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¶ Certain godly prayers to be used for sundry
A general confession of sins, to be said every morning.
O ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, I confess and knowledge, that I am a miserable and a wretched sinner, and have manifold ways most grievously transgressed thy most godly commandments, through wicked thoughts, ungodly lusts, sinful words and deeds, and in my whole life. In sin am I born and conceived, and there is no goodness in me; inasmuch as if thou shouldest enter into thy narrow judgment with me, judging me according unto the same, I were never able to suffer or abide it, but must needs perish and be damned for ever so little help, comfort, or succour is there either in me, or in any other creature. Only this is my comfort (O heavenly Father), that thou didst not spare thy only dear beloved Son, but didst give him up unto the most bitter, and most vile and slanderous death of the cross for me, that he might so pay the ransom for my sins, satisfy thy judgment, still and pacify thy wrath, reconcile me again unto thee, and purchase me thy grace and favour, and everlasting life. Wherefore, through the merit of his most bitter death and passion, and through his innocent bloodshedding, I beseech thee, O heavenly Father, that thou wilt vouchsafe to be gracious and merciful unto me, to forgive and pardon me all my sins, to lighten my heart with thy holy Spirit, to renew, confirm, and strengthen me with a right and a perfect faith, and to inflame me in love toward thee and my neighbour, that I may henceforth with a willing and a glad heart walk as it becometh me, in thy most godly commandments, and so glorify and praise thee everlasting 2. And also that I may with a free conscience and quiet heart, in all manner of temptations,
[ We first find these Godly Prayers at the end of the Psalter belonging to the quarto Prayer Book of 1552, by Whitchurche: having however been similarly appended to the earlier Elizabethan Prayer Books, they are here reprinted from a copy of 1567, in the possession of the Rev. T. Lathbury of Bath.]
afflictions, or necessities, and even in the very pangs of death, ery boldly and merrily unto thee, and say: I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ. &c. But, O Lord God, heavenly Father, to comfort myself in affliction and temptation with these articles of the Christian faith, it is not in my power; for faith is thy gift: and forasmuch as thou wilt be prayed unto, and called upon for it, I come unto thee, to pray and beseech thee, both for that and for all my other necessities, even as thy dear beloved Son our Saviour Christ Jesus hath himself taught us. And from the very bottom of my heart I cry, and say: 0 our Father, which art in heaven. &c.
¶ Prayers to be said in the morning.
O MERCIFUL Lord God, heavenly Father, I render most high lauds, praise, and thanks unto thee, that thou hast preserved me both this night, and all the time and days of my life hitherto, under thy protection, and hast suffered me to live until this present hour. And I beseech thee heartily, that thou wilt vouchsafe to receive me this day, and the residue of my whole life from henceforth into thy tuition, ruling and governing me with thy holy Spirit, that all manner of darkness, of misbelief, infidelity, and of carnal lusts and affections, may be utterly chased and driven out of my heart, and that I may be justified and saved both body and soul through a right and a perfect faith, and so walk in the light of thy most godly truth, to thy glory and praise, and to the profit and furtherance of my neighbour, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
ALL possible thanks that we are able we render unto thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, for that thou hast willed this night past to be prosperous unto us; and we beseech thee likewise to prosper all this same day unto us for thy glory, and for the health of our soul: and that thou which art the true light, not knowing any going down, and which art the Sun eternal, giving life, food, and gladness unto all things, vouchsafe to shine into our minds, that we may not any where stumble to fall into any sin, but may through thy good guiding and conducting come to the life everlasting. Amen.
[That, wanting in 1552.]
10 LORD Jesus Christ, which art the true Sun of the world, evermore arising, and never going down, which by thy most wholesome appearing and sight dost bring forth, preserve, nourish, and refresh all things, as well that are in heaven, as also that are on earth: we beseech thee mercifully and favourably to shine into our hearts, that the night and darkness of sins, and the mists of errors on every side driven away, thou brightly shining within our hearts, we may all our life space go without any stumbling or offence, and may decently and seemly walk, (as in the day time,) being pure and clean from the works of darkness, and abounding in all good works which God hath prepared for us to walk in: which with the Father and with the Holy Ghost livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.
O GOD and Lord Jesus Christ, thou knowest, yea, and hast also taught us, how great the infirmity and weakness of man is, and how certain a thing it is that it can nothing do without thy godly help. If man trust to himself, it cannot be avoided, but that he must headlong run and fall into a thousand undoings and mischiefs. O our Father, have thou pity and compassion upon the weakness of us thy children, be thou prest and ready to help us, always shewing thy mercy upon us, and prospering whatsoever we godly go about: so that, thou giving us light, we may see what things are truly good in deed; thou encouraging us, we may have an earnest desire to the same; and thou being our guide, we may come where to obtain them: for we having nothing but mistrust in our selves, do yield and commit our selves full and whole unto thee alone, which workest all things in all creatures, to thy honour and glory. So be it.
A prayer against temptation.
O LORD Jesus Christ, the only stay and fence of our mortal state, our only hope, our only salvation, our glory, and our triumph, who in the flesh (which thou hadst for our only cause taken upon thee) didst suffer thy self to be tempted of Sathan, and who only and alone of all men didst utterly overcome and vanquish sin, death, the world, the devil, and all the kingdom of hell: and whatsoever thou hast so overcomed, for our behoof it is that thou hast overcomed it: neither hath it been thy will to have any of thy servants keep battle or This Prayer is in the Primer of 1545.]
fight with any of the foresaid evils, but of purpose to reward us with a crown of the more glory for it, and to the intent that thou mightest likewise overthrow Sathan in thy members, as thou hadst afore done in thine own person. Give thou (we beseech thee) unto us thy soldiers (O Lion most victorious of the tribe of Judah) strength against the roaring Lion, which continually wandereth to and fro, seeking whom he may devour. Thou being that same serpent, the true giver of health and life, that were nailed on high upon a tree, give unto us, thy little seely ones, wiliness against the deceitful awaiting of the most subtle serpent. Thou being a Lamb as white as snow, the vanquisher of Satan's tyranny, give unto us thy little sheep the strength and virtue of thy Spirit, that being in our own selves weak and feeble, and in thee strong and valiant, we may withstand and overcome all assaults of the devil, so that our ghostly enemy may not glory on us, but being conquered3 through thee, we may give thanks to thy mercy, which never leaveth them destitute that put their trust in thee: who livest and reignest God for ever without end. Amen.
A prayer for the obtaining of wisdom.
O GOD of our fathers, and Lord of mercy, thou that hast sapien. ix. made all things with thy word, and ordained man through thy wisdom, that he should have dominion over the creatures which thou hast made, that he should order the world according to equity and righteousness, and execute judgment with a true heart: give me wisdom, which is ever about thy scat, and put me not out from among thy children: for I thy servant and son of thy handmaid am a feeble person, of a short time, and too young to the understanding of thy judgment and laws: yea, though a man be never so perfect among the children of men, yet if thy wisdom be not with him, he shall be nothing worth. O send thy wisdom out of thy holy heavens, and from the throne of thy majesty, that she may be with me and labour with me, that I may know what is
[ Awaiting lying in wait.]
[This Prayer is also set at the beginning of the Bishops' Bible, put forth by Archbishop Parker; who, we may conclude, ordered the setting of that Prayer there as proper to be used before the reading of any portions of the holy scripture.' Strype's Parker, p. 84. It is likewise in the Primer of 1545.]
[ domination, 1552.]
acceptable in thy sight; for she knoweth and understandeth all things, and she shall conduct me right soberly in thy1 works, and preserve me in her power: so shall my works be acceptable. Amen.
"A prayer against worldly carefulness.
O MOST dear and tender Father, our defender and nourisher, endue us with thy grace, that we may cast off the great blindness of our minds, and carefulness of worldly things, and may put our whole study and care in keeping of thy holy law; and that we may labour and travail for our necessities in this life, like the birds of the air, and the lilies of the field, without care. For thou hast promised to be careful for us, and hast commanded that upon thee we should cast all our care: which livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.
A prayer necessary for all persons.
O MERCIFUL God, I a wretched sinner reknowledge myself bound to keep thy holy commandments, but yet unable to perform them, and to be accepted for just without the righteousness of Jesu Christ thy only Son, who hath perfectly fulfilled thy law, to justify all men that believe and trust in him. Therefore grant me grace, I beseech thee, to be occupied in doing of good works, which thou commandest in holy scripture, all the days of my life, to thy glory; and yet to trust only in thy mercy, and in Christ's merits, to be purged from my sins, and not in my good works, be they never so many. 3Give me grace to love thy holy word fervently, to search the scriptures diligently, to read them humbly, to understand them truly, to live after them effectually. Order my life so, O Lord, that it be alway acceptable unto thee. Give me grace not to rejoice in any thing that displeaseth thee, but evermore to delight in those things that please thee, be they never so contrary to my desires. Teach me so to pray, that my petitions may be graciously heard of thee. Keep me upright among diversity of opinions and judgments
[In the Primer of 1545.]
[ Commencing from this point, the present prayer is based completely upon one given in the Primer of 1545 (see Burton's Three Primers, p. 519), the latter, except at the end, being a version out of Aquinas made 'by the moste exselent Prynces, Mary. In the yere of oure lorde god M.ccccc xxvii: And the xi. yere of here age.' Her prayer in its original state may be seen in the Monumenta Ritualia, Vol. 11. pp. 266, 267.]