Puritan "aspirations"?

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Puritan Board Freshman
During Monergism Books' recent sale I bought The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions. Here are a couple of excerpts from the Preface:

These prayers are drawn from the largely forgotten deposit of Puritan spiritual exercises, meditations, and aspirations.
The book is not intended to be read as a prayer manual. The soul learns to pray by praying; for prayer is communion with a transcendent and immanent God who on the ground of his nature and attributes calls forth all the powers of the redeemed soul in acts of total adoration and dedication. The prayers should therefore be used as aspiration units, the several parts of which could become springboards for the individual's own prayer subjects.
The writer seems to assume the reader is familiar with the term "aspiration" in connection with prayer, but it's a new one to me. Can anyone clarify?


Puritan Board Doctor
I don't think he's using the term as a technical term of any sort. I just think he means that the prayers published in the book, and the parts of each prayer, can be used as "jumping off points," if you will, for your own prayers. He thinks the prayers in the book can help jump-start your own.


Puritanboard Librarian
I think in this context "aspiration" means both 1) "audible breath that accompanies or comprises a speech sound" and 2) "a strong desire..." or hope, expectation. The latter, in particular, is a necessary component for earnest prayer. So I would view "aspiration" in this sense as a hopeful, expectant pouring out of one's desires to God, audibly or not, which these written prayers can inspire. :2cents:
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