« AnteriorContinuar »
sensible condition, O pardon, we beseech thee, all his offences, and accept of the preparation and repentance that he was able to make before the distemper prevail. ed upon him in so deadly a manner. Receive him, 0 Lord, into the arms of thy mercy, and accept him, for thy well-beloved Son's sake; that so this short night may quickly be turned into everlasting day; and, after these dark shadows are removed, he may find himself in a heaven of happiness, where,“ in thy light he may see light" for ever. Amen.
A prayer for one who hath been a notoriously
wicked liver. O LORD God, of infinite goodness and compassion, whose mercies are over all thy works; who makest the sun to shine, and the rain to descend, upon the “ unjust” as well as the “just," and art kind even to the most unthankful ; we humbly beseech thee to look down in mercy upon this thy unworthy servant, who hath so long “trampled upon the riches of thy goodness, not knowing that it should lead to repentance."
Let thy rod, therefore, awaken him now to a sense of his condition, whom thy goodness hath not reclaimed, and let him still find mercy at thy hands, notwithstanding his continual abuse of it.
Thou hast promised, O Lord, that, “ when the wick ed man turneth away from his wickedness which he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.” O make good this thy promise to thy servanthere, wḥo stands in so much need of it.
“Hide thy face from his sins, and blot out all his iniquities :" though they be " red as scarlet," yet do thou make them“ white as snow," by repentance, which we beg of thee to give him, and to accept, though late, through thine infinite mercies.
Simon Magus, though in the "gall of bitterness, and the bond of iniquity," was exhorted to repent, and to pray for pardon; and therefore we hope the gate of lif is still open for our brother though he hath so long shut himself out of it, by going on in a course that leadeth to the chambers of death."
Blessed Lord, let thy terrors at length awaken him out of this lethargical condition, before he is overtaken by thy judgments. Afflict hiin here, that thou mayest spare him hereafter. Soften his heart, that he may bewail his ill-spent life, like Mary Magdalen, with tears of contrition.
O quicken him to a sense of his duty, and of his danger, before it be too late: and when thou hast brought him to his right mind, receive him, we beseech thee, as the compassionate father did his prodigal son, or the shepherd his lost sheep.
Thou, O Lord, who didst pardon the thief upon the cross, hear our prayers for our brother, in these his great, and, for any thing we know, his last agonies.
And, as the fore-mentioned instances are lively significations of thine unbounded goodness, and were written for our comfort and instruction, that none should despair of pardon; so with the greatest confidence we now recommend this our distressed brother to thy divine protection, beseeching thee to forgive all that is past, and to receive him at last into thine" everlasting habitation.” Ameu,
A prayer for one who is hardened and impenitent. LORD God Almighty, who art the “ Father of our spirits," and who “turnest the hearts of men as thou pleasest ; who hast mercy on whom thou wilt have mercy, and whom thou wilt thou hardenest;" let thy merciful ears be open, we pray thee, to the supplications which we now offer to thy Divine Majesty, in the behalf of this thy servant, who appears insensible of his sin and folly, and on whom all means to lead him to repentance have hitherto seemed vain and ineffectual. Take from him, we humbly entreat thee, all ignorance and hardness of heart: remove from him all prejudice against, and contempt of, thy sacred word and ministry; let him no longer“ make a mock of sin,” but be sensible that the wisdom he has hitherto gloried in, is the greatest and most dangerous folly. Open thou his eyes, that he may“ see the wonderful things of thy law." Shew thy mercy upon him, and grant him O give
thy salvation. Convince him of the vanity and madness, as well as danger, of his past ways.
His understanding we fear is now darkened, and his heart hardened through the deceitfulness of sin: 0, do thou enlighten his dark mind, and let him at last see the beauties of holiness, which have so long been hidden from his eyes. Take from him this “ steny heart, and give him a heart of flesh.” Awaken his slumbering and inattentive soul, that it may delight in things agreeable to its nature, and be employed in things that make for its everlasting peace. him understanding, and he shall yet live. Thou that canst revive souls which are dead in sin and trespasses, and make even such as lie in the grave of corruption to become glorious saints and even martyrs for religion, hear our prayers for our brother, who seems to be on the brink of destruction; and pity poor sinners that have not pity on themselves.
It is the unhappiness of being long accustomed to sin, that we are not soon made sensible of our errors, nor easily made to know them. It is the pride of our nature to be unwilling to acknowledge our faults, and to confess our sins : but let thy grace, O God, teach us to deny this ungodly lust. Do thou bumble in us all high and vain imaginations; suppress all proud thoughts and haughty opinions of ourselves. Give us all (and particularly thy servant, for whom we are now inter ceding) a sense of our own vileness; give us unfeigned repentance for all the errors of our life past ; that, being cast down, thou mayest raise us up, and become merciful to us, miserable sinners.
Let us all find, by blessed experience, that “ we grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ;" and that“his commandments” are not "griev. ous” to us, but rather the delight and desire of our souls; that so at last we may be presented to him
holy and unblamable, and unreprovable in his sight." 4 men.
A prayer for a sick woman that is with child, O God, the help of all that put their trust in thee, the support of the weak, and the relief of the needy ; look
with pity npon this woman thy servant, who at best o acknowledgeth herself but a weak and helpless crea
ture, but much more so now in her present condition, when thou hast added weakness to weakness, and made her to travail with much sickness, together with the burden of child-bearing.
O Lord, be thou graciously pleased to proportion thy strength to her weakness, and as pains and sorrow take hold upon her, inspire her with fresh vigour and cou.
rage to rely upon thee, her only support in time of s' need, and the rock of her salvation.
Let her not be disquieted with the fear of any evil, since none can happen unto her without thy permission; but give her grace, patiently to resign herself to thy blessed will in all things, who knowest what is best
for her, and wilt lay no more upon her, we trust, than enthou wilt enable her to bear.
Bring strength, O Lord, out of weakness, and health out of sickness; and make her, in thy good time, a
joyful mother of a hopeful child, which may do good * in its generation, and be an instrument of thy glory
here, and a blessed inhabitant of thy heavenly kingdom hereafter, Amen.
A prayer for a woman in the time of her travail.
(From Bishop Patrick.)
O MOST mighty Lord, who hast given us innumerable pledges of thy love, and encouraged us to trust in thee for ever, and to expect with quiet and patient minds the issue of thy wise and good providence; we most humbly commend thy servant, in this her extremity, to thy care and blessing ; beseeching thee to give her a gracious deliverance, and to ease her of the burden wherewith she labours. We ourselves are monuments of that mercy which we beg of thee. Thou didst preserve our weak and imperfect frame, before we were born. Thou hast succoured and supported us ever since, many times beyond our hopes, and always be. yond our deservings. We commit ourselves and every thing belonging unto us, most heartily into thy hands; remembering that thou bast the same power and good.
thy servant, and her helpless infant, and for the woredrous things which thou hast done for ber! The pangs of death compassed her, and she found trouble and sorrow. The mouth of the pit was opened, and ready to shut itself upon her : but thou bast graciously assuaged her pains, and turned her sorrows into joy.
Lord, we will ever adore and magnify thy mercy, which has dealt so lovingly with her, and praise thy truth and faithfulness, which have not suffered ber hopes to fail. We will never forget how mindfu! thoa hast been of the low estate of thy handmaid; for she has been supported by thy power, O blessed God, in her greatest weakness. She has tasted thy goodness in the midst of all her pangs and sorrows.
Perfect, O Lord, that deliverance to her which thoa hast most graciously begun, and let her not be lost af. ter the wonders which thou hast already done for her.
Continue her patience, and her humble dependance on thee, under the pains and accidents to which she is still exposed. Support her spirits, and raise her up again in thy due time. Thy mercy and power are still the same, and will be the same for ever. O let them still be shewn for her recovery, as they have been al. ready for her delivery; let them be shewn upon her, that she may praise thee more and more.
But if, in thy paternal providence, whereunto we pray she may willingly commit herself, thou hast deter mined otherwise concerning her, thy blessed will be done. Dispose her either to life or death, as thou pleasest, only in both to thy mercy: and whether liv. ing or dying, let her still please thee, and be thou her portion. O perfect her repentance, and give her pa. tience whilst she lives, and peace when she dies, and af. ter that, the happiness of a blessed eternity, which thou hast prepared for all that truly fear thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
If the child be living, this may be added : PRESERVE likewise her tender infant, O Father of mer. cies, and let its own weakness, and our cries, commend it to thy care.
Keep it also afterward in health and safety, and as it