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Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,
The saints, in prayer, appear as one,
Their fellowship they find.
Nor prayer is made on earth alone;
And Jesus, on th' eternal throne,
O thou, by whom we come to God,
THOUGH" Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord!”
Though Earth thy footstool, Heaven thy throne, Thy way amid the sea;
Thy path deep floods, thy steps unknown,
Thy counsels mystery.
Yet wilt Thou look on him who lies
Through Him, who all our sickness felt,
Through Him, in whom thy fulness dwelt, `
Touch'd with a feeling of our woes,
He bears them up with strength divine,
LORD, teach us how to pray aright,
We perish, if we cease from prayer ;
Give deep humility; the sense
Faith in the only sacrifice
Patience to watch, and wait, and weep,
Give these and then thy will be done;
LORD, when we bend before thy throne,
Our broken spirit pitying see;
When we disclose our wants in prayer,
May faith each weak petition fill,
And teach our heart 'tis goodness still
FORMS OF PRAYER.
The writer's design has been to induce his readers, generally, to pray in private and in the family, without forms. Yet as this work may fall into the hands of many to whom this, from various causes, would not immediately be practicable, he adds a few forms of prayer.
He has divided them into parts, as a means of assisting those who may use them, to learn the divisions of prayer.
In the part of confession in the different prayers, the writer has mentioned those sins which are most common. The person who uses the form may easily alter it according to circumstances.
These forms must rather be considered as hints to be improved on, than examples to copy. Much of the interest of private and family prayer depends on personal and local circumstances. Let us endeavour to attain that spirit of grace and supplication which enables the Christian, in a strain of holy devotion, to bring the changing circumstances and events of life before the throne of grace, comforts his own heart in private prayer, and edifies and interests all about him in family worship.
A PRAYER FOR THE GIFT AND GRACE OF PRAYER.
O Thou eternal, and ever-blessed God, who art the Author and Giver of every good gift, and who hast promised so many and such great blessings to them that call upon thee, hear me now, I beseech thee, through Jesus Christ.
Lord, I confess my utter inability to seek thee aright. I am encompassed with infirmities; I acknowledge my indisposition to prayer; I bewail my backwardness and reluctance to hold converse with God.
Teach me rightly to feel this my weakness and helplessness. Give me a more complete knowledge of my insufficiency. Convince me of the need that I have of thy divine assistance, and grant me earnest desires after thy salvation. Create in me a hungering and thirsting after righteousness. Impart to me a holy liberty of soul in calling upon thee. Heavenly Father, Fountain of
light and life, I do not ask for earthly riches, vain pleasures, human honours, but I do humbly ask for the spirit of prayer, for the heart ever prepared and ready to call on God.
It is thy promise, that thou wilt give the Holy Spirit to them that ask. I ask, do thou give; I seek, grant that I may find; I knock, let it be opened unto me. Help me to pray in the Holy Ghost. Help me to live daily in constant believing prayer. Lord, teach me to pray.
By nature proud and self-sufficient, I am prone to think and act as if I needed not thy help; but O teach me to know how poor and how needy I really am; and knowing my great and many necessities, and my entire dependence on thee, give me the disposition, from day to day, and from hour to hour, to seek thy help and strength.
Enable me entirely to confide in thy almighty power, thy boundless compassion, thy infinite love, and thy amazing mercy. Let the gift of thy Son Jesus Christ and his intercession for sinners, encourage me to approach thee. Help me to pray, relying only on His merits, and through him may I learn to come boldly to the throne of grace.
Let nothing keep me from God. May I renounce all known sin, and all carnal indulgences, and not be conformed to this world. Enable me to resist the temptations of Satan, to watch against self-righteousness and spiritual pride, and never to neglect the study of thy word. Give me grace, whenever I seek thee, to look for the aid of thy Holy Spirit, to trust only in the name of thy Son, and to watch unto prayer. Let me not be rash with my mouth; but, meditating before I pray, may I ask in faith, in simplicity of mind, with filial freedom of spirit,