Text: 1 John 1:8-9
Good morning, Sisters, and welcome to our first “Confession” day. As we mentioned yesterday, it may get a little uncomfy in here. We may feel a little squirmy as we lay our souls bare before the Lord in the presence of this, our faith family. But don’t go! God brings blessing even in — and often through! — the discomfort. He will meet us as we call on him.
The prayers of confession we will use in this study are quoted from The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Puritanism was a Christian movement in the 16th and 17th centuries known for its devotion to personal purity. The Puritans were very serious about their faith — both the inward and outward expressions of it. While we know that even those who strive for strict adherence to the law are in need of much, much grace, there is a sweet desperation for God in these prayers, a longing for His mercy and Word. Something else you’ll notice — those Puritans were blunt! They don’t hold many punches, especially those directed at their own sin. Also? They have Puritan-esque language, so don’t be afraid to google a word or two as needed. (Or skip those words; we won’t judge!)
We pray you’ll find the honesty of these prayers beautiful and refreshing, convicting and grace-giving. May our faith may be bolstered by the faith of those who penned these prayers hundreds of years ago.
Prayer: “The Deeps”
Give me a deeper repentance,
a horror of sin,
a dread of its approach;
help me chastely to flee it,
and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be thine alone.
Give me a deeper trust,
that I may lose myself to find myself in thee,
the ground of my rest,
the spring of my being.
Give me a deeper knowledge of thyself,
as saviour, master, lord and king.
Give me deeper power in private prayer,
more sweetness in thy Word,
more steadfast grip on its truth.
Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action,
and let me not seek moral virtue apart from thee.
Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman,
that my being may be a tilled field,
the roots of grace spreading far and wide,
until thou alone art seen in me,
thy beauty golden like summer harvest,
they fruitfulness as autumn plenty.
I have no master but thee,
no law but thy will,
no delight by thyself,
no wealth but that thou givest,
no good but that thou blessest,
no peace but that thou bestowest.
I am nothing but that thou makest me,
I have nothing but that I receive from thee,
I can do nothing but that grace adorns me.
Quarry me deep, dear Lord,
and then fill me to overflowing with living water.
from The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan prayers and devotions, ©2001, The Banner of Truth Trust, p.75.