Friday, August 20

Is This Your Cry?

Those who've endured any trials of faith know and admit freely how weak we are in terms of our own repentance. We fight, and often feel ourselves to lose. Yet, we win and glorify God in the winning. And don't we love it when someone is able to formulate the words that we want to say, but just don't have ready at hand? Hear then the following prayer. Please take the time to read this slowly, meditatively. The true servant of God will find agreement in these expressions:
Thou hast imputed my sin to my substitute,
   and hast imputed his righteousness to my soul,
   clothing me with a bridegroom's robe, 
   decking me with jewels of holiness.
But in my Christian walk I am still in rags;
   my best prayers are stained with sin;
   my penitential tears are so much impurity;
   my confessions of wrong are so many 
      aggravations of sin;
   my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.

I need to repent of my repentance;
I need my tears to be washed;
I have no robe to bring to cover my sins,
   no loom to weave my own righteousness;
I am always standing clothed in filthy garments,
   and by grace am always receiving change of raiment,
   for thou dost always justify the ungodly;
I am always going into the far country,
   and always returning home as a prodigal,
   always saying, Father, forgive me,
   and thou art always bringing forth
      the best robe.

Every morning let me wear it,
   every evening return in it,
   go out to the day's work in it,
   be married in it,
   be wound in death in it,
   stand before the great white throne in it,
   enter heaven in it shining as the sun.
Grant me never to lose sight of 
   the exceeding sinfulness of sin,
   the exceeding righteousness of salvation,
   the exceeding glory of Christ,
   the exceeding beauty of holiness,
   the exceeding wonder of grace.
Highly recommended for serious seekers of God . . . The Valley of Vision: Puritan Prayers and Devotions.

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