Lord of all life and being,
There is one thing that deserves my greatest concern,
which calls out my deepest desires,
That is, that I may answer the great purpose for which I was created –
to glorify you, O God, who has given me life,
and to do all the good that I can for my fellow man;
Truly, life is not worth having if it is not improved for this great purpose.
Yet, Lord, how little this thought comes to the minds of men.
Most people seem to live for themselves,
without much or any regard for your glory,
or for the good of others;
They sincerely desire and pursue
the riches, honors, and pleasures of this life,
as if they believe that wealth, greatness, and pleasure
could make their immortal souls happy;
But what a false delusion that is!
And how miserable are those who will sleep in those empty dreams
for all our happiness consists in loving you and being holy as you are holy.
Lord, may I never fall into the vanity and temptations of this life,
the sensuality and foolishness of this present world.
It is a place of inexpressible sorrow; a vast and empty void;
Time is a moment, a vapor
and all the enjoyments of this life are but empty bubbles,
Like fleeting blasts of wind,
from which nothing satisfying can be derived.
Give me grace always to keep covenant with you,
and to reject as a delusion having a great name here or in the hereafter,
which brings with it all the pleasures and profits of the world.
Help me to know continually
that there can be no true happiness,
no fulfillment of your purpose for me,
apart from a life lived in and for Jesus Christ my Savior!
Translated from The Valley of Vision, p.22