Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wonderful Prayer

But unto Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, will we pray that Thou wilt draw us entirely unto Thyself. Whether our life shall be passed calmly in a cottage by the tranquil lake, or we shall be tried by conflict with life’s storms upon the troubled ocean; whether we shall “make it a point of honor” (1 Thes 4:11), or shall struggle in abasement, do Thou draw us, and draw us entirely, unto Thyself. If only Thou wilt draw us, then indeed all is won, even though, humanly speaking, we were to win nothing; and nothing is lost, even though, humanly speaking, we were to lose everything  - then this or the other condition of life would be our true life; for thou dost draw none to an unworthy distance from dangers, but neither dost Thou draw any into foolhardy adventure.

We pray for all. The tender infant whom the parents bring to Thee that Thou mayest draw him unto Thyself. And if at a later time the parents exert such an influence upon the child that it is led to thee, bless, we pray Thee, this work of theirs. But if their influence is disturbing to the child, we pray Thee that Thou wilt make good their deficiency, so that this disturbance may not draw the child away from Thee, and that Thou wilt let this also serve to draw the child to Thee. Thou who didst call Thyself “the way” hast more ways than there are stars in heaven, ways everywhere, ways which lead to “the way.” We pray for them that have renewed at confirmation the covenant made with Thee in baptism which we all have made, which most of us also have renewed, which most of us also have broken – yet not all, for we pray also for them that, in a way different from the infant, stand at the entrance of life, after having renewed their baptismal covenant. We pray that Thou wilt drawn them unto Thyself. O Thou that dost not only accept vows and keep promises, but dost aid the poor man to keep his vows to Thee, draw them unto Thyself by the “vow” and if that is broken, do Thou draw them again and again unto Thyself by vows again and again renewed. We pray for them that have experienced that which in an earthly sense is the most beautiful meaning of this earthly life, for them that in love have found one another. We pray for the lovers, that they may not promise one another more than they can perform, and, even if they could perform it, that they may not promise one another too much in love, lest this love of their might become a barrier to hinder Thee from drawing them unto Thyself, but that far rather it may assist to this end. [We pray for the husband and wife, that their undertakings, if they be so situated in life, or their busy activity, or their toilsome labor, may not cause them to be unmindful of Thee, but that in their undertaking, in their activity, in their labor, they may feel themselves more and more drawn unto Thee]. We pray for the aged at the brink of the grave, that Thou wilt draw them unto Thyself. We pray for all, for him who at this instant first hails the light of day, that the meaning of his life may be that he is drawn unto Thee; and we pray for the dying, for him who has much and many to hold him back, and for him who has nothing and nobody that cares – we pray that it may have been the meaning of his life to be drawn unto Thee.

We pray for the happy and the fortunate who for every joy know not whither they are bent, that Thou wilt draw them unto Thyself and let them learn that it is thither they should go. We pray for the sufferers who in their wretchedness know not whither to turn, that Thou wilt draw them unto Thyself – that both the fortunate ones and the sufferers, however unlike their lot in life, may in one thing be alike, that they know nowhere else to go but to Thee. We pray for them that are in need of conversion, that Thou wilt draw them unto Thee, from the way of perdition into the way of truth. For them that have turned unto Thee and found the way, we pray that thy may make progress in the way, drawn by Thee. And since, truth being the way, there are three ways of going wrong: by losing the way, by stumbling in the way, by deviating from the way – we pray that Thou wilt draw the erring unto Thee from the wrong way, support the stumbling, and bring back the bewildered to the way.

Thus we pray for all. Yet no one is able to mention every individual. And who, indeed, can mention even all the various classes of men? So in conclusion we mention only one class, we pray for them that are the ministers of Thy Word, whose work it is, so far as a man is able, to draw men unto Thee. We pray that Thou wilt bless their work, but that at the same time they themselves in this work of theirs may be drawn unto Thee, that by their zeal to draw others unto Thee they themselves may not be held back from Thee. And we pray for the simple Christians, that, being themselves drawn unto Thee, they may not think poorly of themselves, as though it were not granted also unto them to draw others unto Thee, insofar as a man is able.

Insofar as a man is able – for Thou alone art able to draw unto Thyself, though Thou canst employ all means and all men to draw all unto Thyself. 

~Søren Kierkegaard in Training in Christianity

No comments:

Post a Comment