Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saturday Supplication

Prepare to meet thy God, O Christian! Betake thyself to thy chamber on the Saturday night, confess and bewail thine unfaithfulness under the ordinances of God; ashamed and condemn thyself for thy sins, entreat God to prepare they heart for, and assist it in, thy religious performances; spend some time in consideration of the infinite majesty, holiness, jealously, and goodness, of that God, with whom thou art to have to do in sacred duties; ponder the weight and importance of his holy ordinances...; meditate on the shortness of the time thou hast to enjoy Sabbaths in; and continue musing...till the fire burneth; thou canst not think the good thou mayest gain by such forethoughts, how pleasant and profitable a Lord's day would be to thee after such a preparation. The oven of thine heart thus baked in, as it were overnight, would be easily heated the next morning; the fire so well raked up when thou wentest to bed, would be the sooner kindled when thou shouldst rise. If thou wouldst thus leave thy heart with God on the Saturday night, thou shouldst find it with him in the Lord's Day morning.
George Swinnock, Works, I:234


Father, you are the God Most High, the eternal God, creator, sustainer, Lord of all powers. Pharaoh was your servant; Cyrus was your servant; every king, every governor, every tribal chief has been your servant. For you are in control of all; it was only by your permission, even your provocation, that Satan was allowed to torment Job. And it is only by your will that a small bird dies. As Job found, nothing can thwart your plans. No one is your counselor. There were no other gods beside you when you laid the foundation of the world. And there is no other god besides you that can save people.

Help me to appreciate your glory. Help me to contemplate your vastness, your power, your care and your wisdom that set the universe in motion and ordered its laws. Let me understand your greatness.

Father, I am a sinner. I am undeserving of your love. Yet, you chose to love me. And I love you because you first loved me. While I was still lost in my sinfulness, you called me and set me apart for your purposes. Before I was born, you sent Jesus to save me by dying on the cross for me. My freedom has been purchased by his blood. Help me to appreciate the reality of the cost.

I thank you for forgiving all my past sins and my future sins. Help me to truly repent of my sin; help me to see the sin for the evil it is and to hate the sin as you hate the sin. Help me see the sin that is still living in my heart.

Give me a Christ-like love for others. Let me see your image in people, and help me show them your love.

Help me reject laziness. Too often, I am like the rich man who desired nothing more than the relaxation afforded by storehouses of food. Yet, that fool did not realize he would not live to enjoy his wealth, or that he would have to account of himself to you. He wasted his life pursuing the god of his stomach; he lived in idolatry to himself. Do not let me make that mistake. Do not let me look back at my life in shame at the wastefulness of it all. Give me the wisdom and passion to live a life for your glory and to make the most of every opportunity.

Father, prepare my heart for the Lord's day, tomorrow. Prepare my heart to come together with other believers in worship. Prepare my heart to hear your word taught and to sing your word aloud. Let me put aside all pride and selfish ambition. Let me take that time to see my own smallness and your greatness. Let me take that time to worship Jesus as my lord and savior.

As your word is read and taught, open my heart to see your glory.
Let me see wonderful things in your instruction.
Let me store your word in my heart so that I will not sin against you.
Let me store your word in my heart so that I will have an answer for those who come against me. Let me store your word in my heart so that I will hope in your salvation.
Let me store your word in my heart because your word is truth and by it I can be made wise.
Let me store your word in my heart because it is eternal and will not return to your void.

You are a God of revelation. You have not hidden yourself from your people, but have revealed yourself to us through your word. Mat your word be taught throughout the world this Lord's day and may your church be one as you and Jesus are one.

I come and worship you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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