Before even beginning his actual prayer, Yates sets the scene by describing the conditions he sees and hears around him. He is surrounded by a howling storm, great gusts of wind blowing waves crashing into bridges, collapsing buildings, threatening the lives of any who are out on the sea. Into this tumultuous world, his daughter has been born, and he fears for her safety.
Beyond the superficial concern about the storm, however, Yates has deeper and more life-long concerns. He is concerned that she be physically appealing but not so attractive that she thinks of beauty as her main accomplishment and doesn't strive to develop relationships based on anything other than appearance.
He hopes that she will grow up understanding the importance of being kind to others, treating all with courtesy and charm. He prays that her spirit will not be choked off by the hatred of others.
Last, Yates prays for his daughter to find a husband who will provide a stable, comfortable and tradition-filled home.