Monday, November 2, 2009

A Disciple's Renewal

O my Saviour,
help me.
I am so slow to learn, 

so prone to forget, 
so weak to climb;
I am in the foothills when 

I should be on the heights;
I am pained by my graceless heart,
my prayerless days,
my poverty of love,
my sloth in the heavenly race,
my sullied conscience,
my wasted hours,
my unspent opportunities.
I am blind while light shines around me:
take the scales from my eyes,
grind to dust the evil heart of unbelief.
Make it my chiefest joy to study thee,
meditate on thee,
gaze on thee,
sit like Mary at thy feet,
lean like John upon thy breast,
appeal like Peter to thy love,
count like Paul all things dung.
Give me increase and progress in grace so that there may be
more decision in my character,
more vigor in my purposes,
more elevation in my life,
more fervor in my devotion,
more constancy in my zeal.
As I have a position in the world,
keep me from making the world my position;
May I never seek in the creature
what can be found only in the Creator;
Let not faith cease from seeking thee until it vanishes into sight.
Ride forth in me, thou king of kings and lord of lords,
that I may live victoriously, and in victory attain my end.

A Puritan's Prayer

A Conciliator's Prayer

Ken Sande, the founder of Peacemaker Ministries 
prays this prayer as a conciliator. 
This is the prayer of my heart as a pastor, as well 

Today I am called to be a peacemaker, 

but I am unfit for the task.  
By nature I am a peace-faker and a peace-breaker, 
so I myself need help.
Others ask me to understand and guide them, 
but my ears are dull, 
my eyes are dim, 
and I lack the wisdom they need. 
But you, Lord, have all they need, 
so I come to you for supply.
Make me fit for your purposes, 
so I might serve them and honor you.
Cleanse me from my own sin 
so I will not add to their problems;
take the logs from my eyes, 
so I can remove the specks from theirs.
Fill me with your Spirit so they may benefit from your fruit:
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Give me wisdom from above so 
I might be pure and peace-loving,
considerate and submissive, 
full of mercy and good fruit, 
impartial and sincere.
Open Your Word to my eyes and to my heart,
so I will have a steady lamp to light our path.
Strip me of my own agenda and desires, 
so I might look only to others' good
and be absolutely worthy of their trust.
Help me to model everything I teach, 
so others can see the way.
Give me humility to admit my weaknesses 
and confess my wrongs,
so others might do the same.
Draw me again and again into prayer, 
where you can strengthen and correct me.
Make me submissive -- 
help me to show that I myself am under authority.
Help me to treat others as I want to be treated, 
so they may see the essence of your Law.
Make me creative, versatile, and adaptable 
so I can adjust to the surprises ahead.
Help me to accept others as you have accepted me,
 and thus bring praise to your name.
Give me faith and perseverance
 so I will not doubt your provision
or abandon your principles, 
even when others fight against them.
Grant me the gift of encouragement, 
to give others hope and help them believe
that our labor is not in vain.
Help me to model your forgiveness 
so relationships are healed
and your Gospel is revealed.
Grant me discernment 
so that I may read 
the deep waters of others' hearts,
sort fiction from fact, 
and know when it's time to act.
Give me boldness and courage, 
tempered with kindness, 
to confront others in love
so they might see their errors and 
find their way back to you.
Help me to prepare thoroughly 
and not presume upon your grace.
Make me just and fair, 
so that even if people disagree
with my counsel they will believe 
that I treated them well.
In short, Father,
please give me the Spirit of Christ 
so that I might walk in His steps and guide 
Your people Into the path of Your peace.

Afraid? Of What?

Jack Vinson was a missionary to China. In 1931 he was taken hostage by bandits. Eventually they were surrounded by government troops and the bandits tried to shoot their way out. Many died in the process; Vinson was shot and beheaded by his captors. BUT, before he died this conversation, between Vinson and one of the bandits, was overheard by another hostage.

It went like this...
"I'm going to kill you. Aren't you afraid?" said the bandit.
"Kill me, if you wish. I will go straight to God." Vinson replied.

After hearing of his friend's courage EH Hamilton wrote this poem for others facing troubled and difficult times. 
Afraid? Of What?
To feel the spirit's glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid--of that?

Afraid--Of What?
Afraid to see the Savior's face
To hear His welcome, and to trace
The glory gleam from wounds of grace?
Afraid--of that?

Afraid? Of What?
A flash, a crash, a pierced heart;
Darkness, light, O Heaven's art!
A wound of His a counterpart!
Afraid--of that?

Afraid? Of What?
To do by death what life could not--
Baptize with blood a stony plot,
Till souls shall blossom from the spot?
Afraid--of that?

~E. H. Hamilton  By Their Blood

The Valley of VISION

Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
That the way down is the way up,
That to be low is to be high,
That the broken heart is the healed heart,
That the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
That the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
That to have nothing is to posses all,
That to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
That to give is to receive,
That the valley is the place of vision.
LORD, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
Let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty,
Thy glory in my valley.

Written by Puritans