Sunday, February 04, 2007

Union with Christ

O Father,
Thou hast made man for the glory of thyself,
and when not an instrument of that glory,
he is a thing of nought;
No sin is greater than the sin of unbelief,
for if union with Christ is the greatest good,
unbelief is the greatest sin,
as being cross to thy command;
I see that whatever my sin is,
yet no sin is like disunion from Christ by unbelief.
Lord, keep me from committing the greatest sin
in departing from him,
for I can never in this life perfectly obey
and cleave to Christ.

When thou takest away my outward blessings,
it is for sin,
in not acknowledging that all I have is of thee,
in not serving thee through what I have,
in making myself secure and hardened.
Lawful blessings are the secret idols,
and do most hurt;
the greatest injury is in the having,
the greatest good is in the taking away.
In love divest me of blessings that I may glorify
thee the more;
remove the fuel of my sin,
and may I prize the gain of a little holiness
as overbalancing all my losses.

The more I love thee with a truly gracious love
the more I desire to love thee,
and the more miserable I am at my want of love;
The more I hunger and thirst after thee,
the more I faint and fail in finding thee,
The more my heart is broken for sin,
the more I pray it may be far more broken.

My great evil is that I do not remember
the sins of my youth,
nay, the sins of one day I forget the next.

Keep me from all things that turn to unbelief
or lack of felt union with Christ.

From The Valley of Vision - A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, Arthur Bennett, editor. ©The Banner of Truth Trust 1975, 2002, p.20

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