A minister's confession

(A Puritan Prayer)

O God,
I know that I often do Your work without
Your power, and sin by . . .
  my dead, heartless, blind service,
  my lack of inward light, love, delight,
  my mind, heart, tongue moving without Your help.

I see my sinful heart in seeking the praise of others.
This is my vileness--to seek my own glory. It is my
deceit to preach and pray--in order to generate
admiration; whereas I should consider myself
more vile than any man in my own eyes.

Help me to rejoice in my infirmities and to
acknowledge my deficiencies before others.

Keep me from high thoughts of myself or my work,
for I am nothing but sin and weakness. In me no
good dwells, and my best works are tainted with
sin. Humble me to the dust before You. Root and
tear out the poisonous weed of pride, and show
me my utter nothingness. Keep me sensible of
my sinnership. Sink me deeper into penitence
and self-abhorrence.

Break the 'Dagon' of pride in pieces before
the ark of Your presence!

Demolish the 'Babel' of self-importance
and scatter it to the wind!

Level to the ground my 'Jericho walls'
of a haughty, rebel heart!

Then grace, free grace, will be my experience and
message. This is my ministry, my life, my prayer,
my end. Grant me grace that I shall not fail.

(Please forward this to your pastor.)