Prayer of a Struggling Saint

Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder, 212

Lord, will you look into the anguish of my soul? It comes up around me. It threatens to choke me. It oppresses me inwardly to the point of making me long to die.

The wicked world with its vain excitement struggles to keep me. The drive of the flesh, with its lust and love, I cannot completely cut away. With everything inside it, my flesh resists the cross. It squirms, it dodges, it flees to avoid touching it.
Nothing within me wants to obey you Lord. Therefore, if any good is to come from my life, it will be thanks to your grace at work in my soul.   

My stubborn will kicks and scratches to avoid surrendering itself to you. It resists you with all its might, even though I well know the outcome of following my own desire.

I know, and already experience in part, the cost of following you. Therefore God, stretch out your arm! Have mercy! I reach up with empty hands to grab at whatever comfort you may give me. Strengthen my faith and your work of love in me!

Sweep false securities out of my heart, and plant your Word in their place. Make my conscience free and fill me with a burning desire to live.

That is, to live in your grace!

Have mercy, I cry to you from my innermost being! Send me your gift of power and peace from above. You—only you—can renew my heart. Fill it with courage, and love, and let it well up with inner desire nothing but you alone!

Wolfgang Sailer, ca. 1500-1550, Anabaptist leader at Auspitz, Moravia

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