, and bless me.
O give me grace to redeem me from all iniquity, and particularly from the vanity which childhood and youth is subject to.
Lord, give me a wise and an understanding heart, that I may know and do thy will in everything, and may in nothing sin against thee.
Lord, grant that from my childhood I may know the holy scriptures, and may continue in the good things that I have learned.
Remove from me the way of lying and grant me thy law graciously.
Lord, be thou a Father to me; teach me and guide me; provide for me and protect me and bless me, even me, O my Father.
Bless all my relations (father, mother, brothers, sisters), and give me grace to do my duty to them in every thing.
Lord, prepare me for death and give me wisely to consider my latter end.
O Lord, I thank thee for all thy mercies to me: for life and health, food and raiment, and for my education; for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for thine inestimable love in the means of grace, and the hope of glory.
Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift; blessed be God for JESUS CHRIST. None but Christ, none but Christ for me.
Now to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, that great name into which I was baptized, be honour and glory, dominion and praise, forever and ever. Amen.
A Prayer for Children based on the Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, we come to thee as children to a Father able and ready to help us.
We beseech thee, let thy name be sanctified; enable us and others to glorify thee in all that whereby thou hast made thyself known, and dispose of all things to thine own glory.
Let thy kingdom come; let Satan’s kingdom be destroyed, and let the kingdom of thy grace be advanced; let us and others be brought into it, and kept in it, and let the kingdom of thy glory be hastened.
Let thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven; make us by thy grace able and willing to know, obey, and submit to thy will in all things, as the angels do in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; of thy free gift let us receive a competent portion of the good things of this life, and let us enjoy thy blessing with them.
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us. We pray that for Christ’s sake thou wouldst freely pardon all our sins, and that by thy grace thou wouldst enable us from the heart to forgive others.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Either keep us, O Lord, from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Lord, we take our encouragement in prayer from thyself only and desire in our prayers to praise thee, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to thee: And in testimony of our desires and assurance to be heard through Jesus Christ, we say Amen.