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13 July, 2013

Prayer for Firmness in Temptation

"Resist the devil - and he will flee from you." James 4:1

O my Father, You are from everlasting to everlasting. Loving me from the beginning - You have promised to love me even unto the end. Notwithstanding all the fitful changes of my own changing heart towards You, there has been, and can be, no shadow of turning in Your covenant faithfulness towards me. I am at this hour, the monument of Your mercy- a living comment on the words, "Your ways are not as man's ways - nor Your thoughts as man's thoughts."

If I have been enabled in any degree to resist the assaults of temptation - it is all Your doing. I am "kept by the power of God." Unless the Lord had been my help - my soul must long before now have dwelt in eternal burnings. By the grace of God - I am what I am!

O my Father, indulged and cherished sin unfits me for the enjoyment of Your service and favor. I have to lament my proneness to evil, the natural bias of my heart to that which is opposed to Your pure and holy will. When I would do good - sin is too often present with me. I feel the power of my spiritual adversaries. If left to myself and my own unaided resources - I must hopelessly resign the conflict.

But I rejoice to think that there is help and hope and strength at hand. I would look to Him, who is now bending an eye of unchanging love upon me from the eternal throne. All Your ascension glories, blessed Redeemer, have not obliterated the tenderness of Your humanity. You are "that same Jesus." You, the abiding Friend, are still left changeless, among the changeable. And when Satan often desires to have me, that he might sift me as wheat, it is Your intercessory prayer that saves me from utter ruin. You are pleading for me, that my faith will not fail! Oh may I be found invincible in the hour of temptation, being made more than conqueror - through Him that loved me. Sheltered in You, the true Refuge - the wicked one will cannot touch me.

Let me not trifle with my own soul - or with the momentous interests of eternity. Let me every day, be living under the realizing consciousness that Your pure eye is upon me. Keep me from all that is at variance with Your gracious mind. Keep me from unchristian tempers, from an unholy or inconsistent or uneven walk. By a Christ-like demeanor, may I exhibit the sanctifying and transforming influence of the Gospel on my own soul - that others may take knowledge of me that I have been with Jesus.

God of Bethel! take under Your protecting providence all related to me by endearing ties. However far we may be separated from one another, let us never be separated from You. Let us often rejoice in this, our common meeting-place; that around Your mercy-seat in spirit we can assemble - and lay our evening incense in the one Golden Censer of our gracious High Priest!

Take charge of me this night, defend me from all danger; whether I wake or sleep, may I live together with You. All that I ask or hope for - is in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, my only Savior. 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  It is now available on Kindle for only $0.99 This is a useful book to keep preciously with you 
Morning & Evening Prayer, 1856 [Kindle Edition]