Seizing Every Moment for Prayer

When I have been sitting in a Room full of People, at a Funeral, where they take not much Liberty for Talk, and where yett much Time is most unreasonably lost, I have usually sett my Witts a work, to contrive agreeable Benedictions, for each Person in the Company.

In passing along the Street, I have sell myself to bless thousands of persons, who never knew that I did it; with secret Wishes, after this manner sent unto Heaven for them. Upon the sight of:

A tall Man: Lord, give that Man, High Attainments in Christianity; lett him fear God, above many.

Children at Play: Lord, lett not these Children always forgett the Work, which they came into the World upon.

A Very little Man: Lord, bestow great Blessings upon that Man, and above all, thy Christ, the greatest of Blessings.

A Man carrying a Burden: Lord, help this Man, to carry a burdened Soul, unto his Lord-Redeemer.

A Man on Horseback: Lord, thy Creatures do serve that man; help him to serve his Maker.

Young People: Lord, help these Persons to remember their Creator in the Dayes of their Youth.

Young Gentlewomen: Lord, make `em wise Virgins, as the polish’d Stones of thy Temple.

A Shop-keeper, busy in the Shop: Lord, lett not the World, cause that Person to neglect the one thing that is needful.

A Man, who going by mee took no Notice of mee: Lord help that Man, to take a due Notice of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray thee.


By Cotton Mather

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #41 in 1994]

An excerpt from the diary of Cotton Mather, February 1684.
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