A Prayer against Anger

HOLY LORD,

How little repentance there is in the world,

and how many sins I have to repent of!

I am troubled for my sin of passion,

for the shame and horror of it as an evil;

I purpose to give way to it no more,

and come to thee for strength to that end.

Most men give vent to anger frequently

and are overcome by it,

bringing many excuses and extenuations for it,

as that it occurs suddenly,

that they delight not in it,

that they are sorry afterwards,

that godly men commit it.

They thus seek peace after outbursts of passion

by entire forgetfulness of it,

or, by skinning over their wound,

they hope for healing

without peace in Christ’s blood.

Lord God, I know that my sudden anger arises

when things cross me,

and I desire to please only myself, not Christ;

There is in all wrongs and crosses a double cross—

that which crosses me,

and that which crosses thee;

In all good things there is

somewhat that pleases me,

somewhat that pleases thee;

My sin is that my heart is pleased or troubled

as things please or trouble me,

without my having a regard to Christ;

Thus, I am like Eli,

the subject of punishment for not rebuking sin;

whereas I should humbly confess my sin

and fly to the blood of Christ for pardon and peace.

Give me, then, repentance, true brokenness, lasting contrition,

for these things thou wilt not despise in spite of my sin.

—————

Source: “Passion” in The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, ed. Arthur Bennett (Edinburgh, UK/Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2002), 162-63

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