835) Prayers by Samuel Johnson

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PRAYER OF CONFESSION (all prayers have been edited):

Almighty God, heavenly Father, look down with mercy upon me, depraved with vain imaginations and entangled in sin.  Grant me that grace without which I can neither will nor do what is acceptable to thee.  Pardon my sins and remove the impediments that hinder my obedience.  Grant me thy Holy Spirit that I may repent and amend my life.  For Jesus’s sake have mercy on me, O God, pardon and receive me.  Amen.  (1757)

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PRAYER BEFORE HOLY COMMUNION:

Almighty and merciful Father, who created me to love and serve thee, enable me so to partake of the sacrament in which the death of Jesus is commemorated that I may henceforward lead a new life in thy faith and fear.  Thou who knowest my frailties and infirmities strengthen and support me.  Grant me thy Holy Spirit, that after all lapses, I may now continue steadfast in obedience; and that after long habits of negligence and sin, I may, at last, work out my salvation with diligence and constancy.  Purify my thoughts and fix my affections on things eternal.  Much of my time past has been spent in sloth.  Let not what remains, O Lord, be given me in vain.  Let me from this time on lead a better life and serve thee with a quiet mind.  Amen.  (1758)

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FROM TWO EASTER PRAYERS:

Almighty and most merciful Father, before whom I now appear laden with the sins of another year, suffer me yet again to call upon Thee for pardon and peace.  O God, grant me repentance, grant me reformation.  Grant that I may be no longer distracted with doubts, and harassed with vain terrors; so that the disquiet of my mind may be appeased, my faith may be increased, my hope strengthened, and my life regulated by thy will.  Grant that I may no longer linger in perplexity, nor waste in idleness that life which Thou hast given and preserved.  Make me truly thankful for that portion of my health which thy mercy has restored, and enable me to use the remains of life to thy glory and my own salvation.  Extinguish in my mind all sinful and inordinate desires.  Let me resolve to do that which is right, and by thy help let me keep my resolutions.  Grant that I may serve thee in firm faith and diligent endeavor, and that I may discharge the duties of my calling with tranquility and constancy.  May I at last know peace and comfort.  Take not, O God, Thy Holy Spirit from me; but grant that I may so direct my life by thy holy laws that, when Thou shalt call me hence, I may pass by a holy and happy death to a life of everlasting and unchangeable joy.  Amen. (1766 & 1770)

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PRAYER WHEN OLD AND ILL:

Almighty God, heavenly Father, whose mercy is over all thy works, look with pity on my miseries and sins.  Relieve, O Lord, as seems best unto Thee, the infirmities of my body and the afflictions of my mind.  Fill my thoughts with love of thy Goodness, with just fear of thine Anger, and with humble confidence in thy Mercy.  So help me by thy Holy Spirit, that my heart may be fixed where true joys are to be found, so that I may serve thee with pure affection and a cheerful mind.  Have mercy upon me, O God.  Years and infirmities oppress me, terror and anxiety beset me.  Have mercy upon me.  In all dangers protect me, and in all perplexities relieve and free me.  Recall my wanderings, calm my thoughts, and so help me by thy Holy Spirit, that when this short and painful life shall have an end, I may for his sake be received to everlasting happiness.  Amen.  (1775 & 1777)

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Psalm 46:1-2  —  God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.

Psalm 31:5  —  Into your hands I commit my spirit;
    deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

Philippians 2:12-13  —  Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence— continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

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