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22 July, 2013

A Prayer for a Child-Like Spirit

John MacDuff, 1856 

"My soul is even as a weaned child." Psalm 131:2

O my Father, I rejoice that I am permitted with filial confidence to approach Your blessed presence. What a privilege it is to have such liberty of access to the Mercy-seat - to look upwards to You, the Infinite One, whom the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain - and call You my Father and my God! Earthly love may grow cold or changeable, or perish; but "You are the same." The mercy of God is from everlasting to everlasting. Like as a father pities his children, so does the Lord pity those who fear Him.

Alas! I have to mourn too often an unthankful spirit amid all Your manifold mercies. I have been rebellious and wayward, ungrateful and selfish! You might righteously have surrendered me to my own perverse will; left me to the fruit of my own ways, and to be filled with my own devices. It is of the Lord's mercies, that I am not consumed! Infinite is my need - but infinite too is my help.

 I would seek to stand before You, O my God, in the nothingness of the creature, and to know the boundless resources treasured up for me in the great Redeemer. Unite me to Him by a living faith, as Your own child by adoption; may it be my great desire to glorify You, my Father in Heaven; cherishing towards You a spirit of filial love and devotedness, seeking to do only what will please You, and having a beneficial fear of offending so kind and forbearing a Parent.

Oh keep me from any sullen fretfulness, or unbelieving misgivings, under the strokes of Your chastening hand. Let me place no harsh constructions on Your dealings. May I see all Your chastisements tempered with gracious love - all to be needful discipline. Give me an unwavering trust and confidence in Your faithfulness. Nothing befalls me - but by Your direction; nothing is appointed - but what is for my good.

Let Your varied dealings conform me to the image of my adorable Lord. Let me be willing to suffer patiently for Him, who so willingly and so patiently suffered for me. Let me not so much seek to have my afflictions removed - as to have grace given me to glorify You in them, and in the spirit of a weaned child to say, "Even so, Father - for so it seems good in Your sight!" O may my heart become a living temple, my life a living sacrifice, breathing the incense of gratitude and love. Let me give myself no rest until in this soul of mine, I find a place for the Lord, a habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.

Sanctify trial to all Your sons and daughters of sorrow. Draw near to those bereaved of beloved relatives. Compensate for every earthly loss. May they know that You are faithful who have promised, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."

Have mercy on Your whole Church. Heal divisions. Bless Your preached word. Strengthen Your ministering servants, that they may be enabled to proclaim the whole counsel of God.

Take the charge of me, and of all near and dear to me, this night. Give Your angels charge over us. May no unquiet dreams disturb our rest, and when we awake - may we be still with You. And all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.

"Let my prayer be set forth before You as incense - and the lifting up of my hands, as the evening sacrifice."

This Prayer is an excerpt of John MacDuff prayer written in 1856  The ebook is  now available on Kindle for only $0.99 

 Morning & Evening Prayer, 1856 [Kindle Edition]