Shortcomings

Shortcomings

O Living God,
I 
that I see the worst of my heart as well as
the best of it,
that I can sorrow for those sins that carry me
from thee,
that it is thy deep and dear mercy to threaten
punishment so that I may return, pray, live.
My sin is to look on my faults and be discouraged,
or to look on my good and be puffed up.
I fall short of thy glory every day by spending
hours unprofitably,
by thinking that the things I do are good,
when they are not done to thy end,
nor spring from the rules of thy Word.
My sin is to fear what never will be;
I forget to submit to thy will, and fail to be
quiet there.
But Scripture teaches me that thy active will
reveals a steadfast purpose on my behalf,
and this quietens my soul,
and makes me love thee.
Keep me always in the understanding
that saints mourn more for sin than other men,
for when they see how great is thy wrath
against sin,
and how Christ’s death alone pacifies that wrath,
that makes them mourn the more.
Help me to see that although I am in the wilderness
it is not all briars and barrenness.
I have bread from heaven, streams from the rock,
light by day, fire by night,
thy dwelling place and thy mercy seat.
I am sometimes discouraged by the way,
but though winding and trying it is safe
and short;
Death dismays me, but my great high priest
stands in its waters,
and will open me a passage,
and beyond is a better country.
While I live let my life be exemplary,
When I die may my end be peace.

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From ‘The Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions’
Arthur Bennett, Editor

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