Sunday, December 02, 2007

Prayer for Today

Mercy

God of the Publican,
Be merciful to me a sinner;
this I am by nature and practice,
this thy Word proclaims me to be,
this I hope I feel myself to be;
Yet thou hast not left me to despair,
for there is no ‘peradventure’ in thy grace;
I have all the assurance I need
that with thee is plenteous redemption.

In spite of the number and heinousness of my sins
thou hast given me a token for good;
The golden sceptre is held out,
and thou hast said ‘Touch it and live’.

May I encourage myself by a sense of thy
all-sufficiency,
by faith in thy promises,
by views of the experience of others.
To that dear refuge in which so many have sheltered
from every storm
may I repair,
In that fountain always freely open for sin
may I be cleansed from every defilement.

Sin is that abominable thing which thy soul hates,
and this alone separates thee and me.
Thou canst not contradict the essential perfections
of thy nature;
Thou canst not make me happy with thyself,
till thou hast made me holy like thyself.

O holy God, make me such a creature as thou canst
take pleasure in,
and such a being that I can take pleasure in thee.

May I consent to and delight in thy law
after the inner man,
never complain over the strictness of thy demands,
but mourn over my want of conformity to them;
never question thy commandments,
but esteem them to be right.

By thy Spirit within me
may my practice spring from principle, and
my dispositions be conformable with duty.

(From The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan prayers and devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975)

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