A Leader’s Prayer

I recently came across the following prayer from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions (edited by Arthur Bennett). The language is a bit archaic, but the spirit of the prayer is relevant.

I know that I often do Thy work without Thy power,
and sin by my dead, heartless, blind service,
my lack of inward light, love, delight,
my mind, heart, tongue moving without Thy help.

I see sin in my heart in seeking the approbation of others;

This is my vileness, to make men’s opinion my rule, whereas
I should see what good I have done,
and give thee glory,
consider what sin I have committed and mourn for that.

It is my deceit to preach, and pray,
and to stir up other’s spiritual affections
in order to beget commendations,
whereas my rule should be daily to consider myself more vile than any man in my own eyes.

But Thou dost show Thy power by my frailty,
so that the more feeble I am, the more fit to be used,
for Thou dost pitch a tent of grace in my weakness.

Help me to rejoice in my infirmities and give Thee praise,
to acknowledge my deficiencies before others
and not be discouraged by them,
that they may see Thy glory more clearly.

Teach me that I must act by a power supernatural,
whereby I can attempt things above my strength,
and bear evils beyond my strength,
acting for Christ in all, and
having His superior power to help me.

Let me learn of Paul
whose presence was mean,
his weakness great,
his utterance contemptible,
yet Thou didst account him faithful and blessed.

Lord, let me lean on Thee as he did,
and find my ministry Thine. (187)

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