Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Prayers of the Puritans

It is a blessing to have good friends. As I prayerfully take the necessary steps towards missionary service overseas (more to come on this), my friend Michele encouraged me with these words from the Puritans:

"Service and Equipment," from Valley of Vision

Thou, God of my end, Thou hast given me a fixed disposition to go forth and spend my life for thee; if it be thy will let me proceed in it; if not, then revoke my intentions. All I want in life is such circumstances as may best enable me to serve thee in the world; to this end I leave all my concerns in thy hand, but let me not be discouraged, for this hinders my spiritual fervency.

Enable me to undertake some task for thee, for this refreshes and animates my soul, so that I could endure all hardships and labors and willingly suffer for thy name. But, O what a death is it to strive and labor, to be always in a hurry and yet do nothing! Alas, time flies and I am but of little use. O that I could be a flame of fire in thy service, always burning out in one continual blaze.

Fit me for singular usefulness in this world. Fit me to exult in distresses of every kind if they but promote the advancement of thy kingdom. Fit me to quit all hopes of the world’s friendship, and give me a deeper sense of my sinfulness. Fit me to accept as just desert from thee any trial that may befall me. Fit me to be totally resigned to the denial of pleasures I desire and to be content to spend my time with thee. Fit me to pray with a sense of the joy of divine communion, to find all times happy seasons to my soul, to see my own nothingness and wonder that I am allowed to serve thee. Fit me to enter the blessed world where no unclean thing is and to know thee with me always.