Sunday, May 30, 2010

bless my feeble endeavors...

Henry Miles gathered the prayers for the collection "Altar at Home: Prayers for the Family and the Closet" from Unitarian
"Clergymen in and near Boston."  First published in 1855 "Alter" went through many editions and one can readily imagine thousands of Unitarian individuals and families praying from its pages. 
   As a DRE I would love to meet with our wonderful teachers on Sunday mornings and pray this prayer from the collection:

"Prayer To Be Used By a Sunday School Teacher Before Engaging in Religious Instruction"

0 Thou who seest my whole heart, and knowest all my unfaithfulness, how can I hope, except by thy special blessing and surpassing mercy, to be an instrument of spiritual good, while I am myself so low in spiritual attainments, so worldly, so indifferent, so weak in faith, and so unworthy in thy sight. Yet, 0 my God. thou canst cause the earthen vessel, the broken vessel, the too often dishonored vessel, to receive and convey the balm and medicine of thy heavenly truth, to the praise and glory of thy own name. 0 deign to bless my feeble endeavors and ministrations this day. Let the prayers which shall be poured out be uttered in a believing, contrite, grateful, earnest spirit. Let the words of comment and enforcement which may be offered be words of truth and soberness, conducing to the edification of Christians, and the conviction and renovation of those who as yet believe not.

0 Thou that hast all hearts in thy almighty hand, be pleased so to move and guide my failing mind and heart, and those of others, that we may derive from these means of grace wisdom, and strength, and new devotedness. Fix in my soul, and in every soul present, more forcibly than ever, the practical and prevailing persuasion, that to depend on thy help is indispensable; that to be spiritually-minded is life and peace; that to serve thee in simplicity and godly sincerity, through Jesus Christ, is the way of true freedom and exaltation, of true content and joy ; that nothing in the tents or palaces of wickedness or earthly pleasure can compare with the happiness of walking in the light, as thou art in the light. 0 let the blood of Christ purify us from all iniquity; and do thou take away every evil thought and imagination of the heart, confirming each right and self-denying aim and resolve within us, that we may live and die unto the Lord, and be meet for his undefined home and rest.

Heavenly Father, make all the services of the day, and of the remaining Lord's days which thou mayest grant us upon earth, effectual for these great ends to us and ours, and to all in every place whom we love or ought to love; and bring us all together in the one temple of thy eternal grace and glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen."

(Maybe I better pray this one in the closet!)
Have a blessed Sabbath

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