Boy in Prayer



Merciful Lord God, you are Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. You say “It is done” of things that are yet to come, so faithful and true are your promises.

You have promised by your own word, out of your own mouth, that to anyone who is thirsty you will give the fountain of the water of life freely.

O Lord, I thirst. I long for one drop of mercy. As the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants for you, O God, and for your compassion.

If I had the glory, the wealth, and the pleasure of the whole world—if I had ten thousand lives, joyfully I would lay them down, just to have this poor trembling soul received into the bleeding arms of my blessed Redeemer.

O Lord, my spirit within me is melted into tears of blood. My heart is splintered in pieces. Out of the place of dragons and of the shadow of death, I lift up my thoughts, heavy and sad, before you.

The memory of my former vanities and sins is poison to my soul. The very flames of hell, Lord, the fury of your just wrath, the scorchings of my own conscience, have so wasted and parched my heart that my thirst cannot be quenched.

My desire is for the pardon and grace of Jesus Christ. And Lord, in your blessed book you cry, “Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters.” In that great day of the feast, you stood and cried, “If anyone thirst, come to me and drink.”

And these are your own words: “Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled.”

I challenge you, Lord, in my extreme thirst for you, and for spiritual life in you, by that word, and by that promise which you made—make it good to me. I grovel in the dust and tremble at your feet.

Open now that promised well of life. For I must drink or else I die. Amen.

—Isaac Ambrose

Isaac Ambrose, Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans, 2019, 22–23.

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