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Living by Prayer



Teach me to live by prayer
      as well as by providence,
  for myself, soul, body, children, family, church;
Give me a heart frameable to thy will;
  so might I live in prayer,
  and honour thee,
  being kept from evil, known and unknown.
Help me to see the sin that accompanies all I do,
  and the good I can distil from everything.
Let me know that the work of prayer is to bring
    my will to thine,
  and that without this it is folly to pray;
When I try to bring thy will to mine it is
    to command Christ,
  to be above him, and wiser than he:
    this is my sin and pride.
I can only succeed when I pray
  according to thy precept and promise,
  and to be done with as it pleases thee,
  according to thy sovereign will.
When thou commandest me to pray
    for pardon, peace, brokenness,
  it is because thou wilt give me the thing promised,
    for thy glory,
    as well as for my good.
Help me not only to desire small things
  but with holy boldness to desire great things
    for thy people, for myself,
    that they and I might live to show thy glory.
Teach me
  that it is wisdom for me to pray for all I have,
    out of love, willingly, not of necessity;
  that I may come to thee at any time,
    to lay open my needs acceptably to thee;
  that my great sin lies in my not keeping
    the savour of thy ways;
  that the remembrance of this truth is one way
    to the sense of thy presence;
  that there is no wrath like the wrath of being
    governed by my own lusts for my own ends.

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