O Lord, My every sense, member, faculty, affection, is a snare to me, I can scarce open my eyes but I envy those above me, or despise those below me. I covet honor and riches of the mighty, and am proud and unmerciful to the rags of others; If I behold beauty it is a bait to lust, or see deformity, it stirs up loathing and disdain; How soon do slanders, vain jests, and wanton speeches creep into my heart!
Am I comely? what fuel for pride!
Am I deformed? what an occasion for repining!
Am I gifted? I lust after applause!
Am I unlearned? how I despise what I have not!
Am in authority? how prone to abuse my trust, make will my law, exclude others’ enjoyments, serve my own interests and policy!
Am I inferior? how much I grudge others’ pre-eminence!
Am I rich? how exalted I become!
Thou knowest that all these are snares by my corruptions, and that my greatest snare is myself. I bewail that my apprehensions are dull, my thoughts mean, my affections stupid, my expressions low, my life unbeseeming; Yet what canst thou expect of dust but levity, of corruption but defilement?
Keep me ever mindful of my natural state, but let me not forget my heavenly title, or the grace that can deal with every sin.
One thought on “A Puritan Prayer of Self-Deprecation”
Pastor Dan, that’s a nice prayer you wrote. It really suits you. Errrr, maybe it really suits me instead.
…Also thanks for the Family worship article. Do you mind writing a bit more about that, or perhaps ask for suggestions about how to do family worship with kids aged 0-1; 2-3; Kindergarten; etc. My little Naomi’s 2 and about all we do is try to get her to hold our hands when we pray for a meal. Maybe we should pray with our hands held for other occasions such as bed-time, before a long trip, etc. Thanks for the motivation to thin along these lines Pastor Dan! ! ~ James Edel