Thursday, January 17, 2008

Valley of Vision - Self-Noughting

"Self-Noughting" may require some translation for the 21st century reader. Nought (or more commonly naught) is an archaic term for "nothing" or "zero", thus "Self-Noughting" is self deprecation or self denial.

O Lord,
Help me to approach thee
with becoming conception of thy nature,

relations and designs.

Thou inhabitest eternity, and

my life is nothing before thee;

Thou dwellest in the highest heaven and

this cannot contain thee;

I live in a house of clay.

Thy power is almighty;

I am crushed before the moth.

Thy understanding is infinite;

I know nothing as I ought to know.

Thou canst not behold evil;

I am vile.

In my ignorance, weakness, fears, depressions,

may thy Spirit help my infirmities

with supplies of wisdom, strength and comfort.

Let me faithfully study my character,

be willing to bring it to light,

observe myself in my trials,

judge the reality and degree of my grace,

consider how I have been ensnared or overcome.

Grant that I may never trust my heart,

depend upon any past experiences,

magnify any present resolutions,

but be strong in the grace of Jesus:

that I may know how to obtain relief

from a guilty conscience

without feeling reconciled to my imperfections.

Sustain me under my trials

and improve them to me;

give me grace to rest in thee,

and assure me of deliverance.

May I always combine thy majesty

with thy mercy,

and connect thy goodness

with thy greatness.

Then shall my heart always rejoice

in praise to thee.

These are words that we need to remember daily. Posted on the wall in front of my desk (where I can read it every workday) is this small prayer as a reminder:

I know not what difficulties, or trials, or temptations, may be before me this day. Prepare me whether for duty or for conflict. Knowing the treachery of the heart, I desire this morning, and each morning, to receive fresh supplies of your grace.

May we be ever mindful of the treachery of our hearts and depend upon Christ, and Christ alone, for the grace that we need daily.

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