Sunday, July 22, 2012

God and Myself

Here's a prayer titled "God and Myself" from "The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions" edited by Arthur Bennett (pages 70-71): 


Thy understanding is unsearchable and infinite,
Thy arm cannot be stayed,
Thy agency extends through limitless space,
All works hang on thy care,
With thee time is a present now.

Holy is thy wisdom, power, mercy, ways, works.
How can I stand before thee
   with my numberless and aggravated offences?
I have often loved darkness,
   observed lying vanities,
   forsaken thy given mercies,
   trampled underfoot thy beloved Son,
   mocked thy providences,
   flattered thee with my lips,
   broken thy covenant.
It is of thy compassion that I am not consumed.
Lead me to repentance, and save me from despair;
Let me come to thee renouncing, condemning,
     loathing myself,
   but hoping in the grace that flows 
     even to the chief of sinners.
At the cross may I contemplate the evil of sin,
     and abhor it,
   look on him whom I pierced,
     as one slain for me, and by me.
May I never despise his death by fearing
     its efficacy for my salvation.
And whatever cross I am required to bear,
   let me see him carrying a heavier.
Teach me in health to think of sickness,
   in the brightest hours to be ready for darkness;
   in life prepare me for death.
Thus may my soul rest in thee, O immortal 
     and transcendent one,
   revealed as thou art in the Person and work
     of thy Son,
   the Friend of sinners.

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