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A major part of growing spiritually is warring against the sin that still dwells within. “I am a sinner, but not insensible of my state,” as the Puritan author wrote. His prayer was that God would make his heart soft and alert. This way, God’s Spirit could press against his conscience in order to stir up hatred for sin and affections for Christ.
“Give me a tender, wakeful conscience that can smite and torment me when I sin.” This quote is both warm and cold at the same time and in the appropriate ways. I hope that it will remind you of your own need for such a conscience.
O THOU MOST HIGH,
In the way of thy appointment I am waiting for thee,
my desire is to thy name,
my mind to remembrance of thee.
I am a sinner, but not insensible of my state.
My iniquities are great and numberless,
but thou art adequate to my relief,
for thou art rich in mercy;
the blood of thy Son can cleanse from all sin;
the agency of thy spirit can subdue my most powerful lusts.
Give me a tender, wakeful conscience
that can smite and torment me when I sin.
May I be consistent in conversation and conduct,
the same alone as in company,
in prosperity and adversity,
accepting all thy commandments as right,
and hating every false way.
May I never be satisfied with my present spiritual progress,
but to faith add virtue, knowledge, temperance, godliness,
brotherly kindness, charity.
May I never neglect
what is necessary to constitute Christian character,
and needful to complete it.
May I cultivate the expedient,
develop the lovely, adorn the gospel,
recommend the religion of Jesus,
accommodate myself to thy providence.
Keep me from sinking or sinning in the evil day;
Help me to carry into ordinary life portions of divine truth
and use them on suitable occasions, so that
its doctrines may inform,
its warnings caution,
its rules guide,
its promises comfort me.1
- Bennett, Arthur. “Spiritual Growth.” The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2002. 200-201. Print.