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Directions for Prayer,
Praying that a spirit of prayer and supplication may be poured out upon every soul into whose hands this book may fall, I commend them and it to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
AS no Communicant can live without daily ap
plication to a throne of grace, the hints about prayer before given, have an evident connection with the subject of the foregoing chapters. I have only to observe farther, that in the specimen of a prayer which follows, I have descended from general confession to particular--from general wants to particular ones. Persons must examine themselves where their bosom sin lies, what graces they most need, what temptations they most labour under, and adapt any portion of what follows to their own state and circumstances; it being designed not so much as a form, as to assist the infirmities of the weak.
If the following be used as an assistant for social
worship, then the alteration of we for I, us for me, our for my or mine, is easily made ; and in this case all the mention of particulars should be omitted, and the prayer confined to the general confessions and requests, omitting the particular ones where the blank spaces stand within hooks [ ] thus.
Directions for Prayer.
You may observe several breaks, which may be considered as containing so many new heads of prayer. Thus you are to connect any parts of it, or omit,
as you see occasion. O THOU most High and most Holy! whose name is Jehovah, the all-seeing and heart-searching GOD, over all blessed for ever, look down in mercy on a poor unworthy sinner, desiring to draw near the throne of grace in the name of the incarnate Saviour, and making mention of his righteousness only* : [No other hope hath my sinful soul, no other help I find but in him ; for his dear sake regard my cries, and let my prayer enter into thine ears, O Lord, my God!]
[I come before thee acknowledging my sin ; and my iniquities, Lord, would I not hide from thee. Indeed they cannot be hid, for from thee nothing is hid, nothing is secret. Yet, Lord, I have too long and too often covered myself with thick darkness, and neither saw nor desired to see the evil which was in me. Blessed be thy name, that thou hast caused the light to shine into my heart, and hast given me any knowledge of the hidden mystery of iniquity there.]
Behold, Lord, I was shapen in wickedness, and in sin did my mother conceive me; yet how little did
Whatever is between hooks thus  may be omitted without any hurt to the sense or connection; or if you choose to use any part of it, you may, as shall appear proper to you
Directions for Prayer.
I know of the evil of such a corrupted nature, and its exceeding sinfulness ! It was hid from my eyes ; but now I acknowledge I am vile, and abhor myself: I am altogether become abominable-there is no health in me; evil, and that continually and universally, hath reigned in me; my transgressions are many, mine iniquities testify also against me. When I reflect upon the days that are past, confusion covereth me; the flagrant violations of thy holy law in many instances witness against me ; my sins in number exceed the hairs of
; and yet, Lord, how small a part of them do I see? whilst in thy book they have been written, and not a word hath been in my tongue, but thou, Lord, knowest it altogether. I remember, Lord, with particular condemnation my_*. [And oh that I might go down mourning to my grave under it, and abhor myself ever for it, even when thou art pacified towards me!]
Enter not into judgment with me, lest I be utterly confounded. Shouldest thou try me, I must plead guilty before thee, and acknowledge my just desert to “be the worm which dieth not, and the “ fire which is not quenched.” Yea, Lord, thou wouldest be clear in thy uttermost condemnation of me; for thou doest righteously, but I have rebelled against thee.
Yet glorify thy name in mercy upon me, and according to those gracious promises in which thou
* Here any particular sin which afflicts your conscience, or which you desire may more affect it, should be' mentioned, and the particulars opened, that your heart may be more struck with the mention.
Directions for Prayer.
hast caused me to put my trust; glorify thy Son in pardoning and saving such a wretch as I am. [Let it now appear, Lord ! that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin, by its cleansing me; and, sprinkled therewith, may my poor soul be presented before thy throne with kind acceptance! This is all my salvation; I plead nothing but this, that Jesus died for me. In his blood, in his righteousness only dare I to approach unto thee, 0 thou most worthy Judge eternal!]
[Blessed be the name of my God for his unspeakable gift! Blessed be God for Jesus Christ! Oh strengthen my faith in his all-sufficiency, and let not the number or aggravation of my sins discourage me; but, Lord ! make his glory, his obedience unto death, his cross, his crown, to pass hefore me, that I may without all doubt believe in the satisfaction of my Saviour, and find redemption in him.]
And thou, Lord of life and glory, come and take possession of my heart, take the purchase of thy blood, set up within me thy kingdom, and turn thou '
me, that so I may be turned. An helpless worm, the servant of sin, the sport of temptation, the bond-slave of corruption, thou seest me. Oh break this yoke from off my neck, and bring me, Lord, into the liberty of the children of God. [Hast thou not redeemed us from all iniquity, to purify to thyself a peculiar people? Art thou not come to bend our hearts in submission to thy will, as well as to ransom us from death and hell? Here is my heart, Lord ! take and fashion it to thy holy will.]
Directions for Prayer.
Behold, Lord ! I groan, being burdened. Since thou hast called, I want to follow thee. But, oh, I find that sin hangs heavy on my soul, my corruptions war against me, and trouble me; and my strength is as weakness before them. Help, Lord, , or I perish! Come, exert thy power, and set the captive free! [Enable me to lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth most easily beset me.]
Here follow three of the great enemies of our souls, Pride, Lust, and Worldliness; no soul but hath need to cry mightily for power against them; though, according to our several tempers and states, some one of them will mosé especially endanger us ; accordingly that part may be made úse of, and others shortened ur passed over.
My Pride thrusts hard against me, that I should fall. I find within me such high imaginations, such a readiness to resent, such warmth and hastiness of temper.] [I found this day my spirit hurt by the reflection of by the obstinacy of by the conduct of-; I murmured as if my lot was hard. I regarded with envy greater success, abilities, and advancement *.j Lord, cast down every imagination which exalteth itself, and bring my thoughts into the obedience of Christ ; make me content to be the last and the least. Bow me
* These are some of the particular, yet universal workings of Pride. The specifying the time, and place, and persons, brings the remembrance of it more lively upon us, begets deeper humility, and awakens greater earnestness,