A Puritan’s Prayer: Contentment

Puritan Heavenly Father,

If I should suffer need, and go unclothed, and be in poverty,
    make my heart prize Thy love,
    know it, be constrained by it,
    though I be denied all blessings.

It is Thy mercy to afflict and try me with wants,
    for by these trials I see my sins,
    and desire severance from them.

Let me willingly accept misery, sorrows, temptations,
    if I can thereby feel sin as the greatest evil,
    and be delivered from it with gratitude to Thee,
    acknowledging this as the highest testimony of Thy love.

When thy Son, Jesus, came into my soul
    instead of sin He became more dear to me
    than sin had formerly been;
    His kindly rule replaced sin’s tyranny.

Teach me to believe that if ever I would have any sin subdued
    I must not only labour to overcome it,
    but must invite Christ to abide in the place of it,
    and He must become to me more than
       vile lust had been;
    that His sweetness, power, life may be there.

Thus I must seek a grace from Him contrary to sin,
    but must not claim it apart from Himself.
When I am afraid of evils to come,
    comfort me by showing me
       that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch,
       but in Christ I am reconciled and live;
    that in myself I find insufficiency and no rest,
       but in Christ there is satisfaction and peace;
    that in myself I am feeble and unable to do good,
       but in Christ I have ability to do all things.

Though now I have His graces in part,
    I shall shortly have them perfectly
    in that state where Thou wilt show Thyself
       fully reconciled,
    and alone sufficient, efficient,
       loving me completely,
    with sin abolished.

O Lord, hasten that day.

Taken from ‘The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers,’ edited by Arthur Bennett

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