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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Reproofs

Lest anyone think this is a projection on others, I am writing this with the bull’s eye on my own heart. As I reflect on all that has happened over recent days, I have been examining my heart and life with a keen eye on my indwelling sin. Nevertheless, this prayer, I believe, is fitting not only for me, but for all of us as believers. We need godly reproof and rebuke. As David said, “Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it” (Psalm 141:5). Indeed, Scripture speaks very clearly about rebuke, correction, reproof, admonishment, chastening, discipline, etc., and the evidence of this just begins in the various vocabulary therein. In light of this, it is my hope today to make this prayer my own. O Merciful God, When I hear of disagreeable things amongst Christians, it brings an additional weight and burden on my spirit; I come to thee in my distress and make lamentable complaint; Teach me how to take reproofs from friends, even though I think I do not deserve them; Use them to make me tenderly afraid of sin, more jealous over myself, more concerned to keep heart and life unblameable; Cause them to help me to reflect on my want of spirituality, to abhor myself, to look upon myself as unworthy, and make them beneficial to my soul. May all thy people know how little, mean, and vile I am, that they may see I am nothing, less than nothing, to be accounted nothing, that so they may pray for me aright, and have not the least dependence upon me. It is sweet to be nothing and have nothing, and to be fed with crumbs from thy hands. Blessed be thy Name for anything that life brings. How do poor souls live who have not thee, or when helpless have no God to go to, who feel not the constraining force of thy love, and the sweetness of thy communion? O how admirably dost thou captivate my soul, making all desires and affections centre on thee! Give me such vivacity in religion, that I may be able to take all reproofs from other men as from thy hands, and glorify thee for them from a sense of thy beneficent love and of my need to have my pride destroyed. (Taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions. Emphasis mine.)

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