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12 July, 2013

Prayer for the Knowledge of Christ

"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings." Philippians 3:10

Almighty God, draw near to me this night in Your great mercy. What am I, that nothingness, unworthiness, and sinfulness - should be permitted to stand in the presence of infinite purity, majesty, and glory? Lord, I dare not have ventured to bow at your footstool in my own merits. I am poor and wretched, and miserable, and blind, and naked. Enter not in judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no flesh living can be justified.

But, adored be Your name, I have an all-sufficient ground of confidence with which to approach You. I bless You, that by the doing and dying of Jesus, You have opened up a way of reconciliation to the chief of sinners. Oh, enable me to know more fully the adaptation of His person and work, to all the necessities and exigencies of my character and circumstances. Let me know him in His infinite Godhead - as "mighty to save;" in His spotless humanity - as mighty to compassionate. 

Let me know Him in all His offices - as . . .
my Prophet, my Priest, my King,
my Kinsman-Redeemer within the veil, 
my Refuge in trouble, 
my Guide in perplexity, 
my Support in death, 
my Portion through eternity!

I rejoice, blessed Jesus, at the hidden springs of life resident in You! You are suited to all the varied needs and circumstances, and trials of Your people - for every moment of need, for every diversity of situation.

O, better than the best of earthly friends, who, though enthroned amid the hosannas of angels - have still Your human sympathy unaltered and unchanged, draw near to me this night, and breathe upon me, and say, "Peace be unto you." Let me know the melting energy of Your love, and the attractive power of Your cross. May I keep the unwavering eye of faith steadily directed to Your all-glorious sacrifice. 

Be . . .
the habitual object of my contemplation, 
the source of holiest joy, 
the animating principle of obedience.

May all creature-love be subordinated to Yours. May my temper, my walk, my conversation - be regulated in accordance with Your blessed will and holy example. May this be the lofty aim and ambition of life - to act so as to please Jesus.

Bless my dear friends, may they too be led to count all but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus their Lord, whom to know is life eternal. Pity the careless; reclaim the backsliding; comfort the sorrowful; sustain the dying. May the Lord arise and have mercy on His spiritual Zion; may He show that the time to favor her, yes, the set time, is come!

Before I lay my head on my nightly pillow, I would lay anew my guilt on the head of the Divine Surety; may I fall asleep under the blessed sense of sin forgiven - and look forward to that blessed day when earth's night-shadows shall have vanished forever, and when I shall be enabled more fully "to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge." And all I ask or hope for, is for His 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  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]