Prayer book of 1549
LET thy merciful eares, O Lord, be open to the praiers of thy humble servauntes; and that they may obteine their peticions, make them to aske suche thinges as shal please thee; Through Jesus Christe our Lorde.
This is, on the face of it quite a simple collect in its content, yet there is a quite an eyebrow
-lifting quality to it when we consider what it's asking for. We ask God to be willing to hear our prayer, but then only to ask the things which please Him, because then He will grant them. It seems more like a statement of fact: "Please, dear God, grant that I may only pray for the things that you will grant."
Of course, there is so much more to this little prayer that we can consider and perhaps it was so powerful that it caused the composer whose name is Mudd to compose the wonderful anthem on this collect. The centre of this collect is a plea to God to align our wills to His Divine Will. We want to want what He wants, we want to be part of the things that He wants us to be part of. This is a prayer that recognises within ourselves the corruption of our free-will that acts perversely. Our humanity yearns for God, and yet in the pursuit of our free-will, we find ourselves walking further and further away from His Love. We want to want God, yet often we find that we do not want Him. The human soul is composed of many complicated levels of desire. Yet, peel all of those levels back and we find that simple, deep-seated and basic longing to be loved perfectly, for who we are, without the need to be anything other than what we are, indeed despite what we are. Only God can supply that Love.
Because we cannot be saved by our own efforts, we need God first to open our eyes with His grace. We are then able to know that what we want, and that what we want is not actually what we really want. The best thing in our life is to do exactly as Our Lord commanded. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.