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Prayer of Confession and Repentance December 1, 2008

Posted by Jeremy in puritan prayers, Thoughts and Theology.
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Holy Lord, we have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Your mind in your Word, of neglect to seek You in our daily life. Our transgressions and short-comings present us with a list of accusations, but I bless You that they will not stand against me, for all has been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue our corruptions Lord, and grant us grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring our spirit into subjection.

I thank You that many of our prayers have been refused. We have asked wrongly and do not have, we have prayed from lusts and been rejected, we have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness. Go on with your patient work Lord, answering ‘no’ to our wrongful prayers, and fitting us to accept it. Purge us from every false desire, every base or vulgar aspiration, everything contrary to Your rule. We thank you God for Your wisdom and Your love, for all the acts of discipline to which we are subject, for sometimes putting us into the furnace to refine the gold and remove the waste.

No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin. If You would give me choice to live in pleasure and keep my sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give me sanctified affliction. This is only through you Lord.  Deliver us from every evil habit, every accumulation of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of Your grace in us, everything that prevents us taking delight in You. Then we shall bless You, God of jeshurun [poetic name of Israel], for causing us to be upright. (The Valley of Vision, edited by Arthur Bennett)

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1. Jon - December 1, 2008

I’m reading “Praying: Moving from Duty to Delight” by J.I. Packer, and he wrote on this in a passage I just read this morning:

“When we speak of unanswered prayer, we often mean not answered according to the terms of our asking. But to call that “unanswered” is misleading and irreverent. We have seen this in the case of Paul’s plea for his thorn to be taken away, and now look at the following.

‘He asked for strength that he might achieve;
he was made weak that he might obey.
He asked for health that he might do greater things;
he was given infirmity that he might do better things.
He asked for riches that he might be happy;
he was given poverty that he might be wise.

He asked for power that he might have the praise of men;
he was given weakeness that he might feel the need of God.
He asked for all things that he might enjoy life;
he was given life that he might enjoy all things.
He has received nothing that he asked for, but all that he hoped for.
His prayer is answered.'”

Later he concludes, “It is beyond us to track all of God’s answers to our prayers, since these do not always correspond in form to the original petitions. The prose-poem quoted earlier shows this. God reserves the right to answer the prayer we SHOULD have made rather than the one we DID make.”

2. Jeremy - December 1, 2008

That book is really great. I haven’t actually finished the book all the way through but have read many pieces of it. Thanks for sharing that excerpt from it.

I’m looking forward to seeing you next week at Regionals…it’s going to be good to catch up with you.

3. Jon - December 1, 2008

Definitely man, its gonna be sweet!


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