Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thoughtful About . . . the Poetry of Prayers

As I'm doing some basic research for a new story idea, I wanted to figure out what my heroine would call the Lord. She comes from a congregationalist, rather Puritan background, so I started by looking up Puritan prayers. And wow, am I glad I did.

These prayers are so beautiful that I copied them into a document and broke them into lines and stanzas as if they were poetry. Reading through them like this . . . it really showcases the perfection of faith, how it combines our weakness with His strength. I was so very blessed by these yesterday that I wanted to share these two with you today.

Also, the Colonial Quill is sharing first lines of stories today, if you want to check it out!

The Deeps

Lord Jesus, give me a deeper repentance,
a horror of sin, a dread of its approach.
Help me chastely to flee it
and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be Thine alone.

Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself
to find myself in Thee,
the ground of my rest, the spring of my being.
Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself
as saviour, master, lord, and king.

Give me deeper power in private prayer,
more sweetness in Thy Word,
more steadfast grip on its truth.

Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action,
and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.

Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman,
that my being may be a tilled field,
the roots of grace spreading far and wide,
until Thou alone art seen in me,
Thy beauty golden like summer harvest,
Thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty.

I have no master but Thee, no law but Thy will,
no delight but Thyself, no wealth but that Thou givest,
no good but that Thou blessest, no peace but that Thou bestowest.

I am nothing but that Thou makest me.
I have nothing but that I receive from Thee.
I can be nothing but that grace adorns me.

Quarry me deep, dear Lord, and then fill me
to overflowing with living water.


God of my end, it is my greatest, noblest pleasure
to be acquainted with Thee
and with my rational, immortal soul;
it is sweet and entertaining to look into my being
when all my powers and passions
are united and engaged in pursuit of Thee,
when my soul longs and passionately breathes
after conformity to Thee and the full enjoyment of Thee;
no hours pass away with so much pleasure
as those spent in communion with Thee
and with my heart.

O how desirable, how profitable to the Christian life
is a spirit of holy watchfulness and godly jealousy over myself
when my soul is afraid of nothing
except grieving and offending Thee,
the blessed God, my Father and friend,
whom I then love and long to please,
rather than be happy in myself!
Knowing, as I do, that this is the pious temper,
worthy of the highest ambition,
and closest pursuit of intelligent creatures and holy Christians,
may my joy derive from glorifying and delighting Thee.

I long to fill all my time for Thee,
whether at home or in the way;
to place all my concerns in Thy hands;
to be entirely at Thy disposal,
having no will or interest of my own.
Help me to live to Thee for ever,
to make Thee my last and only end,
so that I may never more in one instance
love my sinful self.

1 comment: