The Practice of Prayer

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(Photo by Olivia Snow on Unsplash)

O Father, how I struggle so
To come before your throne.
In public, pray’r oft turns to show;
In private, how I drone.
Though you twice o’er gave life to me,
I come still wanting more –
Unwarranted expectancy
Now knocking at your door.
No more.
Let thine own will alone be done,
And let thy kingdom come.
Let me in life reflect the Son,
To love, and be not numb.
Grant that my tastes are tempted not
By poverty nor wealth.
Peace and forgiveness, be my lot;
Humility, my health.
O Father who in heaven dwells
In holiness and light,
Keep me away from worthless wells,
From trusting in my might.
God, grant me eyes to recognize
Your grandeur and your grace.
Teach me to treasure you as prize,
And ever seek your face.

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Joy


These tests, although they vex us so,
Have no eternal consequence
Save that they serve to stretch and grow
Our faith in God’s omnipotence.
Disrupting our complacency
And any semblance of control,
He opens up our eyes to see
That he alone can make us whole.
He takes from us what we would keep
To give us what we truly need.
All lack of supper, safety, sleep
Recalls to us the ancient creed,
That Christ has lived and Christ has died
And Christ returned to life again,
And God, not sparing him, supplied
Our cause for hope, our good, our gain. 

Life Till Death’s Cessation

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Stained with sin but for your grace, I
Long to look upon your face. Thy
Never-failing word commands my
Failing heart to focus. Faith is
Crying, “Father, stoke us. Take this
Weakened will in your hands.” Of his
Life and death and life again, I
Sing, a breath midst strife and sin. Thy
Son resplendent understands my
War with this temptation. Such is
Life till death’s cessation. In this
Hope my salvaged soul stands, all his.

Flesh and Spirit

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I trust you, but I do not trust you;
Love you, but my heart is cold;
Hope in you, yet live as hopeless.
I am new, yet still am old.
I am your own by your good pleasure,
Living by your love and grace.
Why then do I dare to doubt and
In your presence hide my face?
O Father, how I still forsake you
While I wish to know you more!
Wretched flesh, this wayward servant,
Works to wrench me from your shore!
But it cannot defeat redemption,
Nor diminish your resolve.
None can snatch this great salvation,
Nor condemn those you absolve.
So in this grace I stand acquitted,
Salvaged from futility.
Now I live by thy great power
Free for all eternity.

Though Man May Die

The scalpel in my Father’s hand
Doth fill my soul with hope and dread:
Hope for the good that he hath planned;
Dread for the loss of what is dead.
Afflicted with a fearful faith,
The foreign and familiar fused-
The actions of the holy wraith
Obscured by actions unexcused.
Yet I am not accused by God,
Despite the sins I still commit.
I fall before the meas’ring rod,
But, by his grace, he doth remit.
His right hand of omnipotence
No longer waits with wrath for me:
The God-man, breathing holiness,
Bore holes and wrath upon the tree.
Now he upholds with righteous arm
The souls now saved from Sodom’s fate.
He works his purpose through each harm
As for his work we watch and wait.
So banish now these fleshly fears
And fear the holy God most high.
His work, though wrought with many tears,
Brings life to man though man may die.