Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626) was an Anglican bishop who was appointed to lead the translation of the English Authorized (King James) Bible. While he was known for his work on the Bible, it was an overflow of his prayer life.
He was a gifted child, who began studying at 4 AM! He loved studying Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. He enrolled in Cambridge, where he earned several degrees, and became a chaplain to Queen Elizabeth. He was considered to be the secondmost learned churchman of his day, next to Archbishop James Ussher (of the Ussher’s Chronologies).
As the Reformation came to England, the Anglican church was split between the Catholics and the Puritans. Andrewes was instrumental in guiding the church to a theology based on Scripture.
After preaching the funeral sermon for Queen Elizabeth, he continued in service to the next royal, King James.
King James appointed him to lead the Westminster company of scholars, entrusted with the translation of Genesis thru II Kings.
But his effectiveness was powered by his prayer life. In fact, he had a prayer that he opened his prayer time with!
O Almighty and everliving God, Heavenly Father to whom it is manifestly known, how inconstant, and wandring, the minds of men are, in any good actions; and how easily we suffer ourselves to be carried away, from the contemplation of thee, by diversity of distractions, and unreasonable thoughts, which take hold of us, in the time of our Devotions and Prayers unto thee; who also, by thine only begotten Son Christ Jesus, didst prescribe unto his Disciples a form of prayer to be offered up to thee, and hast derived the same from them to us. Behold me, most wretched Sinner, wholly depraved and corrupt, intreating thee by the same Son, that for his sake thou wouldest infuse thy Holy Spirit into me, which may adopt me into the number of thine Elect: that it may teach me how I ought to pray, according to thy Holy Will: that it may allay all troublesome and wandring thoughts in me, while I offer up my prayers and priases unto thee: Suffer me not to serve thee with my Lips, and be absent in Heart from thee: but create a right Spirit within me, that I being sensible of all thy graves, and comforts, may with joyful and holy zeal, perform my duty to thee: that so, my prayers and desires may appear before thee, and in thy Son’s Name, I may effectually be heard, and my petitions may be granted to the glory and honour of thy most holy Name, and the endless comfort of mine own Soul, through the same our only Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Today as you pray to the Lord, perhaps take some time before you pray, to ask for help preparing your heart for prayer!