Wednesday, October 31, 2007

two prayers

This first prayer is from "The Valley of Vision", written by a Puritan in the 18th century.
The second prayer is a re-write by Friend #7. The flame of her writing gift needed only a little fanning to get these results. (Poetic license was not only permitted, but encouraged!)
I share it with the notion that forgiveness is easier obtained than permission.


O Lord, Whose power is infinite and wisdom infallible, order things that they may neither hinder, nor discourage me, nor prove obstacles to the progress of Thy cause. Stand between me and all strife, that no evil befall, no sin corrupt my gifts, zeal, attainments. May I follow duty and not any foolish device of my own. Permit me not to labour at work which Thou wilt not bless, that I may serve thee without disgrace or debt. Let me dwell in Thy most secret place under thy shadow, where is safe impenetrable protection from the arrow that flieth by day, the pestilence that walketh in darkness, the strife of tongues, the malice of ill-will, the hurt of unkind talk, the snares of company, the perils of youth, the temptations of middle life, the moumings of old age, the fear of death. I am entirely dependent upon Thee for support, counsel, consolation. Uphold me by Thy free Spirit, and may I not think it enough to be preserved from falling, but may I always go forward, always abounding in the work Thou givest me to do. Strengthen me by Thy Spirit in my inner self for every purpose of my Christian life. All my jewels I give to the shadow of the safety that is in Theemy name anew in Christ, my body, soul, talents, character, my success, wife, children, friends, work, my present, my future, my end. Take them, they are Thine, and I am thine, now and for ever.

Lord, with your neverending might and neverfailing knowledge
change things so I may freely move, and so you may freely move me.
Keep me from seeing places of anger, from tasting evil,
from allowing contamination to steal what you have given me, shown me, held before me.
Could necessity be my guide and nothing less than Your needs be my service?
Keep me from wasting breath on things You Yourself won't breathe on,
that all my tasks might point to your authorship.

hide me down far down, secretly and away, always behind You--
leading me with your shadow--that being the protection from all earthly snarls--
the archer's weapon
the nighttime fears
the angry words
the intentions of evil
the pain of misintentions
the companion of fools
the pits of childishness
the wanderings of now
the melancholy of then
even death.

It's all held in You, Your support, Your words before and Your words after.
But--Please--bind me in your holiness and your gift, your promise to me
(Keeping me mindful that my going forward is hinged on keeping you at the helm and the horizon)
But--Please--give me strength to remember that always.

All my riches, worldly and heavenly, are kept by you (for you)
my creation, being new
my person and all that entails
my finishings, my lover, my offspring, my companions, my endeavors
my now, my then, my death

They are all stolen by you, given to you, by me, all of me--
in this moment and, God help me, the next.


Post a Comment

<< Home