Soul Food (but not the deep fried kind)

Soul FoodThe other day I read this in the book Valley of Vision, which is a collection of Puritan prayers. It really nourished my soul as a reminder of my sinfulness and utter for grace in  Jesus. This reading can be found on pages 122-123 of the leather bound edition of VoV. I hope you enjoy:

Self-Knowlodge

Searcher of Hearts,

It is a good day to me when thou givest me a glimpse of myself;

Sin is my greatest evil,

   but thou art my greatest good;

I have cause to loath myself, 

   and not to seek self-honor,

   for no one desires to commend his own dunghill.

My country, family, church

   fare worse because of my sins,

   for sinners bring judgment in thinking sins are small,

   or that God is not angry with them.

Let me not take other good men as my example

   and think I am good because I am like them, 

For all good men are not so good as thou desirest, 

   are not always consistent,

   do not always follow holiness, 

   do not feel eternal good in sore affliction.

Show me how to know when a thing is evil

   which I think is right or good,

   how to know when what is lawful

   comes from an evil principle,

   such as desire for reputation or wealth by usury.

Give my grace to recall my needs,

   my lack of knowing thy will in Scripture, 

         of wisdom to guide others

         of daily repentance, want of which keeps thee at bay;

         of the spirit of prayer, having words without love,

         of zeal for thy glory, seeking my own ends,

         of joy in thee and thy will,

         of love for others.

And let me lay not my pipe

   too short of the fountain

   never touching the eternal spring,

   never drawing down water from above.

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