Prayer for weanedness from the world
(John MacDuff, "Evening Incense" 1856)
"They are not of the world — even as I am not of the world." John 17:16
O my God, I desire to come into Your gracious presence. May the incense-offering of gratitude and thanksgiving ascend from a grateful heart. How manifold are the proofs I have to recount of kindness on Your part! How deep the ingratitude I have to mourn on my own! My sins have reached unto the clouds — they are more in number than the sands of the sea! You are of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. I cannot evade Your righteous scrutiny — all things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with whom I have to do!
Lord, I mourn the debasing influence of earthly things — the fascinating power of a present evil world. How inclined I am to conform to its evil maxims and unholy practices! How often I am found among those who "mind earthly things" — my soul cleaving to the dust, instead of soaring upwards to Yourself, my sole satisfying portion!
O Lord, it is my earnest prayer that You would wean me from the world. Keep me from over-anxiety about the things that are seen — from being over-careful and troubled about earth's "many things" — to the exclusion of the one thing needful!
Break every alluring worldly spell!
Disenchant temporal things of their false and delusive charm!
By all the beneficial discipline of Your providence — disengage me from what is fleeting, uncertain, transient, perishable; and unite me to the things which cannot be shaken — but which remain forever! May my heart be more in Heaven — imbibing more of the pilgrim spirit. May I declare plainly that I seek a better country.
May I be driven nearer and closer to Him who is the true refuge and portion and Savior of His people. I rejoice to think that He has . . .
a balm for every wound,
a comfort for every bosom,
a solace for every tear!
May it be mine to go up through this 'wilderness world' — leaning on His loving and omnipotent arm!