A Minister’s Preaching

My Master God,

I am desired to preach today,

     but go weak and needy to my task;

Yet I long that people may be edified with divine truth,

     that an honest testimony might be borne for thee;

Give me assistance in preaching and prayer,

     with heart uplifted for grace and unction.

Present to my view things pertinent to my subject,

     with fullness of matter and clarity of thought,

     proper expression, fluency, fervency,

     a feeling sense of the things i preach,

     and grace to apply them to men’s consciences.

Keep me conscience all the while of my defects,

     and let me not gloat in pride over my performance.

Help me to offer a testimony for thyself,

     and to leave sinners inexcusable in neglecting thy mercy.

Give me freedom to open the sorrows of thy people,

      and to set before them comforting considerations.

Attend with power the truth preached,

     and awaken the attention of my slothful audience.

May thy people be refreshed, melted, convicted, comforted,

     and help me to use the strongest arguments

     drawn from Christ’s incarnation and sufferings,

     that men might be made holy.

I myself need thy support, comfort, strength, holiness

     that I might be a pure channel of thy grace,

     and be able to do something for thee;

Give me then refreshment among thy people,

     and help me not to treat excellent matter

     in a defective way,

     or bear a broken testimony to so worthy a Redeemer,

     or be harsh in treating Christ’s death,

     its design and end,

     from lack of warmth and fervency.

And keep me in tune with thee

     as I do this work.

(“The Valley of Vision”, A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Edited by Arthur Bennett)

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