Sunday, May 11, 2008

Puritan family prayer

In honor of Mother's Day, Tim Challies posted a Puritan prayer for family on his site. I liked the prayer, but in order to ensure I reflected on it, understood it, and meant it, I decided to rewrite it from its archaic language into my own language. I also found that as I wrote it, I expanded it a little to not only include prayer for my family but to ask God to give me a heart for more people.


Oh God, you are sovereign, so I come to you as the only sure hope in the universe.
You are the creator of all people; you made each person, carefully and wonderfully made each of us, and you sustain us.
You have chosen and adopted your people; you have chosen a small group out of the many to love and honor; your people are blessed, overflowing with your grace, and those who are willing to give up their entire lives to follow Jesus find that his burden his light and his calling and demands are good; your commands are wonderful and following your word we find joy and satisfaction.
But, I am a sinner still. Oh, how much I still rebel against you and despise your wonderful, amazing grace. How much of my nature is still constantly seeking to be its own god. I seek my own good above the good of others--my own glory above your glory. How often I turn from you and sin against you, many times willfully and many times without even considering you.
Father, have mercy on me and do not count my evil against me. Bring me to repentance, for my natural self is in rebellion to you and I cannot, on my own, submit myself to you.
Let me see the sin I commit as you see it; let me abhor it as you abhor it.
Let me know my weaknesses and find my redemption and model in Jesus.
Give me the spiritual discernment to turn from my evil thoughts and control my harsh words against my friends and neighbors.
Keep me from temptations and give me the strength to resist the Devil when he lies to me.
Through your Spirit, kill the sin living in my soul and complete the good work you have begun in me.
Give me a heart for the lost and dying world around me. Give me a heart for the needs of people, especially their greatest need--to know you are their God.
It is painful to think of the eternal suffering of those friends and family members who continue to reject you and die apart from you. Keep me from merely acting as if this fate is not real. Let me truly know your truth.
Let those people who I know and love come to know and love you. Choose them as those saved for your glory. Cleanse them, separate them from the sinful world, and make them your children. And give me a love for more people that I might pray for their salvation as well.
Make my personal relationship with you a pure, blameless and holy relationship so that I might be an example for those who know me.
Make me fruitful in my worship of you, and help me be a godly example and leader in my family, that I may one day present Jennifer to Jesus and teach Charlotte to love you with all her heart, all her soul, all her mind, and all her strength. May my home be a small church, teaching and doing your word.
Let me nurture and cultivate my family as a holy garden for your glory.
May no one I know ever be left believing that their own good deeds, their own morality, their own personality, their own intelligence, or their own anything, will get them into heaven. May all those I come into contact with, especially those who you have entrusted to my care, hear clearly the message that every one of us is a sinner who has exchanged your glory for idols and that our only hope is the redemption you offer through the blood of Jesus.
Give each of us the good fruits of a mind open to you, a receptive heart, and the hearing and understanding of your word.
Change the hearts of those who still reject you from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh.
Save those who I love and make me love those who I do not.
I pray that your will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. And I ask all these things in the name of Jesus.

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