When clouds of darkness, atheism, and unbelief come to me,
I see thy purpose of love
in withdrawing the Spirit that I might prize him more,
in chastening me for confidence in past successes, that my wounds of secret godlessness might be cured.
Help me to humble myself before thee
by seeing the vanity of honour
as a conceit of men's minds,
as standing between me and thee;
by seeing that thy will must alone be done,
as much in denying as in giving spiritual enjoyments;
by seeing that my heart is nothing but evil,
mind, mouth, life void of thee;
by seeing that sin and Satan are allowed power in me
that I might know my sin, be humbled,
and gain strength thereby;
by seeing that unbelief shuts thee from me,
so that I sense not thy majesty, power, mercy, or love.
Then possess me, for thou only art good and worthy.
Thou dost not play in convincing me of sin,
Satan does not play in tempting me to it,
I do not play when I sink in deep mire,
for sin is no game, no toy, no bauble;
Let me never forget that the heinousness of sin lies
not so much in the nature of the sin committed,
as in the greatness of the Person sinned against.
When I am afraid of evils to come, comfort me,
by showing me
that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch,
but that in Christ I am reconciled, made alive, and satisfied;
that I am feeble and unable to do any good,
but that in him I can do all things;
that what I now have in Christ is mine in part,
but shortly I shall have it perfectly in heaven.
From The Valley of Vision - A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, "HUMILIATION"