Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Prayer

My Aunt Jerry called and we talked for quite awhile this afternoon. Aunt Jerry, my mom's younger sister, and Uncle Jack are faithful readers of my nightly devotionals. She told me how much she liked the entries I've written about hymns so Aunt Jerry, this is for you! it's from January 23, 2012.

My eighth graders' memory verses this week are the four stanzas of one of my favorite hymns, If I have Wounded Any Soul Today.  Also known as An Evening Prayer, this short song has been one of my favorites since I was a small child, probably since it was a favorite of my mom and dad. The words are:

If I have wounded any soul today,
If I have caused one foot to go astray,
If I have walked in my own willful way,
Dear Lord, forgive!

If I have uttered idle words or vain,
If I have turned aside from want or pain,
Lest I myself shall suffer through the strain,
Dear Lord, forgive!

If I have been perverse or hard, or cold,
If I have longed for shelter in Thy fold,
When Thou hast given me some fort to hold,
Dear Lord, forgive!

Forgive the sins I have confessed to Thee;
Forgive the secret sins I do not see;
O guide me, love me and my keeper be,
Dear Lord, Amen.

It was hymn #551 in the blue book (Great Songs Of The Church) we used when I was a boy in York, Nebraska. I have to admit that I am old fashioned and particularly drawn to the perfect rhyming sequence of the thoughts by C. Maude Battersby which perfectly fit the tune penned by Charles Gabriel. While we express praise and gratitude and petitions in our prayers to the Father, the confession aspect is part of our outpouring as well. I can see myself in each verse of this hymn as I review my day at school. Katie, one of my basketball players in Tennessee, told me she sang this as her evening prayer. Katie had the right idea. We pass ourselves as strong but if we are honest, we know the truth. The most easily remembered prayer for me in Scripture was that of the tax collector in the temple as quoted by Jesus in His parable in contrasted to the prayer of a Pharisee:
"God, have mercy on me, a sinner." 
I can add only one word to that unnamed guy who the Savior said went home justified in the sight of God: AMEN.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Confess your sins to the Lord, and you will be forgiven; confess them to men, and you will be laughed at."
Josh Billings

(Please take two minutes and listen to this gorgeous rendition of If I Have Wounded Any Soul Today.)

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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