Saturday, 28 May 2011

Sibbes' Prayer

I found this prayer of Richard Sibbes (1577–1635), quoted in the introduction to Ron Frost's doctoral dissertation, which Dave Bish kindly forwarded to me recently. I've copied and pasted it here and attempted to keep the style whilst "bridging the language gap" for the sake of those reading this who are not familiar with ye olde Englishe, (e.g. those in our church family whose first language is not the same as mine). I apologise in advance for anything lost / disfigured in the bridging process. :-)
Gracious and holy Father who has... sanctified this day for your own service and worship, and for progressing us in the way of salvation, please, sanctify our hearts by your Holy Spirit now, so that we may perform our various obediences in a way that brings you your greatest glory and us our greatest comfort. 
Unworthy as we are in ourselves to appear in your great holy presence, because of both the sins of our nature, and the sins of our lives. We look not to ourselves, but to you who is our gracious and merciful Father through Jesus Christ and to the abundance of your love and mercy.
And in so doing, we beseech you to speak peace unto us through your Son Jesus Christ, and say to our souls by your Holy Spirit, that you are our salvation.
We beseech you also for clearer evidence that we have your favour, let us find the blessed work of your Holy Spirit [amongst us] opening up our understanding, clearing our judgements [giving us discernment], fanning into flame Godly passions, uncovering our remaining sin and corruption, and framing us in every way to be those in whom you take great pleasure and delight.
And grant, we beseech you, that at this time [said just before a sermon] we may learn your holy will, and then labour to frame our lives thereafter, in such a way as to be for your greatest glory and for our greatest comfort, and this we pray for Jesus Chnst his sake your only [begotten] Son, and our blessed Saviour Amen.