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Daily Prayers of Master John Bradford

 

A Confession of Sins and Prayer for the Mitigation of God's Wrath and Punishment for the same

O Almighty God, King of all kings, and Governor of all things, whose power no creature is able to resist, to whom it belongs justly to punish sinners, and to be merciful unto them that truly repent; we confess that thou dost most justly punish us, for we have grievously sinned against thee. And we acknowledge, that in punishing us thou declares thyself to be our most merciful Father, as well because thou dost not punish us in any thing as we have deserved, as also because, by punishing us thou dost call us and (as it were) draw us to increase in repentance, in faith, in prayer, in contemning of the world, and in hearty desires for everlasting life, and thy blessed presence; grant us, therefore, gracious Lord, thankfully to acknowledge thy great mercy, who has thus favourably dealt with us, in punishing us, not to our confusion, but to our amendment. And seeing thou hast sworn that thou wills not the death of a sinner, but that he turn and live, have mercy upon us, and turn us unto thee for thy dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ's sake; whom thou would should be made a slain sacrifice for our sins, thereby declaring thy great and unspeakable anger against sin, and thine infinite mercy towards us sinful wretches.

And forasmuch as the dullness of our hearts, blindness and corruption are such, that we are not able to rise up unto thee by faithful anal hearty prayer, according to our great necessity, without thy singular grace and assistance; grant unto us, gracious Lord, thy holy and sanctifying Spirit to work in us this good work with a pure and clean mind, with a humble and lowly heart, with grace to weigh and consider the need and greatness of that which we desire, and with an assured faith and trust that thou wilt grant us our requests;--because thou art good and gracious even to young ravens calling upon thee, much more then to us for whom thou hast made all things; yea, and hast not spared thine own dear Son;óbecause thou hast commanded us to call upon thee;óbecause thy throne whereunto we come is a throne of grace and mercy;óbecause thou hast given us a mediator Christ, to bring us unto thee, being the way by whom we come, being the door by whom we enter, and being the head on whom we hang, and hope that our poor petitions shall not be in vain, through and for his name's sake.

We beseech thee, therefore, of thy rich mercy, wherein thou art plentiful to all them that call upon thee, to forgive us our sins, namely, our unthankfulness, unbelief, self-love, neglect of thy word, security, hypocrisy, contempt of thy long suffering, omission of prayer, doubting of thy power, presence, mercy, and good will towards us, insensibleness of thy grace, impatience, &c. And to this thy benefit of correcting us, add these thy gracious gifts, repentance, faith, the spirit of prayer, the contempt of this world, and hearty desires of everlasting life. Endue us with thy Holy Spirit, according to thy covenant and mercy, as well to assure us of pardon, and that thou dost accept us into thy favour as thy dear children in Christ and for his sake, as to write thy law in our hearts, and so to work in us that we may now begin, and go forwards in believing loving, fearing, obeying, praying, hoping, and serving thee as thou dost require most fatherly and most justly of us, accepting us as perfect through Christ and by imputation.

And moreover, when it shall be thy good pleasure, and most to thy glory, deliver us, we beseech thee, out of the hands of thine adversaries, by such means, be it death or life, as may most make to our comfort in Christ. In the mean season, and for ever, save us and govern us with thy Holy Spirit and his eternal consolation.

And concerning thine adversaries, which for thy sake are become our adversaries, so many of them as are to be converted, we beseech thee to show thy mercy upon them, and to convert them. But those that are not to be converted, which thou only dost know, most mighty God and terrible Lord, confound, and get thy name a glory over them, abate their pride, assuage their malice, bring to nought their devilish devices, and grant that we and all thine afflicted children may be armed with thy defence, weaponed with thy wisdom, and guided with thy grace and Holy Spirit, to be preserved for ever from all giving of offence to thy people, and from all perils, to glorify thee, who art the only Giver of all victory, through the merits of thy only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

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