A Puritan Prayer on the Lord’s Day

From The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions (Banner of Truth, 1975)

“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight
and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;
then you shall take delight in the Lord” (Isaiah 58:13-14).

Puritans worshipping outdoors
Puritans worshipping outdoors (click to enlarge)

O Lord, My Lord,

This is Thy day,
the heavenly ordinance of rest,
the open door of worship,
the record of Jesus’ resurrection,
the seal of the Sabbath to come,
the day when saints militant and triumphant unite in endless song.

I bless Thee for the throne of grace,
that here free favor reigns;
that open access to it is through the blood of Jesus;
that the veil is torn aside and I can enter
the holiest
and find Thee ready to hear;
waiting to be gracious,
inviting me to pour out my needs,
encouraging my desires,
promising to give more than I ask or think.

But while I bless Thee, shame and confusion are mine:
I remember my past misuse of sacred things,
my irreverent worship,
my base ingratitude,
my cold, dull praise.
Sprinkle all my past Sabbaths with the cleansing blood of Jesus,
and may this day witness deep improvement in me.

Give me in rich abundance the blessings the Lord’s Day was designed to impart;
May my heart be fast bound against worldly thoughts or cares;
Flood my mind with peace beyond understanding;
may my meditations be sweet,
my acts of worship life, liberty, joy,
my drink the streams that flow from thy throne,
my food the precious Word,
my defense the shield of faith,
and may my heart be more knit to Jesus.

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