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come his familiar companion: yet, O blessed Lord, grant that he may not be impatient under thy chastisement, who art pleased to wait so long for the return of a sinner; but let him remember that thou hast kind intentions, even in thy bitterest dispensations; that thou "chastenest him whom thou lovest, and scourgest every son whom thou receivest."Teach him, O gracious Father, to see love in thy rod, and justice in all thy dealings; that he may humble himself under thy mighty hand; that he may think it good for him to have been afflicted, and patiently wait for thy lovingkindness.
Yet, that his faith may not fail, nor his patience be overcome, give him ease and relaxation from his pain, and a happy conclusion of this long visitation. In the mean time grant that he may neither despise thy chastening, nor faint under thy rebukes; but employ the time which thou lendest, and improve the affliction which thou continuest, as a gracious opportunity for his spiritual advantage; that, under the decays of the body, the inner man may be renewed day by day; and that whatever appertains to his everlasting salvation, may be promoted and perfected through the riches of thy grace, and the multitude of thy mercies in Jesus Christ. Amen.
A Prayer for a Person who is lame in his Sickness. (From Mr. Lewis.)
O ALMIGHTY God, who "art eyes to the blind and feet to the lame," have pity, we entreat thee, on thy servant help him in his distress, and bless, we pray thee, the means made use of for his cure. Make him
sensible of thy design in visiting him with this affliction; cause him to remember how in his strength and health he followed his own devices, and the desire of his own heart; and let him see that thou hast lifted up thy hand against him, for this very purpose, that he may learn to walk more humbly with thee, and turn his feet to thy testimonies. Deliver him from the painful confinement under which he labours, and grant him again the happiness of enjoying the comforts of life, and of worshipping thee in thy sanctuary, with the "voice of joy and praise." But, O Lord, not our will, but thine be done. Thou knowest better what is good for us than we ourselves; and it is in wisdom that thou afflictest us. Give thy servant patience that he may bear his pains without murmuring, and wait the time of his deliverance from them without uneasiness; satisfy him of thy care over him, and thy tender regard to him: and in thy good time restore him to his former strength and vigour, that he may give thanks to thee in the great congregation; through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
A Prayer for One that is bedridden.
O LORD our God, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, have compassion, we entreat thee, on the helpless condition of thy servant: support his spirits, which are ready to droop under affliction : refresh his mind, which is apt to be uneasy and melancholy at the thought of perpetual confinement. Give sleep to his eyes, and rest to his weary thoughts.
Cause him to meditate on thee in the night watches; to commune with his own heart; and, in his solitude, "to search and try his ways,” that he may see wherein he hath erred, and may turn unto thee with all his soul and with all his strength. Let this affliction be the means of preparing him for the enjoyment of thy presence, in which is fulness of joy; and let him be the more patient under it for that reason. Make him thankful that thou hast by this expedient preserved him from the company of those whose evil communication might have corrupted his heart, and hast taken him out of a world, by the snares and temptations of which he might have been prevailed upon to forsake thee, and turn from the way of thy commandments. Grant, O Lord, that he may not render himself unworthy of thy favour, by murmuring and repining; but that he may use the leisure and opportunity now given him, to make his peace with thee, and be fitted for the enjoyment of an inheritance among the saints in light; through thy mercy in Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.
A Prayer for a Person troubled in Mind or in Conscience.
O BLESSED Lord, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comforts, we beseech thee, look down in pity and compassion upon this thine afflicted servant. Thou writest bitter things against him, and makest him to possess his former iniquities: thy wrath lieth hard upon him, and his soul is full of trouble. But,
O merciful God, who hast given us thy holy word for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope; give him a right understanding of himself, and of thy threatenings and promises; that he may neither cast away his confidence in thee, nor place it any where but in thee. Give him strength against all temptations, and heal all his infirmities. Break not the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax. Shut not up thy tender mercies in displeasure, but make him hear of joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Deliver him from the fear of the enemy; lift up the light of thy countenance upon him, and give him peace, through the mediation of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Another for the same, or for One under deep Melancholy and Dejection of Spirit.
(From Mr. Jenks.)
O MOST gracious Lord, thou knowest our frame, and art full of compassion to thy servants under their trouble and oppression; look down upon us, we humbly beseech thee, with thy wonted pity, and remember the work of thy hands, our disconsolate brother. Thy wrath lies hard upon him; and all thy waves are gone over him; thy terrors oppress his mind, and disturb his reason. O thou that speakest the winds and waves into obedience and calmness, settle and quiet his discomposed thoughts; speak peace and satisfaction to his troubled mind, and give him comfort and sure confidence in the sense of thy pardon and love. Lord, help his unbelief, and increase his
faith. Though he walk in the valley and shadow of death, let "thy rod and thy staff support and protect him." In the multitude of the thoughts and sorrows that he hath in his heart, let thy comfort refresh his soul. Let in a beam of thy heavenly light, to dispel the clouds and darkness in which his mind is involved. O direct to the means most proper for his help, and so bless and prosper them, that they may effectually promote his recovery out of this deplorable state. Incline his ears to wholesome counsels, and dispose his heart to receive due impressions. 0 gracious Father, pity his frailty, forgive his sin, and rebuke his distemper, that his disquieted soul may return to its rest. O, raise him up, and show thy mercy upon him, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.
For the same.
(From Bishop Patrick.)
PRESERVE this thy servant, O gracious Father, from dishonouring thee and his religion, by distrusting thy power or thy goodness.
Remove all troublesome imaginations from him, and give him a clear understanding of thee, and of himself, that no causeless fears and jealousies may overwhelm him, nor his heart sink within him from any sadness and dejection of spirit. Compose, we beseech thee, his disturbed thoughts; quiet his disordered mind, and appease all the tumults of his soul, by a sweet sense of thy tender mercies, and of the love of thy Son Jesus Christ to mankind. Keep him from forming any rash conclusions concerning