A Puritan’s Prayer: The Minister’s Covenant

Lord Jesus,

True God, everlasting Life,
       Redeemer of sinners,
I give my body, soul, intellect, will, affections 
   
to thee.

I call the day, sun,
   
earth, trees, stones, 
 
   wind, rain, frost, snow, 
 
   my home, bed, table, food, 
       books, drink, clothes, 
 
   to witness that I come to thee for rest of soul 
 
   from the thunders of guilt and dread 
 
     of eternity.

Grant me 
    a circumcised heart that I may love thee, 
 
   a right spirit that I may seek thy glory. 
 
   a principle within which thou wilt own, 
 
   an interest in the blood that cleanses, 
 
      the righteousness that justifies, 
 
     the redemption that delivers, 
 
   that I may not be found a hypocrite on 
 
     Judgment Day.

For the sake of thy cruel death take my time, 
 
      strength, gifts, talents, usefulness, piety, 
    which in full purpose of heart I consecrate to thee.

Let not sin find a place in my heart to becloud my 
       vision, 
    and may no foolish act wither my gifts.

Preserve me from the falls by which others stumble, 
    that thy name may not be blasphemed or wounded, 
 
   that thy people may not be grieved, 
 
   that thine enemies may not be hardened, 
 
   that my peace may not be injured.

Give me a heart full of love to thyself and to others.
Let me discover in this life what I am before thee, 
    that I may not find myself another character 
 
     hereafter.

Prepare me for death, 
    that I may not die after long affliction or suddenly, 
 
   but after short illness, with no confusion or 
 
     disorder, 
 
   and a quiet discharge in peace, with adieu 
 
     to brethren.

Let not my days end like lumber in a house, 
 
   but give me a silent removing from one world 
 
     to another.

Inscribe these petitions in thy book, present them 
 
     to thy Father,
Set thine Amen to them, as I do on my part 
 
     of the covenant.

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

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