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“ Is any afflicted ? let him pray.”—James v. 13.
“Prayer best prepares us for the mercies of recovery, and the mercies of the grave.”-J. Taylor.
PRAYER, at all times a delightful and soul-elevating duty, is especially congenial to our feelings in the hour of distress and tribulation; wherefore our Divine Master, whenever he had a great temptation to overcome, a difficult task to accomplish or a severe suffering to undergo, betook himself to a solitary place, and, pouring forth his soul, sought strength and comfort in solemn, fervent communion with God. Come, then, ye who are bowed down with a sense of
your weakness and frailty, now that ye realize the assurance that ye are fearfully as well as wonderfully made, come and rise above earth and earthly things, by placing your dependence and fixing your hopes on Him
who cannot fail ; come, and lift up your hearts to your tender, heavenly Father.
I. O, LORD! look down from Heaven, behold, visit and relieve this Thy servant. Look upon him with the eye of mercy; give him comfort, and sure confidence in Thee ; support him under all the trials of his present sickness; relieve his pains, if it seem good unto Thee; and keep him in perpetual peace and safety, through Thy great mercy in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Almighty and everliving God, Maker of mankind, who dost correct those whom Thou dost love, and chastise every one whom Thou dost receive: we beseech Thee to have mercy upon this Thy servant visited with Thy hand, and grant that he may bear his sickness patiently; and fit him, O Lord, for whatever in Thy wise and righteous Providence Thou hast appointed for him; that he may have cause to glorify Thy holy name for his present sufferings, and find that Thou, O God, of very faithfulness, hast caused him to be troubled. Hear our prayers, O Lord, and grant our requests, for Thy mercy's sake. Amen.
Hear us, Almighty and most merciful God and Saviour, extend Thy accustomed goodness to this Thy servant, who is grieved with sickness. Sanctify, we beseech Thee, this Thy fatherly correction to hi that the sense of his weakness may add strength to his faith, and seriousness to his repentance; that if it shall be Thy good pleasure to restore him to his former health, he may lead the residue of his life in Thy fear and to Thy glory: Or else give him grace so to take Thy visitation, that after this painful life shall be ended, he may dwell with Thee in life everlasting, according to Thy gracious promises by Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Unto God's gracious mercy and protection we commit thee. O Lord, bless him, and keep him. O Lord, make Thy face to shine upon him, and be gracious unto him. O Lord, lift up the light of Thy countenance upon him, and give him peace both now and for evermore. Amen.
[From Dr. Greenwood's Liturgy.]
Our Father in Heaven, look down with mercy and pity upon Thy servant, and lay not Thy chastening hand upon him more heavily than he can bear. Let him acknowledge with submission and humility, that even in judgement Thou art merciful, and that of very faithfulness Thou hast caused him to be troubled. Thou dost afflict him with a parent's wisdom. O, sustain him with a parent's love. Let Thy grace be sufficient for him in all his need,
and let the holy influences of Thy Spirit hold him up in his weakness, and inspire his heart with strength, and hope, and confidence. Let not any pain or suffering, however acute, discompose the order of his thoughts, his submission, his gratitude, or his duty. Together with his trials wilt Thou provide a way for his escape, even by the mercies of a longer and holier life, or by the mercies of a peaceful and blessed death-even as it pleaseth Thee, O Lord. Thou knowest all the necessities and all the infirmities of Thy servant; fortify his soul, we beseech Thee, with spiritual joys, and perfect resignation, and fill him with desires of holiness and of Thy Heavenly Kingdom. Make his repentance entire, and his faith strong, and his hope steadfast, so that if Thou dost please to continue him yet longer in life, he may serve Thee with a devoted heart, and whenever Thou shalt call his spirit away from earth, it may enter into the rest of the sons of God,