Paradoxes

Prayer is necessary for the Christian life. It is our daily communication with our Father in heaven who loves to hear his people pray. One of the resources that accompanies my daily time alone with God is The Valley of Vision. The book is a collection of Puritan prayers and helps me learn to pray. I am daily in need of deepening my walk with God and there is much to learn from these prayers. When I read the prayers, I read them unto God as if my own, declaring my need of him daily.

The prayer I read this morning is titled Paradoxes and I hope it helps you think through your own need of daily grace and mercy.

O CHANGELESS GOD,

Under the conviction of thy Spirit I learn that
the more I do, the worse I am,
the more I know, the less I know,
the more holiness I have, the more sinful I am,
the more I love, the more there is to love.
O wretched man that I am!
O Lord,
I have a wild heart,
and cannot stand before thee;
I am like a bird before a man.
How little I love thy truth and ways!
I neglect prayer,
by thinking I have prayed enough and earnestly,
by knowing thou hast saved my soul.
Of all hypocrites, grant that I may not be
an evangelical hypocrite,
who sins more safely because grace abounds,
who tells his lusts that Christ’s blood
cleanseth them,
who reasons that God cannot cast him into hell,
for he is saved,
who loves evangelical preaching, churches,
Christians, but lives unholily.
My mind is a bucket without a bottom,
with no spiritual understanding,
no desire for the Lord’s Day,
ever learning but never reaching the truth,
always at the gospel-well but never holding water.
My conscience is without conviction or contrition,
with nothing to repent of.
My will is without power of decision or resolution.
My heart is without affection, and full of leaks.
My memory has no retention,
so I forget easily the lessons learned,
and thy truths seep away.
Give me a broken heart that yet carries home
the water of grace.

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