Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Prayer for Those Who Pray (February) by Dr. Bellamy

Father, Lead Me Day by Day
Dr. Wilfred Bellamy

As I sat down to write the Prayer for Those Who Pray, an old hymn and its melody began to permeate my thoughts. I sang it in my mind and then out loud, then I checked the words on the internet, and rejoiced in its truth. Essentially it is a prayer that we all can pray. Please join me.
Father, lead me day by day, ever in Thine own sweet way, teach me to be pure and true, show me what I ought to do!
When in danger make me brave, make me know that Thou canst save, keep me safe by Thy dear side, let me in Thy love abide.
When I'm tempted to do wrong, make me steadfast, wise, and strong; and when all alone I stand, shield me with Thy mighty hand.
May I do the good I know, be Thy loving child below, then at last go home to Thee, evermore Thy child to be.
-John P. Hopps.
Father, all of this hymn is mine to pray, but as I come before you today I confess that it is the third verse that has its grip on me. I know what it is to be tempted to do wrong. The enemy of souls is ever vigilant to anticipate my weaknesses and to frustrate your purposes for me. So to ask you for wisdom and strength, and discernment, is the best thing for me to do, that I may see more clearly the way that you would have me to go, and to walk according to it.

The most difficult thing for me is to stand alone. You have taught me to be firm in the faith, to stand strong, to be bold, and never to fear the truth, and for this I am grateful. As I proclaim your truth I sense your pleasure, and sometimes the displeasure of others. It is here that the hymn means so much to me ... "and when all alone I stand, shield me with Thy might hand."

Please help me when I am misunderstood, or I have spoken carelessly and feel your rebuke because of it. I know what it is to stand alone, but give me the courage to do that when truth is at stake and falsehood stares me in the face. Deliver me from the temptation to compromise, or to fear the calumny of others, inside the church and beyond, and "shield me with your mighty hand" when you have given me the peace of knowing that I am doing your will. 

But may this never be a source of pride for me. While I love the sense of the rightness of things that you affirm in me, I cannot claim ownership nor boast in correctness, because this is all of you. I would be humble, faithful, appreciative, and honest in my appraisal of all that happens in my life, and glorify you in it. You are Lord of my life and I honor you. 

It is a miracle of your grace that I was rescued from my life of sin and Hell's destination, and my feet planted on the rock of my salvation, even the Lord Jesus Christ. I rejoice that in Him I have life, and "have it more abundantly". So dear Father, "lead me day by day!" 

I ask this in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, my Savior. Amen.

-Dr. Bellamy is an ordained pastor in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and a former missionary to Nigeria. 

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