Sunday, September 30, 2012

Christian Calling

Here's a prayer titled "Christian Calling" from "The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions" edited by Arthur Bennett (pages 90-91):


The first act of calling is by thy command
   in thy Word,
   ‘Come unto me, return unto me’;
The second is to let in light,
   so that I see that I am called particularly,
   and perceive the sweetness of the command
     as well as its truth,
   in regard to thy great love of the sinner,
   by inviting him to come, though vile,
   in regard to the end of the command,
     which is fellowship with thee,
   in regard to thy promise in the gospel,
     which is all of grace.
Therefore, Lord,
   I need not search to see if I am elect, or loved,
   for if I turn thou wilt come to me;
   Christ has promised me fellowship if I take him,
   and the Spirit will pour himself out on me,
     abolishing sin and punishment,
     assuring me of strength to persevere.
It is thy pleasure to help all that pray for grace,
   and come to thee for it.
When my heart is unsavoury with sin, sorrow,
   darkness, hell,
   only thy free grace can help me act
   with deep abasement under a sense
     of unworthiness.
Let me lament for forgetting daily to come to thee,
   and cleanse me from the deceit of bringing
     my heart to a duty
   because the act pleased me or appealed to reason.
Grant that I may be salted with suffering,
   with every exactment tempered to my soul,
   every rod excellently fitted to my back,
     to chastise, humble, break me.
Let me not overlook the hand that holds the rod,
   as thou didst not let me forget the rod that fell
     on Christ,
     and drew me to him.

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