[The Temple, Detail of Model]from The Temple (1633), by George Herbert:


¶    Prayer. (II)

       OF what an easie quick accesse,
My blessed Lord, art thou! how suddenly
       May our requests thine eare invade!
To shew that state dislikes not easinesse,
If I but lift mine eyes, my suit is made:
Thou canst no more not heare, then thou canst die.

       Of what supreme almightie power
Is thy great arm, which spans the east and west,
       And tacks the centre to the sphere!
By it do all things live their measur’d houre:
We cannot ask the thing, which is not there,
Blaming the shallownesse of our request.

       Of what unmeasurable love
Art thou possest, who, when thou couldst not die,
       Wert fain1 to take our flesh and curse,
And for our sakes in person sinne reprove,
That by destroying that which ty’d thy purse,
Thou mightst make way for liberalitie!

       Since then these three wait on thy throne,
Ease, Power, and Love; I value prayer so,
       That were I to leave all but one,
Wealth, fame, endowments, vertues, all should go;
I and deare prayer would together dwell,
And quickly gain, for each inch lost, an ell.2

1 fain. willing; glad. [Return]
2 ell. An old measurement equal to 45 inches. [Return]

Note on the importance of Prayer from John Donne, (Sermon on Luke 23.34, Father, Forgive Them . . . . Date unknown but early):
So therefore prayer is our first entry, for when it is said, Ask and it shall be given, it is also said, Knock and it shall be opened, showing that prayer our entrance is. And not the entry onely, but the whole house: My house is a house of prayer. Of all the conduits and conveyances of Gods graces to us, none hath been so little subject to cavillations, as this of prayer. Matthew 7.7

  Luke 19.46

Summary of Lancelot Andrewes, Private Devotions:

    Six Aspects of Prayer
  1. adoration
  2. confession of sin
  3. prayer for grace
  4. confession of faith
  5. intercession for others
  6. thanksgiving and praise
    Three Main Levels of Prayer
  1. High Prayer, where God is adored and praised because He is God.
  2. Middle Prayer, where intercession goes out through God for others.
  3. Low Prayer, where a person prays for himself, asking that God do something through him rather than for him. [Prayer for ourselves and our own interests is not included as Prayer, even under "Low Prayer."]

A Java interpretation of "Prayer" at Java for Jesus site by Leo Wong ["Prayer 2-12" require latest version of Java Virtual Machine.]

Modern version
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