A Puritan’s Prayer: Heaven Desired

O MY LORD,

May I arrive where means of grace cease
  and I need no more to fast, pray, weep, watch,
  be tempted, attend preaching and sacrament;
where nothing defiles,
where is no grief, sorrow, sin, death,
  separation, tears, pale face, languid body,
  aching joints, feeble infancy, decrepit age,
  peccant humours, pining sickness,
  griping fears, consuming cares;
where is personal completeness;
where the more perfect the sight
  the more beautiful the object,
the more perfect the appetite
  the sweeter the food,
the more musical the ear
  the more pleasant the melody,
  the more complete the soul
    the more happy its joys,
  where is full knowledge of thee.

Here I am an ant, and as I view a nest of ants
  so dost thou view me and my fellow-creatures;
But as an ant knows not me, my nature, my thoughts,
  so here I cannot know thee clearly.

But there I shall be near thee,
  dwell with my family,
  stand in thy presence chamber,
  be an heir of thy kingdom,
    as the spouse of Christ,
    as a member of his body,
    one with him who is with thee,
  and exercise all my powers of body and soul
    in the enjoyment of thee.

As praise in the mouth of thy saints is comely,
  so teach me to exercise this divine gift,
    when I pray, read, hear, see, do,
    in the presence of people and of my enemies,
    as I hope to praise thee eternally hereafter.

(Taken from ‘The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers,’ edited by Arthur Bennett)

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