This is not a book of prayers that you read through in one week, set it down, and never pick it up again. This is a wealth of treasure filled with deep, theologically-sound, heart-wrenching, soul up-lifting prayers from the Puritans that I hope to read and re-read the rest of my life. I must admit that it takes me a few sittings to really chew through the wording and thoughts behind the words. It’s deep, satisfying, and always delivers just what I need when I need it.
Today as I was reading through one of the prayers after my Bible reading (I am currently reading through the book of James, to go along with what we are studying through on Sunday mornings), I thought it would be encouraging to you too.
O Lord of Grace,
The world is before me this day,
and I am weak and fearful,
but I look to you for strength;
If I venture forth alone I stumble and fall,
but on the Beloved’s arms I am firm
as the eternal hills;
If left to the treachery of my heart
I shall shame Thy Name,
but if enlightened, guided, upheld by Thy Spirit,
I shall bring thee glory.
Be thou my arm to support ,
my strength to stand,
my light to see,
my feet to run,
my shield to protect,
my sword to repel,
my sun to warm.
To enrich me will not diminish thy fulness;
All thy lovingkindness is in thy Son,
I bring him to thee in the arms of faith,
I urge his saving Name as the One who died for me.
I plead his blood to pay my debts of wrong.
Accept his worthiness for my unworthiness,
his sinlessness for my transgressions,
his purity for my uncleanliness,
his sincerity for my guile,
his truth for my deceits,
his meekness for my pride,
his constancy for my backslidings,
his love for my enmity,
his fullness for my emptiness,
his faithfulness for my treachery,
his obedience for my lawlessness,
his glory for my shame,
his devotedness for my waywardness,
his holy life for my unchaste ways,
his righteousness for my dead works,
his death for my life.
I’ve been wrestling in my heart and mind with the thoughts of “not being good enough” and “not having it all together” and “seems like I am always trying to keep up and I can get ahead” and the list goes on. You’ve been there, right?
Yes, there are days when I dread walking downstairs because the dishes are still in the sink and there are sippy-cup spills on the floor left over from the day before. Whoa is me, right? Nope. Not whoa is me. Wow is HE who is in me!
Can I get an amen? He is good.
Challenge: Print out this beautiful prayer and pray it out loud for a few days and allow it to encourage you, set your mind on God, and be reminded of His all-sufficiency working in and through your life. Or better yet, get your own copy and enjoy the entire collection of prayers! I have the leather-bound version b/c I use it so much and it holds up better.
Melissa Elswick is a Pastors' wife and adoptive mommy who loves doing life in sunny South Florida with her husband Jon and son Ethan! Having served in full-time ministry for several years, Melissa has a deep passion for encouraging women in the Gospel. Melissa also loves connecting with other ministry wives through The Embrace Network, which she started in April 2007 and other adoptive families through Magical Families. When she's not chasing around her high-energy toddler, Melissa can be found enjoying a good book, finding great bargains, and sipping on a Coke Zero! You can connect with Melissa via Twitter here: www.twitter.com/melissaelswick or on her blog: www.melissaelswick.com
You don't have to have it all together, run some super large ministry, write thousands of books, be an international speaker or even work at a church...yes, that is fantastic if you do, we want to hear from you as well...but this is where we get REAL!