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Touch'd with a feeling of our woes,
Jesus, our High Priest stands : All our infirmities He knows,
Our souls are in his hands.
He bears them up with strength divine,
When at thy feet we fall ;
Hear us ; on Thee we call.
LORD, teach us how to pray aright,
With rev'rence and with fear;
We may, we must, draw near.
O grant us power to pray;
Lord, meet us by the way.
Of godly sorrow give;
To hear thy voice, and live;
That can for sin atone;
On Christ, on Christ alone.
Though mercy long delay; Courage our fainting souls to keep,
And trust Thee, though Thou slay. Give these ;-and then thy will be done;
Thus strengthen’d with all might, We by thy Spirit, through thy Son,
Shall pray, and pray aright.
And our confessions pour;
And hate what we deplore.
True penitence impart;
Beam hope on every heart.
May we our wills resign;
That is not wholly Thine!
And raise it to the skies,
That grants it, or denies.
FORMS OF PRAYER.
The writer's design has been to induce his readers, generally, to pray in private and in the family, without forms. Yet as this work may fall into the hands of many to whom this, from various causes, would not immediately be practicable, he adds a few forms of prayer.
He has divided them into parts, as a means of assisting those who may use them, to learn the divisions of prayer. In the part of confession in the different prayers, the writer has mentioned those sins which are most common. The person who uses the form may easily alter it according to circumstances.
These forms must rather be considered as hints to be improved on, than examples to copy. Much of the interest of private and family prayer depends on personal and local circumstances. Let us endeavour to attain that spirit of grace and supplication which enables the Christian, in a strain of holy devotion, to bring the changing circumstances and events of life before the throne of grace, comforts his own heart in private prayer, and edifies and interests all about him in family worship.
A PRAYER FOR THE GIFT AND GRACE OF
0 Thou eternal, and ever-blessed God, who art the Author and Giver of every good gift, and who hast promised so many and such great blessings to them that call upon thee, hear me now, I beseech thee, through Jesus Christ.
Lord, I confess my utter inability to seek thee aright, I am encompassed with infirmities; I acknowledge my indisposition to prayer; I bewail my backwardness and reluctance to hold converse with God.
Teach me rightly to feel this my weakness and helplessness. Give me a more complete knowledge of my insufficiency. Convince me of the need that I have of thy divine assistance, and grant me earnest desires after thy salvation. Create in me a hungering and thirsting after righteousness. Impart to me a holy liberty of soul in calling upon thee. Heavenly Father, Fountain of
light and life, I do not ask for earthly riches, vain pleasures, human honours, but I do humbly ask for the spirit of prayer, for the heart ever prepared and ready to call on God.
It is thy promise, that thou wilt give the Holy Spirit to them that ask. I ask, do thou give; I seek, grant that I may find ; I knock, let it be opened unto me. Help me to pray in the Holy Ghost. Help me to live daily in constant believing prayer. Lord, teach me to pray.
By nature proud and self-sufficient, I am prone to think and act as if I needed not thy help; but () teach me to know how poor and how needy I really am; and knowing my great and many necessities, and my entire dependence on thee, give me the disposition, from day to day, and from hour to hour, to seek thy help and strength.
Enable me entirely to confide in thy almighty power, thy boundless compassion, thy infinite love, and thy amazing mercy. Let the gift of thy Son Jesus Christ and his intercession for sinners, encourage me to approach thee. Help me to pray, relying only on His merits, and through him may I learn to come boldly to the throne of grace.
Let nothing keep me from God. May I renounce all known sin, and all carnal indulgences, and not be conformed to this world. Enable me to resist the temptations of Satan, to watch against self-righteousness and spiritual pride, and never to neglect the study of thy word.
Give me grace, whenever I seek thee, to look for the aid of thy Holy Spirit, to trust only in the name of thy Son, and to watch unto prayer. Let me not be rash with my mouth; but, meditating before I pray, may I ask in faith, in simplicity of mind, with filial freedom of spirit,
in sincerity of heart and fervency of desire, praying always with all prayer, and watching thereunto with all perseverance. And, after having done all, may I ever consider myself an unprofitable servant.
Grant me thy Holy Spirit to help my infirmities, for I know not what to pray for as I ought; grant me thy Holy Spirit to make intercession for me with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Give me, give me this great gift, the spirit of grace and supplication, for thy dear Son's sake, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRIVATE MORNING PRAYER.
MERCIFUL God, give ear unto me when I cry unto thee, in the name of Jesus Christ. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. Lord, help me to pray.
Confession. Great is the need that I have to seek the Lord while he may be found, and to call upon him while he is near. I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing. The things of the world, the lust of the eye, and the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, are continually tempting me, and leading me astray from thee. My affections towards thee, my God, are cold and dull ; my life is barren and unfruitfal. My tempers are often unsanctificd. I am prone to depart from thee, and lukewarm and indifferent when I ought to have a holy zeal. I often feel a sinful backwardness and shame when I ought to speak the truth in love. I too much neglect and trifle with my own salvation, and the salvation of my relatives and friends. I