Sunday, April 9

A prayer for today: 28p

O unapproachable Light, how can I fold these guilty hands before you? How can I pray to you with lips that have spoken false and rude words?

A heart hardened with vindictive passions:
An unruly tongue:
An anxious disposition:
An unwillingness to bear the burdens of others:
An undue willingness to let others bear my burdens:
Lofty words joined to low fulfillment:
Fine words hiding shabby thoughts:
A friendly face masking a cold heart:
Many neglected opportunities and many uncultivated talents:
Much love and beauty unappreciated and many blessings unacknowledged:
All these I confess to you, O God.
I thank you, O loving Father, for hearing the prayers of sinful people like me, holy and transcendent as you are. I praise your name that in the gospel of Jesus Christ you have opened up a new and living way into your presence, making your mercy free to all who have nothing else to plead. Let me now find peace of heart by fleeing from myself and taking refuge in you. Take away my despair over my miserable sins and replace it with joy in your goodness. Take away any depression and replace it with renewed zeal and a spirit of service. Let me lie down tonight thinking not of myself and my own affairs, or of my own hopes and fears, or even of my own sins, but of others who need your help and of the work that I can do for their sakes in the vineyard of your world. Amen.

Paraphrase of A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie ©1949 Charles Scribner's Sons