A Humble Prayer

A humble prayer for the Holy Spirit to do a deep work in my soul.

Philip Doddridge modernized by R Schlichting

“Blessed God! I sincerely acknowledge before you my own weakness and insufficiency to begin anything that is spiritually good. I have failed a thousand times; and yet my foolish heart would again ‘trust itself,’ (Prov. 28:26) and form resolutions in its own strength. So, I ask that this be the first fruits of your gracious influence upon my heart: to bring it to a humble distrust of itself, and to a rest in you!

I rejoice, O Lord, in the kind assurances which you give me of your readiness to bestow liberally and richly so great a benefit to my heart. I do therefore, according to your condescending invitation, come with boldness to your throne, that I may find grace to help in every time of need. (Heb. 4:16)

I mean not, O Lord God, to turn your grace into a license for immorality or perverseness (Jude, ver. 4) or to make my weakness an excuse for negligence and sloth. I confess that you have already given me more strength than I have used! I charge it upon myself, and not on you, that I have even recently received still more grace from you through your Word and the Spirit. I desire for the future to be found diligent in the use of all appointed means of grace. When I neglect the grace you have given me, petitions like these become a profane mockery, and they might even provoke you to take away what I have, rather than prevail upon you to give me more. But firmly resolving to exert myself to the utmost to use the grace you have given, I earnestly ask for more grace, that I may be enabled to fulfill that resolution.

Be surety, O Lord, to me your servant for good. (Psa. 119:122) Be pleased to shed your sanctifying influences on my soul, to form me for every duty you require. Implant, I ask you, grace and virtue deep in my heart. Bear with me in the midst of me foolishly assaulting your grace. I know I will continue from time to time to do that while I am still in this world and carry about with me so much sin.

Fill me with good affections towards you, my God, and towards my fellow-creatures. Remind me always of your presence, and may I remember that every secret sentiment of my soul is open to you. May I therefore guard against the first risings of sin, and the first approaches to it. May I guard that Satan may not find room for his evil suggestions. I earnestly beg that you Lord, would fill my heart with your Holy Spirit. Dwell in me, and walk with me, (2 Cor 6:16) and let my body be the temple of the Holy Ghost.

May I be so joined to Jesus my Lord, as to be one with him, (1 Cor. 6:17) and feel His invigorating influences continually bearing me on, superior to every temptation and to every corruption. So that while young people shall faint and grow weary, I may so wait upon the Lord as to renew my strength, (Isai. 40:30,31) and may go on from one degree of faith, and love, and zeal, and holiness, to another, till I appear perfect before you in heaven; (Psa. 84:7) to drink in immortal vigor and joy from you, as the everlasting fountain of both, through Jesus Christ my Lord, in whom I have righteousness and strength, (Isai. 45:24). To him I desire to ascribe praise as the source of all my improvements forever. Amen.”