Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Awakened Sinner

Here's a prayer titled "The Awakened Sinner" from "The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions" edited by Arthur Bennet (pages 64-65):


Awake from thy wandering dream;
turn from chasing vanities,
look inward, forward, upward, 
view thyself,
reflect upon thyself,
     who and when thou art, why here,
     what thou must soon be.
Thou art a creature of God,
     formed and furnished by him,
     lodged in a body like a shepherd in his tent;
Dost thou not desire to know God's ways?

O God,
Thou injured, neglected, provoked Benefactor
  when I think upon thy greatness and thy goodness
  I am ashamed at my insensibility,
  I blush to lift up my face,
  for I have foolishly erred.
Shall I go on neglecting thee,
  when every one of thy rational creatures
     should love thee,
  and take every care to please thee?
I confess that thou hast not been in all my thoughts,
  that the knowledge of thyself as the end of
     my being has been strangely overlooked,
  that I have never seriously considered
     my heart-need.
But although my mind is perplexed and divided,
  my nature perverse,
  yet my secret dispositions still desire thee.
Let me not delay to come to thee;
Break the fatal enchantment that binds
     my evil affections,
  and bring me to a happy mind that rests in thee,
  for thou has made me and canst not forget me.
Let thy Spirit teach me the vital lessons of Christ,
  for I am slow to learn;
And hear thou my broken cries.

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