From Bayly 6. Lastly, when such thoughts come into thy head, either to keep thee from prayer, or to distract thee in praying, remember that those are the fowls which the evil one sends to devour the good seed, and the carcasses of thy spiritual sacrifices [Matt. xiii:19]; but endeavour with Abraham, to drive them away (Gen. xv. 11.) Yet notwithstanding, if thou perceivest at times, that thy spirits are dull, and thy mind not apt for prayer and holy devotion, strive not too much for that time, but humbling thyself at the sense of thine infirmity and dullness, knowing that God accepteth the willing mind, though it be oppressed with the heaviness of the flesh (Matt. xxvi. 41; 2 Cor. viii. 12), endeavour the next time to recompense this dullness, by redoubling thy zeal, and for the time present, commend thy soul to God in this, or the like short prayer:—
O most gracious God, and merciful Father! I thine unworthy servant do here acknowledge that as I have been born in sin, so I have lived in iniquity, and broken every one of thy commandments, in thought, word, and deed; following the desires of mine own will, and lusts of my flesh, not caring to be governed by thy holy word and Spirit; and therefore I have justly deserved all shame and misery in this life, and everlasting condemnation in hell-fire, if thou shouldst but deal with me according to thy justice, and my desert.
Wherefore, O heavenly Father, I beseech thee, for thy Son Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the merits of that bitter death and bloody passion which I believe that he hath suffered for me, that thou wouldst pardon and forgive me all my sins, and deliver me from the shame and vengeance which is due to me for them.
And send thy Holy Spirit into my heart, which may assure me that thou art my Father, and that I am thy child, and that thou lovest me with an unchangeable love; and let the same good Spirit lead me in thy truth, and crucify in me more and more all worldly and carnal lusts, that my sins may more and more die in me, and that I may serve thee in unfeigned righteousness and holiness this day, and all the days of my life; that when this mortal life is ended, I may, through thy mercy in Christ, be made a partaker of everlasting glory in thy heavenly kingdom.
And here, O Lord, from the bottom of my heart, I thank thee for all thy blessings, which thou hast bestowed upon my soul and body; for electing me in thy love, redeeming me by thy Son, sanctifying me by thy Spirit, and preserving me from my youth up, until this present day and hour, by thy most gracious providence.
I thank thee more especially, for that thou hast defended me this night from all perils and dangers, and hast brought me safe to the beginning of this day.
And now, good Lord, I beseech thee, keep me this day from all evil that may hurt me, and from falling into any gross sin that should offend thee. Set thy fear before my eyes, and let thy Spirit so rule my heart, that all that I shall think, do, or speak this day, may tend to thy glory, the good of others, and the peace of mine own conscience.
And to this end I commend myself, and all my ways and actions, together with all that belong to me, unto thy gracious direction and protection; praying thee to keep both them and me from all evil, and to give a blessing to all our honest labours and endeavours.
Defend thy whole church from the tyranny of the world, and of Antichrist. Preserve our rulers* from all conspiracies and treasons: grant them** a peaceable, noble, and blessed service. Bless all those who rule over men; endow them with thy grace, and defend them from all evil.
Bless all our ministers and magistrates with those graces and gifts which thou knowest necessary for their places.
Be favourable to all that fear thee, and tremble at thy judgments.
Comfort all those that are sick and comfortless.
Lord, keep me in a continual readiness, by faith and repentance, for my last end, that whether I live or die, I may be found thine own, to thine eternal glory, and mine everlasting salvation, through Jesus Christ my only Saviour: In whose blessed name I beg these mercies at thy hands, and give unto thee thy praise and glory, in that prayer which he has sanctified with his own lips:—“Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,” &c.
Mtt. 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
Gn. 15:11 And the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.
Mtt. 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
2 Cor. 8:12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according as a man hath, not according as he hath not.
Ps. 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
Ps. 130:3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
Rm. 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
I Pt. 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
Rm. 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. Jn. 16:13
Col. 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Col. 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Ps. 78:14 He led them with a cloud by day and with a fiery light throughout the night.
2Ch. 16:9 – the eyes of the LORD run to and fro through-out the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.
Ps. 19:13 – Keep back thy servant also from presump-tuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
Ps. 90:17 – And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.
* The original has Queen and the rest of the royal family.
** The original has her a long and prosperous reign over us.
I Tim. 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
2 Sam. 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
Ps. 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
Heb. 12:1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.