Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Prayer For All Times

Edward Dering, Godly Private Prayers for Householders to Meditate Upon, and to Say in Their Families (edited with slightly modernized English):

O Lord God Father of mercies and God of all consolation, without whom we have neither hope nor comfort, we poor wretches and miserable sinners beseech thee of thy fatherly goodness to look upon us, and so make us partakers of thy gracious goodness, that we may still increase in all goodness, so that evermore we may set forth thine honor and glory: let our conversation be such, that a great many beholding our good works, may glorify thee our heavenly Father: and so direct our ways, that we may hold forth the profession of thy Gospel as a lantern to lighten the steps of a great many, that they may turn to thee, and praise thy name in their visitation.

Thus (O Lord) we beseech thee to deal with us, that indeed we may be vessels of honor unto thee, now to set forth the praise of thy name, & after this transitory life, to behold thy Glory, who hast immortality alone, & dwellest in light which no man approacheth unto: remove far from us our sins & iniquities, that they may not separate between us and thee: blot out of us our offenses, and make our prayers righteous, that thou mayest favorably grant our requests: look upon us with thy favorable mercy, that thou mayest have pity upon us, and behold us in the righteousness of thy beloved son Christ Jesus, & that we may be presented faultless in thy sight: and thou accepting us as holy, we may find the grace evermore to set forth thine honor and glory, and to speak of thy praises in the midst of all thy people.

Let us love (O Lord) the things that are good, and hate the things that are evil: let us delight in all things that may please thee, and let us be grieved with whatsoever is displeasing in thy sight. And to the intent we may have true understanding & be able to discern between things, what is good or evil, we beseech thee let thy word dwell plentifully in us, which may guide our understandings so, that we may abound in all knowledge, and do according to that which righteous.

And in this estate of true Christianity, being instructed in mind, & ready in body to all holy obedience, we beseech thee make us to grow & increase from grace to grace, from faith to faith, until we come unto the fullness of age to be perfect members of the body of Christ, waiting for the blessed hope of thine elect, and sighing in spirit until the time that thy children shall be revealed.

In the mean season let us sigh with all those that have received the first fruits of thy Spirit, that these days of sin may cease, that Satan may be trodden down underfoot, that Antichrist may be revealed, yet to many thou...that be in ignorance, that the number of thine elect may be full, the body of thy Saints made perfect, all tears wiped from our eyes, even than when the Son shall appear again the second time to judge the quick and the dead, which time (O Lord) send quickly, according to thy good will, and teach us to pray with all thy Saints, Come Lord Jesus, come quickly: grant this (O Father) for thy Son's sake, in whose name we pray unto thee.

And although we be but earth and ashes, yet are bold to say unto thee, (the God of all Glory) even as he hath taught us. Our Father which art in Heaven, &c.

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