Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 1700A Prayer to Keep God's Commands 

I thought I might share a couple of things from our time in Psalm 119. The image above is an infographic showing the principal ways in which the psalmist interacts with God's word. The more often the word or concept occurs, the larger the font size. It gives a striking impression of the emphasis and proportion of the psalmist's commitment to God's word.
And here below is a prayer from the Valley of Vision collection of puritan prayers that I read in my sermon. Of course the Puritans didn't have everything right: their tendency to acute self-loathing seems at times to deny the dignity of God's creation. But as for zeal in obedience they give a challenging example to any contemporary Christian. These Christians took the goodness and the authority of God's law seriously.

Lord Jesus, I sin. Grant that I may never cease grieving because of it, never be content with myself, never think I can reach a point of perfection. Kill my envy, command my tongue, trample down self. Give me grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure, peaceable, to live for Thee and not for self, to copy Thy words, acts, spirit, to be transformed into Thy likeness, to be consecrated wholly to Thee, to live entirely to Thy glory.

Deliver me from attachment to things unclean, from wrong associations, from the predominance of evil passions, from the sugar of sin as well as its gap; that with self-loathing, deep contrition, earnest heart searching I may come to Thee, cast myself on Thee, trust in Thee, cry to Thee, be delivered by Thee.

O God, the Eternal All, help me to know that all things are shadows, but Thou art substance, all things are quicksands, but Thou art mountain, all things are shifting, but Thou art anchor, all things are ignorance, but Thou art wisdom.

If my life is to be a crucible amid burning heat, so be it, but do Thou sit at the furnace mouth to watch the ore that nothing be lost. If I sin wilfully, grievously, tormentedly, in grace take away my mourning and give me music; remove my sackcloth and clothe me with beauty; still my sighs and fill my mouth with song, then give me summer weather as a Christian. 

John Adams, 17/07/2015

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