Friday, September 02, 2016

I Confess, O God...

Repeat and or meditate on this verse until your thoughts are centered on God.
Thus wretched though I am and poor,
the mighty Lord of me takes care.
Thou, God, who only canst restore:
to my relief with speed repair.
 —Psalm 70:5
Suggested tune: Abends (LM)

The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse—who can understand it?
—Jeremiah 17:9
We should daily call our hearts to account, and say, O my heart, where have you been today? Where have your thoughts been wandering today? What account can you give of them? O naughty heart! vain heart! could you not abide by the fountain of delights? Is there better entertainment with the creature than with God? The oftener the heart meets with rebukes and checks for wandering, the less it will wander. If every vain thought were retracted with a sigh, every excursion of the heart from God with a severe check, it would not dare so boldly and frequently to digress and step aside; those actions which are committed with reluctance are not committed with frequency.
—John Flavel (alt.)
With bitterness and true compunction of heart, I acknowledge before you the gross and selfish thoughts that I so often allow to enter my mind and to influence my deeds. I confess, O God—
  • that often I let my mind wander down unclean and forbidden ways; 
  • that often I deceive myself as to where my plain duty lies; 
  • that often, by concealing my real motives, I pretend to be better than I am; 
  • that often my honesty is only a matter of policy; 
  • that often my affection for my friends is only a refined form of caring for myself; 
  • that often my sparing of my enemy is due to nothing more than cowardice; 
  • that often I do good deeds only that they may be seen by others, and shun evil ones only because I fear they may be found out. 
O holy One, let the fire of your love enter my heart, and burn up all this coil of meanness and hypocrisy, and make my heart as the heart of a little child...
—John Bailley
Allow the above to help guide your own confession, praise, thanksgiving, and/or petition.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
 —Matthew 6:9-13

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