A PRAYER FOR A BLESSING UPON THE SOCIETIES CONFEDERATE TO PROMOTE REFORMATION OF MANNERS
from Benjamin Jenks Prayers & Offices of Devotion for Familes, 1839
O Righteous Lord, thou lovest righteousness; and thy countenance doth behold the upright. Thou favourest them that espouse thy righteous cause; and wilt for ever glorify such as turn many to righteousness. Thou hast commanded us not only to be holy, and to walk circumspectly ourselves; but also to show our concern for the souls of others. Thou hast appointed us to contend for thy most holy faith; yea, to contend also with the wicked, and not to suffer sin upon our brother. Thou hast enjoined us, at the peril of our own souls, to use our utmost endeavours to convert sinners from the error of their ways; and to recover out of the snare of the Devil, those who have been taken captive by him at his will.
Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth, and the faithful fail from among the children of men. Wherever we turn our eyes, how many are there who seek their own things, and how few who seek the things that are Jesus Christ's! Arise, O God, and plead thine own cause : and be with them that rise up against the evil-doers: and that strive by executing judgement, to stay the plague and wrath that are gone out from theLord against us. Plead their cause, O Lord, with them that strive with them, and stand up for their help; and stop the way against them that persecute them : and make them successful in promoting the honour of thy great name, and the interests of thy holy religion.
O that none of the correctors of others may deserve like censure themselves! but that they all may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom they should shine as lights in the world. O give them a tender love to the souls of men, a zeal according to knowledge, and prudence to walk in wisdom towards them that are without. And give them courage to endure the contradiction of sinners: let them account it a small thing to be judged of man's judgement: and help them in patience to possess their souls, and in meekness to instruct those that oppose themselves. Make the weapons of their warfare mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong holds. And so speed them with thy heavenly blessing, that, how small soever their beginning was, their latter end may greatly increase. O let them go forth in thy strength, and prevail and prosper, as the blessed of the Lord.
Though we live in an age when iniquity abounds, and almost all abominations are shamefully committed, yet thou, Lord, who doest marvellous things, canst bring light out of darkness; and when thou pleasest, canst change the face of evil times. Yea, thou hast taught us to expect glorious things in the latter day, even such a holy and happy state of things, as this wretched sinful world has never yet enjoyed.
O when shall it be, Lord, that judgement shall return unto righteousness, and that all the upright in heart follow it? 0 when shall the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; and profaneness and lewdness, intemperance and extravagance, be put to confusion! when shall iniquity stop her mouth, and the righteous flourish, and Jerusalem be the joy and praise of the whole earth?
The Lord hasten it in his time! In the mean while, speak, O Lord, from heaven, and restrain the floods of ungodliness that have lifted up their voice and their waves ; and say to those proud waters, Hitherto shall ye go, and no further.
O cherish and prosper all good beginnings, and all hopeful proceedings, for the furtherance of piety, and for the advancement of thy glory. Make magistrates and ministers, and all orders of men, vigilant in keeping their own hearts, and ordering their own conversation aright; that they may more successfully promote the edification of their neighbours. Make them all to account it, not only their duty, but their honour and pleasure to advance this blessed work : make them to do it heartily, as to the Lord; to the reforming of the world, and to the rejoicing of all that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
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