All our prayers should carry a correspondence with our great aim. What is our great aim? To be with God in heaven, as remembering that is the centre and place of our rest, to which we are all tending: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). We come to our Father which is in heaven. He will have his residence there, that our hearts might be there. Therefore the main things we should seek of God from heaven are saving graces, for these “come down from above, from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). We have liberty to ask supplies for the outward life, but chiefly we should ask spiritual and heavenly things: “Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things” (Matthew 6:22, 23). What then? “First seek the kingom of God,” etc. If we have to do with a heavenly Father, our first and main care should be to ask things suitable to his being, and his excellency. If children should ask of their parents such a thing as is pleasing to their palate, possibly they might give it them; but when they ask instruction, and desire to be taught, that is far more acceptable to them. When we ask supplies of the outward life, food, raiment, God may give it us; but it is more pleasing to him when we ask for grace. In every prayer we should seek to be made more heavenly by conversing with our heavenly Father.

Thomas Manton, The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, 1:61–62.


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