« AnteriorContinuar »
about again, and meet with what will try my temper and spirit, then help me by Thy grace to be tenderhearted still—kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving to all.
I pray Thee that I may never lose the sense of Thy great love in forgiving me. Make me even to grow in the sense of it. Thou alone hast taught me to know this; teach me to know it more deeply and fully. Make these very words to have a deeper and deeper meaning in my heart, “even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” I do believe this; increase my
belief. I do thank Thee for it; make me yet more thankful; I rejoice in it, and I love Thee for it; cause me to rejoice even more, and to love Thee more.
Then, when I love Thee for Thy free forgiveness, how can I be other than tenderhearted and kind ? How can I fail to forgive any who have injured me? Surely I must forget my own forgiveness, and lose all belief in Thy pardoning love to me, before I can ever again be bitter towards any, or harbour anger and wrath, or break out in angry words, or speak evil of any one! Oh, let me not forget; keep me ever in mind that for Christ's sake Thou hast forgiven me.
" Tenderhearted”—that is what I wish to be. I have often been much the contrary; often have I judged others harshly, and condemned them hastily, and sat in stern judgment on them in my mind, when I ought to have pitied them and tried to help them. Oh, where should I have been, hadst Thou, My God, dealt so with me? Fill me with the spirit of pity and kindness. Make me ready, not only to do kind actions and speak kind words, but also to think kind thoughts.
When in future I am provoked, help me to meet provocation gently and kindly. If ever I should be treated in such a way as would once have stirred me to anger, grant that I may be meek, and forgiving, and ready to return good for evil. Once I did not know that I was forgiven; little wonder that I did not then forgive, for then I was without the chief motive. But now that Thou hast caused me to know Thy pardoning mercy, now grant me to think and feel as one forgiven ought to think and feel.
Give me, O my
God, the grace of forgiveness and kindness and tender-heartedness.
I call to mind the unforgiving servant, himself forgiven so much, and yet so hard on his fellow-servant; let me never be like him. I think of the prayer I make every day, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us:" should I not forgive, then I should deny my own prayer. I remember my Lord's words, “that ye love one another, as I have loved you. O Saviour, as Thou hast loved me, so help me to love all. O Father, Who, for Thy dear Son's sake, hast forgiven me, incline me by Thy Spirit to forgive others, and to be kind and tenderhearted towards all ; not now only, but always henceforth.
DIFFICULTY IN PRAYER.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities.”
Rom. viii. 26.
ONE would have thought that, however weak for anything else, at least we could ask. But it is not so: we are weak even for prayer, we want help even in that. How happy for us, that this want is met! What want of ours is there, that is not met in the Word of God ?
Great and many as my wants are, especially now, yet I often find difficulty in praying. My thoughts are dull and heavy and wandering, petitions will not come to my mind, I scarcely realize what I want or wish for, I feel tongue-tied. O my Saviour, Thou didst continue all night in prayer—Thou, who hadst no sin to confess, and no pardon to seek; while I, who am laden with iniquity, and have so much to ask forgiveness for, find it difficult to fix my mind for any time in prayer, and can scarcely for ten minutes at a time continue in supplication. Alas, even while I am in the act of praying, suddenly I find my mind going astray, and, before I am aware, my thoughts are dwelling on some trifle.
Humbling as this is, I have yet this comfort, that a very short prayer has often brought a great blessing. “Lord, help me !" won for a mother the healing of her child. “ Thou son of David, have mercy on us !' brought sight to two blind men. If I cannot pray long, Lord, help me to pray in earnest. If I cannot collect my thoughts to make mention of all my wants, yet teach me to say from the heart, “Lord, help me!”.
But I am not left to myself in prayer. Not only have I a gracious Saviour to present my prayer, and to plead my cause; I have
I also a helper in prayer, the Holy Spirit. “The Spirit helpeth our infirmities." He knows them well. He knows how weak and wandering are our thoughts. how cold our hearts, how light and trifling our minds.