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Another Paraphrase or Meditation upon the Lord's Prayer

O almighty and eternal God, of whom all fatherhood in heaven and in earth is named, whose seat is the heaven, whose footstool is the earth, who of thy great clemency and unspeakable love hast not weighed nor considered our great unkindness and wilful disobedience, but according to the good pleasure of thy eternal purpose hast in thy well-beloved Son Jesus Christ chosen us out of the world, and dost accept us far otherwise than we are in deed; to be called, yea, and to be indeed thine adopted sons; and dost vouchsafe, O loving Father, that we, being, as it were, heavenly children, should every one of us confess, declare, and call thee our heavenly Father. Grant, dear Father, that among us thy poor children, by pureness of mind and conscience, by singleness of heart, by uncorrupt and innocent life, and example of virtue and godliness, thy most holy name may be sanctified; and that so many of all other nations as thou hast thereunto chosen and predestinated, beholding our godliness and virtuous deeds that thou works in us, may be the more stirred to hallow and glorify thy blessed name.

Oh! faithful Father, we beseech thee that the kingdom of thy Holy Spirit, of grace and prayer, of thy loving kindness and mercy, and of all other thy holy virtues, and of thy holy and most blessed word, may continually reign in our hearts, so that thou would vouchsafe thereby to make us worthy to be partakers of the realm and kingdom of thy glorious and blessed presence.

Oh! dear God and heavenly Father, we humbly desire thy goodness to bow our hearts unto thee, to make us humble of mind, to make us low in our own sight and obedient, that, like as thy dear Son, our only Saviour Jesus Christ, counted his meat, works, praise, and life, to be only in obeying their most blessed will, wherein for our sakes he became obedient to the death of the cross, that so we may, even unto the very death, in lowliness, in meekness, patience and thankfulness, obey thy holy will, and not murmur and grudge, nor refuse whatsoever thy fatherly pity shall think good to lay on us, be it poverty, hunger, nakedness, sickness, slanders, oppressions, vexations, persecutions, yea, or death itself, for well-doing. But in all things may we seek and labour to make these our earthly bodies serviceable to do thy will, and to refuse what thou wills not, never to strive nor wrestle against thy holy will, but with thy heavenly citizens and household, built upon the foundation of thy holy prophets and apostles, thy Son Jesus Christ being the head corner-stone; all self-will and controversy in opinions being set aside; the lusts, desires, and affections of the flesh mortified; the flattering assaults of the vain world, the cruel and subtle layings in wait of the devil overcome; agreeing together quietly, and united in spirit, we may freely obey thy most blessed will, therein to walk all the days of our life.

Oh! dear God, give unto our needy bodies necessary sustenance, and take from us all love of worldly things, all anxiety and covetousness, that we may the more freely worship and serve thee. Oh! merciful Father, we beseech thee to give unto us that heavenly bread to strengthen our hearts; I mean the body of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, the very food and health of our souls, that we may always with thankfulness firmly feed on him by faith, and utterly forsake and abhor all false doctrine and persuasions of men, and all lying spirits that shall persuade us any otherwise of him than thy holy word teaches and assures us. Satisfy our hungry souls, dear Father, with the marrow and fatness of thy rich mercy, promised to us in the same thy Son, and of our eternal elections redemption, justification, and glorification in him. Make us, O gracious God, to contemn and despise this world, with the vain things and pleasures thereof, and inwardly to hunger for thy blessed kingdom and presence, which do thou satisfy, good God, in thy good time, according to thy good will and pleasure. Oh! most loving God, give us the bread of thy divine precepts, and make our hearts perfect, that we may truly and freely walk and live in them all the days of our life. Oh! dear and merciful Father, we beseech thee give us the bread of thy lively and heavenly word, and the true understanding thereof, which is the light of our paths, the food, strong tower, and sure defence of our souls, that we, being well fenced with this ammunition, fed and filled with this food, may be worthy guests at thy celestial feast and wedding, where we shall never hunger nor want.

Oh! most righteous and merciful God, Father, and Governor of our life; we confess that we have grievously sinned against thee from our youth up until now, in ingratitude, in unthankfulness, wilfulness, disobedience, presumption, and our innumerable negligences and sins, which we from time to time most heinously have committed; whereby we have deserved not only sore and grievous plagues, but even eternal damnation, were it not that thou art the Lord of mercy, and hast power to show mercy on whom thou wilt; wherein thou art rich and plentiful to all them that call upon thee faithfully. Wherefore, dear Father, we, seeing our manifold and grievous sins which we have committed against thee, and also thy great mercy, loving kindness, patience, and longsuffering towards us; are compelled not only to bear patiently and suffer our enemies when they rail on us, slander us, oppress us, vex us, or trouble us, curse, persecute, and kill us; but also to speak well of them, to instruct them, to pray for them, to do them good, to bless them, to clothe them, and feed them, so heaping coals of thy charity and love upon them, and mercifully to forgive them, even as thou, dear Father, for thy beloved Christ's sake hast forgiven us. Thus hast thou taught us, good Father, not as the hypocrites, to look narrowly on our neighbours' faults, but diligently to examine our own consciences, wherein we have offended thee; and also what occasion of offence or falling we have given to our brethren in eating, drinking, going, apparel, speaking, dissolute or uncomely laughter; in bargaining, or by any means, and with all speed to seek to reconcile ourselves to them, and to forgive unto others, from the bottom of our hearts, whatsoever they have offended us, and to do none otherwise than we wish and desire in our hearts that others should do to us; that so we may find thee, O Lord, in forgiving us our trespasses, mild and merciful, which do thou speedily show thyself unto us, for thy dear Christ's sake.

Oh! Lord, thou God of the righteous, we feel the frailty of our nature to be so perverse and apt to sin, that when thou by the gifts of thy Holy Spirit dost move us, and (as it were) call us, yea, rather draw us unto thee, then are we drawn away and tempted of our own concupiscence and lust, besides the great and dangerous assaults of the world and devil; therefore, faithful Father, we thy poor children beseech thee to take from us all those evils and occasions that may draw us from thee. Oh! dear God, protect, defend, and strengthen us against all the suggestions and assaults of our enemies, the world, the flesh, and the devil; that neither in prosperity we should be haughty and high-minded to say unthankfully, "What is the Lord!" nor yet in the abundance of temptation, anguish, vexation, tribulation, or persecution, be oppressed with fear, nor be deceived by flattery, nor yet to fall in despair, and so utterly perish. But in all dangers and perils of temptation, and in the midst of the stormy tempests of tribulation, dear Father, make us thy poor children, to feel the consolation of the certainty of our eternal election in Christ Jesus our Lord, and to perceive thy fatherly succour ready to help us; lest that we, being overcome with the wicked sleight (craftiness, editor), and deceitful invasions of the enemies, should be drawn into an obstinate mind, as without thy grace and merciful protection we shall, and so be shut up by the knowledge that should lead thy gracious gifts, and benefits unto us, to our advantage and comfort, so that thou might lead us forth with the evil doers and harden our hearts. Therefore, O good God, give us these thy good gifts, namely, strength, patience, and joyfulness of heart, to rejoice in temptation, and assure us that it is the trial of our faith; that faith in us may have her perfect work, that when we are well approved, and purified with the fire of temptations, we may finish our life in victory, and evermore live with thee in thy heavenly kingdom, where no temptation shall hurt us.

Finally, most merciful Father, we humbly beseech thee to deliver us from this present evil world, from all human and worldly fear, from all infirmities of the flesh and mind, from false prophets and teachers, from false brethren, from traitors, tyrants, &c. And if it be thy good pleasure, and may make most to the glory of thy name, deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and from all other evils, present and to come, both of body and soul; that we, being by thy great mercy defended from all hurtful things may always use those things that are profitable for us, devoutly given to serve thee in good works; that the yoke of our enemies and the bands of sin being shaken off, we may possess the inheritance of thy heavenly kingdom, which thy dear Son Jesus Christ has with his precious blood purchased for thine elect from the beginning of the world. For thine is the kingdom, thou only hast the majesty, thou only art the God above all gods, King of all kings, and Lord of all lords: thou only hast the power and authority to set up kings, and to put them down; thou lifts the poor out of the dirt, and makes him to sit among the princes of thy people; thou only makes wars to cease, and gives victory to whom thou wilt. Oh! dear God there is neither majesty, rule, nor power, honour nor worship, dignity nor office, riches nor poverty, health nor sickness, plenty nor scarcity, prosperity nor adversity, war nor peace, life nor death, nor any other thing, but it is all thine; and thou both hast the power, and wilt give it to whom it pleases thee, in thy time and season, that all glory may be given to thee alone, for thou art worthy.

Oh! dear Father, to thee we come therefore for help and succour, for without thee there is no help at all. Oh! good Father, deliver us from all that is evil in thy sight, for thine own name's sake, and for thy dear Christ's sake; that we being armed with thy holy armour, and weaponed with thy blessed word, and instructed with thy Holy Spirit, may, according to thy holy promise, serve thee without fear all the days of our lives, in such holiness and righteousness as is acceptable in thy sight. To thee therefore, our dear Father, our Creator, Feeder, Protector, Governor, and Defender; and thy beloved Son Jesus Christ, our only Peace, Mercy-seat, Redeemer, Justifier, and Advocate; and thy Holy Spirit, our Sanctification, our Wisdom, Teacher, Instructor, and Comforter, be all dominion, power, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

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