Comfort to a Mourning Heart

Choices

O God

Though I am allowed to approach thee

I am not unmindful of my sins,

I do not deny my guilt,

I confess my wickedness, and earnestly plead forgiveness.

May I with Moses choose affliction rather than enjoy the pleasures of my sin.

Help me to place myself always under thy guiding and guardian care,

to take firmer hold of the sure covenant that binds me to thee,

to feel more of the purifying, dignifying, softening influence of the religion I profess,

to have more compassion, love, pity, courtesy,

to deem it an honor to be employed by thee as an instrument in thy hands,

ready to seize every opportunity of usefulness, and willing to offer all my talents to thy service.

Thou hast done for me all things well,

has remembered, distinguished, indulged me.

All my desires have not been gratified,

but thy love denied them to me

when fulfillment of my wishes would have proved my ruin or injury.

My trials have been fewer than my sins,

and when I have kissed the rod it has fallen from thy hands.

Thou has often wiped away my tears,

restored peace to my mourning heart,

chastened me for my profit.

All thy work for me is perfect, and I praise thee.

Arthur Bennett, “Choices” in The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions (Carlisle: Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), 105.

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