Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.
Oh Lord, I come to you out of my great need. You have pledged your word that whosoever comes to you shall in no wise be cast out.
I dare to pray that something will happen to me in your presence. Lord, I know that I need to be changed! For the visions that once swept across the leaden skies of monotony, like white-winged gulls, have dimmed and faded, and I would see them again. Open my eyes!
Shame fills my heart as I remember the aspirations that I have breathed before you, the vows I made, the resolves that were born, the seedlings of consecration that were planted in my heart. I blush to remember the withering blight that touched them all—my failures, my shortcomings.
I confess before you that:
Forgive me for all the intentions that were born and somehow never lived. These, Lord Jesus, are sins, grievous in your site and grievous even in mine.
And now I claim your promise to change me. Do for me what I cannot do for myself. Lead me into a new tomorrow with a new spirit. Cleanse my heart, create within me new attitudes and new ideas, and as only you can create them.
For these good gifts, I thank you, Lord.
—The Prayers of Peter Marshall, edited by Catherine Marshall. London: Peter Davies, 1955.
J.S. Bach. Durch dein Gefängnis, Gottes Sohn [Through this thy prison, Son of God]; chorale no. 7 from the St. John Passion (BWV 245, 1724). The Monteverdi Choir and The English Baroque Soloists, dir. John Eliot Gardiner.
Durch dein Gefängnis, Gottes Sohn, |
Muss uns die Freiheit kommen;
Dein Kerker ist der Gnadenthron,
Die Freistatt aller Frommen;
Denn gingst du nicht die Knechtschaft ein,
Müßt unsre Knechtschaft ewig sein.
(Christian Heinrich Postel, 1658-1705) (?)
Through this thy prison, Son of God,|
Must come to us our freedom;
Thy dungeon is the throne of grace,
The refuge of the righteous;
For hadst thou not borne servitude,
Would we be slaves eternally.
May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.